Monday, July 24, 2017

3D Class S3 Portfolio Project 3 Progress

This is my halfway progress for our last project of the semester

Here is the image I'm trying to recreate in 3D

I wanted to focus on using modular pieces and seeing how few unique assets I could make to make this scene work. Here are the five major assets that I've created with Maya and Zbrush

And here are the low poly wireframes

Here are the two assets that I've completed the textures for. In the scene I'm making use of material instances and variations of these textures to get the most out of the work

And here is the water material I created in UE4

And here is where I am so far

What's left: Create foliage, work on lighting and god rays, continue creating textures and instances, finish applying textures and building the scene, create stretch assets if I have time

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Research Project

I decided to focus on learning Marvelous Designer as my research component for this semester. As an environment artist I was interested in making realistic cloth assets for things like interior scenes. I decided to use it to help in the creation of a bed and curtains for an interior young girl’s room scene I’d been working on in UE4.

The first thing I noticed about the program was how similar to real life sewing it is. If anyone has a background in sewing, then they’d be able to pick up Marvelous really fast. I only had a rudimentary knowledge of some sewing basics, but even that helped me out.

I started with the bedsheet, which I figured would be the easiest thing to start with. I was right. Creating a bed sheet can be as simple as importing a bedframe or mattress model into Marvelous as your avatar, making a square, and running the simulation. Bam. Sheet done.

Bed frame and mattress proxy avatar


Of course you can then play with the thickness and material settings to get it to look exactly how you want. I also pulled at random parts while the simulation was running to give it a rumpled, slept-in look to make it a bit more realistic. Be careful if you use a proxy bed frame like I did. If your finished bed has very different geometry than your proxy, the curves and angles in your cloth won't match up and you'll have to do all of your cloth simulation over again.

Then I had to retopologize. And so will you. Meshes straight out of Marvelous will have hella high polycounts, so retopoing is a must. I did some research into different ways to retopo Marvelous meshes, and had a bit of trial and error. Here's a link to the tutorial I tried to follow for my sheet

The abridged version goes a bit like this: Export your simulated cloth, also export your cloth but in a 2D pattern form, take the 2D pattern into Zbrush and use Zremesher to get a lower polycount. Then import all three versions into Maya and use the transfer attributes tool to transfer the Zremeshed topology onto the simulated cloth's shape.

This method does technically work, but it has some drawbacks. This method will give you a very even amount of topology all throughout your mesh, meaning some parts may have too many polys while others may have too little.

Using the method will depend on your poly budget and whether or not you're willing to spend extra time after this to go into Maya and edit your Zremesh-ed model to put in or take out extra polys where necessary.

For me, I just wasn't able to get a good mesh with this method. In the end I just Zremeshed the simulated cloth version. From that I was able to get my sheet down from 171k...

To about 9k

This was still too expensive for my tastes, but it did make a lovely bake in Substance Designer

After this, I needed to make a comforter for my bed. I found a few more tutorials to make something more complex than a simulated square. I created a new avatar out of an fbx with both my proxy bed and my sheet. Technically I could have just used the last project with the simulated sheet instead of creating this new fbx. However, since I liked the look of my sheet, I didn't want to risk messing it up. I also didn't want the sheet to get in the way of the comforter I was making. In the end, it's easiest to just have it as part of the avatar and work on top of it.

While it may look far more complicated than the sheet, it's really not so much. The comforter body is essentially two sheets sewn together (for a top and bottom side) with internal squares for the square pattern and pressure to puff it up from the inside. The ruffles are a matter of creating more rectangles with lengths longer than the sides of the body. When they sew together, they'll bunch up because of the extra fabric. It took me many hours as I was learning it, but now that I've done it once I would be able to recreate this in no time. Again, I pulled the fabric around during the simulation to make it look messier.

Then it was retopo time again. This time, I learned from my mistakes and tried a few different methods, including following the video verbatim. But nothing was giving me good results. The video's method either gave me a mesh with such a low poly count everything ended up looking crunchy and bad, or with a poly count so high it wasn't anywhere near game ready (no offense to the video's creator). So I went old fashioned and retopologized with the Quad Tool in good ol' Maya.

I was able to go from this at over 1 million polys...

To this at about 1700 polys

Much nicer than 9k. In hindsight I skimped on the polys and could've added more to make it smoother. Though be warned, something like this took me at least a good 7 hours at least. This method may be the most accurate for poly usage, but it is time consuming, especially the more complex your mesh. 

My take away for Marvelous Designer is this: As simple as the program itself may be, and how quick it can be to make good looking cloth, don't let that lure you into a false sense of security. Do not forget that retopo awaits you...

Anywho, here's my bake!

I'd added textures in Marvelous, but honestly with the weird way Marvelous does UVs, it's better to just do it in Substance Painter. So here is the comforter with its textures.

Along with the sheet and comforter, I also used Marvelous to create a set of pillows and some curtains for my scene. And here is the fully finished bed with final assets

And here is a shot from the final scene. 

For more shots feel free to check out my full final turn in post here

Final thoughts about Marvelous Designer: it's a lot less intimidating than it seems, but leave plenty of time for retopo.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

3D Class S3 Portfolio Project 3 Plan Phase

For this semester's final project, I wanted to choose an outdoor environment that makes use of some sort of architecture. Considering that and the time constraints, I've chosen to model this scene

Here is the same picture broken down into the different unique assets I'll need to create

Sunday, July 9, 2017

3D Class S3 Portfolio Project 2 Final

Here is my newly updated Bedroom scene with the finished bed

I especially focused on the comforter going from every step from marvelous to in engine

Here is the mesh Marvelous gave me. It was about 1 million tris.

So I tried a bunch of different methods to retopologize it, but in the end what worked best for me was just doing it by hand with the quad draw tool in Maya. With this, I got it down to abotu 1,700 tris

And here is the lovely bake in Substance Painter

And the completed version with redone textures

I also finished off my headboard by first sculpting in Zbrush

Then I took it to Maya for retopo

And here is the full bed boxspring headboard thingy

And here is it with the bake and textures from Substance Painter

And here is the whole thing put together in UE4

And finally, shots of my updated scene with the new materials and new lighting

Sunday, June 25, 2017

3D Class S3 Portfolio Project 2 Progress

Here is my halfway progress report for my second personal project

While learning Marvelous Designer, I was able to create the sheet, comforter, and pillows for my bed. Here are the high res versions imported into Maya

Here is the reference I decided to base the headboard for my bed on

And here is the work I've done so far on the headboard and boxspring. I will need to bring this base headboard into ZBrush for sculpting

I also began some work on retopologizing my marvelous meshes. I had to go through a lot of trial and error and am still working things out in this area, but I did manage to get a nice bake of my sheet. For reference, the original was over 171k polys and I got it down to 9k

I also created my curtains. I started with long ones, but when I was done and had put it into my scene, it felt too "heavy"

So I went back to Marvelous and edited it into short curtains which look much nicer

And here is the bed imported into my room scene from my last project

And with the curtains

Here is the work that I still have left to do:
Sculpt the headboard
Create low res versions of my marvelous meshes
Create the texture for the boxspring
Create more widows for the room
Work on the scene's lighting

Stretch goals:
Create a dresser
Create framed pictures for the walls
Create a canopy