Tuesday, 7 September 2010

The finished Traffic Cone (Well nearly)

It was now time to texture the Traffic Cone and so i set about unwrapping the object in Maya until i produced the following UVW layout of the model:

Having completed the unwrap of the Traffic Cone i set the UVW layout in Photoshop and produced the following texture:

Texture size 256 x 256

Note: It is important to reduce the texture size to as small as possible when building a in-game asset as texture sizes take up most of the memory in next gen titles.

Here are some renders i produced in Maya this model is nearly finished now but im sure there is still room for improvement. I am never satisfied with what i have produced as i always think i can improve something but for now i am going to call it a day on the Traffic Cone and move onto my next model.

Optimizing to the Max

It was now time to fully optimixe the Traffic Cone as much as possible as the pictures below show i have now reduced the tri count dramatically without loosing any of the original shape.

Here are some comparisons that will better illustrate the actual optimization that has taken place.

Tri count now stands at 78.

With my Traffic Cone now fully optimized as much as possible i had reduced the tri count down to 78. This was alot more acceptable and i was happy to leave it now as it is and it was now time to move onto texturing the Traffic Cone.

First full sculpt of the Traffic Cone

Here is the first full built of the complete model as you can see i went back and re modelled the base of the cone as i had previously done and now i had modelled the underneath section of the model as well.

Tri count 114

I wasnt happy with the tri count at this point and i could see in the model that alot more tris could be reduced, so the next stage of the process was to reduce the tri count down to the bare minimum without effecting the silhoutte of the object.

More changes needed??

At this stage i was still trying to work out how i should reduce my tri count and i refined the model like the pictures below show. However if we look at the base of the cone i had not took into consideration that i would have to model the underneath of the cone as this asset would more than likely be interactive in a game such as Motorstorm.

As you can see from the picture below i had optimized the top of the cone but i knew that this could be improved on and alot more tris could be deleted so there was plenty of optimizing to be done until i would be happy with the finished result.

Current Tri count 58

This Tri count was getting it down to more that i would like the finished model to be but having to consider it being interactive my tri count will end up abit more than what i had originally planned.

Early adjustments to the Traffic Cone

With Nicks advice i decided to go back re-model the Traffic Cone and here what i proposed to do:

After looking at my model i went away and made some adjustments to the traffic cone and at this point i started to think about optimizing for the first time. Here is what i produced:

Here is some more advice Nick suggested that i should take on board notice that he points out that there are some verts on my model that dont serve any purpose.

Current Tri count 64

Modelling the Traffic Cone

For this project i will be using Maya as this is a program that i have studying over the past few months since graduating but not really got my teeth into and thought that this will help me gain more confidence in Maya.

I started to model the traffic cone starting with a cylinder and re-shaping it accordingly mostly with the scale tool creating a very simple base.

Here is what i produced:

This was very much in its early stage but i decided to seek some advice from Nick Sadler at Sony Computer Entertainment Europe. I sent my work to Nick and Nick sent me a screenshot of some early observations he had made. Here is that screenshot:

Even at this early stage my tri count was very high considering that it wasnt the complete build yet and at present the tri count stood at 128 tris. This would need to be address further on down the process.

Learning to model as done within the Video Games Industry

Hi guys well i haven't posted anything up here of late and i have been thinking of a project i could get stuck into. So i have decided that i am going to start modelling some environmental work that you may find in a game like the Motorstorm series or any driving game for that matter.

The first thing i would like to point out is that there seems to be a dramatic difference in how a developer would build an object for a video game and the way that a student would be shown how to build academically.

  • In the industry optimization is very important and the artist must optimize their models as much as possible. So artists have no problem using triangles in their models to get the best results. I still believe that a developer would attempt to use quads where possible but the priority is to to keep tri counts down to a bare minimum.
  • In college or university speaking from a personal account i was always shown to work in quads as much as possible. There is absolutely nothing wrong with being told to work in quads and in fact it is very good practice to do so. If there is anyone reading this i would suggest to keep to quads as much as possible.

I have decided to start off with something quite easy to build, well when i say easy as you will see things are not as easy as it seems.

I started off by picking some reference material from the internet and i have chosen to try and build a traffic cone. Reference material is vital to any build that you will make so get as much material as possible. Here some of the reference material:

This is very much a learning process for myself but thought that i would post everything that i have been shown by people in the industry. Hopefully John Dwyer and Nick Sadler at SCEE will put some input into this process, but please feel free to add comments.