13 December 2020

Modelling and Texturing a Blow Torch prop – Stuti Verma

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INTRODUCTION

Hi, my name is Stuti Verma and I am a 3D artist from Gurgaon, India. I have recently finished my course in Game Asset Design from Frameboxx Institute Jaipur after completing my graduation in B.sc Animation and Multimedia.

ABOUT THIS PROJECT

The main purpose of doing this asset was to practice different materials along with sculpting. So, my teacher assigned me this project and my next step was to collect references as many as I can for modelling as well as for texturing. I mainly use PureRef for collecting all the reference images.

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The steps I went through while working on this asset are Blockout, Sculpting, building the Low Poly, UV/Baking, Texturing and Rendering.

BLOCKOUT/MODELLING

Blockout is a important stage in the process as it ia mainly useful for proportions. I modelled blockout to get a rough estimate of its proportions in Maya.
Afer the blockout process in the same software, I made the final shapes of the asset keeping in mind the poly density.

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The next step after creating the mid poly is to move towards high poly and sculpting.

SCULPTING

I mainly use Zbrush for sculpting assets. While doing Zbrush, I keep in mind the prop’s texture and surface. Having a well thought out plan for the sculpt as to what details are needed for sculpt helps one figure out what details you can add in at the texturing stage.
As per the project requirement, I prefer doing surface details in texture and rest details and damages in Zbrush sculpt. It automatically gives your asset an organic and more realistic feel!
In this project I decided to add damages and welding details of metal in sculpt.

My Final sculpt looked as the following image-

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LOW POLY

Lowpoly is one the important part because this will be the mesh which will go in the engine. Silhouette is one of the most important parts of this.
Immediately, after the sculpting process, the next step is to create a low poly for the baking of the details. As this was my portfolio asset I did not have any tri count limit for this although I kept minimum tris as I could. And along with low poly I unwrapped it in 2k texture map size.
Try to merge different parts of low poly in a single mesh to get more high-quality pixel density.

UV- To create good UVs is very important as this part connects your low poly with the texture. Also, this part will decide the texture density or quality of the final texture.

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Low_poly around 8k tris with UV layout

Knowing your final texture resolution and where you can save on texture space is important, but since this was a personal project it wasn’t such a huge consideration.

BAKING
The next step is to bake the details. This is where the clean UV unwrap plays a vital role for crisp bake. The more clean the bake is, the more good texture quality is expected. I used xNormal for baking.

This is what the normal map and final baked blow torch looked like:

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TEXTURING

Texturing is the part to which I wait for! As far as my learning, I think for becoming a good texture artist, one needs to be a good observant to objects and materials around you. This helps to create more realistic assets. For instance I divided my base materials of wood, brass, copper, and beated metal as making good base materials covers around 60% of the texture procedure. I generally approach texturing by building a material in layers, starting with base values.
I usually divide my texturing process in two parts first is to create materials and second, its treatments.

I used substance painter for texturing this asset along with Quixel Suite for creating masks.

It is good if In Marmoset, you can check your texture with the final output software with its default basic lighting setup if you have one. You need to do this process, double check your texture in Marmoset whenever you do any big changes in Painter with your texture.

RENDERING

The last and final step is the rendering process. It is the most important part as this step gives you the final outlook of the asset. I use Marmoset Toolbag for rendering. It’s light, intuitive and generates some great results without having to worry too much with settings and focus on lightings.

In this asset I used 4 point light-setup.

One needs to be very flexible with the lighting system to what suits your asset requirement. Accordingly you can apply key, fill and back lights.
The following images are the final renders and the final look of this blow torch.

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​Hopefully, I’ve managed to give a clear outline of my processes here and how I went about creating this asset. Thanks for reading my article and I hope this helps other people to make some cool stuff!

Special thanks to Games artist team for this amazing opportunity.

You can check my other artwork at:

https://www.artstation.com/stuti19