Monday, August 2, 2021

Research Project

 For my research project, I decided on learning more on about how to create stylized hair in Zbrush as well as focus on creating cleaner shapes inside of Zbrush. This was originally suppose to tie into my project 3 with my character who has a big piece of hair as part of the design as well. As for cleaner shapes, that is a general good thing to do no matter the type of piece of art being done inside of Zbrush.

Above are the videos that have aided me in my research goals. The second video on hair was recommended by Yami Trujillo after out first portfolio check in.

When it came to my hair research, I found Dylan Ekren's hair brush very nice and useful to create a majority of the major hair strands. Here is the link to the free GumRoad download: link. The way the brush works is it's pretty much an Insert Mesh Brush that you can use over a non subdived mesh to create chunks of hair strands. What's nice are the different strands of hair brushes that are included:

The various hair brushes that are included

The variety in available brushes helps with creating various in the hair strands and because of the zmodeler nature of the hair strands, edge loops can be easily deleted and moved around to create further variation. To create stylized braided hair, this brush set allows for similar functionality to Dylan Ekren's hair brush, but of course for braided hair.

The process to creating stylized hair based on the first video goes like this:

1. Block out the shape of the hair with big pieces/section off the different major pieces
2. Change curve stroke settings for the hair brushes to work correctly. Feel free to tweak as necessary:

3. To create the hair strokes, work from back to front when creating the strands.
4. After creating a strand, use the move brush to tweak and adjust as necessary. Be sure to not subdive in order to allow for better manipulation until finalized. 

For the other method of hair sculpting, it involves creating the basic shapes and then using the transpose tool to bend and shape the hair pieces for the major chunks. To add detail, the subtools can be subdived and further sculpted on with orb crack brushes to create further details. Combining the two methods could create some interesting hair pieces.

When it comes to creating cleaner shapes, the video was randomly recommended to me on Youtube and tied in to what Nick had showed us in class. As there are different approaches to creating such a task, a majority of them I found all follow a certain thought process. To create clean shapes, here are general guidelines to follow:

1. The mask tool is important as well as slice curve brushes to create various polygroups as well as help separate the various edges that need to be clean

2. Use Zremesher to create clean clean geo to work with before polishing up edges. Make sure to use the clip curve brush to also remove jagged edges as Zremesher does not like that.

3. To polish up edges once polygroups have been formed, use polish by features (donut hole unchecked) or smooth groups brush to smooth out the areas/sharpen up the edges

Sunday, August 1, 2021

Sunday, July 25, 2021

Portfolio Piece 03 - Week 02

 Looks like my choice for the final portfolio piece of the semester was pretty ambitious for my current skill sets. As far as progress goes on Illaoi, I ended up getting some muscle definition into the sculpt as well as a start for her hair as seen below:

Current progress on sculpt

However after my 1 on 1 session with Nick and for the sake of time, we will be pivoting now to a prop asset instead with the goal to have a high quality well presented final product. Nick suggested to take a look at Lei Liu's handpainted 3D artwork and pick from there. While browsing, we a saw a lot of pieces revolving around a book. Afterwards, I remembered a concept art piece from a while back that I found interesting which is also a book.

Artwork by Valia Zhuk

It's inspired by one of my favorite animes and has a great handpainted aesthetic to it that I think would translate great into a 3D prop piece in the handpainted style. To jump start on the project, I began proxying right a way a bit before needing to get ready to head to school.

Progress on the proxy
Considering the difficulty of the piece and the length of time I have to complete it (2 weeks), I have outlined a plan to get it done:

Week 3: Proxy, high res sculpt in Zbrush, game res in Maya, UV/bake, begin texturing

Week 4: Finish texturing, presentation

Considering the complexity of the piece, I have added leeway for the 4th week in case anything comes up. With whatever time is left, I hope to also go and polish up on finish my previous portfolio pieces as well in time for Industry Review

VR Sprint Delivery #5

 For this sprint delivery, I focused on polishing up and fixing the hill while assisting David with foliage where necessary. I helped provide him a grass smart material I created in Painter when I worked on my diorama piece in case he wanted to use it where he saw fit. As for the hill, we realized the seam issue was still present and needed to be addressed.

New UVs

To start, me and Nitin went back into Maya to redo the UVs on the hill to make sure the seams were as straight as possible. Afterwards, I reimported the mesh into Painter and touched up the various parts of the hill and seams. To finish, I exported and reimported the maps to sharpen the 4k textures as well as add a height map to the normals.

Reference used

Monday, July 19, 2021

VR Sprint Delivery #4

This sprint, we were tasked with also lighting another team's VR level. My Fireflies team got the Labyrinth team and I took the liberty of lighting the swamp level after Dagobah from Star Wars.

Reference Image used for lighting

For the actual VR contributions, I had finalized on game ressing and texturing the various props and such that we have in the game:

This has a dissolve filter applied hence the yellow color on the cover

To exist with the texturing process for the team when it came to the props and environment, I had created a word doc from research watching Stylized Stations Studio Ghibli style videos:

When it came to the hill, I assisted David in getting rid of the seam as well as texturing it in Substance. I will need to go back and polish it for the next sprint:

To create a portfolio piece out of this project, I also created a diorama featuring the various props I created. For the portfolio piece, I specially made new foliage, ground, as well as candy pieces (the candy pieces have been put into the game as well):

Portfolio Piece 03 - Week 01

 Tis is the start of the third portfolio piece for 3D art and the final one of the semester. I have decided to a League fan skin in leu of the summer vibes as well as someone of the humanoid nature rather than a living item like my previous two skins. As such, I decided on with Pool Party Illaoi:

Concept Splash Art

I think this would be a cool piece to explore on top everything said already with all the different muscle groups on focus here. Illaoi is suppose to body an archetype different from what is typically seen in games when it comes to female bodies so it would be cool to explore a more muscular bodybuilder-esque physique.

When it comes to my research portion of this piece (as we are encouraged to dive into software/techniques we are not familiar with) to accompany our process in creating our third piece. When it comes to mine, I will be focusing a lot into the high res sculpt, especially when it comes to knowing better techniques and ways to create cleaner shapes through cleaner edges as well as understanding creating stylized hair as this piece has a focus on that.

References to be used

As far as schedules are concerned, here is the plan right now:

Week 1: Planning, blockout, and begin sculpting
Week 2: Finishing of sculpt, begin game res and UVs
Week 3: Finish game res, bakes, and begin texturing
Week 4: Finish texturing and make presentation ready

When it comes to the blockout, I started of using ortho views of the current in game model rather than the concept art as to be able to get in game proportions rather than the concepts. I made my focus on the shape, first before going in detail.

Initial blockout with shapes

Further blockout with flamingo floaty and hair blockout

When it came to the hair, I found a video by Stylized Station that covered a method to create clean stylized hair. The method involves blocking out the general shape and then using a free brush to create the bigger hair strands. After that, the hair strands can get tweaked to create variation. Below I used the main splash art to create blockout pieces. 

For the free brushes, these are the ones used in the video:

The second brush is a braid, which I will not be using, but def can be of use in the future and whoever needs a neat braid brush.

Plan for hair by blocking out into pieces

The hair video

On top of the hair research, I got recommended by Youtube (thanks Youtube) a video on creating clean shapes which is akin to what Nick taught us in class

Sunday, July 11, 2021

Portfolio Piece 02 - Week 04


Sadly, it appears my second portfolio piece will have to suffer the fate of seeping into my next portfolio piece. I'll be honest, I got side tracked with the 3D printer this past and learning airbrushing that I ended up not catching up properly on my portfolio piece.

For what I did accomplish this week, I went back to my Zbrush sculpt to polish up on it, but messing around a bit with the proportions as well as add in details for certain areas that I was lacking from the concept. Notable areas include the zippers, the drawstring, the shoulder guards, hand guards, and a cable sleeve design on his arms of his jacket. It presented me more opportunities to learn more Zbrush tools such as understanding the bend tool which was great to mess with the topology of the shoulder guards as well as the drawstrings. For the cable sleeves, I used the topology brush to create the base and work up from their to add in detail.

For my second part, I continued game ressing. In theory, the anchor axe is by itself a prop asset/weapon asset, so I underestimated the amount of time it took to get it to a decent game res geo. I work on minimizing the amount of intersecting geo for cleaner topology where possible and started by creating the center of the anchor and then worked on the handle area. Afterwards, I created one copy of the light gun, which I ended up duplicating to create the other side. In total, I was able to get it to be 3048 tris. For the total piece, I hope to aim for 10-13k tris, as I have a weapon included. With how much more detailed League of Legends models are getting, I think it's fair to up the count to accommodate for the weapon without sacrificing much performance

Updated Zbrush sculpt for Nautilus

Low Poly Anchor Axe

Here comes the second part, where I discuss how I will push this piece further down the line to completion this week. Thankfully this is proxy week/planning for the 3rd piece, so it's an opportunity to continue on this piece and push it further to completion. To be presentable next week, here is my schedule of what needs to be done and when I will do it:

-Game Res of Nautilus himself (Today/Monday)

-UVs and AO Bakes (Tuesday)

-Texturing (Wednesday)

-Texturing (Thursday)

-Polish (Friday)

Ideally this will get me to a completion and let me have the weekend for my next piece. And I will stay out of the printing rooms until I catch up haha.

Research Project

 For my research project, I decided on learning more on about how to create stylized hair in Zbrush as well as focus on creating cleaner sha...