Small collection of my ref images, close up's of brick, wood, concrete, metal, and foliage ref
Started texturing the rail gun. Going to go by material, and just finished up the chrome section. Really making sure each material I go to next looks right before moving on. Maki
Soon I plan on having a section just for tutorials but for now I'll post this quick one here.
When Dealing with lightmaps and UDK. If one is not careful you can get what appears to be shadow bleeding. This can turn a good looking mesh into one hell of a ugly one if not careful. One of the first mistakes that newer artist do when creating their second UV channel for baking lightmaps is just going to flatten mapping. Bellow shows the wrong way to do this. Just hitting flatten mapping causes the UV's to become fragmented. Every uv island is going to have some sort of lighting seam around it. When planning for lightmap uv's it is best to have as much of it connected as possible.
Now when it comes to objects like this fire hydrant, you are naturally going to have seams on it where the object in a cylinder. The best way around this is to hide them where the player wont be looking, such as on the bottom or behind where the players main view of the model will be.
I know its tempting to just flatten and go about your life but taking the extra time to UV a proper lightmap channel can make a world of a difference.
A few key things to remember.
1. When doing a lighmap unwrap, you CAN NOT have any overlapping UV's.
2. Be carefully of the spacing between UV islands.
If you keep these things in mind and take some time to do a proper UV for the second channel. You will have much better looking models within UDK.
As I stated in my post, my high poly work is in need of a work out. So to kick it off I started with a Hong Kong style fire hydrant. I felt it would be a great place to start. The overall design is simple but I feel it offers just enough challenge for me to progress my skills. One of the issues I ran into was getting the extended parts to look right. I first though just extruding from the sphere would suffice, but that was not giving me the correct looking cylinder shape. I ended up creating a separate cylinder and merging it into the main object. Just had to weld some verts and boom its done.
Today I turned 23. Today also marks the day I realized how far away I am from getting that dream job of working in the game industry. On May 22nd I joined Polycount not knowing what a normal map really was and though a spec map was just the diffuse desaturated. At that point I had one year left until I was done with college. I began what I like to all "The One Year Crunch" Non stop I was absorbing information, I slowly but surely started to improve. Around January that year I started working on a scene based on Deus Ex Human Revolution. I had also been using up until that point the tool Ndo2. It is a great tool for generating normal maps inside Photoshop and can also be used for AO. Ndo2 at it's core should be used for two reasons.
1. Adding smaller detail to models baked down from a high poly
2. Quickly creating normal maps for tiling textures(or anything else with a flat surface)
With those two points it can be great. You will be able to speed up your workflow greatly. I however used it the wrong way. As a replacement for high poly models. I spent a entire year not once creating a high poly model and choose to use Ndo2 for everything and it turned out ok at first. People said the scene looked good and it also made Ndo2 look good showing what can be done with it. So after I continued to just use it up until just a few months ago.
To make a long story shot. I used Ndo2 as a crutch Every scene I worked on after was not only rushed due to me feeling I needed to get a job right out of college but now my high poly modeling skill's are really lacking. Sure baking out a nice wall or floor is easy but getting to more complex stuff sends me screeching to a halt. This is unacceptable and kinda upset it took me this long to figure out.
So as it stands my escape scene is not going to make it. Ran into a lot of issues with said high poly work. GOing to take my time and make sure it is finished right!
So here starts the next journey, my own personal "Snake way" if you will. I have spent the past 2 years trying to perfect my texturing, low poly modeling,lighting and mastering the material editor in UDK that I ignored the most important part. The high poly modeling and baking. Somewhere deep down I knew I should have been doing that but Ndo2 offered the easy way out.
Well that changes starting today.
This project has come along way. I know I may not place in the top 3 for the escape contest but that is not what matters. I feel this is my best work yet and I can see the places where I have improved. That is worth more than any prize.
Only things left to do are add effects to the water tank(to well make it look like water is in their!) Finish texturing the Vr chamber and create a few more smaller props for the lab. Some polishing and then I'm done.