Barrier – Substance Painter

Now having successfully completed the Oil barrel in Substance painter, i then made it my next task to do the same to my Jersey Barrier. This would involve going through a similar process like the barrel but changing features and generators to apply better to a solid rough object unlike the smooth and slightly damaged Barrel.

I first imported my LP mesh and backed my HP and Cage on top of the barrier to get the LP to look like the HP without the use of so many triangles that the HP Barrier had. When the bake was complete, i was then free to design and paint what the Barrier would look like. I looked online for some reference imagery to help and found a fixed look. Most Barrier’s like my model would be mainly grey with a yellow hazard strip around to be easily noticed in the day and night when lights from cars would reflect off them. But i didn’t personally like this so i decided to keep looking and i did find some Barrier that used a darker colour scheme of only black and white and it looked better in my opinion.

 

 

To start, i looked for a material that i thought looked like the best texture for a barrier and look like the reference imagery i got from the internet. Concrete seemed to be the best texture for the barrier which was obvious as most Barriers are concrete. I painted on a horizontal stripe on the barrier similar to reference imagery but the images had most of them vertically with multiple stripes. I thought that it looked better horizontally in my opinion. Using the mirror tool made it quick and simple to paint the strip saving me time. I next added on a generator and tried to make the Barrier seem more dirty. I did this because I made the barrier in Z brush and added on damage to make the barrier seem like it had seen some action or been in the world for a while. The dirt complimented well with the barrier. I lastly, added in a steel rough texture that allowed me to add some damage and bumps to the barrier to give it the affect of damage. Well more damage.

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I would say that i am pleased with the end product of my barrier and putting it in Marmoset and Unreal 4 will be fun and interesting. I’m looking forward to it. I’m also still liking this software and can’t wait to upload more models so that i can add in high quality textures.

Computer Game Studies by Espen Aarseth,

Having read this article, i now have a better understanding of how the industry had been seen as in 2001 and comparing to 2017 and the way it’s changed. This article is from one person’s perspective an opinion and i believe that they were on to something.

Espen makes a lot of good points about game studies and how back in 2001, they weren’t really considered it’s own field yet the genre has been around for thirty years, “Arguably the first modern game, turns forty this year, and commercially the genre has existed for three decades. So why not something like this before?”. He makes a good point as other industry and studies have evolved and grown but game studies hasn’t. I believe that this could be because of stereotyping as games use to be seem as a nerdy and as uncool leisure   time. However, times have changed and the industry is massive and game studies is bigger and stronger.

Espen also talks about the way games are different from movies and how they are different. One point made is how we interact with games, “Games, however, are often simulations; they are not static labyrinths like hypertext’s or literary fictions. The simulation aspect is crucial”. This goes on to talk about how game are seen and used more physical in a simulated world unlike a movie which is more observant and non-physical. This continues to clarify how games should be seen as is’t own field of study by Espen Aarseth.

 

Substance Painter 2 “Barrel”

With the LP and HP versions of the barrel created in Maya, I now needed to create a cage for my model before putting it in to Substance painter 2. This was very simple and didn’t take too long to make. All i had to do, was create a duplicate of the LP model of the barrel and ten transform it so that it becomes slightly larger than the original model. This helps bake the model in substance painter so that we get a LP model but it looks like the HP model without the triangles. An illusion you could call it.

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With the cage, LP and HP now created, it was finally time to go in to Substance painter 2 and thank god i’m finally here, I’ve been waiting for this part. This is where, it starts to get fun. The reason being that the amount of tools at my disposal can create some many outcomes and designs for texturing an object like the barrel which i did at uni in my workshop session.

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It wasn’t too difficult to add my barrel in to Substance painter 2 because it was latterly just adding in the files that i saved. The only problems is when i move the object in Maya, it might effect the object when it comes to Substance painter 2. Just don’t move the LP and HP from each other. Especially the Barrier.

With the Barrel in, it was time to learn the basics. I learned many things from the Monday session which really opened up my eyes to the possibility of Substance painter 2 can do. The ability to paint was kinda obvious but adding on dirt, winkles and materials blew my mind away.

The amount of stuff that u can do to an object, and i have only scratched the surface. But it is important to remember to always put layers in to folders within more folders to help with the model and space (and name the properly). Just looking at the images, you can see how the objects changes from a coloured barrel, to a coloured barrel with rust, crust and dents to make the object look more realistic. Even adding on an image like the shell image we added on in the Monday workshop, just makes it look better. I’m really liking this part of the process and can’t wait to do my Jersey Barrier and more.

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New Desk Lamp Model

Now i know that i have already created my own lamp, and it looks really good in my opinion. However, as the weeks have developed and as my skills and knowledge grows stronger, i have noticed some errors i created will making the desk lamp.

One major error being the fact that i placed objects within objects to create the shape of the object from my reference image. This meant that i kept parts of the objects inside other parts and i didn’t take them out. Now, I’ve been taught to make an object with no other parts inside others because this helps with other parts of the process like the UV layouts. This was the one major error.

So i decided no to solve and fix the desk lamp, but create a brand new one and i used a new reference image instead of the one i used before.

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I managed to get my model to look identical to this one except for the I phone, i decided to leave that part out as that’s a whole model on it’s own.

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UV Layout

Now before i can start to make a cage for my barrier and barrel which is required for texturing in substance painter, i needed to sort out my UV layouts. The UV layouts help with the baking and and texturing within Substance painter 2. This process is straight forward and doesn’t take too long. However, depending on your object and the shape, it can be difficult to know which face belongs on which part and side, especially if you use Z brush of which i have learnt.

To start, i had to open my objects up in UV editor to see what the objects was currently like. As seen, it has not been edited at all and needed work done before going in to Substance painter 2.

uv-layout-barrel-before

Now this process has a few buttons and commands in a certain order that has be done in this process. I have taken screenshots to visual show this process as it is easier than explaining it in my own opinion.

But to also write about it, what i first did was press the automatic button on the UV editor to automatically adjust the objects in to the basic faces of the objects like front, back and side etc… After that, i pressed planar which allows me to take the chosen faces i have selected from the object, and form a new face (my own face and not the one the computer made as you can’t count on the computer as i made the shape and i know whats correct and wrong. This is the case for the barrier). After that, i needed to adjust some of the settings of the objects on the right hand side of the screen. Apparently a rule for the rotation is to set it to the closets 0 ,90, 180 etc… And then change the projection width and height to a decent number where the face is at a reasonable size and keep that size/ number for the width and all other faces. Then unfold the object at it’s orientation and done. Repeat for the rest of the sides.

Lastly, once all piece are done, compact the sides into the top right box but don’t resize them or let them over lap, only resize them together and make it fit it nicely and tidy. This will help when it comes to texturing in Substance Painter 2.

Barrel                                                 Barrier

 

Quad Drawing/Warping Decimated Mesh “Barrier”

With my decimated mesh from Z Brush now in Maya, i was then taught how to make a LP (Low Polly) model version of the Z brush model which I would then use for baking the model in Substance Painter 2 along with the decimated mesh (High Polly Model) and a cage duplicate of the LP model mesh. But to start with, i need to Quad Warp/Draw my decimated mesh of the Barrier.

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The reason i was told why we always create a LP version of our models is because usually, our original smoothed models have a high amount of triangles which would make it look high quality but too much for the engine to handle in game. This is why we make a LP version of the model and use that instead of the HP so that it will run better in the engine. That’s where baking and the cage comes into play which comes later after the Quad Warp/Drawing. But back to the Quad Warp/Drawing for now.

Now from the experience i got from this part of the process, i would say that i had an easier time Quad warp/drawing my model than some of my other fellow students which found it tough and challenging. I don’t know if it was because of our models and how we had detailed them differently or if it was just easier for me as i could predict where certain points were going to be and how the model was going to shape. I just know that i didn’t mind this part of the process unlike some other students.

Quad warp/drawing is actually pretty easy and straight forward when you think about it. All you’r doing is adding on points to you decimated mesh and linking 4 points together to create a face. Of course before hand, you need to magneties your cursor to you decimated mesh so that you points always snap on to the surface of the objects. While doing this, it’s important to keep the shape of the object so in certain areas of high detail, there are more faces than other places where there is a lack of detail. Also bends and dips have to be noted and new faces made when the shape bends to another angel like the near the bottom of the barrier where it gets wider. Once i had the entire barrier Quad warped/drew, i then also started to take away certain faces that were no longer necessary to the model, this would save space and lower the triangles of the barrier. I had to get the barrier under 3000 triangles and i managed to do it.

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With it complete, i now had a LP and a HP model version of the Barrier. This is necessary for the baking process next which helps texture the model in Substance Painter 2. But before that, I needed to UV the layout of my Barrier which was my next task.