I have started something different, a vehicle from the M A K universe, a google image search for 'sf3d' usually brings up some awesome kit bash models by people. I chose one of these to recreate.
I started in max for the whitebox , tried my best to get the proportions correct and from there I did a base mesh high poly which I either booleaned in max and took into zbrush or shaped and dynameshed in zbrush.
Following the last post I have some updates to the back ground and dock area!
These mountains are generated in world machine, duplicated and placed around to get a bit of variation. I aim to have a small low poly 'town' in the center, to be viewed only at a distance. A few towering structures in the center and then small satellite farms off outskirts. Smoke and other small fx to be coming from these areas! The town center itself will be on a hill with the outer buildings and houses etc on the lower grounds.
Here are some shots of the dock area I am currently focusing on:
Following the last post I made about the Sea Defense scene I realized I left a few things out:
Firstly the normal map I generated from the high poly zbrush sculpt of the cliff (which was also used to generate the low poly though meshlab) I applied this to the low poly's 2nd uvw channel. This was overlayed over the top of the vertex painted tiled rock sculpts (1st uvw channel).
The result of this was used in the shader to filter in the grass by using the normal maps Z-UP channel and mixed with the meshes Z-UP to mask the grass into the diffuse. The end result of these can b e seen below:
The large normal map from the sculpt also held an alpha channel with a cavity map that was used to overlay the end result's diffuse. This was done to high light the edges of the larger shapes, it really helped bring out the weight of the cliffs.
The water shader is based on an idea I had on how to go about getting
some nice tessellated waves, this was basically 3-4 heightmaps that were
different scales / pan speeds controlled by how dark the output is.
I used the output of the height maps to mask the white foam for the wave
caps which added a bit of realism. When the waves crossed over each
other the output got whiter and so the white foam caps came in more.
This was working pretty well but I ran into a lot of problems that my
brain couldn't handle. The result of the tessellation can be seen here :
Pretty bad quality video I'm sorry.
This was the base I used for the water in this scene, but instead of
going down the tessellation road I used the wave set up on a normal
After ditching tessellation and keeping the wave setup I worked on the
depth blending to pop out the sand bars under the water. As well as
depth blending for the shore foam, which has a bumpoffset to put a bit
more life into it.
The waves are passed through a lerp with the alpha being a splotchy low
res map that scrolls in the opposite direction to the waves to give it
that sort of rolling foam feel, it worked to a degree, mainly in
breaking up the solidness of
The wave caps:
The reflection is fairly transparent and desaturated then run through
the normal map for its distortion. I changed the waves from simple grey
scale heightmaps into nice volumed normals through crazybump, this
brought the wave caps and
depth of the wave into line, made a bit more sense.
The Uv's for the water are bent in and around the geo from the cliffs
and the beach / dock etc, again to put a bit more life into it.
Here's the hack, it's just a bunch of low poly planes on top of the water plane - vert blended to pop in and out:
I hope this breakdown makes sense. I tend to ramble a lot!
The Cliff uvw:
faerin: Cheers! I hope to do some up close shot around most of the
areas, I think maybe adding a few props, like barrels, cannons, rope and
a ton of decals should help alot. and vegetation!
tottot: Thanks! I ended up taking crazybumps displacement map into
zbrush, polishing it a tiny bit, then baking that, and overlaying it
with even more crazy bump love from the same tiled ref texture from
cgtextures! A lot of back and forth trying to get the bigger shapes to
toolpaddz: You are right I didn't use world aligned. For unwrapping the
uvw I used the normal relax in max. I got very lucky as to how well they
came out, there is a lot of pinching here and there but it's hidden in
all the noise
So after being scared off by the rocky rockyness of the sea monster project I decided to mess about with some methods that might work forthis kind of thing, I decided to go with an awesome concept I found in my inspiration folder, it says crytek on there so I assume it's from the crytek dudes:
The method I ended up using was something fairly crude but effective, a mix of zbrush - meshlab and a nice relaxed unwrap:
Taking this mesh into UDK and vert painting it with different tiling rocks I got a result like this:
The second big challenge was the water, initially I tired some tesselated water but the reflections didnt come out too well as they werent based on the tessleated mesh but instead the low poly. So i went with a more than likely overly complex water shader with additional scrolling wave planes:
Anyway, here is the scene as it stands at the moment: