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Characture, creature and other various game ready collections

Characture, creature and other various game ready collections

Dakota James Atwood
by buhhkoats on 28 May 2022 for Rookie Awards 2022

A compilation of various Game ready models i've created over this past year using PBR workflows and intended for real time engines/rendering. I personally prefer a more realistic-semi realistic style for my work and art.

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For my rookies entry ive decided to submit 4 pieces. Great Duke of Hell: Astaroth, Great Duke of Hell's Goblet, Antega: Serpent Queen, and Cave Environment. Astaroth and his goblet were created together as a 2 part series. Antega: Serpent Queen and the Cave environment were also Created together as a 2 part series. Everything was rendered in Realtime using Unreal Engine, except for the Goblet which was rendered in Iray via Substance Painter. Everything is Game ready and was Created using a PBR workflow With animation, and rigging in mind.

Antega: Serpent Queen is a Hero creature created to fit into a previous environment. Was modeled with animation in mind using a PBR workflow for Unreal Engine. Antega was blocked out in maya, sculpted in ZBrush, and hand textured in Substance Painter. The cloth was created in marvelous designer, cleaned up in ZBrush, and retopologized in Maya. I wanted to try some new approaches for this model so i made much of it modular, mainly the legs and spikes. Creating 2 variations for the spikes on the side of the body, 2 variations for the leg spikes, 3 variations (Small, Large, Medium) for the spikes running along the back. For the spikes near the face i created 2 variants as its a key point of focus and I didnt want to reusue other parts. After high-low poly and texturing of the modular spikes and legs i then used a soft deformation brush in maya on the low poly to add slight variation and remove repetition without causing noticable stretching on the textures. I also used opacity and dual sided masking in unreal to create the damages on the cloth as to save on polycount. I also modeled and scultped the body diagonally as to avoid issues in texturing and baking as well as make it easier to send down the pipeline to animators. Since the model is quite big in comparison to the player, being modular was important to keep a good texture quality and also save on UV space. In total there were 6 UDIM tiles/materials. Everything was rendered in Real time in unreal engine using 2k textures.

Beauty shots

these are all in environment realtime renders from Unreal Engine

Material, base color, and lit realtime Renders from unreal

High Poly Zbrush Sculpt

Low Poly breakdown

For the low poly the main trick i used here to save on polycount was to model the low poly back cloth as one unique piece with no holes or tearing. Then i added opacity maps to the cloth from the highpoly normal bake. I further went and masked in additional tearing and edge fraying through the opacity channels. To further save on polycount as well as UV space I Created the low poly cloth as a singular plane which I then rendered as dual sided texture. The entire model was roughly 125k polygons. which is a bit high but for a hero creature/boss model it was important to balance quality of the model and polycount without creating too much obvious repetition. Further more repetition would be less visbible once rigged and fully animated as the final in game model would not be this T-Pose style with a straight body.

Modular Creature kit breakdown

To save on Texture budget and UV space i decided to try and apply some Modular methods i learned in environment creation to this creature. Since the creatures size compared to an in game character is quite large i decided to create 3 modular kits to keep the quality high on a large hero creature while maximizing Texture space and budget. I did this by creating 3 main variations for the leg spikes that run on the sides of the body. I also created 3 variations of the back spikes (small, medium, large), as well as 3 variations for the cloth banners. since these were going to be reused often and there were a lot of them i figured 3 was enough to break up repetition. after low-high poly PBR workflow and once textures were finished i went back in maya and used a soft deformation brush on the low poly to further add variation and break up repetition of the modular pieces once everything was placed in its final positions. For the spike around the head i decided against using the same modular spikes for the legs as the head is a focal point for the character. So i decided to create 2 unique head spikes which were used for all 6. Again after final placement i went back with a soft deformation brush to add variation to the head spikes to breakup repetition. 

The body was originally sculpted in a posed position, afterwards using a morph brush and projection to clean up an errors it was taken from the original pose to a mode rigging/animation friendly diagonal pose shown below to help efficiency through the pipeline and to give a potentional animator/rigger an easier time as well as to ensure quality in the baking and texturing for the tight areas of the body. Unfortunately i dont know any riggers or animators and have limited knowledge in this area so i applied a simple rig to the body to pose the final model to better fit original sculpting pose.

Material breakdowns and lighting variations in unreal engine

Since the final and intended environment for the model quite dark i decided to add some render varations to the model to get a better sense of the texturing and quality and show some further versatility of the model.

UV Layout examples

Technical information:

The entirety of the renders were done in real time inside of unreal engine. 

total of 6 udim tiles/materials

rendered with 2k textures

Unreal Engine Cave Environment

I wanted to go about this in a modular fashion trying to create an epic and detailed environment using only a few assets. I decided to go with 3 main rocks with different features on each face to start the modular kit. I figured with 4 main faces and 3 rocks that gives me about 12 unique shapes I can use by rotating and scaling to create unique cave walls without giving the player a sense of repetition. For the floors I created 2 unique floor tiles that were then rotated and stacked as to avoid repetition. For the entrance and stone slabs I created 3 main slabs; one Large, Medium, and Small, all with unique faces to again avoid repetition. I then used these as building blocks to create the entrance and stairs in unreal. In total I used 8 assets excluding foliage to create the base of the environment. The stone slabs were all laid out on one single UV space/material. The Rocks and floors each had a separate UV space/material creating 6 textures in total for the entire environment. I made the Blood river using the base Unreal engine water system. I also wanted to create some visual break up so I added fog from unreal as well as using Niagara to create fireflies. I had a lot of fun with this environment and am very happy with how well it turned and the lack of obvious repetition considering I used only 8 assets in total. The entire cave was built in unreal using these 8 pieces. I ended up creating a stone throne but decided it didn't really fit the environment so decided not to include it in the final project. 

For the entire cave walls i used these 3 rocks. They each have a unique shape and sillouhette for all 4 sides. I started creating the walls by putting the rocks together in various formations and then combining them to get a blockout and bigger as to not have to hand place everysingle rock. after creating the variation blockouts and putting them in place i then would rotate, add, or remove rocks to make them more unique and stand out as to show no visable repetition. 

Modular kit used to create environment (pictured above)

Stone slabs 3.5k polys each

Floor tiles 17k polys each

3 rocks roughly 3.7k polys each

Great Duke of Hell: Astaroth

Astaroth, the great duke of hell. This game ready Character is an original concept. Was created as part 2 of a 2 part series with a hero prop, Great Duke of Hell's Goblet. Astaroth was Created using a High to low poly PBR pipeline. Used some engine tricks to reduce polycounts such as dual sided geometry and texture rendering for the wings so they could stay as a single plane. Game ready model. Was rendered at 2k using 4 2k Materials for unreal. 74k Tri's.

Software used: Zbrush, Maya, Substance painter, Unreal engine 4

Zbrush High Poly Sculpt

Technical Paramaters:

4 2k textures/materials for unreal

74k Tri final Mesh

Great Duke of Hell's Goblet

First part of a 2 piece scene including this Goblet and The demon Astaroth. Wanted to make this feel very demonic so I used a lot of research from demonic and satanic symbols (modern and old) including Baphomet, Alchemic symbol for Brimstone as well as the summoning Sigil for the Great Duke Astaroth. This was pretty fun to sculpt as well as to research so I decided to take it further and create a character to go with it (Astaroth). The Low poly is about 5k as I didn't want to lose too much detail from the sculpt and figured it could be a viewable item in an inventory in game (more of a hero Prop) The Goblet was Sculpted in Zbrush, Low poly and UV in Maya, and textured/Rendered in Substance painter. Created using one UDIM Tile (1 material for unreal) could have been pulled off on about half of a tile but since there is nothing to fill the rest of the tile i just blew it up to fill the UDIM. It's game ready and was textured using PBR workflow. 

The workflow for the goblet was fairly simple and straight forward starting with a blockout in maya to then add details and unique shapes in zbrush. The main technique used here was creating shapes to use as booleans to cut out the details in the sides of the goblet. The base was all hand sculpted as a seperate piece as well as as goat head on the front. which was then combined as one piece for the low poly, and using normal map cleanup masks in the texturing phase to help create a seamless transition.

Wireframe (Pictured above)

Textures (Pictured Below)

Technical Paramaters

1 2k texture/material/UDIM tile

5k polys

Thank you for taking the time to look at my rookies entry. I feel like ive grown a lot over the past year as an artist and I wanted to showcase these 4 works. Again thanks so much, hope you enjoyed these as much as i did creating them!

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