Some time ago I created a series of mini trains for 3D printing in my free time and it was a ton of fun!
You can read a bit of backstory about that here:
Or check a few more photos here:
Few weeks ago during the 2022 Game Industry Conference I had the chance to look around at the Poznań Game Arena too, and I’ve just fallen in love with all those great indie games. Some of the developers were giving away free stickers and after grabbing the first few I had the urge to collect as much as I could. :D I guess childhood memories kicked in, does anyone else remember those albums with the collectible stickers?
So these little stickers got me thinking, how cool would it be to have my train series as colorful stickers!
But unfortunately the models were for 3D printing, STL files from CAD program, messy topology, no UVs, never been painted.
Anyway, fast forward to the boiling point when I could not resist anymore and I sat down to remodel one with UVs and textures.
This was inspired by the hungarian M62 Szergej. (These are my childhood favorites. I remember standing next to the train tracks close to my grandma’s house and watching these massive iron horses pulling 50+ fully loaded cars behind them.)
It's using this texture:
(I know, I know, so much wasted space, could be more compact. :) )
If you are a train fan, you can spot right away that the M62 locomotive has 6 axles and this one only 4.
The reason behind it is that when I came up with the first designs I made an art decision to fit all of the models to a 1x1 base plate. This limitation made designing quite challenging. I could fit all 6 axles under the train, but then the body/wheel ratio would be something that I don’t like. So… I did my best to make it look okay even if it’s wrong, focusing more on the recognizable silhouettes and main forms. And this example is not even close to what I had to sacrifice with my very long steam locomotive designs. :)
I am also not making a difference between the american and european couplers and every model is using the same, kinda cartoonish buffers. I made this decision to make the 3D printed models “compatible” with each other regardless of what locomotives and cars you put together.
I still have not ordered sticker papers to print the first test versions :) But what I did is that I exported it to Unreal Engine 5, out of curiosity, and quickly made a few more models around it.
At this point I was like, what the hekk, why not… And made one more locomotive.
It’s pretty easy to model and texture them with this art style. This one took me like 7-8 hours to finish. And this is a brand new one, there is no 3D print ready base model to work with, which means some of the time was spent on checking references, proportions, forms etc.
As you can see I was fine tuning the proportions and details until the very last step, and still made a few adjustments after recording these steps.
And this is where I am now:
Still not sure where this is going...
...but 2 things I know:
- I will remodel more of my previous models to in-game models.
- I will dig deeper in Unreal Engine (spent almost the whole last decade working with RED engine, kinda forgot what is what in UE :) ) and make them move, maybe even I will try to make a mock up video about how a game would look like what I have somewhere in my head.
I’ve figured I will make posts like this to keep record of the progress. Whenever I have something to show, there will be a bigger post about it. As for now I go back and try to figure out how to make DoF in UE5. :) This is Photoshop DoF on the last shot, somehow I can not make it work on the simple CameraActor, no matter how I change the parameters…