|Basically when texturing, I divide the mesh up by material. That means that each material shares a unique texture sheet with very few exceptions. Every piece of mesh needs to be UVedited to achieve this. I find the use of pelt mapping very convenient for complex shapes like these. After the UVediting, I usually render a template of the UV (after subdividing the mesh at Step One) so that I have a base to paint over the diffuse texture.|
The diffuse texture is a mix of photorealistic metal textures and painted rust/dirt. I used a free brushes collection made by and courtesy of Andreas Byström.
These brushes are simply great to create variations of dirt and rust, and having the UV template in an underlying layer helps me to place the dirt, scratches, decals and everything else exactly where I want it.
|The material used to create the light blue heavy armor is similar in many ways to the leather under suit and some other chrome parts. Basically it’s a Max Blend material. The idea behind is to blend two different materials with the same diffuse map but different specular properties. This gives the appearance that the scratched areas of the armor has a shiny metal underneath.|
A totally different material can be chosen to share a different metal diffuse map as the underlying metal, but in this case I was comfortable enough with the same diffuse texture. To blend the two different specular materials, I used a grey scale mask where the darkest parts would have shown the metal material underneath.
Here again to paint the mask, I used some custom jagged brushes to get a natural feeling of random scratches. Specular maps are derived from the diffuse map. I usually put a Hue/Saturation regulation level on top of the diffuse map, bringing the Saturation slide to zero so that the picture results in gray scale. At this point, I put another Brightness/Contrast regulation level on top to regulate the intensity of the specular parts.
Having both regulation levels in a folder and saving the .psd document, allows me to quickly change parameters for fine-tuning of the specular. It’s also possible to drag/copy this specular folder on top of a different diffuse map, so maintaining the same specular values.
|The leather material is just a simple Max material with quite a high specularity.
Cables are chromed material reflecting a HDRI map and glows are just self-illuminated standard materials. The render is done in Brazil with a simple spot light and a very low intensity global illumination.|
« Some sample materials
|Already having a monster model I did some time back for the game itself, the intention was to put both the Hunter and the monster (Karnagor) into a nice composition showing both of them in a sort of relationship, moreover everything should have some hints that the scene was in London. The monster model was made in subdivision and most of his detail is by normal mapping (sculpting done in ZBrush).|
I asked to an artist friend of mine; Antonio Mossucca 3d50antonio.com if he was interested in helping me with the composition. I briefly explained to him what I wanted to achieve and he came out with these nice sketches, which are pretty close in terms of composition to the final picture.
The only element I was missing was the Big Ben model, so I decided to make a quite low poly version as it was supposed to be a background element. I was missing also a sort of weapon and a ground terrain. For the weapon I wanted something used by snipers with a scope, not really futuristic. I preferred something adapted roughly to be used as a flamethrower.
So when all the desired elements were textured and put into the scene, it was time for lighting and rendering! Let’s say up front, I wasn’t after anything photorealistic, but giving instead a painterly feel. To achieve this, especially when dealing with 3D images the post process done in a 2D application is crucial.
It’s often a waste of time to spend in realistic and complicated shaders. Most of their properties will be washed out during the post process work, so it’s better to be plain with materials and lighting.
The basic lighting setup consists of a main spot light (better with no color), a back omni light, and a few omni lights for the glowing parts here and there. I didn’t use any global illumination, just a plain Scanline render because another pass of ambient occlusion will be composited later. Then it’s time for heavy post processing!