Author Topic: GDR02: "Red Eye"  (Read 9063 times)

Thought I'd give a minor progress update on good ol' Red eye. Things are coming along slow and steady, with the majority of the main shapes set into place. Now it's time to start bringing out the details, with more nuanced shapes and getting into making it all functional looking rather than just floating blocky bits.

And here are the latest pics:

Thought I'd take a little time to go into more detail about the way I have customized the multi-material blend node to suit my purposes. The default multi-material blend is quite powerful and customizable to cover the majority of use cases. It does, however, come with many generalized options that take up some processing time, something that my use-case is sensitive to (realtime texture generation within Unity3D). It's also not ideal for picking mask values for dozens of graphs and assets, as each color value needs to be picked manually using a color dropper. So I set out to build an alternate multi-material blend node for my purposes (a HUGE strength of Designer), and here's what I came up with:

Since I will be applying many individual materials to many parts of assets, I had to rethink the way material tagging and applying worked within Designer. What I came up with was to create a master catalog of the materials I intend to use, and to assign each one a unique color value within the 0-255 value spectrum in an image's greyscale range. This was done so that I could automate mask selection and make it consistent across all my assets. So now, whenever I set a specific vertex color value on a mesh, it will always get the same material assigned to it in Designer when I plug that material to the multi-material node. I also no longer need to use the color picker to get that value, as it is embedded as a unique color swatch within each base material

In removing many extraneous nodes for my workflow such as roughness/metallic/AO/Height related nodes (I am using gloss/spec color PBR), I was able to speed up the runtime calculations. I also removed the ability to increase/decrease the number of materials that can be blended, since the overhead for checking that stuff took some calculation time, and most of the time I end up using around 10 materials per graph anyways.

Another modification I made was use the masks the multi-material node creates in isolating each material and pass them along as outputs. This was done so that I can use those masks optionally for post-process effects that I want only applied to some materials and not others. It also means that I save some calculation time since I am applying the same set of effects to multiple materials instead of creating duplicates chained before going into the material blend.

One thing to note is that for this kind of workflow to work there needs to be some kind of smart mask value assigning workflow within your 3D package. Otherwise, it would be a tricky to manually select/paint values blindly, not knowing which values meant which materials later on (since they are similar greyscale values now, rather than much more distinct RGB colours).

Geez, looks like I ended up talking too much again... well I hope it was a useful read for someone.

Here's the latest WIP renders of some detailing I got goin' on:

Getting close to final geo now, i can taste it! A few standout incomplete bits remain, such as the lower legs, crotch, back area, and the missile arm. Should be wrapping up this all in the next 2 days, and then it's off to the texturing adventure. Also I included a look at the underpinnings of the beast, since he is being constructed with removable armor plating in mind. I am a little concerned that this may lead to a trickier time with UV scaling in order to pull enough detail out of it, but we'll cross that bridge when we get to it i guess.

SO here is my first pass on texturing up part of red eye, in this case the left arm. Most of the time was spent setting it all up (masks, normal mapping, base texture IDs etc), so I look forward to refining the substances further with better defined wear and hopefully some decaling in Painter. This is a 2k map being rendered in real time in Unity 4.5 with skyshop, using no prebaked maps other than a normal map.

Time for the 2nd pass arm substance network. This time around I have added in painted stripes, bumped paneling, some dusting on the claw and an attempt at puncture markings. Some further work will need to be done to bring some AO and edge scratching into the newly added panels so they fit the look of the rest of the armor, but I feel like it's slowly coming together. Also just general refinement will have to be done, but at least now I have a recipe I can take towards the rest of Red Eye. Have a look!

Just a quick update here on the progress towards the finish line. I've been messing around with Painter the last few days in preparation to use it for decalling and localized effects. Looks to be a wonderful application, and I'm excited to see how it can contribute to a production environment in the future. Unfortunately, I can't currently afford it and the trial doesn't allow map export, so I will focus my efforts in maximizing designer's formidable might for my contest entry.

Texture-wise, everything that you see from Red Eye is being fully generated on the fly using substances. That means, I have no pre-painted base coats or any textures made in another application beforehand. The only maps I use as inputs are masks, noise textures (rendered to a texture from substances, so to speed up generation times), normals, and material ID maps generated from the vertex colours of the mesh. Those maps are also possible to generate inside of designer, but since I want small substance sizes and it's being used in Unity, I can leverage that application's off screen rendering to generate them at runtime. So basically what I'm saying is, what you see is is almost 100% substance.

More to come soon I hope...

Here's a quick look at the latest version of my substance graph in designer. My appoligies for it being a little messy. I figure I'd get all the features in that I want first, and then optimise it later on if I ever get the chance before deadline. I plan to use it as a base for the rest of the body parts, which are getting close to the texture phase now as well. It's gonna be a barn-burner!

Phew, that was one hard deadline. Ended up getting everything all submitted past the midnight strike, but I hope that was okay, as I was having difficulty with attempts to compile the substance shaders. At any rate, it is all done, and I am quite happy with the results, albeit with the usual submitter's remorse. Obviously there are things I would love to still push further, and since everything came together really quick at the end I wish I had more time to massage the grapes so to speak. Hope you enjoy what I came up with!

Last Edit: July 19, 2014, 08:25:27 pm

Some more turnarounds of the final beauty shot set in Unity:

Space marine :- mega dreadnought!
Heh good job.

thanks, I hope to further develop this guy with some more advanced texturing in the future.

Here's a look at one of the final substance composited into one image with all the nested material graphs.

Just another quick posting here. I wanted to show/explain the customized nodes I made for this project. Here is the previously explained multi-material graphs used on Red Eye: