Lowpoly handpainted little RPG scene

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Cremuss polycounter lvl 8
Hello ! :)

Your critics have been very helpful for my last project, so this time I start this WIP thread from the beginning to improve as mush as possible this one :)

So.. again some lowpoly handpainted stuff, more or less following the Blizzard style that I love so much. I will try to take care about the tricount and textures sizes more than in my previous project because it's really not my cup of tea and I really would like to know more about technical constrains in video games (especially blizzard's ones :poly136:) and how pros optimize scenes.

This little scene is supposed to technically fit to any RPG action game (like diablo 3 :p)

The "background" is more or less the same than Diablo 3 too : Abandoned and destroyed stuff because of evil creatures living on earth ^^
I don't want something too bright, something closer to dark fantasy would be cool. For example I really like the feeling of this environment

Anyway, I'm currently at the modeling process. I'm in lack of ideas to fill the scene, so ideas would be greatly appreciated :poly142:


Objects tricount (everything except ground and stones) : ~ 4800
Stones (bottom faces that are underneath ground are not yet deleted but I'm wondering if the tricount is enough important nowadays to spend time to manually delete faces that will not be seen in game...:poly141:) : ~ 7000
Ground: 2000

About the stones : it's 8 different models that I duplicated around the scene, so the idea was to make 1 single texture (or even a little tillable tex) for the whole set of stones but then if I do that I can't work with AO and baked lights anymore for these stones, and that really bother me :poly122:
Personally I prefer to have larger textures with uniques UVs so I can work with AO but if I make one unique UV for each stones I think it will end to a pretty big texture.. :poly118: Any ideas ?

Hope you like it so far :)
Critics & ideas more than welcome !


  • BlazeF
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    BlazeF triangle
    Haha! Cool! I totally dig this :)
    You should add some alpha planes for foliage/grass/bushes/etc and in the trees to make them more organic and appear higher poly. Looking at that Diablo screenshot you can see that they used alphas for their foliage.

    Looking forward to seeing this textured.
  • haikai
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    haikai polycounter lvl 8
    Looks like a nice scene. I wonder if the stones are a little dense compared to some other objects.

    I wouldn't worry about deleting unseen faces on the stones until the very end if you do it at all. Maybe you'd end up doing it if this was actually for a game, but I don't think it's important for a portfolio piece.

    For the texture, there's a way to add AO/shadows on top of tiled textures. I'm not an environment artist, but I know my colleagues use something called Mod2x all the time. If I'm not mistaken, you lay out unique UVs on another UV set and then "bake" a texture that the games uses for the AO/shadow effect. I'm not really sure how you'd do this on your own unless you're going to display it in a game engine though. I suppose this is similar to light maps and stuff in UDK?
  • ikken
    Looking sweet already, looking forward to see it textured
  • Alberto Rdrgz
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    Alberto Rdrgz polycounter lvl 9
    i like it, looks promising!
  • Mark Dygert
    Looking cool so far, the rocks could use some optimization but it doesn't look like you're too far into that stage yet =) Keep up the good work, looking forward to seeing more.
  • Cremuss
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    Cremuss polycounter lvl 8
    Thanks guys !

    So.. between Torchlight games, I managed to update my little scene. I decided to make it a little bit bigger.
    I'm close to start uvmapping now.
    I still need to improve the dead fallen tree, add little branches on the big one and optimize the ground tricount + tweaks depending on your crits :poly142:

    Tricout :
    Objects+Trees : 9351
    Stones : 2354
    Ground : 12K :poly122:

    REKLAS > Billboard for grass and stuff like that will come later cause I'm not sure of what I'm going to do for the ground texture yet. I know blizzard use a lot of billboard textures, even to make tree which is pretty awesome o_O I wonder how this tree looks like ingame when you move the camera :poly141:..

    haikai > Yep the idea to use a second uv layer to bake AO came to me a few days ago. I tried it and it works perfectly. Blender and most of engines nowadays support multi uv layouts (like UDK lightmaps yep) so it will solve my problem :poly142: I don't know why this idea came to me that late :poly136:


    Feel free to give any critics !!
    Now I'm going to sleep, 4:48am here...
    ZzzZz Cya !
  • Joopson
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    Joopson Polycount Sponsor
    What? RPG is evolving!

    Quite awesome, really; can't wait for textures!
    Maybe some closeups? 'twould be nice.
  • Purplepaint
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    Purplepaint polycounter lvl 7
    This is going to be awesome, i agree with Joopson, moar closeups! :D:D
  • achillesian
    the d3 ss you linked is depressing me, they really need to push that game, I don't want every tree to be a billboard, it could end up looking cartoony like deathspank or something. The diablo ip is about dark realism. I don't want d3 tailored to fit old computers like wow is.
  • MikeF
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    MikeF polycounter lvl 13
    looking pretty cool so far.
    i really like the rock piles, how'd you go about blocking those out?
  • HughieDM
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    HughieDM polycounter lvl 7
    This is all looking great cant wait to see the textures start to creep on there

    keep it up
  • Purplepaint
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    Purplepaint polycounter lvl 7
    Oh, and since im a tree noob, wirez :)?
  • Peter H
    realy nice! also looking forward to the texture!
  • Cremuss
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    Cremuss polycounter lvl 8
    Hello !

    Sorry for the late answer, these uvs gave me nightmares :poly127:

    So, what's new : basicly, nothing. I spent the whole week unwrapping this scene.

    Objects has a 1024 ao map that use a first uv layout but I'm not very happy with it.. There are some glitchs to be fixed and I have some troubles with edge blending because some uvs island are very very small and very close to each other. It's not looking that bad but I hoped to go down to 512 so I think I'll tweak/optimize this first uv layout.
    Stones has 256 ao map that also use a first uv layout. Second uv layout will be used for a tiling texture.
    Ground has a 512 ao map

    Then I spent a lot of time thinking how to unwrap the second uv layout for the diffuse map. I ended with this and I'd like to know what you think of it. :poly122:


    How you'd unwrap this scene ?

    Feel free to give any advices/tips/critics or to ask for informations/other pics
    I can't wait to start the texturing process, I'm bored of uvs maps :poly124:
  • Cremuss
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    Cremuss polycounter lvl 8
    Hello !

    UV are most likely done. I improved objects' uv layout used for AO. I had a 1024 ao map before, now I managed to get it down to 512x256 with even a better resolution. :)

    Time to texture... :poly142:


    A try for the first ground tile. I'm really not happy with it, 'need your help guys :\
    Also I made a quick light test (quick post-prod for the glow and color management with gimp)

    House isn't finished.

    Ground texture will be made of 4 tiles with a blending map.

    Do you have any advices for the brick texture ? How to add colors in it ? It's all gray atm :s
    Also do you have how to or tips to paint ground textures like grass/dirt ? I'm pretty stuck with the ground tex right now :poly122:

    Advices and critics are greatly appreciated !

    thanks !
    c u soon
  • Arcanox
    Something about the relation of the stone bricks to the wood seems a little bit off. The bricks seem a bit too bright and completely desaturated so they seem to pop in comparison to the other assets.

    Maybe do a bit of color toning on them to pull them back a bit and give them a little bit of a color hue. Otherwise, everything else looks fantastic so far. Nice stuff.
  • shotgun
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    shotgun polycounter lvl 12
    U should paint over ur scene in photoshop to work ur palette, it is already becoming dangerously mute. Beef up the green on that grass and add some stronger splotches of color somewhere to break up ur brown-grey-mustard scheme.

    Arcan is correct about the brix standing out, not only cuz its too-artificially 100% grey (moss, anyone?), but also cuz they shaded quite differently (and directionally) then all other assets. Kill the top-down highlights, define the edges more overall and it'll be fine.
  • Hazardous
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    Hazardous polycounter lvl 10

    Amazing start - subscribed!

    One thing that really struck me though as I was scrolling down the page at your progress was your choice of palette once I started to see the texture progress - for some reason I just assumed it was going to be bright and colourful, without the heavy AO. Not saying its wrong! Merely pointing out my surprise, take from that what you will!

    Looking forward to seeing it evolve!
  • glottis8
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    glottis8 polycounter lvl 9
    very nice texture work man. i'm looking forward for more.
  • Cremuss
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    Cremuss polycounter lvl 8
    Hello everyone !

    Sorry for the very late update. I wish new years parties went good for everyone, happy new year anyway :)

    glottis8 > Thank you !
    Hazardous > Thank you :) I take that as a compliment :poly124: I always had much more darker style than the WoW cartoonish art and overall blizzard style, so yeah.. I suppose I just follow my own style :)

    Shotgun & Arcanox > Ok ! Critics are very helpful, thank you :)

    So.. too much progress to list everything but here are a few notes :

    - Floor Tile 3 and 4 on the work. Atm it's just an ugly flat brown color.
    - Seams will be fixed later (trees, rocks)
    - Water, second grass type, flowers, dead branches, dead leaves will come later (+ maybe tree bush)
    - The black outline of the giant leather thing on the big tree is a little viewport bug, will be fixed later. Also, improvements on this leather texture are to come : folds and scratchs definitly needs to be painted on it.
    - AO on trees still need to be fixed (that's why it's dark at some random areas).
    - I really had no idea on how to paint trees bark texture, any advices/pictures/idea are welcome.
    - I'm not really satisfied with the rock texture. 'Will think on it later.
    - Still heavy WIP :)

    shadeless :
    lighting :

    Critics heavily required :poly124:
    Thank you for the help so far, I really tried to take care of all your critics.
    And btw, sorry for my bad english :\. I'm pretty sure I make mistakes every 2 words but I'm french and I really do try to do my best :poly136:
    Cya !
  • Cremuss
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    Cremuss polycounter lvl 8
    Hey, just a little pump here because I'd really like to have critics and comments. I'm pretty sure I can improve this a lot with your help.

    Anyway update soon :)
    Sry for the double post hehe :poly136:
  • jimmypopali
    Not sure if there is an issue with the night shot with the grass planes showing up very dark and solid.

    Also, any tips on the creation of the grass texture?
  • Matroskin
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    Matroskin polycounter lvl 9
    cool job Cremuss :)
    The shapes and layout r quite nice here.

    some points which I think could be improved:

    1) The textured house is quite hard to read with the texture applied to it. The reason is mostly in the texture having too much highlight contrast and actual big size of highlights. The contrast between highlighted and shaded areas is so big that it kinda breaking the overall perception of the building's shape imo. If surfaces would be more uniformed and balanced it would be easier read the surface. That especially applies for the "night" scene.

    2) Tree texture asks for better integration with the ground. You could have some sort of moss transition to make wood-grass meeting point less harsh. Right now the tree placement feels not natural because of this.

    3) The terrain could have more texture variations like a road or soil patches since in this view one sees the ground most of the time. Some bushes would help too.

    4) I would use grass polygons being oriented more towards the top. Your grass polygons r placed as if we would be looking at the scene from FPS point of view. In top view your grass obviously reveals its "planar" nature. Also I would arrange the grass shading a bit, because now it is darker lit than the ground which makes grass polys stand out unnaturally.
  • duxun
    do you intend to show off this enviro from a top view cuz it may look better (specially the grass planes) from a shot in the ground.
  • SimonT
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    SimonT polycounter lvl 12
    that looks sooo nice :)
  • Cremuss
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    Cremuss polycounter lvl 8
    thx for answers ! :)

    jimmypopali > yep, there are some glitchs with the grass when the lighting is on, I'll see what I can do :)
    About the grass texture, I'm not sure if you'r talking about the grass planes or the grass texture of the ground but.

    For the ground texture, it's very simple. I used one single blade of grass that I duplicated, moved and rotated randomly on the texture until I had the amount of grass I wanted, then I made a new layer to add some color variation with a cloud texture, added some noise and a little detail texture too and that's all :)

    For the grass planes, it's also very simple. Paint few blade of grass in yellow/green, add a white and black top down blend and set it to overlay. Make foreground blades cast a little shadow on background blades and basicly that's all too :)

    Matroskin > Thank you :)

    I agree on all your points, I'll work on that for the next update :poly142:

    duxun > Yeah the grass definitly need some love especially since it is supposed to be viewed from a top view. And you'r right, the grass looks really better from a FPS view :s

    SimonT > Thx :)

    Update soon !
  • Rurouni Strife
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    Rurouni Strife polycounter lvl 8
    Love the scene. I get a grittier WoW feel from this, which I totally dig. I appreciate your texture breakdown too.

    Keep it up, it's looking amazing!
  • rodrigocox
    Loved it, reminds me Diablo I a bit.

    My 2cents would be to add some color to occlusion, so it would look more natural and less "black dusty".
  • Cremuss
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    Cremuss polycounter lvl 8
    I ran out of ideas..
    I worked on this thing for so long now that I can't stand it anymore, it has become unproductive, so I'm waiting for your last critics to do some final tweaks I'll call it done. I like the progress I made since the last update so I guess it's not that bad overall :poly142:



    Something's wrong with the ground AO, it does some strange strong black outlines near objects. It'll be fixed.

    Critics welcome !
    Hope you like it :)
  • fabio brasilien
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    fabio brasilien polycounter lvl 8
    still working on that? I love your work so far.
    No ideas? I have some free ones :)
    -the AO looks too strong, especially the main tree bottom.
    -everything looks to dead, maybe some life could break this, flys, bat, rabbit, bird, pig, cow. (this is a very personal opinion)
    -maybe you can add some plants on the lake, sugestion: http://www.edupic.net/Images/Plants/lake_with_aquatic_plants142.JPG
    -a light coming from inside the house?
    -smoke from fireplace

    That is all could think for now...
  • haikai
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    haikai polycounter lvl 8
    The wood grain on each plank is so large that it's throwing off the scale for me. It still looks good, but I think trying to add more detail and adjusting the grain treatment would help. On the roof, maybe you could have multiple planks making up each row instead of a single, long plank. Or maybe give the roof wood shingles or something to differentiate it from the rest of the wood planks in the scene.
  • jeremiah_bigley
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    jeremiah_bigley polycounter lvl 9
    it is funny because as a modeler/texture artist you are looking down on this so much that it seems like the sky is lacking. In that one shot where you are looking off into the distance, it really felt like it needed a bright starry sky or something...

    Really like where this has gone. I am doing my own hand painted project atm and I am getting to the same point. Working on it to a point where I am becoming unproductive.

    Looks great though man! Love the textures. This is my first go round on hand painted textures so they don't look as nice as yours but I am trying.
  • elitewolverine
    i would think using particles would be a better way to implement your grass detail, then covert it to a mesh...

    currently the grass looks like rows of straight grass that has been rotated

    the scene is looking great, like the run down look of the house
  • c0ldhands
    The textures are nice, but the scene feels emty and lifeless. Its like one big ground floor with objects here and there.Try toduplicate the shack and make a small fishing outpost with several shacks and boats, or do more terrain deformation, bigger stones or more trees.
  • floorpeas
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    floorpeas polycounter lvl 6
    You might want to look at controlling the pallet a little more. Maybe create some colour swatches so you know the range you are going for to help keep things blended. You can see Diablo and Sungeon Siege used blues/greens in the rock and wood textures to keep them all feeling the same. Objects that are useable often stand out a little more. Also you want to give a background thats not too busy so monsters stand out, but they also need to sit in the scene. The night shot is looking much better though.

    Is this realtime or post rendered? I know in 3dsmax sometimes you have to change materials to Art&Design or mrShader and use cutout as the opacity is sometimes unaffected. Also depending on your shadow raytrace solution it might cause the planes to shadow like that.

    For the grass I would consider having a green and yellow green grass tile, and a dirt, and road/rubble tile. Then use mix / blend maps with noise to create a nicer and more varied grass. Also you can use a defined opacity for the "road" to put around the building and make paths. You should be able to get some nice works, even with a very small opacity map if you have a falloff/blend on the edges.

    diablo21.jpg 3.jpg7237_medium.jpg
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