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Necromancer Staff
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Necromancer Staff

Maxime Caranza
by MaximeCaranza on 14 May 2024

A prop done to try out non photorealistic rendering in Unreal engine. Being a big fan of fantasy and necro magic i chose a concept art done by Kerim Turay. The modeling and sculpting were done in blender, textured in Substance Painter and rendered using Unreal engine 5.

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My goal for this project was to recreate the 2D artstyle from the reference for realtime 3D rendering.


First i thought of the colors, even if i needed to make the lineart manualy, painting them on the model would be very time consuming. But using a highpoly i could simply use the curvature map in Substance Painter to make a procedural material to make the shadows and highlight in my stead.

So, i only sculpted the organic parts of the staff with lots of details (The Handle, the skull and claws), ignoring the flat colored areas in the reference.

I then modeled the smaller parts with less to no details. 

The ropes were tiring to do as i used curves and had to turn around the model constantly, for the knots i only did one that was duplicated everywhere it was needed, and linked them to the ropes.

Once the lowpoly was finished, i went in Substance 3D Painter, drew the lineart and added a smart material underneath using the details from the high poly to save time on the coloring as described earlier.

The textures done, i imported the model in Unreal Engine and made a material.

I had some trouble making the outlines for the staff since there are a lot of tutorials with many different ways of making them, i tried out some of them but it got me confused quickly. So i tried differents solutions on my own and, with some trials and errors, i simply adjusted a fresnel's values to make an outline i was happy with, that didnt require deep tinkering with Unreal Engine.

It was a very interesting exercice and im quite happy with the result, but i wish i could make the outline look cleaner.

Reference by Kerim Turay https://www.artstation.com/artwork/9e9WoQ


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