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Broken Pillar

polycounter lvl 7
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Utility polycounter lvl 7
Howdy Y'all!
I started a new project, so I thought I'd share my progress now that I've made a little headway into it. This started as part of a much larger scene, but for now it's going to be a single piece. If I reallllly like it, I might make the rest of the scene (it involves zombies and a subway platform). This piece was inspired by as broke-ass support beam I saw inside Toronto's Union Station subway stop.

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Here's the reference:

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What do you guys think so far? I'm trying to get past a habit I have of being too conservative with my polycount, so I'm trying to push it. It's currently at 1785 tris (925 faces). Think I should push it any further? Or reduce what I have? I want to start UVing soon, so I can sculpt the awesome broken concrete bits. The reason for some of the extra edge loops on the unbroken pillar section is so I can use mesh/poly paint in UDK for the chunks of tile that have been ripped off (I came to the conclusion that it may be the easiest/least expensive way of doing it). I'm going to keep working on this, but updates may be sporadic.

Stay tuned! (and gimme dem crits, yo)

Replies

  • Mossbros
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    Mossbros polycounter lvl 9
    It would probably make more sense to sculpt that broken concrete area in zbrush than pull polys. That way you will have a higher optimized mesh in the end and a nicer bake.
  • Pegbird
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    Pegbird polycounter lvl 5
    I think you might be a bit confused regarding workflow. The tried and tested approach for an asset like this would be to model the main forms in maya/max using as clean and uniform geometry as possible and then take it into Zbrush to sculpt a Hi poly and then bake that down onto a low poly mesh. You only need to UV the low poly right at the end when you are ready to bake.

    Base mesh > High Poly sculpt > Low Poly

    It is a nice asset with lots of detail, best of luck with it, hope this helps.
  • Utility
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    Utility polycounter lvl 7
    Ahhh, crap. You guys are totally right. I've sculpted simple details onto meshes before, but not actually from a base in zBrush. Ugh, and I was wondering if I was doing something wrong- good thing I asked! I don't use zBrush a lot, so it hasn't been a big feature in my workflow. I guess I'm going to be restarting that piece. Thanks guys!
  • Utility
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    Utility polycounter lvl 7
    Update! So I re-worked my model, using zBrush extensively. I've realized that my workflow was lacking in some essential steps, so I learned a lot (mostly little things, like adding edge loops before importing to zBrush, in order to keep some edges sharp and where they are). Here's where I am now:

    6lEvP7UR

    Sculpts all done, but I have one big question - the broken pieces of tile on the main part of the pillar- do I keep going with what I did (added edge loops, extruded in a little), keep the shapes of what I've extruded, and simply have them floating on top of the model, or something else? I want to keep poly count down while keeping the model looking good (it's at 1345 tri's/721 quads now). Any ideas? I'm going to play around with it more before I start texturing.
  • Utility
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    Utility polycounter lvl 7
    Update- Still very WIP-y, but I've started texturing. It's only partially textured currently, but I've got some key parts painted up. What do you guys think so far? I ended up making floating pieces for the broken concrete, and ended up reducing my polycount by a ton! I could probably still optimize it further, but for what it is I think I've done a decent job. Currently at 967 tris/506 faces.

    PillarTextureWIP1.png
  • SP3
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    SP3 polycounter lvl 5
    One thing that is sticking out to me is you have some tiles that are missing like in the ref but the areas that are missing tiles on your model look like they where cut by a machine because the they all have straight cuts but if you look at the ref the areas with missing tile are jagged and zigzagged.
  • Utility
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    Utility polycounter lvl 7
    Hmm... You're right. I cut corners (no pun intended) on them because I didn't think it would be too noticible/didn't want to create a huge polycount rounding edges. I'm not sure how I'd fix that at this point, except to either add some verts and round the edges out, or possibly make a mesh that wraps around the base, which I can use alpha masking to 'cut' better edges (which would require some hefty UV space, methinks). Hmmmgrrr...
  • Utility
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    Utility polycounter lvl 7
    Update- what do you guys think? I took a very stupid route at first, before I realized there was a simpler way to do it (I was actually cutting the circles out in Maya, from the mesh. I was going to re-bake onto new floating planes, the latter of which I am still doing. Instead of doing the first part though, I'm now using Photoshop to drop circles into the texture, and use them as an alpha. Still have a lot of work to go, but I'm glad the figuring-out part is behind me.

    Th5ct41q
  • Utility
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    Utility polycounter lvl 7
    'Nother update!

    dEKluRZ8

    I got the alpha stuff (mostly) done. I think it's looking good! I'm going to work on textures again for the next update.
  • Utility
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    Utility polycounter lvl 7
    Textures WIP:

    CEJEgdOk

    Also, anyone know why I'm getting this seam, or how I can fix it? It's the seam in the UV... but I thought I could avoid an actual seam appearing. Halp pls.

    eWxBeVu2
  • Utility
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    Utility polycounter lvl 7
    Update! Sorry for the long wait, I was moving and *just* set up my desk this weekend. Almost done textures, I think. What do you guys think? The base part is diffuse only.

    jMQ1uKA4
  • urgaffel
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    urgaffel polycounter lvl 14
    It's looking good but the screenshots are a bit dark. One thing I noticed is that the area where the circular things have fallen away is a bit too uniform in your model. If you look at the reference image, the left most one has a good view of the corner where you can see discoloration, the quite uneven surface where the circles used to be as well as how the dark outlines (the material they used to glue the things on) is broken up as well. In your model it's all a bit too uniform still, you can quite clearly see almost all the outlines from the missing circles (most noticeable in the center image of your most recent update). It's a nice piece though and will look great once finished. Maybe make a mini scene to match your reference?
  • Utility
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    Utility polycounter lvl 7
    @urgaffel, thanks! I tried to break up the uniformity of the circles. Any better?
    This is my first 'done' pass of just the model + textures. I'm still getting that weird line where the UV seam is, even after cranking the shadow rez (in UDK) and adding a lightmap. Hmmm....

    NYi0jjYP

    I plan on adding a coffee cup, like in the ref, and either making a small scene around it (good suggestion), or making a few small props and a base for it.
  • Utility
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    Utility polycounter lvl 7
    Quick update- working on the turntable. Added a few small props (loose brick which you can probably barely see, caution sign) - textures VERY WIP. What do you guys think of the ceiling arch thing? I thought it might look cool to use an alpha to kind of fade it out, but now I'm having second thoughts. Ideas? I was also thinking of making a kind of 3/4 turntable, where I have a wall with a door in it (like in one of the ref shots) as a background.

    *edit* Oh yeah, and ignore the translucency on the other objects... Maya wants me to create separate materials for things that are translucent (unless there's a way to avoid that).

    turntableWIP1.png
  • Utility
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    Utility polycounter lvl 7
    updatu:

    TurnTableWIP1%20(2).png
    TurntableWIP2.png
    TurnTableWIP3.png

    I'm also learning Toolbox2. Trying to figure out how to add the grunge map I applied to the main pillar section in UDK the same way in TB2...not sure if I can. I might have to put the grunge directly on the main texture, which I wanted to avoid so that it tiles properly...hmn. Any ideas? I know I also have to play with the specular levels and probably change out the background (or drop it entirely, not sure since I really like the lighting/reflections from it). Any advice would be kickass.
  • Cay
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    Cay polycounter lvl 5
    Be aware that toolbag 2 uses pbr and therefore a slightly different approach to texture maps.

    I think, while shiny things always look fancy and beautiful, that your tiles look a little too clean and reflective(as in the 2nd picture). It could be the grunge map you mentioned, though.
    Normally you would put that into the roughness map + color info into albedo. Take a look at the marmoset page if you need some info on pbr.
  • urgaffel
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    urgaffel polycounter lvl 14
    In your second image it looks as if the normal is inverted on the circular mosaic, but I think it's down to really strong reflections of something really bright behind the camera. I'd definitely look at adjusting the textures for pbr if you're going to go down the Toolbag 2/pbr route. And tone down the relfections :)
  • Utility
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    Utility polycounter lvl 7
    Thanks guys! Yeah- I just threw my textures into it, just to see what it would look like. I've been reading up more on PBR and I wish there was a better tutorial out there than what I've found (though Earthquake's run-through on Marmo's site is pretty rad). @Cay: Yeah, it's totally that. They're supposed to look dingy and only slightly reflective/shiny. I need to figure out the grunge map- though it looks like I'll be trying the roughness map route. I also have to make a proper albedo (removing AO and making that a separate map, etc). @urgaffel: Hmmmn... I thought I had already inverted the normals for UDK, but I'll check it out. The reflections are deeeefinitely outta wack. Thanks!

    I'm at work (QA, woop woop), and I'm itching to get home and experiment more... I might just go back to traditional rendering (in UDK) for my turntable so I can add this to my 'folio site quickly, but I really want to get into PBR.
  • urgaffel
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    urgaffel polycounter lvl 14
    I'd say finish it in UDK then take it into TB2 and do a PBR version. At least that way you have a finished asset to show rather than two half baked.
  • Utility
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    Utility polycounter lvl 7
    Lighting update: I feel like it's 75% there, but I just can't get it all the way. Tried setting up a 3-point light system. I've got the mesh set to rotate via Kismet, which is how I took the screenshots.

    LightingTest1.png
    LightingTest2.png
    LightingTest3.png
    LightingTest5.png

    Whatcha think?
  • urgaffel
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    urgaffel polycounter lvl 14
    It's missing some subtle reflections. If you look at your reference on the left-most side you can see there's a blurry reflection on the side of the pillar. I think the top part of the pillar, where the little circle things are, is missing specularity and a very soft blurry reflection. That's probably part of what makes it feel a bit off. I'd also recomend making two walls so you have something to reflect... Or just fake it in the shader :)
  • oxblood
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    oxblood polycounter lvl 3
    the detail on the reference are a honeycomb shape but the ones on your model are circles.{my mistake} looking closer they are actually circles :\.

    On a different note, i think the shape of your cone seems a little thin, it might just be me, but it cant hurt to double check.
  • Utility
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    Utility polycounter lvl 7
    Quick update: added some reflection in the main circles texture. I done goofed in my screencap process (was in game instead of via cinematic) so you can see the gun I was using replicated 4 times, but here's a preview.

    LightingTestRef1.png
  • Utility
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    Utility polycounter lvl 7
    Update: Like the lighting? Might do one more pass before posting to site.

    Pillar3.png
    Pillar1.png
    Pillar5.png
    Wires1.png
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