Friday, 17 October 2014

Week 3 - zBrush is not my friend

The second week of the film room project just flew by, i cant really believe how fast the the past couple weeks have gone. Working in a group really does make certain aspects of 3D a lot more enjoyable, don't get me wrong i do enjoy 3D its just great to have support when something goes really wrong or to show you new ways to do something in max a lot faster. I managed to get everything done i wanted to do last week which means we have a detailed plan and i more or less finished the tent base mesh. The goals this week are to unwrap the tent which shouldn't take longer than half a day and then take the mesh into zBrush which i have budgeted a couple days for as i have never really properly used it before. Although the little i did use it before, it was unbelievably frustrating. Here is the plan along with a shot of the base mesh.

After unwraping the tent, which was rather painless (other than the window flap rolls!) i turbosmoothed it in max and then exported and imported in to zBrush. This was the first time i had really properly used zBrush and i was quite looking forward to it having done a lot of clay work during a-Level - i was so wrong. The interface is impossible to navigate and completely different from any other software we use, it crashes if you press undo too much, and is just generally glitchy. Some of it feels logical and it is really at its best when using a Cintiq screen but i eventually got the hang of it. After many rage-quits and table flips i finally got something looking half decent, i tried to mostly focus on how the tent would look from the angle you would see it in engine. So, whilst it didn't look right when looking straight at the walls it looked right from where the camera would sit.
I would of taken a better screen cap but zbrush would not co-operate with me 

Another plan this week was to experiment a little with material properties in unreal 4, as the tent material will be key to later lighting the object; as most of the light is coming from the exterior room.
So i did a little research and threw together a basic Albedo, roughness and Normal map and began experimenting with some of the material nodes in Unreal 4. I started by making the material a subsurface material, meaning light could pass through the object, the material started to better but it still wasn't quite what i had wanted. So i then tried turning the material emmisive which got rid of the horrible black shadows. I then tried combining the two and it was beginning to look quite a lot like the films tent, a little more work when it comes to the final textures and it should look good.

All that remains to be completed in the final week is the texturing of the tent, and also put everything in to engine. I say that like that's a small task, which it most definitely isn't but i'm still confident in my team getting everything finished by Monday next week so its ready to go in to engine. I do however fear that the lighting and angle is going to take some time to get right and i just hope we have budgeted enough time for the engine stuff. We also aim to make a physical model of the scene over the coming weekend which should be interesting as we can experiment a little with the lighting with that.

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