Sci-Fi Console

I created this  Sci-Fi Console recently for my personal portfolio for UE4. I baked the normal map from high poly using Substance Painter. I’m quite glad about how this turned out with PBR metal-rough workflow.

The model is also available now in Turbosquid.

Sci-Fi Console Game Model

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Unreal Engine Modular Sewer Tunnel

My modular Sewer Tunnel is now available in Turbosquid for Unreal Engine. The tunnel pieces snap seamlessly grid with tiling textures. It was quite fun to test this in the engine with automatic collision.

Lightmap UVs are set for each modular pieces, so there should be no shading issues even with lower values in Lightmap resolution settings. So many asset makers ignore this step resulting in poor lightmap UVs and unoptimized result. Lightmap UVs should be as continuous as possible and non-overlapping which may not be not what one wants to do with texture UVs.

I am thinking to expand this by making X section as well.

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Custom Alphas in ZBrush tutorial

Now that we are all hyped and excited about incoming ZBrush 4R8 and it’s 3D alphas (vector displacement), I wanted to take a look how we can take advantage of 2D alphas. This stuff is nothing new but I think it’s good to realize how we can create our own custom alphas and potentially save a lot of time when making high poly models.

What I wanted to point out in this video is that if main use of high poly model is to be baked down to low poly and normal maps, everything doesn’t actually have to be 3D. Normal maps won’t be able to capture overhangs anyway, so basic hight detail is enough, and can even help with AO baking.

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Marmoset toolbag 3 announced

Marmoset Toolbag 3 announced yesterday. I can’t say how thrilled I am about the new features.

Marmoset toolbag 3 announced

Marmoset toolbag 3 announced Check out the GDC Showcase

Marmoset Toolbag 2 has been my most used rendering app out there, hands down. I used it for so many different cases, whenever I needed to get my PBR model rendered for a client or preview it before throwing it to UE4. Having physically based materials on my fingertips and completely in real time has been a killer feature. Trying to render similar materials, especially reflection blurred metals in Lightwave has been a total pain with rather frustrating render times.  How often I have wished that I could render actual animations in Marmoset Toolbag?

Well, good news folks, Marmoset Toolbag 3 will have animation and global illumination support! OMG. No, really. OMG!

The ability to render more detailed animations in realtime is HUGE thing and something that will allow new level of detail and fidelity to our renders. Here is the insanely awesome GDC showcase https://vimeo.com/158273469 Wait are those particle effects?? Rigging?

About the release date of Marmoset Toolbag 3, it seems it will come next month.

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ZBrushCore vs 3D-Coat

Thanks for great comment Marco (mkdm).

I would like to share my point of view about this. Does release of ZBrushCore put 3D-Coat into a position where they have to perhaps lower their price point?

Well, I would argue that perhaps not. Core has severe limitations that make it almost completely unsuitable for game artist or anyone who want anything to do with textures. It doesn’t have texture support or UVs. No baking whatsoever, no mesh projection. None. The surface noise is a render effect.

3D-Coat can do PBR. There are no ZBrush that can do that at the moment. What you get with 3D-Coat is a complete tool for retopology and unwrapping and on top of that also PBR painting. 3D-Coat may not be as polished as some of the ZBrush counterparts are, but there are workarounds to those quirks for the most part.

And what comes to the near 100 dollar market, 3D-Coat already has Amateur version (which can’t be used for commercial use) but which is still way more capable than ZBrush Core.

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ZBrushCore in Pixologic

ZBrushCore and what we know now

Some details about ZBrushCore are out.

To me this looks kind of like ZBrush version for everyone. They said it was going to be streamlined and it sure seems that way. When I think about ZBrush 4R7  it sure has tons of systems in it and itself it could use some streamlining. It’s crazy, it has ZSketch Armatures, ZModeler, Dynamesh and Dynamic Subdivisional modelling engine, just to name a few features. You can do so much with it that it’s mind blowing, and the automatic retopology ZRemesher (post R6 versions) is crazy awesome good. But there are just so many different features that for a newcomer learning this program can be like uphill battle.

ZBrushCore in Pixologic Website.

ZBrushCore in http://www.pixologic.com

So  having more simple to use if less featured program for those who mainly work for 3D prints and such makes sense. And ZBrushCore has new features that the “full” ZBrush doesn’t have, such as one click optimisation for 3D printing and advanced export settings for 3D printing. If you only work for 3D print it doesn’t make much sense to have UV mapping tools I suppose. ZBrushCore still has basic 3D painting capabilities though and it can do basic BPR renders and Keyshot integration which is cool (but it lacks multi-pass export).

The other advanced features that are missing are mainly SSS, AO, and the like, ZSketch, ZModeler, Fibers and Shadowbox and others. The number of brushes is limited to 30 vs 300+ in the bigger brother. The full list of differences is in Pixologic site.

What is ZBrushCore really?

So what is ZBrushCore really? I would say it is entry level ZBrush optimised for serious sculptors who come from art school and want to get into sculpting anatomy and figures. This is great for that and costs about a hundred dollars. So I don’t know, why not I guess, although for game artist, the lack of re-topology and limited texture size would be problematic factors.

ZBrushCore now available for pre-order (discount for a limited time for a $119.95) 

Here’s a youtube video I made about this.

What are your thoughts? Please write to the comments below.

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