Friday, 3 February 2012

Final Major Project - Low Poly & Texturing

Hey Guys =)

Sorry it's been SOOOO long since my last update =( Had a few teething issues with the pig sculpt. Spent a lot of time trying to get it right, the low poly had to artriculate properly for animation, and I had HUGE problems with texture seams, which I ended up painting them out on the Normal map and hiding them with fur, lull =) I don't think this was a particularly good sculpt but showing process if interested..

(Ctrl + click to view)

Wasn't looking forward to making the low poly, but I recently found 3D-Coat which saved my ass =) It has a feature called Auto-retopology! =) Spent a weekend figuring out how to draw autopology which was definitely worth it imho. =) 3DCoat creates nice smooth topology that follows your high poly. You basically import your decimated high poly mesh from Zbrush, and draw on your desired edge flow, and 3DCoat makes a nice low poly model for you. =)

 (Ctrl + click to view)

My workflow for this project was -
o Blockout the basic shape in 3DS Max (See here for detail on the Zbrush sculpt)
o Sculpt high poly in Zbrush
o Decimate high poly
o Auto-retopo decimated high poly in 3DCoat (low poly)
o Import low poly into 3DS Max
o Render to texture high poly onto low poly in 3DS Max (Normal Map)

From there I create lighting and do diffuse texturing in 3DS Max and Photoshop =)

Here's a quick overview of the proj... =)

High Poly sculpt in Zbrush, fun part =)

Decimate the High Poly using Decimation Master in Zbrush
(used to make the Low Poly mesh)

Auto-retopo in 3DCoat =)
(makes the Low Poly mesh)

Unwrapping the Low Poly in 3DS Max
(ready for texturing, and rendering on the High Poly Normal map)

Render to Texture the High Poly onto the Low Poly model
(creates a Normal Map)

Normal Map projects the High Poly onto the Low Poly model
This is ready for Diffuse (colour) texturing now. As you can see there are artifacts (bits that didn't bake properly from the high poly). In this case I painted them out of the Normal map with Photoshop. I had to bake this map many times before getting it right, so don't worry if yours doesn't turn out perfect the first time. Patience and making sure you have a good low poly mesh that fits the high poly well. =)

Okay at this point, before I begin texturing, I like to setup a good lighting for my scene. I want a nice even light to fall across the model, so lights were placed all around the model. I try to alternate the colours of the lights and not make them too bright either. Cameras are also placed into the scene so I can have specific views. A stage is made and I place in a nice fading neutral background image to start off the texturing.

I basically texture by overlaying the Normal map onto the Diffuse map (exported from the Unwrap). I'll then paint colours and Multiply phototextures (CG Textures) in Photoshop onto the Diffuse map. The separate elements - eyes, tusks, and the tail, were textured in the same way. Fur was then added with the Hair and Fur modifier, placed onto the low poly mesh. I then selected the polys to grow hair out of and then shaped it with the hair brush tools all in the modifier. One little bug I came across was that I had to set the Hair Rendering Method to "Geometry" mode before it would render properly. =)

I'm including this to show that you really have to push through some stages, even if they look like utter crap and you're really frustrated =( This was particularly true when making the low poly, fixing the UV unwrap seams, texturing which sometimes doesn't work out, and the fur not rendering properly or looking nice. Don't be afraid to jus redo stuff over again. Hope this helps =)

So now I'm going to move onto the next project which is a UDK enviro! =) Gonna be fun! =) See you Guys! =)


  1. WOW! I am impressed! xD 3d noob here didn't understand half of what was said, but some things you said (especially the last part!!) really struck home. Thanks for the inspire! Also I hope you don't mind if I ask a few questions time to time~ xD

    1. Thank you Julia =) Yip.. that's prolly the most important thing I've learnt so far as well tbh.. Same applies to drawing I guess =) Np =) Sure, ask any time.. Hope to do some work on an illo this weekend =) Have a good one! =)

  2. Very nice & informative blog (and work!)
    I don´t know if you read my answer in my blog so i will post it also here: yes, i am the model :)
    Have a nice weekend Edward!

    1. Thank you muchly Rohmy =) Your costume designs are AMAZING! =) I am becoming a fan! =)

  3. Havnt seen much 3D work before but it never ceces to amaze me, wish i had the time to learn the technique, how long have you been working in 3D form? Cant wait to see more of it.
    +1 follower

    1. Thank you CJ! =) I'm glad you likey! =) I've been working on 3D for 2 years now, still have LOOOOTS more to learn but it's fun =) Here's a link to my first 3D work if you're interested to see -

      Thank you veryyyy much for the support! =)

  4. Wowow, this is incredible! I believe I posted a comment here and somewhere else on your blog earlier but it never went through :s
    Anyways, this is so cool. Its awesome seeing the process put into this. I have both the programs you used here and I still don't know how to use any of them. :( I usually try to start learning and then I get distracted and forget about them for months before trying to learn again. 3D programs are hard for me, but I want to learn to use them sometime. I always admire you guys who have the patience to learn these, hehe. Thanks for sharing! I'm loving the way the pig is turning out :)

    1. Heyyy Jessi! =) I'm glad you found the tut useful =) For 3D if you keep persisting with it, you get past the frustration, and it becomes more creative once that happens. I struggled in the first year of Uni because I wasn't used to 3DS Max. But if you keep making things and watching tutorials, then it becomes alot more fun =) I also look at alot of Dominance War stuff to keep me motivated, check it out here if you're interested -
      Thank you for the compliments, I will keep pushing myself! =) Good luck with your studies also =)
      Cheers =)