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Ruger Mini 14 Progress Thread

polycounter lvl 15
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RyRyB polycounter lvl 15
**** Updated 11/2019 ****
I recently decided to resurrect this project in the past 2-3 weeks and didn't want to start a new thread. The focus of this project was to try out new workflows and techniques and this hasn't changed. I'm going for mostly accurate representation of each part of the rifle and still be in the realm of real-time friendly. We'll see how that goes. :)

I've got the trigger and magazine groups to roughly 90% final state. There are some minor fixes here and there but I'm content to fix them at a later date. The updates are posted as replies. For more information, I do update my Artstation blog on occasion with more work in progression-type shots: bakes, wireframes, etc. 

Below is the original post and screenshots of the blockout/high poly models. Read if you're interested; if not, just scroll down to see updates.

Thanks!

===========================
Hey folks!

Been working on this project on and off during lunch and posting progress in WAYWO...figured it was about time to make it official. :P

Goals for this project are to try new workflows/techniques and refine old habits. I realized I was getting into a rut with my pipeline about a year ago and have been making a conscious effort to get out my comfort zone ever since.

I chose this weapon because reference is easily available and it looks pretty damn cool. :)

(A lot more photos are used but this is where I started)

Anyways, here's the blockout phase so far!







Still have *lots* to do with the blockout. Thanks for looking! :)

Replies

  • Daf57
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    Daf57 polycounter lvl 5
  • tynew
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    tynew polycounter lvl 6
    This is awesome, great attention to detail! What made you want to model the internals? Most games don't go usually go this in-depth for upgrading parts. 
  • RyRyB
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    RyRyB polycounter lvl 15
    Thanks Tynew. 

    When I started this, I think I wanted to do something that was a little more in-depth than what you'd get out of a normal game asset but still be real-time friendly. If I remember correctly, it was either this rifle or a helicopter main rotor assembly. And internals are always cool looking to show off. :D
  • RyRyB
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    RyRyB polycounter lvl 15
    Update time:
    - Receiver bolt and firing pin low poly, bakes, and base materials. 
    - Round low poly, bakes, and base materials. 


  • Kanni3d
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    Kanni3d greentooth
    Great work, very slick bakes too Care to elaborate what are some of these new workflows you speak of? :) 
  • ThatHucGuy
    The bakes looks great, what texture resolution are you using and how many uv sets are there?   :)
  • RyRyB
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    RyRyB polycounter lvl 15
    Thanks guys!

    @Kanni3d - Nothing crazy or new here, just new/different stuff for me. When I started the process, I was playing a lot with modifiers in Max and trying to automate as much of the process as possible for the high poly. Now I'm attempting the same with the low poly and UVs. So far, I've been using Blender and Maya to do this. Each grouping (trigger, magazine, receiver bolt, and round) has taken about 30 mins to generate low poly geometry and UVs; a good deal faster than manually doing it. I plan on doing a full write-up when the project is over...if I can remember everything. I'm also doing the majority of the low poly, UVs, and materials on a trackpad while on a bus. So it's definitely forcing me to rethink a lot of how I do things.

    @ThatHucGuy - I'm planning on breaking the gun into the following groups: stock, barrel, receiver group, magazine, trigger assembly, and various accessories (scopes, etc. if I get that far). Right now, the textures are sitting at 2k for each. It's not terribly optimized but I'm going for quality while still being realtime-ish. I fully expect the final gun to be around 40-50k tris and a mix of textures ranging from 512 to 4k. 

  • Kanni3d
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    Kanni3d greentooth
    @RyRyB

    Ahh neat, but traditional sub-d for your high res meshes in Max?
  • RyRyB
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    RyRyB polycounter lvl 15
    @Kanni3d It’s a mix of traditional subd, straight geometry on simple meshes, and booleans on complicated pieces. It’s definitely a mashup of various techniques; essentially whatever was fastest/easiest for the piece. 
  • Sage
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    Sage polycounter lvl 15
    Really nice work.
  • RyRyB
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    RyRyB polycounter lvl 15
    Internals are finished up!

    I'm sure there's a screw or three missing but that's easy enough to add later. I'll be doing a big pass to make sure all the major pieces are accounted for and a final material pass once the stock is in.

    Progress screenshots from the past month or so:




    And a wireframe for good measure:


    Stock updates coming soon. Thanks for reading.
  • RyRyB
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    RyRyB polycounter lvl 15
    Stock geometry and materials up and running. Nearly finished save for some odds and ends.

    I'll be working on scope and rails next.





    For previous updates, check out ye olde ArtStation blog:
    https://www.artstation.com/rsbullock/blog

    Thanks for checking the progress out. Much appreciated!

    - Ryan
  • Frigus
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    Frigus polycounter lvl 2
    your metal material looks very good.  
  • RyRyB
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    RyRyB polycounter lvl 15
    @Frigus Thanks!

    Quick progress update. Scope and rail high poly is blocked out. Next steps are adding loops and/or running it through the ZBrush gauntlet. 



    Until next time!

    - Ryan
  • RyRyB
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    RyRyB polycounter lvl 15
    Scope update.

    Low poly + bakes are close to being done. Some really minor seams that I didn't feel like going back into the UVs to fix at the time. Base materials are finished and I'll be adding graphics/text for next time.



    Thanks for looking!
    - Ryan
  • Slassh
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    Slassh triangle
    I love the detail, and the material.
    Realy clean, can we have the wireframe ?
    Well done !  
  • RyRyB
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    RyRyB polycounter lvl 15
    @Slassh Wireframes with next update! Although fair warning that this is pretty unoptimized at the moment and I don't see myself going back through and cleaning topology up. :)
  • RyRyB
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    RyRyB polycounter lvl 15
    Finished up a number of smaller items:
    - Scope textures + graphics.
    - Minor stock adjustments (redid the UV pack and bakes).
    - Started synthetic stock variant.
    - Started stamping on receiver.
    - Played with a new lighting setup.




    Still to do:
    - Continue stamping graphics/text
    - Finish scope (duplicate screws around, etc) objects.
    - Figure out a direction for the sling.
    - Do once-over on all the materials. There are some mats on the older parts that need some adjusting.
    - New lighting/presentation setups. 

    Thanks for reading!
  • sacboi
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    sacboi ngon master
    Very nice! :+1:

    In my opinion portraying inner workings of a given object I think adds an extra dimension of plausibility, let alone time, effort and skill involved creating everything from scratch, too begin with.
    "Nothing crazy or new here, just new/different stuff for me. When I started the process, I was playing a lot with modifiers in Max and trying to automate as much of the process as possible for the high poly. Now I'm attempting the same with the low poly and UVs. So far, I've been using Blender and Maya to do this. Each grouping (trigger, magazine, receiver bolt, and round) has taken about 30 mins to generate low poly geometry and UVs; a good deal faster than manually doing it. I plan on doing a full write-up when the project is over...if I can remember everything. I'm also doing the majority of the low poly, UVs, and materials on a trackpad while on a bus. So it's definitely forcing me to rethink a lot of how I do things."
    I'd be interested in your overall process as well, because lately I've been self-learning procedural/non-destructive mesh generation techniques, basically in the hope of trying to optimise my wonky destructive workflow.

    Cheers.

  • RyRyB
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    RyRyB polycounter lvl 15
    @sacboi Thanks!

    So at a high level, these are the various techniques I used throughout the modeling process:
    - Traditional SubD (Max/Maya)
    - 2x TurboSmooth (Max)*
    - OpenSubDiv + Crease (Maya)*
    - Boolean + Dynamesh (ZBrush)
    - Boolean + Voxel Remesh (Blender)*
    - Decimate Planar for low poly (Blender)*
    - Decimate SubD for low poly (Blender)*
    - Tris > Quads algorithm for converting decimated meshes to quads (Blender)*
    - Rizom UV for packing (didn't stick with it, preferred Maya)*
    (* =  New method for me but by no means an unknown method)

    Decimate Planar was by far the biggest time saver for generating low poly meshes. For example, nearly all the low poly objects in the trigger group were generated using this modifier. Import the high poly (decimated ZBrush mesh, unsmoothed subd mesh, etc.), run Decimate Planar, add Triangulate modifier (optional), and then kick it back to Max or Maya. After that, it would take 20-30 mins of cleanup to get a useable mesh. It doesn't work well on organic or curved meshes (stock, barrel, etc.) so I had to use more traditional methods for generating the low poly.

    - Ryan

  • teodar23
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    teodar23 greentooth
    Wow, so many tools for this workflow. I like your adaptability and its good to be quick to improvise but i dont see the benefit if you still have to spend quite some time on each part for clean up.
    I try to keep the amount of programs to a minimum, but maybe im just lazy...
  • RyRyB
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    RyRyB polycounter lvl 15
    Yeah, the whole point of the project was to try new things. In no way would I use all methods on every asset.

    That being said, I don't think I came across very clearly. When I say 20-30 mins of cleanup, I mean 20-30 mins to go from high poly mesh to useable low poly mesh. Are some methods faster? Sure. Are some methods slower? Yup. Something about picking the right tool for the job...

    Generally, I don't like hopping between programs either. I value simplicity in just about every aspect of asset creation. However, if using Blender for 5 mins saves me a considerable amount of time downstream, then I'll jump on that grenade. I generally dislike the modeling process, so the more tools I can use to get to the fun stuff (ie. materials) is all good in my book.
  • teodar23
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    teodar23 greentooth
    Agree, you have to decide what works best on a case by case basis.
    I'm curious about what is your preferred method or tool, what is the one workflow that you dislike the less. :)
  • RyRyB
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    RyRyB polycounter lvl 15
    Pretty much any workflow that reduces modeling time.  B)

    - If I can get away with automating 90% of the low poly, then I'll use that. I really like Decimate: Planar in Blender in this regard.
    - If I can bash high poly objects together and throw them into ZBrush/Blender for Dynamesh/remeshing, then I'd much prefer to do that vs. wrangling topology and edge loops.
    - For standard modeling practices, I still use SubD on the high poly 60-70% of the time. For creating low poly meshes from SubD meshes, I find a comfy chair and settle in for some quality edge loop removal time. :)
  • teodar23
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    teodar23 greentooth
    For edge loops i use chamfer modifier. Its not perfect and sometimes it requires an edit poly on top to manually adjust here and there but when getting to low poly its much easier to remove the modifiers and (almost) presto! 
  • RyRyB
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    RyRyB polycounter lvl 15
    Finally calling this one done.

    I haven't had as much time recently to work (Thanks pandemic!) on this so the last 5-10% has been excruciatingly slow. 





    More shots over at Artstation.
    https://www.artstation.com/artwork/WK2L2v

    Thanks for reading and following along the way. :)

    - Ryan
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