Saturday, May 18, 2019

Dungeon Defenders Goblin Fanart

Chromatic games released some really cool concept art for their new game Dungeon Defenders Awakened, and I felt inspired to create something based off it! Back when Dungeon Defenders came on the scene, we didn't have the Substance Suite, Marmoset, or Blender 2.8, so I used all of those to try and match the style of the game they're making in Unreal 4 now, and it's been fun. I tweaked some of the concept to make him a little more aggressive, while also keeping with the goofy/whimsical style of Dungeon Defenders, and I gave him a shattered shield he stole off some poor defender and made into his own! You can see their Kickstarter here: Blender 2.8 was used for the modeling, Zbrush was used for most of the sculpting, and Substance painter was used for the texturing.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Ragnarok Argus

Ragnarok Argus is the first project where I spent most my modeling and sculpting time in Blender 2.8. I wanted to see if I could take 2.8's strength and use them to create this project faster, and more easily, and I feel like I did.

The main strengths of the software for me, are that you can use regular modeling tools rapidly in your sculpting workflow, a heavily customizable UI which allowed me to sculpt faster than I could in Zbrush, by keeping all my shortcuts and hand movements to one side of the keyboard. And then there's also Grease Pencil.

All of the rocks for Argus were handplaced and sculpted, and Grease pencil allowed me to sketch out their placement and their flow lines in 3d. I could solve shape problems and line directions on the model without having to refer back and forth between what I was sculpting, and a 2d reference image. Where I needed to have a lot iteration to get Volcanic Hebo to his final model, for Ragnarok Argus I drew the flow lines for the stone that I wanted, pushed the general shapes into place, and then tidied up the general form.

The final polish pass for the sculpt I did in Zbrush, as Blender can't currently push the amount of polygons, but that limit allowed me to have finalized proportions that only took half a day to refine.

Because there are very few soft deforming areas on Argus, I saved a lot of time creating my lowpoly by decimating the the Head, Upper Arms, Pauldrons, Forearms, Bracers, and Thighs in Zbrush. The rest of my retopology was done in Blender.
I saved another large chunk of time in UVing over 3dsmax, due to the way Blender allows you to quickly select edges and apply seams. And by using UV Packmaster, which autoplaced and rotated my UV shells to maximize space, based on the relative size of each chunk. Thanks to Blender, UV'ing took a little under a day's worth of work for a really complex character.

On this project I also learned a little python scripting in Blender, which was enough to write my own PIE menu shortcuts so that I had all of my most used modeling functions a tap and swipe away, instead of hitting a shortcut key and spending time moving my hand across the keyboard.

For texturing, I used Substance Painter. Recent releases have sped up the viewport performance so much that mixing procedural textures with handpainting is fast and efficient, and allows for me to make iterative changes from feedback,  without having to spend time entirely repainting parts of the texture.