Colt Dragoon

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Hey guys, been lurking for a while and I figured it was about time I posted something and try to get my art skills up to a new level.

This is a Colt Dragoon I've been working on, right now its sitting at 3559 tris. I was aiming for 3500, so its not too far off but I still want to optimize it a great deal.

Here is the high and low with freshly baked normal map (low displayed with the new 3point shader).

dragoonscreengrab001.jpg
dragoonscreengrab003.jpg
dragoonscreengrab004.jpg

Wires
dragoonscreengrab005.jpg

There are still some details I need to bake in and small errors to fix in PS (plus AO as well), but I believe I'm ready to move on to texturing.

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  • Cap
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    Cap triangle
    Re-modeled the handle to more accurately match the reference, so here is the new bake. Gonna jump on the texturing in the next few days.

    dragoonscreengrabnewbak.jpg
  • georgemancer
    Nice, looking forward to seeing the texture. I'd suggest adding an engraving and plenty of grit!
  • Shogun3d
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    Shogun3d polycounter lvl 8
    Post your reference as well, might help others see how you're modeling the weapon.
  • Cap
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    @georgemancer: Definitely going to go with an engraving of some kind, just not sure how far I'm going to take it as there are some really fancy ones on the internet like this one here

    @kaburan: Good call, heres my main ref

    coltdragoonref001.jpg
  • Rang3r1
    I would definitely go back and soften up your high poly edges a lot more. Your bake is doing nothing for you the way it is.
  • Cap Hotkill
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    Cap Hotkill polycounter lvl 8
    looks good to me, I cant wait to see how it looks textured.
  • Cap
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    @Rang3r1: Will definitely do that when I go back for the next normal bake

    In the meantime here is the lowpoly AO, baked in max using scanline and light tracer

    dragoonscreengrabao.jpg
  • Cap
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    Cap triangle
    Got the base textures on there now, 2048 diff/normal/spec/gloss. I still have some details to model and bake out but its just a few screws and those holes on the side of the cylinder.

    dragoonscreengrabtextur.jpg

    dragoonscreengrabtextur.jpg

    The handle is giving me some trouble though, I'm trying to get a worn look but still have it somewhat glossy and thats proving to be difficult. Also I've never done any sort of "engraving on metal" stuff so if anybody has any tips on that I would appreciate it! Of course any and all crits are welcome, those are just some specific areas I'm having trouble with.
  • Barnstable
    I really like how it's coming along.

    Could you show your maps too?
  • Cap
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    @Barnstable: Thanks alot! Here are the flats...

    dragoontexflats.jpg
  • sampson
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    sampson polycounter lvl 9
    wood like that doesnt kind of just stay linear, as it is cut in it begins to warp and things - youll see this on any wooden handle. Get rid of the obvious filter clouds for spec. make it more subtle and use some overlays/hand painted noise.
  • Cap
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    Progress! Fixed the wood grain and worked on the spec some more, among other things of course. The gloss map wasn't working for me so well after a couple tries so I ditched it, now its just using the gloss strength value. Here it is...

    dragoon610screengrab001.jpg
  • Kitteh
    Need to make the inside part of your screws dark on the diffuse and spec. Add lots of brown/grey grime to the crevices and make that solid black on the spec. Also might want to add some spec-only grime and schmutz on the metal and wood.
  • dansher
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    dansher polycounter lvl 8
    is that first set of wires the high or low poly?
  • Cap
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    @ Kitteh: Definitely agree with you on the AO for the screws, I just can't seem to get a good High to Low Ao bake from max though so I'm gonna try my luck in xNormal. Also will try and get more grime in those crevices. Btw, awesome work in your Debauchery thread, really cool stuff.

    @ dansher: Those are the wires for the low poly
  • an aggressive napkin
    Could i see a picture of the lowpoly without wires = normal on it?
  • djm6007
    Excellent job on the handgun. You should make the gold a little bit shinier too.
  • Cap
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    @ an aggressive napkin: The very first pic has the LP with no wires and the normals on it, it is the lighter of the two. I completely remodeled the handle from whats in that picture, but its just a little more rounded in some places so not a huge change.

    @ djm6007: Thanks! I'm still playing around with the brass parts, not very happy with them at the moment. Will definitely see how they look with a bit more shine.
  • TomDunne
    Just saw your thread, very nice work! I'm a big fan of black powder guns and even own an 1860 Army, so it's great to see someone tackle one of these big ol' beasts.

    If you're interested in accuracy, the Dragoon had two different engravings on the cylinder during its run. The first one used only for a few years, is a battle scene depicting US soldiers fighting against indians. It was replaced with a scene of a stagecoach robbery that was more common since it was in production much longer. Your reference pic is an early Dragoon, with the soldiers/indians cylinder roll. Here are links to the two engravings if you are interested (they're a little hard to read on brass, but you can probably play with the levels to pull the detail out in PS):

    http://fullsize.antiquegunroom.net/0550-05.jpg (indians)
    http://fullsize.antiquegunroom.net/0550-03.jpg (stagecoach)

    The 1860 Army replaced the Dragoon as Colt's primary .44 caliber firearm - it's not identical, but still fairly similar. If you want to see an one from any particular angles where it's hard to find references, like with hammer back or loading lever down, let me know and I'd be glad to take some for you.
  • dansher
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    dansher polycounter lvl 8
    hey would you be able to post some wires of the high poly?
  • Cap
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    @ TomDunne: Thanks alot! Those plates are exactly what I was looking for, I was having a hard time finding anything like that, so big props for that! I found some really great refs from antiquearmsinc.com so I believe I have all the angles I need, but if I run into any trouble spots I will definitely take you up on that. And of course I super appreciate the offer!

    @ dansher: yes, here is the highpoly with no turbosmooth

    dragoonhpwirescopy.jpg
  • Cap
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    Finally got all the extra normal detail in there, did some more work on the grime, got the AO for the screws in there, and got the engraving on the cylinder. I think I'm gonna call this done for now, I'm pretty pleased with how it came out. All c&c is welcome as I may go back and do another newer version with all sorts of crazy engraving.

    dragoon615screengrabcop.jpg


    3670 Tris
    2048 Diffuse, Normal, and specular
  • dansher
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    dansher polycounter lvl 8
    Cap wrote: »
    Finally got all the extra normal detail in there, did some more work on the grime, got the AO for the screws in there, and got the engraving on the cylinder. I think I'm gonna call this done for now, I'm pretty pleased with how it came out. All c&c is welcome as I may go back and do another newer version with all sorts of crazy engraving.

    dragoon615screengrabcop.jpg


    3670 Tris
    2048 Diffuse, Normal, and specular

    looks really nice, you should make that engraving gold so it pops out
  • MattLichy
    Looking pretty sweet man.

    Just a couple things:

    Your spec could benefit from a little more variation/contrast I would say. Nothing too crazy though. Also some type of reflection (cubemap/realtime) on the metal would help it alot.

    Also a 2048 texture I have to say, is pretty redonkulous. A 512 is more likely for a first person gun now a days. I'm not sure if they used 512s or 1024 on the guns in Reach, I can't remember. But 2048 maps are super expensive, so I never saw them on anything. For just a 2048 diffuse map, it was in the 2-3MB range or more I believe, which is ALOT, at least on the 360.

    Keep it up!
  • Racer445
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    Racer445 polycounter lvl 10
    The diffuse seems alright. It's a little plain and you could add in some subtle, localized wear even if you don't want that really worn look. You may also want to consider darkening it and adding some cubemap reflections to really enhance that metal look.

    Any reason why there is no AO on the spec? Why would the shadows be shiny?

    The spec is the most important map and right now looks quite lazy. The biggest issue is that it's pretty much a simple cloud filter, and doesn't push the metal look at all. Here's a couple refs of the Colt SAA that may help you get a really nice look:

    http://www.wisnersinc.com/additional_info/Colt%20SAA-S1.jpg
    http://www.militarytrader.com/upload/images/Colt%20SAA%20Revolver.jpg

    Notice how smooth it is, even though it's worn down a bit. Clouds on the spec tend to create a rough stone look that don't help the metal look. You can also notice that there are some smudgies and other details that only show up in the light, which is important to break up the surfaces. One thing in particular that these old guns have too are some rainbow lookin colors (you can really see it on the hammer of that second photo) that seems to be particular to that older metal. It's a cool effect and you could just add that kind of thing to a couple areas on the spec to give it some kind of color that isn't blue.

    I hope that helps. It looks like you have a pretty solid bake and a good start to the diffuse, but the spec is really letting this asset down. Do continue though and really work on those materials!
    MattLichy wrote: »
    Also a 2048 texture I have to say, is pretty redonkulous. A 512 is more likely for a first person gun now a days. I'm not sure if they used 512s or 1024 on the guns in Reach, I can't remember. But 2048 maps are super expensive, so I never saw them on anything. For just a 2048 diffuse map, it was in the 2-3MB range or more I believe, which is ALOT, at least on the 360.
    A 2048 is certainly appropriate for something that is taking up a quarter of the screen all the time. Don't forget that these textures will be compressed and some of the maps (normal, spec and gloss in particular) can be sized down to save ram when needed. This isn't 2002 anymore and a 512 is far too small for something that takes up so much screen space.
  • Cap
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    @ dansher: Thanks, I think the gold would look really out of place, although I might make another texture with the black metal and gold plating later.

    @ MattLichy: Thanks, I will play around with the spec and see if I can't get some contrast in there.

    @ Racer445: I actually completely forgot about the edge wear and AO on the spec, I will go back and fix that up. As for the spec, are you talking about the flats I posted earlier? The spec was pretty bad on that one and I changed it up quite a bit. I probably should have posted the current flats along with the last pics (which I will post now). I do have a cubemap on it, but I couldn't get it not to make the wood and brass super reflective and ugly so I have it set really low, you can see it slightly on the spheres next to the hammer as well as the brass on top of the handle. I tried to find a place to put a cubemap mask (or something) in the 3point shader, but I'm not even sure if that is a real thing.

    Here are the flats as they are in the last pic, definitely let me know if you see anything thats killin' the texture.

    dragoontexturecomposite.jpg
  • Kitteh
  • Cap
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    OK so I put the AO on the spec, and I tried to further reduce the cloudiness on the spec. Did some edge wear as well but I wasn't really feeling it so I left it off for now. I also decided to try a version of the dragoon that has some black metal parts, and I'm thinking I like it a little better, so I would like to get some opinions on that as well.

    dragoon617screengrab.jpg

    dragoon617screengrabwbl.jpg
  • Kitteh
    You still need to put lots of rough grime in all the crevices. Any concave intersection of two surfaces should have lots of unshiny dark brown/gray grime.
  • vcool
    I prefer the silver. Also the engravings aren't standing out very well, you shouldn't have to stand at an angle to a light source to see the normal. Perhaps a black outline? or just a slightly darker shade of gray?
  • Thegodzero
    Matt remember it's ALWAYS better to make textures higher res than what will be used, just in case you need a higher res version for another platform or for a cinematic. You can always down res, but you can't up res.

    It's looking good but way too much reliance on your normal map still. Your diffuse and spec map should still be doing most of the work.

    Shitty paint over, just a upped contrast and addition of grease from the hands and where it would oxidize a bit with scratches in the grease and rust.
    cappaint.jpg
  • Kitteh
    Those scratches in the paintover don't really match the ref and look overdone. Also, the engravings should be dark on the diffuse and black on the spec. Notice how in your ref there's all sorts of interesting grime accumulating in different ways around the engraving.
  • sneakymcfox
    i have to say i much prefer it with the scratches
  • TheSplash
    Racer445 wrote: »
    Any reason why there is no AO on the spec? Why would the shadows be shiny?
    Here is a pretty good diagram of why you wouldn't put AO in your specular map. http://www.polycount.com/forum/showpost.php?p=972306&postcount=41

    You asked "Why would the shadows be shiny?" well if an area is lit then there's not going to be any ambient occlusion there, just direct light. The spec map controls how much how much of that light is reflected.

    With that said, if you are using an AO map to achieve a dirt effect in your diffuse, then AO in your spec makes sense to simulate that surface.
  • Racer445
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    Racer445 polycounter lvl 10
    TheSplash wrote: »
    Here is a pretty good diagram of why you wouldn't put AO in your specular map. http://www.polycount.com/forum/showpost.php?p=972306&postcount=41

    You asked "Why would the shadows be shiny?" well if an area is lit then there's not going to be any ambient occlusion there, just direct light. The spec map controls how much how much of that light is reflected.

    With that said, if you are using an AO map to achieve a dirt effect in your diffuse, then AO in your spec makes sense to simulate that surface.

    While that's technically correct, there's a lot more to how light works in the real world than in games, since our engines aren't that advanced yet. If they were, we'd be using all flat texture maps with no AO in any of them. But in games we still need to do hacks to make things look like they do in the real world, even if it's not correct.

    Simply put, if you have AO in the diffuse but not in the spec, the shadows will catch light and it will look awful.

    In addition, the link you posted requires a system that dynamically removes AO which was baked into a separate texture, which is something that we often can't afford due to memory constraints.
  • Cap
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    @ Kitteh: Yeah I've never been particularly comfortable doing grime, I either end up with it being too subtle or too much. I've re-done the grime a bit, focusing on crevices where I would imagine dirt would collect.

    @ vcool: Agreed, I went ahead and made a cavity map from the normal, darkened it up quite a bit, and then set it to blend so the white areas wouldnt show on the diffuse. I think its showing up a little better now.

    @ Thegodzero: Thanks for the paintover, I really appreciate it!

    I've also added some rainbowy smudges like racer suggested, but I think it might be too subtle, let me know if I should kick it up a notch.


    dragoon622screengrab.jpg
  • bluekangaroo
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    bluekangaroo polycounter lvl 10
    Racer445 wrote: »
    While that's technically correct, there's a lot more to how light works in the real world than in games, since our engines aren't that advanced yet. If they were, we'd be using all flat texture maps with no AO in any of them. But in games we still need to do hacks to make things look like they do in the real world, even if it's not correct.

    Simply put, if you have AO in the diffuse but not in the spec, the shadows will catch light and it will look awful.

    In addition, the link you posted requires a system that dynamically removes AO which was baked into a separate texture, which is something that we often can't afford due to memory constraints.

    this is pretty good advice to follow.
  • Kitteh
    I think your spec could use more contrast.
  • SouthpawSid
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    SouthpawSid polycounter lvl 7
    Kitteh wrote: »
    I think your spec could use more contrast.

    I agree! Squeeze dem levels for a quick fix!
  • Cap
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    More contrast! Got my first art test so I will be concentrating on that for the following days, but I'm not sick of this one yet so keep the c&c coming if you got em!

    dragoon623screengrab.jpg
  • Kitteh
    Brass could use more dirt and interesting texture, I think.
  • bbob
    Try making the spec for the brass more deep orange, I think that would help sell it a bit more..
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