Forum Thread
by member
  Posts  
Zbrush buildings (Forums : 3D Modeling & Animating : Zbrush buildings) Locked
Thread Options
Ronnie42
Ronnie42 Forerunner
Nov 25 2012, 1:01pm Anchor

What I'm curious about is what's the best way about making buildings? Firstly I know how to build them, make basic textures but they always look a bit plain so I was wondering if Zbrush is the way to go. In the past my templates for buildings looked something like this:

customcity_build

But the problem is I would later add bump maps, etc... which never seem to do much, I'm getting the feeling the way I was doing it might be making me do more work than I need to since I was looking a glace at something like this:

I'm mainly wondering where to start with this since I don't know much about creating textures in zbrush while keeping the shape low poly in zbrush when importing back so wanting as much feedback as possible before approaching this idea. I'm sort of used to 3d modeling a lot in 3ds Max, sometimes experiment in Zbrush but all my 3d models imported back are well still work in progress, always being rebuilt.

TKAzA
TKAzA Rightio then...
Nov 25 2012, 1:51pm Anchor

zbrush walls would be to highpoly for game use, its more about making the most out of a basic low poly wall mesh and using the high poly high detail one, to bake ambient occlusion and normal maps from

you also need to be aware that using models for walling can be very resource intensive, so your best building re usable wall assets to break up the walling, and using map brushes to fill in the main parts.

--

TKAzA
DBolical Community Manager
Get Noticed Get Headlined

Copyright, IndieDB, SlideDB or ModDB issues PM me.
www.moddb.com www.indiedb.com www.slidedb.com
Do you like 3D Art? We do too!

Cryrid
Cryrid 3D Artist
Nov 25 2012, 1:52pm Anchor

I think there are two main options here:

1. Using zbrush to create tiling textures. If you're doing this, you wont have to worry about keeping the shape low-poly since the end result is just going to be an image. Use any models and geometry you need. If you're going this route you can take advantage of zbrush's 2.5D features to create your texture, tile it, and grab any needed depth or normal information straight from the document.  http://www.pixologic.com/zclassroom/homeroom/lesson/environment-with-tate-mosesian/ should cover this

2. Break up the blockiness of your level with actual models.  This part doesn't have to be done in zbrush (and I'd even prefer a standard 3d program like max for most of it so that I can vertex-snap).

Ronnie42
Ronnie42 Forerunner
Dec 1 2012, 6:46pm Anchor
TKAzA wrote:zbrush walls would be to highpoly for game use, its more about making the most out of a basic low poly wall mesh and using the high poly high detail one, to bake ambient occlusion and normal maps from

you also need to be aware that using models for walling can be very resource intensive, so your best building re usable wall assets to break up the walling, and using map brushes to fill in the main parts.


I was thinking of using the video's mentioned by Cryid but there were way too pre-done mentions..........
Also I know your right about the poly issue but I was hoping to get some decent texturing of my environment's, not really sure how to go about that. I have the paperback version of this:

Amazon.co.uk

So was wondering if that book was probably out of date since not getting the most professional looking textures that I was hoping to aim for.

Here's an example of a project I was trying to aim for: (not my own work)

I'm concerned I'm trying to do too much in a big area instead of little in a small area but the main reason I keep doing that is because I like to get a feeling of if my proportions on level design are correct. Anyway love to hear the best way to approach 2d texturing. Ps sorry for the delay in response.

--

Doom Compile Project: link              Original Game's Design project: link         

Cryrid
Cryrid 3D Artist
Dec 2 2012, 11:34am Anchor
Quote:I was thinking of using the video's mentioned but there were way too pre-done mentions

Anything in particular about it that you need help with?  

Ronnie42
Ronnie42 Forerunner
Dec 2 2012, 7:17pm Anchor
Cryrid wrote:
Quote:I was thinking of using the video's mentioned but there were way too pre-done mentions

Anything in particular about it that you need help with?  


Mainly want to improve my texture quality. Sometimes try making using real life images for textures but they usually are a pain to avoid lines. I also tried making them from scratch completly in photoshop but this just don't seem to look good since the textures look too blocky, plain looking.

--

Doom Compile Project: link              Original Game's Design project: link         

TKAzA
TKAzA Rightio then...
Dec 2 2012, 7:41pm Anchor

you can bake decent textures from walls you make in zbrush, then just edit the diffuse add color and detail can you show more of your work then we may be able to see were your having issues

--

TKAzA
DBolical Community Manager
Get Noticed Get Headlined

Copyright, IndieDB, SlideDB or ModDB issues PM me.
www.moddb.com www.indiedb.com www.slidedb.com
Do you like 3D Art? We do too!

Ronnie42
Ronnie42 Forerunner
Dec 2 2012, 8:15pm Anchor

I heard something about that but never really done anything on that since not sure about exporting textures from zbrush, the problem is I can't find anything on that. I assume it has something to do with planes but the problem is making repeating textures, understanding how to export the correct file type in Zbrush (Know a bit about repeating textures in photoshop but the concern is keeping a repeating texture exported to work as textures for any other programs).

I assume it wouldn't be as simple as exporting obj files since that would end up exporting the high poly model instead, we would probably only need the texture file/files created from the plane used.

Edited by: Ronnie42

--

Doom Compile Project: link              Original Game's Design project: link         

Cryrid
Cryrid 3D Artist
Dec 2 2012, 8:41pm Anchor

Sculpting and painting on a plane is one method. If you're looking to make the result seamless, you can expand the brush modifiers and enable wrap mode (Brush: Curve: Wrap Mode). A value of one will work on a standard plane, but if you're also looking to bake shadows or AO that relies on the geometry to cast then you might want to use a modified plane (9-squares) and sculpt on the center square using a wrapmode of 2. You can bake any polypaint to a texture, but if you're working on a square plane you really don't have to since the plane will be identical to the resulting image. Just turn off perspective, frame your sculpt, and export the document. 

Another method is just using zbrush's document, which is what you see in the video. Basically zbrush is set up like any other image editing program, where the workspace is a canvas of pixels (except in zbrush, each pixel can also store depth and material information instead of just color).  So you can set the resolution to whatever your texture size is, and then draw out and stamp any tools to the document. ~ can be used to seamlessly scroll around the document, allowing you to create something that's seamless. Set whatever materials however you want, edit the lights to your liking, and since it's an image, what you see is what you get and like before it can be exported using Document: Export.

Jan 23 2013, 6:26am Anchor

Hey there

I would create the high poly mesh in Zbrush, paying attention to where you might mirror areas of the mesh on itself as well as parts of the environment that might be separate to the wall. If you want your meshes to cast nice reflections and shadows make sure to make use of bevels. I find it easier to modeler hard sruface style environments in maya first (just make sure you reinforce your edges for when you subdivide the mesh in zbrush) then take them in to zbrush for high poly detail. Once that is done take your high poly mesh, retopologise it (topogun is very easy and effective) and use a program like x-normal to bake out your ao / texture / normal maps. Bear in mind when creating environments to make them modular!  Tiling textures are aslo a must. This way you can just create a few separate pieces and reuse them constantly to great variation! Xnormal is free and topogun is pretty cheap for such a great program. Feel free to contact me if you need any more help / advice.  

Good luck

Nath

Ronnie42
Ronnie42 Forerunner
Feb 24 2013, 5:59pm Anchor

Problem I also noticed is I'm not reaching the quality control that I want. I fear if I'm using the wrong rendering or building techniques aren't up to scratch.

What I have noticed that the textures never look up to scratch, it just feels like something is wrong like maybe the rendering since in the past I have tried stuff like mental ray's which never seem to show the same effect so was concerned about if zbrush models should be built in parts of if there's something I'm missing that I'm not aware of.

Anyway here's a room example with basic colors that I did a while back:

Bedroom

Ok I'm trying to explain it as best as I can but see this video has terrible textures:
Youtube.com

While if I look at something similar like this: (Seem's similar designs but even the floor which seem's like a simple plain has more life in it)

I'm just concerned if my 3d modeling is upto scratch or if zbrush is the key to making most or all my level designs look better but the problem is trying to figure out how much time I should be using Zbrush for stuff like level design.

Here's something I was curious about a while back from doom 4 leaks: (My point is this what I should be aiming for?)

As a 3d modeler/games designer graduate I'm mainly trying to improve my skills, want to make my level designs flow, try to avoid linear level design.

--

Doom Compile Project: link              Original Game's Design project: link         

Cryrid
Cryrid 3D Artist
Feb 24 2013, 7:55pm Anchor

Quote:I'm just concerned if my 3d modeling is upto scratch or if zbrush is the key to making most or all my level designs look better

ZBrush won't be the key here. It can be great for adding surface detail, but even that isn't needed when it comes to something stylized like Toy Story. 
Looking at the youtube video, I think you just need to focus more on general modeling, UVing, and texturing/lighting.

For modeling, focus on keeping things relatively proportioned to each other, work in some beveled edges (rarely ever does anything in real life have sharp 90' edges), and even break your models up into pieces (if a bookshelf you're creating is made using 12 pieces of wood, then model it in 12 pieces for practice).  Reference what you can, whenever you can. Don't worry about the minute surface details like cracks and chips for now, just don't skimp out on the main geometry. When things are proportioned correctly and catching the light like they should, then they'll look good on their own in a gray-shaded viewport. Also try and consider the real details that makes a scene natural and believable; little cracks and chips mean meaning, but the absence of molding/trim on the other hand will break the illusion of it being a room in a house, and adding wall switches and power outlets couldn't hurt. I wouldn't even worry about keeping things optimized for games either, not yet. Just focus on creating the right shape and form for each model until you get the hang of what makes an object look the way that it does. Then you'll begin to get a good feel for what really needs to be modeled, and what details can be left to the texture. 

Texturing/UVing also requires you to keep things proportional. If the bumps and protrusions on the carpet look far too big compared everything else in the room, then it's no longer going to look like a carpet. If it were a brick texture then you'd probably want the bricks too look like they're a few inches long, not several feet each (likewise, you probably wouldn't want them to look too small like lego). Same goes for the wood grain; keep it proportional and consistent. Like with modeling, reference what you can when you can. And don't be afraid to increase the texture resolution a bit where you have to (I'm not sure what your textures look like on their own, but they seem pretty low-res and aliased). That doesn't mean go overboard with the texture detail however; like with modeling, the larger shapes are more important than smaller surface noise. Give the eyes a place to rest.
The zebra wallpaper really isn't helping the look of the room either to be honest. Keep it simpler for now, a single color of paint perhaps, as is common in most rooms. 

The lighting will play a large part as well.  If you look at the Toy Story reference, the wall is a simple blue paintjob (ignoring the star decals), but if you look at it, the lighting adds so much more. Light is bouncing around causing it to pick up colors from surrounding objects (and causing it to make other objects bluish in return), and where this bouncing light can't reach (ambient occlusion) causes the darker shadowing you see in the corners and near the molding, between the dresser drawers, between the 3 pieces of wood that create those shelves, etc. You can instantly see what ambient occlusion alone can bring to a scene. Lighting advice can be trickier because it can depend more on what you're using to render. If its Mental Ray or some other software renderer then you should have some global illumination and final gathering options to help with this light bouncing, along with options for ambient occlusion (either as part of the material itself, or as a different rendering pass to be composited on top). Or you could use various colored lights to fake the bouncing. If you're using a game engine like UDK or Unity and thus have to limit the number of lights in the final scene, then you'll instead probably want to look into how those engines can bounce light around and bake the result into light maps, if they have the ability to preform their own AO calculations, or how you might go about baking some ambient occlusion directly into the texture of an object instead (many 3d programs should have options for this and it is a pretty common way to start a texture; just search for program name + ambient occlusion). 

Reply to Thread
click to sign in and post

Only registered members can share their thoughts. So come on! Join the community today (totally free - or sign in with your social account on the right) and join in the conversation.