After we had created crates with different genres in mind, which you can read about in this blog post, we had to choose one of the three boxes we had created and optimize them, preparing to make Uwv maps. The optimization was normally done to your models by other colleagues, so that they could look at the models with fresh eyes and hopefully find the problems with them. This however, was not the case for me, since during that week, I was away at the Tokyo game show in Japan at the time. When I came back from the trip, I was a bit behind schedule with the optimizing, and had to do it on my own. I had no problems with this though, and only had minor optimization problems with the crate I had chosen to continue with, which was the thrash can. The other two models had some problems, especially the treasure chest that I made, it had some serious issues with overlapping surfaces, and was quite the hassle to fix.
After finishing with the optimization for all the models, I had to start with Uwv mapping, one of the things that I thought was really hard at the time, and still have issues with sometimes. Since this object was fairly simple, it wasn’t all too painful to divide the thrash can into smaller bits and make it flatten out. It did take a while though, figuring out how the seams worked etc.
After the Uvw mapping, it was time for the texturing. I did this by putting the uvw map into photoshop, and applying textures that resembled rusty metal and concrete. This was not enough though, since I had to define the dirt on the trashcan and make it look more grimy and dirty. By putting it into Mudbox, I could paint these details directly on top of the model instead of having to do it in photoshop, and I must say, it is very, very nice to be able to do so.
After quite a lot of working with making the dirt and grime look good and in the right places, I could start with the specular map, something that I had not done before at all. I started with making my diffuse map black and white, where the light values would reflect more light and darker values would reflect less. I had a bit of trouble with this since the model was so dirty and dark. What I did was that I put pure white on the spots that had spots of visible metal where the texture had peeled off, and using a airbrush to add some kind of turbulence to the lighting, since the surface of the thrashcan is very bumpy and craggy.
Last bot not least, was the Normal map, This I had to redo several times, due to some problems with making it correctly. The first time around though, I just dropped the specular into Crazybump and made a specular. This caused the surface of the normal become extremely bumpy and just looked awful. I fixed this by actually working around with crazybump for a while and making all the details less extreme on the normal. In the end it worked pretty nicely for being the first time one had worked with such things.
When all the texture work was done, all that needed to be done was to apply everything and throw it into UDK to see how it looked, and I must say that I was pretty happy with the result.
So what did I learn from the first project we had? Quite a lot I must say, I learned a lot about the workflow when working with 3D, how to optimize and how to make textures, specular and normal maps. I also learned how Uwv maps work and how to use them correctly. I actually made a 3D model a long time ago where I made a Uwv, but after this project, I realized how wrong I did everything on that model.
And that’s pretty much what I can tell you about the thrashcan project. Until next time! Cheers.