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New Here

Hi everyone, I'm new here. I'm don't have many pieces of 3D artwork to show, as I am not an artist. I simply signed up to post my progress as I work towards improving my skills.

My name is Shelby Smith. I'm 16, and I make games. I've been designing my dream game in between my current projects - it is a 3D game, so that requires 3D models (duh). As I desire to do this myself, I have no choice but to learn to create 3D models.

I plan on showing my stuff here as I learn to create 3D models and texturing them. I will be using Blender for now (open source yo).

As a game developer who grew up with low poly models, those sorts of games largely inspire me art-wise.

Some examples:

Soul Edge/Blade
http://ui08.gamefaqs.com/2087/gfs_10157_2_16.jpg

Jet Set/Grind Radio
http://www.gamefaqs.com/dreamcast/197687-jet-grind-radio/images/gs_screen-53

Tenchu: Stealth Assassins

http://image.com.com/gamespot/images/screenshots/1/198911/tenchu_screen006.jpg


I love the graphical styles of these games, if only they were a little clearer...

Anyway, it's nice to be here.

Here's my website with my games and such: http://shelbymead.com/wordpress/

Replies

  • Snader
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    Snader polycounter lvl 13
    First of all, welcome.

    Second, you might already have seen this, but definitely check out the lowpoly thread. It's relevant to your interests.
  • thatshelby
    Snader wrote: »
    First of all, welcome.

    Second, you might already have seen this, but definitely check out the lowpoly thread. It's relevant to your interests.

    Yes, I've seen the lowpoly thread (and snagged a few of these delicious low-poly models for my Inspiration folder). Kudos.


    I've finished modeling a mushroom after about 1 hours work. It was looking pretty lame but I seem to have fixed it. Time to unwrap, texture, and render baybay.
  • praetor187
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    praetor187 polycounter lvl 11
    Welcome, you game Neon Strike looks pretty fun. I look forward to watching your progress :)
  • thatshelby
    9d1Z9.png

    I made a mushroom.

    Tex:

    6p8t3.png
    UV Map:
    qVfQb.png
  • Joseph Silverman
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    Joseph Silverman polycounter lvl 15
    Seen your stuff on tigsource. Stick with it man! Practice your fundamentals, artistically, draw more boring things in interesting ways.
  • slipsius
    shelby, whats your texture size?
  • slipsius
    Ok, my specialty isnt modelling, and i suck at texturing, but from what i can tell is your main issue right now is UV layout. I dont know what your texture size is, but the reason it looks so blurry as low resolutions is because you arent effectively using your UV space.

    I did a really quick mushroom like yours, just to express what Im trying to say. Hopefully it helps.

    What i did was model half of the top of the mushroom, just half, with no face where it splits. UVed the half i made, then duplicated it, scaled it -1 in the x axis to mirror it over (using maya) then combined the two pieces and merged the center verts. This makes it so you only need to texture HALF the mushroom, so you only use half of the UV space, meaning it can be larger, for greater detail. here is my UV layout.

    mushUV.jpg

    So the right side is the top of the mushroom. the left is the stalk, and the bottom two things are just the bottom of the mushroom top, and bottom fo the stalk (which i could delete since it would be in the ground.

    I started by texturing it at 256x256, then dropped it down to 64x64 in photoshop. Here is a screenshot of the two texture sizes applied to the model, and what the 64x64 looks like from a distance, just to show how it is sort of blurry close, but looks much better from a distance.
    mushroomColors.jpg

    You will see stretching in the yellow dots, but that is just me doing a planar UV unwrap and not fixing the stretching. Just a quick and dirty example.

    The model is 74 tris

    Hopefully this helps you a bit, and if anyone else knows a bettter way, or if im telling him wrong information, please jump in!
  • thatshelby
    I don't understand how you could texture a full model from half of a UV map.. I guess I mean that I don't understand how to do this in blender. Any tutorials?
  • slipsius
    oh, sorry, i didnt explain that properly. so, when you duplicate the half you made, it creates another UV for the new duplicate, using the same UV as the original. so, on the UV layout, it LOOKS like only half, but there are actually TWO shells stacked on top of each other. so you texture "half" but since both halfs are in the same UV space, the texture appears on both.
  • thatshelby
  • slipsius
    Does that make sense?

    It is a very common practice used for faces, arms, legs, hands. Anything that is just duplicated over from 1 side to the other. Most characters will at least start out being modelled on one side, then duplicated over. But as you can see, it works for props as well. Anything that is symmetrical.
  • Chimp
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    Chimp interpolator
    Welcome to the board, its a fantastic place to learn and give/recieve feedback!

    Slipsius is right, you want to mirror on something like this, you are going to want to be as efficient as possible, if you look at his layout there is barely any wasted space as a result of the mirroring. you could probably go even further by mirroring the stalk.

    I had a look at your stuff, Neon Strike looks pretty cool- good work!

    Now in terms of your 3D I have these suggestions for you:

    - I really, really recommend learning one of the major packages. Pick up a demo or get a hold of a full copy somehow. As much as Blender skills are transferable you are going to save a lot of time and headache using industry standards like Max or Maya for your poly modelling and Zbrush for sculpting high res details. I use Photoshop for texturing. These tools are probably what you will be made to use when you're working in a bigger team.

    The general consensus is that you can purchase your license when you're working on a commercial project, it's a bit of a grey area but look at this way, your learning skills that will benefit the industry anyway. I purchased all my licenses when I did my first commercial product. Just keep it to yourself :)

    - I cut my teeth modding games, these days its a piece of cake as all the big engines have made their dev tools available so jump right in!! As far as I can see, Unreal is probably the most common now. Look at the assets in these engines for a real example of pro work and how they do stuff. Look at the unwrapping, dissect the models and see how they're put together.

    My background was with hacking and modding the Halo series. When we started the game was completely closed source, we manually hacked the engine and built our own tools but it was real good experience and the community grew very fast.

    - Join a modding project, there are tons out there and this will really help you understand working as part of a team, they'll support you and give you real feedback. Post all your stuff here and we'll definitely help you get on your feet.

    - Read the Polycount Wiki, its a fantastic resource.

    - Keeping a dev blog is a great way to look back at your work, keep that up!

    - Get a bunch of us on MSN or skype or something, as much as you will post on forums you'll also want a few people who you can throw WIPs at while your working for direct instant feedback, feel free to PM me and I'll give you my details :)

    - Keep up the enthusiasm, its hard sometimes- especially if you're doing it alone. Having other people pestering you to keep going is the best remedy.
  • willy-wilson
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    willy-wilson polycounter lvl 8
    welcome to pc!
  • thatshelby
    Thank you for the welcomes everybody. I feel very welcome here even though I am a terrible 3d artist.

    Chimp ~ Thanks for the advice! I don't think I will switch to Maya or 3DS max because I am a big believer in open source software, and I am also an indie developer. Blender is more compatible for collaborations with other developers/artists

    I do feel, though, that I am improving, even through 2 days of work. I made this banana earlier today:

    IGqnO.png
    fWoRi.pngD4Snr.png
    Tex size: 128^2
    Verts: 6
    Edges: 8
    Polys: 8
    Tris: 8

    In retrospect, I feel I went a lot overboard as far as making it low-poly. I started with two 4-sided pyramids, stretched the tip, removed the bottom face and tied them together.

    I should have started with 8-sided pyramids and attached them in 3 segments instead of 2.

    On the plus side, I feel I did better with the texture (though that may be because it was stupid simple)


    ____

    Could someone capable of moving this thread move it to the correct forum? I feel that it would be a better fit in the Workshop. Thank you.
  • thatshelby
    7KZji.png

    I redid the banana. Still wonky. I like making textures. Not so much UV mapping or modeling.
  • Snader
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    Snader polycounter lvl 13
    no 8 sided doesn't make much sense for a banana. If you look at a banana in real life, it has a couple of hard edges and slightly rounded sides. I think 5 sides. Hence, you should probably use 5 sides.
  • Shiniku
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    Shiniku polycounter lvl 9
    Think hard about the silhouette. What sells that shape of a banana? It's curved, it tapers at the end, has a stem. You're not conveying these attributes too well, it's jagged at the sides and the ends don't seem right even for a really low-poly banana. Meanwhile, the extra sides you're doing around aren't really helping to sell the shape at all.

    You have the right attitude and it will definitely be fun watching you progress. I'm sure you'll pick up on some of this stuff, just need to keep an eye on things like silhouette.
  • Chimp
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    Chimp interpolator
    Sup to you of course. There are so many plugins available for the big apps though, your life will be a lot easier. I am all for open source but in this situation I go with the big names purely because the software is widely supported- it all depends on whether you'll be making a career of this or just doing it as a hobbyist.

    As for the banana, great work! Your Uvs are much nicer. I agree with the above- you want a better silhouette. Try and get some more contrast in your texture too. Right now it looks almost neon. Might be a style thing though.

    Keep it up, I reckon in 6 months you'll be a force to be reckoned with!
  • thatshelby
    Snader ~ Good point. I didn't use a reference. I ought to.



    Shiniku ~ I haven't thought about the silhouette.


    I feel like I'm getting a lot of information; however, I'm having trouble thinking up things to model. It's sort of difficult finding something difficult enough to allow me to learn, but simple enough for me to make at my low skill level. Is this a non-issue? Should I just model things around me, or is there a list of some sort that has a good progression? If not, someone should make one. Maybe that ought to be me?
  • Chimp
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    Chimp interpolator
    Depends on what you want to do, i am primarily an environment artist so i started by modelling my house and the houses around me. now i am learning character art so i am modelling people I know and characters i've invented.

    Maybe model everything on your desk :)

    look for challenges.
  • thatshelby
    I really need to get some more interesting stuff on my desk.

    I decided to model a diamond instead.

    Here's the rendersheet:

    bgEzJ.png

    I forgot to put this in the image, but the texture is 128^2. You might not notice, but there is a little hand-painted gradient at the tip on the bottom.

    I feel I much better utilized my UV space. When I unwrapped, it was at 256^2, and I managed to cut that down to a quarter of it.
  • Snader
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    Snader polycounter lvl 13
    the UV is decent, the model sufficient for a game (though not correct), but the texture itself is severely lacking.

    I feel you're trying to squirt out too many things at once. Take your time on a single model and do some revisions on it. Doing something very precise once will teach you more than doing it sloppy twice.
  • thatshelby
    I'm not totally sure how I could make that more interesting - I guess I could add some transparency, but it's a simple design.
  • 16bit
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    16bit polycounter lvl 12
    Transparency, some refraction, specularity. Depending on what your using, you wouldn't even need a diffuse map.
  • thatshelby
    R0zRH.png

    Note a ton of time to work on this model today. It's an orange.
    Texture is ... awful. Too shiny, as well.
    I was trying to figure out how to unwrap curved shapes.
  • Baddcog
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    Baddcog polycounter lvl 9
    Not knocking your diamond, my first gemstones in game looked pretty much just like that and I was quite pleased at the time.

    I'd say your biggest issue with textures is that you are just working from your mind and probably not looking for refs, which is easy enough to do these days with the interwebs.

    Here's a diamond, try to immulate it in your tex work.
    Diamond.jpg

    Here's an Orange
    images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTNYQDmfetptTMT9T3tBbVLK9g_pt2FHXbaSYIhmoR4Fu0E8mZrsw

    Here, based on that orange I did a really quick paint over of your uv's, try it and see how it looks.

    Orange2.jpg

    The main thing you missed was the thickness of the skin, but also the 'glisten' of the juices. And the pitted look of the skin. But that's something looking up a quick reference will show you (and even very experienced modelers). It's always easy to miss little details out of memory that really bring it together.

    (another bonus is that I pulled those colors right from the photo)

    Also it seems like you used a sphere that has odd dimensions, so lining up the edge of the 'open part' is hard to do. You need to create a sphere that is even on both sides, so when you cut a 1/4 out of it the edges are all the same. (if that makes sense, been a long day)... maybe you used a 13 sided sphere, a 12 would quarter better.
  • thatshelby
    It was actually 8 rings, 8 stacked high. Just odd on the third plane. If I had taken a different section out it might have worked better.

    Texture looks much better on the model, but I can't get it to shade correctly (tiredness likely).

    Thanks for the criticism.
  • thatshelby
    I cannot for the life of me figure out how to unwrap this thing.

    NFDdF.png

    Designed to be some sort of lookout tower. I learned a lot about creating models while doing this! I discovered a handy trick for quickly duplicating vertices: Extrude by 0, then scale the vertices down.

    Verts: 36
    Edges: 128
    Tris: 88
  • Snader
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    Snader polycounter lvl 13
    Snader wrote: »
    I feel you're trying to squirt out too many things at once. Take your time on a single model and do some revisions on it. Doing something very precise once will teach you more than doing it sloppy twice.

    You're still squirting.
  • thatshelby
    I don't understand what revisions I need to make on it.
  • Snader
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    Snader polycounter lvl 13
    Mostly: using references and spending real effort on your work. I can't honestly believe you consider those fruit textures to be done, or the models to be good. You're focusing too much on fast, not enough on good.

    Example:
    banana48.png
    48 triangles, just like your banana. No texture. But a lot more convincing shape. And this took, what, 15 minutes, max?
  • thatshelby
    I thought you were referring to the model I made today. I know the bananas aren't good.
  • achillesian
    thatshelby wrote: »
    I am not an artist.

    Incorrect. You make art, therefor you are an artist.
  • thatshelby
    I found a banana, stared at it for about 15 minutes, and then made this:

    FoWyY.png

    Much better. about 2.5 hours.
  • Snader
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    Snader polycounter lvl 13
    Better, but the texture is still incredibly flat. Look at your banana some more and see what kind of patterns and shapes are on it.
  • Akamo
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    Akamo polycounter lvl 6
    Hello there Shelby,

    I really like your thread so far for some reason.. if you stay consistent, this could be a nice thread to watch over a few months or more. Most people do not document every step they do from the very first models, so, please keep going.

    My main advice would be to decide if you want to go with Only diffuse maps + flat shading (this means you will have to draw/fake geometry. Example: this) or flat diffuse maps + normal bakes from a highpoly (this means you make a higher poly model, but texture it in a "flat" way with several maps. Then you make a lowpoly model and create a normal for it from the highpoly model, like this).
    Personally I think that deciding on one way early on will net best results in smallest amounts of time. Doesnt mean you should not be able to do both at some point.

    Right now I would definitely suggest you to stay out of highpoly, because this brings in alot of issues that could slow down your learning process in making stuff for games this early on.

    If you want to go with the lowpoly + diffuse "painted" or "textured from reference pics" I would stay with the flat rendering you did in the first pics, or make it less harsh. The lighting in the last pic of the banana you posted makes it look to plastic-ish because of the phong shader + smoothing (In my opinion).

    Anyways, I like your lowres/lowpoly approach at things. This will pay of in the end as a game developer. Alot of people would have subdivided that banana into oblivion because it looks smooth, and then ask themselves how to use it in a game, without knowing how normal maps work.

    As for some feedback on the banana, apart from the rendering thing:
    Snader already said that it looks flat. Think about the texture as if you would take the banana, cut the skin into pieces, and put them in a scanner. (Dont do this ;D) What would you see? there would be brown stringlike forms aswell as little dark dents/holes.
    Try putting these into the texture. If you cant paint them in, you can use pictures from google. Find good parts and cut them out in your graphics program. Use tools like clone stamp to fix areas that look bad. Adjust contrast and brightness in the end.
    Hope this helps.
  • zakhar2
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    zakhar2 polycounter lvl 6
    Incorrect. You make art, therefor you are an artist.
    Youre funny. btw, hows crimson haze doing?
  • thatshelby
    Akamo ~

    I understand what you're saying about the render. I couldn't figure out how to make it look less shiny. I would definitely prefer to go for the flat shading + diffuse method of modeling. My banana looks much better with flat shading, actually. Is there a way of getting smooth shading without plastic lighting?

    As for adding ripe spots to the banana, I tried that. . . And failed miserably. I will try what you suggested later today.
  • Urkie
    Hello thatshelby,

    I'd suggest you hop on your bike and fetch a banana from the store and make a study out of it. Grab a pencil and paper, draw your banana 20ish times. What makes a banana a banana!? Once you think you're ready, try giving it another shot in 3D. I'd love to see a few versions!

    I really like your thread, keep it up man.

    -Joost
  • Akamo
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    Akamo polycounter lvl 6
    thatshelby wrote: »
    Akamo ~

    I understand what you're saying about the render. I couldn't figure out how to make it look less shiny. I would definitely prefer to go for the flat shading + diffuse method of modeling. My banana looks much better with flat shading, actually. Is there a way of getting smooth shading without plastic lighting?

    As for adding ripe spots to the banana, I tried that. . . And failed miserably. I will try what you suggested later today.

    I dont know alot about Blender. Go edit the material and turn down Specular to 0.00. That however will still leave you with the unrealistic shading. Maybe also turn up diffuse intensity to 1.0. Turn down everything in Shading except Environmental light and try setting an env light up.

    Personally I just model with smooth-shading and then switch to complete flat shading for texturing if I want to go hand-painted style.
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