Blocking out shapes, part 3. Sculpting!

General / 31 May 2019

Hello, sharing part three of my series covering blocking out evironment assets. This video covers a very quick glimpse at my sculpting techniques. Because of how I work, I usually tailor my assets main shapes in Maya by adjusting them for what I see in the game. Rather than going to zbrush first and commiting blindly to random shapes. Sometimes what might look "cool" in zbrush might not work well ingame for your level. Because of this a lot of times I would sculpt and play with shapes briefly in zbrush. Decimate that model, and throw it in the game to see how the shapes play with the lighting and the overall feel of the level. This process is very handy when making organic models such as rocks. This part of the process is very repetitive. A lot of the times I would tweak the decimated model in Maya using lattices. I will have to make a post about this later. 

I only commit to my detailed sculpts when I know the model works well in game. 

Other tips as seen in the video:

1. Make sure to use a material that highlights the detail in your mesh. Similar to how people flip the canvas while drawing in Photoshop. I constantly toggle between my main sculpting material and the a gray shiny material.

2. Brushes and alphas are very useful. However, force yourself to learn how to sculpt surfaces by hand first. So that you understand what needs to be done.

3. Pay attention to your reference!

4. People will argue that you don't have to put detail on your mesh because you could do overlay materials. Which is valid. That is no excuse for your sculpt to look soft and cartoony. All the detail of your sculpt will eventually transfer to your normal map. And more likely other maps that you will use to create the texture. A lot of the times you might find yourself going back to the sculpt to tweak things. To make the texture part work better for the kind of mesh for what your doing. So wether you are doing something stylized or realistic make all the resolution, and details count towards your goal. 

5. Workout the main shapes first. Then add the detail.

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