Hummer H1 Humvee

Prop Breakdown

Piotr Jaros

Humvee_THUMBNAIL_1
233

Piotr Jaros

Environment Artist

Introduction

Hello, my name is Piotr Jaros. I started my 3D journey at the beginning of 2020, and at the end of 2020, I found my first and current job in Gamedev.

Graphics have always been part of my life, starting with drawing graffiti on a school desk or notebook, making logos and photo manipulations to creating games!
Maybe that's why I'd rather watch movies instead of reading books.

Ideas & Goals

Why Humvee? I didn’t even know that it’s called a humvee; I just typed “military hummer” in Google. But before I looked for the hummer on the internet, I had watched a movie called “Monster Hunter”.

At the beginning of the film, a few characters are driving a car, and yes, it’s a Humvee. When I saw it, I just ended up watching the movie and started gathering information and photos of the Hummer.

Why Unreal Engine? I learned a lot about Unreal in my current job, but I realized I still know nothing and need to learn more and more, so yeah, it’s the main reason why I chose Unreal.

References

As always, I use Google Images to get the references I need. I usually gather some core photos of a prop at the beginning. In this case, it was a vehicle, so first of all, I looked for a blueprint of the vehicle.

I found the blueprint, but it wasn’t the same shape as I needed, so I used it for main shapes like the hood of the vehicle, scale, etc.
Don’t be afraid if your edges are not perfectly curved; perfection doesn’t exist in real life.

I’m searching for new references during the project creation. All of my PureRef files look so messy; I can easily read them, but for someone else, it’s like a labyrinth.

PureRef_01

Design

I chose an armored version of the Humvee because it looks more powerful and dangerous than a casual one. I didn’t know if I wanted a turret on it or just a simple roof, but finally, I added the turret to get more details in my model.

The same problem was with the front bumper, and I’m glad that I added these things.

MainIdea_01

Storytelling

After a couple of hours of work, an idea came to my head, and I decided to put the vehicle on a rocky desert road around the mountains.

As you can see, there is a fox painted on the doors of the Hummer, and it’s not my idea; it’s my girlfriend’s, but I liked it.

The numbers on the hood from the left are “96 7/11,” which means my date of birth, November 7, 1996, “J4R05,” which means my surname, and “PL,” which means my country, Poland.

Blockout

When the modeling time came, first of all, I had to properly set up the blueprint image. I usually don’t cut the blueprint image, but it definitely should help to keep everything clean.

Blueprint_01

Then I started to create simple shapes to feel the scale of the vehicle. It’s a tricky part and can take a lot of time, but it’ll give you much comfort later.

You shouldn’t put any details during the blockout; just focus on the overall look of your prop. Sometimes I even squint my eyes, but I don’t know anyone who does likewise.

Humvee_Blockout_01

Modelling

In the beginning, I wanted to create a highly detailed vehicle with high-resolution textures. I knew that in this project, I wouldn’t count triangles; I just didn’t care about polycount and texture quantity.

As I ended up my block out, I was focused on large surfaces like the hood, but without any booleans, I didn’t add many details to it. Tried to keep my model non-destructive as much as possible.

Then started to add medium details and small ones at the end. If things like screws, etc., are not different, I keep the same object data; it’s helpful later. At every step of modeling, I’m focused on the scale of things and how it fits. When I was happy with the results of the upper body, I started modeling the chassis.

As I knew these parts would be hidden and hard to see, so I decided to give less attention to it than I gave to the upper body. If it comes to things like an engine or a suspension, I want to keep it simple and simultaneously complicated to a viewer.

If you’d like to model a detailed suspension or an engine, it could take an eternity to end it. Between modeling the upper body and the chassis, I created the final model of a wheel.

It was a good time to take a break from modeling the vehicle and do something different. The tread of the tire was simply made from a pattern photo I found on the internet and added an array modifier to it then bent with a simple deform modifier.

When the tire was ready, I modeled the rest of the wheel. I also created all of the writings in Photoshop and saved them as SVG to create geometry from it.

As the SVG image was imported into Blender, I had to make the mesh clean for beveling, so I used an addon called “QuadRemesher”; it’s a good addon if you don’t want to waste your time with messy things like this.

After that, I ended the suspension, and I was almost there, but then I had to add the turret and the bumper I mentioned earlier. I didn’t decide to model an interior of the vehicle; an exterior was enough for me.

UVs

Okay, I finally got the model I wanted; let’s unwrap all the large surfaces and small details, but first make a coffee. UV unwrapping is boring if it takes more than 5 minutes, and it took, of course.

I’m using three add-ons for unwrapping: texel density, UVpackmaster, and UV toolkit. These make it super fast and easy; UVpackmaster 3 has an option that divides your shells into UDIMs, and this feature was a game changer.

Even with these helpful tools, there were a lot of parts of the vehicle to unwrap, and I think I’d not do it without those add-ons; I love the creators.

Texturing

The UVs are already unwrapped; beautiful feeling, and it’s time to texture the model. I put my model into Substance Painter and baked high poly as low poly because I didn’t work with low and high poly as I mentioned at the beginning. Then I started setting up basic color variations, etc.

For color variation, I like to play with noise texture and gradient filters.

I try to match my textures as well as possible with the references, so my tip: take care of every stain, leak, etc., and keep your textures unique; mask generators are fine, but without your invention, texture will never stand out.

It’s also important to take care of roughness by checking in the Roughness pass tab or moving your HDRI around. Shiny things are eye-catching.

As you know I decided to combine everything in Unreal Engine so I had to reimport many times till my textures were looking good in Unreal because each render engine will show you a slightly different effect.

I created another substance file with the front reflectors where I was working on a translucent shader; it helped me visualize how my reflectors were going to look.

Environment

I didn’t want to end my project with only a simple studio background. I found some photos of the USA deserts and tried to create them in Unreal. To achieve it, I used assets from Quixel Megascans and blended them with the scene. Simply took a few stones and trees, moved them, scaled them, rotated them, etc.

For the far background, I created a mountain in Gaea and exported it to Unreal and did the same things as with stones and trees.

For vegetation, I used a new feature called “PCG”; instead of PCG, I could use the foliage tool for a kind of small scene, but as PCG is a new tool, I decided to learn something about it.

As you know not every asset fits to another, so I had to make a color correction to get a realistic look. I used HDRI background to light the scene with only the HDRI image, and I also put directional light and matched it with the HDRI sun position.

From this angle, it’s not looking good.

Humvee_Environment_01

Final Pass

Yeah, I’m finally here; let’s put my raw renders into Photoshop. In Photoshop, I was mainly playing with the Camera Raw filter which pushed my render images to another level.

Color correction is powerful and can improve your work.

Conclusion

During the project, I learned a lot of new things which I had to search for information about and improve myself in different ways. It’s always good to do something yourself and reveal new areas of expertise.

It was the biggest of my personal projects, and I’m very happy with the results.

I’ve got a lot of nice comments on the internet and also in real life that put a smile on my face and motivated me even more to work!