VKB Gunfighter Flight Stick
This is a project that shows my focus on the texture and environment with the additional contents from Quxel. As a flight simulation enthusiasm, I always hope to create a scene which is related to this. The scene is based on a concept of electronic repair workshop and a used flight stick that need to be repaired.
There are two versions for each material, the brand new and the worn.
Progress 1: Hero Asset
In the initial step, I only planed a very small scope of scene as shown in the sketch with some basic hero assets. Hero assets that I created include the flight stick, the oscilloscope, the circuit board, a blueprint and some tiny components on the desk.
Design & Modeling
The brand-new version materials are all created in the Substance Designer as the base material for further use in Substance Painter to produce the worn version materials.
This specific VKB flighting stick comes with different metals and finishings, and it is based on the shape of the flight stick of Su-57, a famous Russian stealth fighter. However, the button layout and manufacturing process lean toward a more Eastern appearance. This fact requires me to take reference to various flight sticks from Eastern to Western countries.
This is a fine, grainy surface for the metal grip of the stick. The surface effects include not only scratches and paint chipping but also water stain wearing to indicate the influence of regular maintenance.
The reflection of this material isn't even smooth, instead it's grainy and it scatters, which is slightly similar to the crystal. Therefore, the normal map is heavily tweaked so that the direction of the grains is not equal to the surface.
All the bumpy details are achieved in Substance Designer instead of 3D modeling. The normal map doesn't react to the light well, so the color variation is applied to fake the missing lighting details.
The nodes are simple but very useful. Using the generator in Painter makes it easy to adjust all its wearing effects with the normal map. The wearing also caused the tearing, but these effects will never happen in the gaps.
The same method is also used in this material, and it has the same issue, which requires more texture blending in the Subsurface Painter. Plastic material is also grainy, which shares similar nodes with the material for the grip.
The color variation is what the plastic will have after heavy use and frequent contact with finger and body oil, leading to the dark area on each button.
The dust cover rubber is the most matt material by default. Its weak reflection requires a 0 value of roughness and a low specular value. However, the type of material will collect fingerprints and oil, making it glossy after use.
There are also joint lines that I created in Designer, and I created a switch to make it easier to swap between different versions to make the work in Painter more convenient.
The surface finishing of the brake leveler and the trigger is different in that it has a glossy coat that prevents the chipping, which only results the various surface scratches.
The fun fact is that there is not only an apparent joint line but also a mold sliding defection from left to right, and this is also realized in the Designer.
Differing from the other paper material, the blueprint has a smoother touch and it's softer and more flexible. This means in real life there is no way that a blueprint will be as crumpled as print paper. So, the normal details here are weakened.
I also include an oscilloscope in the scene, and in order to achieve the cracked glass effect, it's painted with different colors in its normal map to bend the facing of the broken piece.
The worn textures were done in Substance Painter, and the brand-new version materials were imported as editable materials with parameters that I can adjust their details.
Progress 2: Environment & Lighting
The original lighting was planned to help drag out the details of the material of the hero assets, which only covered a small area. There is a spotlight on the top as a key light and another for illuminating the background from the side. A bunch of point lights are placed in desired positions to bring the reflections for the objects.