Mar 27, 2012

Mayan Walkway Progress

Started sculpting a walkway for my Mayan scene, here's the progress so far.  I'll keep updating this post throughout the next day.
 Finished up the sculpting.  I sculpted the fronts and backs of 6 tiles, each it's own SubTool in ZBrush.  I then ran the Decimation Master on each tile, bringing the large ones down to around 300,000 triangles, and the shorter ones to around 150,000.  I then exported each tool as it's own OBJ file and brought it back into Max.
  Started laying out the tiles in Max, being sure to use instancing when duplicating them so they use up far less memory.  Also, the pivot point for each is set to the corner so I can quickly snap them along the grid, which saves me time and keeps things aligned.  By the way, the colourful blocks along the bottom of the picture are the original base primitives that I made before sculpting, and the blue rectangle at the top is a reference to the player's scale in UDK.
 The final layout of the high-poly meshes, now to do a low-poly retopology inside Max.

Even with the instanced tiles, I found Max was really chugging along at only a couple frames per second (and at around 10 million triangles in the scene I can't really blame it).  Also, it turns out that Editable Meshes can't be used as reference for a retopology, which my entire layout was comprised of, so to work around this, I exported the entire layout as another OBJ, brought it into ZBrush again and decimated it down to something more workable.  I'm keeping this original highpoly layout however for when I start baking textures in XNormal.
Now I'm back in Max, building up the low-poly geometry using the Freeform 'Step Build' and 'Extend' tools, trying to maintain the same basic form as the higher-poly layout.  With the Freeform tools, when I extrude an edge or make a poly, the verts hover over the original mesh, with a slight offset so I can still see what I'm doing.
I finished up the low poly in-game version.  I then brought the low poly mesh into Blender for unwrapping, it's LSCM unwrapping is still my favourite to use.
 I'm nearing completion on this walkway.  I plugged both my high and low poly layouts into XNormal to get a Normal map, Ambient Occlusion map, and Cavity map, and then afterwards I put my Normal map into CrazyBump to get a base texture for my Specular map.  I then began painting my final Diffuse, Specular and Normal maps inside Photoshop, constantly saving out TGAs to test them in-engine and see how they actually look on the model.


1 comment:

Jackie Champion said...

Hello! Thank you for sharing your thoughts about walkways in your area. I am glad to stop by your site and know more about walkways. Keep it up! This is a good read. I will be looking forward to visit your page again and for your other posts as well.
In US English, a walkway is a composite or umbrella term for all engineered surfaces or structures which support the use of trails. These include sidewalks, footbridges, stiles, stairs, ramps, paseos or tunnels. Walkways can also be used by passengers to board or disembark from an aircraft to the terminal building.
Help direct and guide traffic in walkways Beverly MA