torsdag 30 oktober 2014

Assignment 3 Model

I am starting to finish up with my modeling and getting ready for UV mapping and texturing. There are probably still som improvements that can be made and I need to go through the model finding any n-gons or overlaps but in general I am about done with it. Following is a ton of screenshots showing the model with wireframe and concept art.

fredag 24 oktober 2014

Photogrammetry: 3D Facial Scanning

What I noticed the most during this week’s working with facial scanning using photographs was the importance of having good quality photographs, and lots of them. I could not get the program to construct the 3D model correctly, not even by going in and correcting manually. Perhaps this was due to not having enough photos of good enough quality, maybe it is because my lovely skin is too smooth for the program to find good reference points, although that is not very likely.

The first thing when doing a facial scan is to place markers on the face of the model being photographed. This is because the program needs reference points to calculate the angles and directions of the photographs, you need at least four of these reference points for the program to be able to calculate.

Here you can see the four marked points


I did hear from one of my classmates that birthmarks worked very well as reference points, I was not able to test this myself as I do not have any though. Other possible landmarks to use are nostrils and corners of the eyes. I think that the most important thing is to use reference points placed on areas that cannot be moved very much by the muscles of the face since it can be very difficult to stay completely still during a photography session.

Next thing you do is to take pictures of your model from all angles, all around the head – straight on, from beneath and above.

Examples of pictures from different angles

When you have your photos and made sure that they are of good quality (I deem it very possible that one problem with my pictures was that some were a bit blurry) you transfer them into a computer and then run them through the program that you are going to use, we used Autodesk’s 123D Catch.

Manual stichting in 123D Catch

You follow the steps prompted by the program and it will hopefully process the images into a 3D model, you might need to use the tools provided inside the program to adjust things. I tried to manually stich and check and add reference points, although it did help it did not work in the end and I had to use an example head provided by our teacher.

Messed up scan in 123D Catch

When the model is done you can export it as a 3D file that your 3D software can import, for instance .obj or .fbx, and then import it into the program – we used a trial version of 3D Coat for this. Once it was loaded in 3D Coat I started to draw on the typology, starting around the eyes as that is one of the most important areas where it is very important to use continuous loops to create good, believable animations, and then going on to the mouth which is very similar.

Screenshot from 3D Coat showing typology around eye and mouth areas

It would have been a fun experience to have worked on my own face, I wish it would have worked. I think it could also have been a good learning experience when doing the typology since I am (obviously) very familiar with my own face, which could have made it easier to understand where to draw the typology. I do not think it was necessary though, but it would have been fun.

I think Photogrammetry is truly amazing; the level of realism that this provides is astonishing. I think that you might need to question the necessity of it though; do you want to create that kind of realism just because you can? I think it may be risky as it could take away the artistic expression if you are not careful. It is very important to think through very thoroughly what kind of style you want to have in your game, and WHY.

I absolutely love realistic art and like to experiment on making it as realistic as I possibly can, the feeling of every new drawing looking more like a photograph than the last one. But during my time at the University I have come to question the why, is it really important to make realistic things? As an old art teacher once told me, is there need for it when the camera can do it better?

If this is something that can optimize the workflow when creating game art, which I felt it could although it was very tedious and much work, it can be an absolutely fantastic tool. I just think that we need to keep in mind the artistic expression so that it is not lost in a chase of absolute realism.

onsdag 22 oktober 2014

Character Assignment

A visual update of how far I have come with my character model of Bella.

söndag 19 oktober 2014

3D1 Assignment 2 Complete

The chalice that I have been working on is now handed in,I have done some minor changes to all maps since my last update and here is how it turned out.

Finished Diffuse Map

Finished Normal Map

Finished Specular Map

Screenshots of Chalice in UDK

lördag 18 oktober 2014

Prince Bastian

This is something that I have been working on as Concept Art for a fantasy RPG game. This is the piece that I was working on at Dreamhack Stockholm, there are still some minor things I would like to fix but I am pretty much done.

onsdag 15 oktober 2014


As we are starting to model characters in the 3D course this week, we have been going into anatomy for modelling. To see where we are at we were asked to bring 2D drawings of characters, human and animals, and to give each other feedback on where we need to improve.

I think that 2D is definitely my strong point compared to 3D since I have been doing it for so long, but there are definitely areas in which I need to improve, both in anatomy and other areas.

Start screen of Terminal

Considering anatomy I think that I need to work on getting my proportions right, I tend to draw very tall and slender characters that often have very long legs. I have also noticed that I generally draw the shoulder area a little too narrow. Other than that I should keep practicing on drawing hands and feet and to get the anatomy correct without using reference images.

Examples of super long legs and slim shoulders.

Something that has been an issue for me lately is that whenever I draw women, I get asked if it is a man and when I drew a man I was asked if it was a woman. I think it is in particular for the strong jawlines and facial features that I have been giving my female characters and that I am only used to drawing females. I do not think that it needs to be an issue though, it is a result of what I like at the moment and I am confident that I could do differently if asked to.

I wanted this woman to be a hardened soldier who has seen many battles, hence the strong facial features.

My teacher pointed out something that I have been thinking about lately, that I tend to draw what I know. I am aware that I almost always draw women, or as she put it – white women that look like you. I have been trying to start drawing things that I have not attempted before and that I do not usually draw. I have started to try to step out of my comfort zone by drawing armour, dragons, animals and men.

This was the main reason for why I chose the character that I did for the concept for the character modelling that we are about to start. I thought that I should do something that I normally would not and went for a boy child. There was another drawing that I started, of a woman in armour, but I felt some diversity was needed so I changed into a young man instead. I do realise that I then gave them both pale skin, blonde hair and blue eyes.

Concept of a boy for the 3D1 character assignment.

I have the opportunity to practice this since I have been asked for drawings with different ethnicities. I should do studies of people of different ethnicities and ages since it will allow me to create a much greater range of characters.

As far as the proportions I am aware of my characters having very long legs and thin shoulders and I think that I just need to practice practice practice to get over it. I also think that it is very important with constructive feedback as I am easily blinded when working on a drawing, so that it is very hard to see it until someone else points it out because I am so used to it.

Muscles and hands study from a Life Drawing handin.

Rereading course literature for the 2D1 and Life Drawing courses is probably also a good idea to improve my work. I could also go through old course material for them to refresh my memory as well as attending life drawing classes. It is hard to remember all elements that you study at once, every time I go back and study them again, something new sticks that I can use.

Artemis, 2D1 character assignment.

The main thing to do is just putting the pen on paper and draw until my fingers bleed and study how other people look, move and act.

tisdag 14 oktober 2014

Chalice Update no 3

I got some feedback on my chalice today and made some improvements. The first thing I did was to fix the normal map as that was what was causing the issues with the cup part.

Previous version to the left, new to the right

I did this by creating a flat normal map and using a layer mask in Photoshop to only show the patterns that I had created.

Old normal map on the left, new on the right

I also decreased the general brightness of the specular map and increased the contrast between it and the highlighted parts as well as added some darker areas between the ornaments where the chalice would not be as polished as the rest. I still have some experimenting to with that one though, as I have been given the advice to try to use the specular map to achieve a brushed metal look. Adding little, lighter scratches will hopefully make the chalice look as if it has been used and polished many times and be more interesting to look at.

Chalice in UDK

I have also been working on the diffuse map, using 3D Coat to paint directly on a High-Poly model. What I have changed since my last update is to add the "dirt" that would be gathered in the creases of the ornaments. As these are areas that are difficult to get to when cleaning and polishing the chalice, they should be darker than and not as shiny as the parts that are sticking out.

Chalice in 3D Coat, new version on the right

torsdag 9 oktober 2014

Chalice Update no 2

I have been working on my textures for the museum assignment, for which I am modelling a golden chalice. mainly I have been focusing on my normal map this week as I want to use it to get a better result when creating my diffuse and specular maps. I experimented a bit in MudBox but could not get it to work the way I wanted it to so I gave 3D Coat a go instead.

In 3D Coat I increased the polycount dramatically and basically just painted the patterns I wanted on it before baking my normal map.
High-Poly Model in 3D Coat

Here is how it looks when imported in UDK, I think it looks quite good but I am not very happy with how the cup part is looking. Next week I need to bring it to class to ask how I can improve it, other than that I need to figure out how I am going to paint my diffuse map. I feel that I have come to a point where I can continue on creating the diffuse map, probably I will continue to work in 3D Coat and adding finishing touches if needed in Photoshop.

Low-Poly Model with Basic Diffuse Map and Normal Map

This is my first experiment with the diffuse map that I started on last week, it did not really turn out very well. It does not really look like gold and I think that it should look newer, or at least more cleaned, it should be a well kept precious object. The only thing that worked was the "dirt" along the edges as it gave the chalice a lot more character and made it look more interesting and real.

Preproduction Package: Bella

Yesterday I received a pre-production package from one of my class mates that I am to model for the 3D course. The character I will be modelling is a 12 years old girl called Bella (Isabella) who is the main character of a detective aimed at children of 8 years and up.

Concept Art I was given for "Bella"

What I was instructed to keep in mind was that Bella is a quite calm girl, economic in her movement and she does not use any makeup. Since the hands were not visible in the concept art I was told that she is to wear mittens and I was given reference material to how they should look.
When it came to modelling I was instructed to keep the coat and the scarf as one object, the legs as one object and the head, hat and hair as one object.

I was given the freedom to adjust the height of the scarf on her neck, making her neck visible, to make it easier for Bella to move her head. I was also allowed to adjust the length of the scarf on the back if I deemed it necessary for a good result, keeping in mind both the artistic element and animations.

Bella is generally a very calm girl but gets very excited when discovering clues or braking a case. Her greatest interest in life is to read mystery novels and seeking out and solving mysteries. Together with her two closest friends she has a mystery club where they get together and solve mysteries. She is street smart and has an eye for details, it is easy for her to find clues and connect them.

Her main goal in life is to become a great detective and solve mysteries, to do so she must probably get over her fear of the dark. Although her parents knew about it she tries to hide it from everyone and they now think that she is not scared anymore.

She is more interested in comfort than style and has little to no interest in fashion and makeup. Her style is instead inspired by comfort and British, fictional detectives which is something that influences on most of her life.

Bella comes from an agnostic family that might need to think of their economy although not being very poor. She lives with her neurotic mother, calm and loving father and her two years old twin brothers.

The game takes place in the Scandinavian suburb/moderately large city in which Bella lives.  The game world has a cold, dark and slightly melancholic climate, reflecting late autumn and early winter of Scandinavia.  Being early winter it is often cloudy and it occasionally snows, the snow does not stay though, it just makes everything wet. The cold, wet and melancholic aspects of the game world is contrasted by the excitement Bella and her friends feel when going out to solve mysteries.

The platform of the game is PC and the three major competitors are “LasseMajas Detektivbyrå”, “Case Closed: The Mirapolis Investigation” and “Freddi Fish in Kelp Seed Mystery”.

I get the feeling of a low tempo game that uses a desaturated and cold colour scheme in order to achieve the calm feeling that the designer is aiming for. The style and colour scheme of the main character and the description I received of the game world supports this. I feel that the choice of an early winter Scandinavian suburb or city is a very good choice of setting that will enforce the aesthetic goals of the game.

Even though the visual style is set for Bella I feel that I have been given some artistic freedom to interpret it in order to optimize the concept art so that it will work well as a 3D model and be easy to animate. I can make changes, for instance the length of the scarf that can have a major economic impact on the game development, by cutting back on the amount of work hours needed to complete the model and make the animations look good.

I feel that the character description sheet that I was given along with the instructions I received when discussing with my client student gives me a good picture of who Bella is and how she should act and look. I have a clear feeling of what I think my client student is going for. I might need to redraw some of the concept art though, figuring out how the jawline and mittens should look as those parts are not visible. Then I will also need to consult my client student to get her approval.

Something that might cause problems for me is that I have never modelled a character before and I need to learn how to go about it. I believe that if I just learn where to start and where to go from there, most of my modelling will go rather smoothly. I do expect quite a lot of small problems to occur though, just due to my inexperience with modelling and the programs that we use. I will need to expand my knowledge in 3Ds Max and possibly in MudBox and/or 3D Coat as well. I need to explore them and find a way that fits my style of working.

I think that any problems that I might encounter with the model itself, not related to the programs used, can be solved by using what I have learnt from life drawing and think of everything in terms of boxes and cylinders.