Author Topic: mk3n-TTAI "Chicken Hawk"  (Read 4711 times)

Basic concept was to do a mech.  I have never done one before since I stick primarily to environment work.  Below is the concept I pulled from the net.  I didn't create any of them so for all of those artist that inspired me thank you.  At first i was going to do a little bit of kit bashing but got constrained on time so I ended up building mainly the center image.  Henry the chicken hawk is on there since a friend of mine mentioned how the over all mech was really wide at the top and felt very narrow at the bottom just like Henry.

I am also attaching the final Zbrush sculpt, beauty pass, and texture sheets.  In the beauty pass you will find the short description of the mech. 

Good luck all

-- edit --
I realized I up .tga's for the texture previews so here are some .jpg's for easier online viewing.
Last Edit: July 19, 2014, 10:39:16 pm

I took some time to comp all the graphs together as a macro view.  Hopefully, it is annotated enough. 
Last Edit: July 24, 2014, 11:27:01 pm

The graph schema is really cool to look at! It must have taken you lots of compositing time! The Titan is cool too!

Hey! Let's animate this forum again! We're all holding breath until 28th and the forum looks like it's dead!

Awesome titan, Eli Tuttle! I like the layout of the script, the result looks pretty cool.

@uuderzo: I can't wait to see the results as well :) definitely cool seeing everyone's titan.
Anthony Garcellano | Environment Artist

Great substance work, nice to see more entrants focus on what we're supposed to be doing in the first place. Also, being a fellow mech entrant I can appreciate the extra work gone into immitating hard surface materials. Good luck!

@all -  I am glad you three like the final result.  When I started I tried to think of it as a real productions.  In the past I have used ddo it was great for a personal project and I loved being able to select masks in it an paint right in Photoshop to remove seams but just doesn't feel as robust now.  Being able to build a base material and then in another graph modify that, combine it in still another was great.  At work I am trying to figure out ways to start integrating it into our pipeline too. 

I didn't get as far along with the project as I would have liked.  My plan was to add functions to the camo graph and the decals graphs.  The intention was to allow for quickly changing between 3 different camo patterns (multi-cam, tiger strip, and digi-cam) or a flat base color.  Additionally, I had planned to make inputs to change the 4 different color regions on the camo.  Unfortunately, I didn't have enough time to figure out how to use functions robustly during the competitions.  I did make 2 graph's that would take decal inputs and modify/apply them across the 4 channels but only got to implement 1 fully; the kill count on the leg and unit number.  There are other decals that can be seen from different views, but when time was winding down I jump to photoshop to add them since it was faster.  The decals and some minimal hand painted highlights, painted AO, combining of exported maps from Substance, and the base camo patters is pretty much all the photoshop I did.

I had some issues when making the final image at 4k.  I will post about what was happening and my solutions later though... need to probably mention it in the bug/tech section or some other place for the developers.

@uuderzo - the comp time wasn't to much.  Just had to do a bunch of screen grabs then move stuff around.  At first I was going to try and get it to show what types of nodes they were, but I quickly figured out that was going to take to much time and would have been a huge image. 

@aphex_guy - I have only come across a few other mech entries and one was yours.  It really reminds me of Battletech and its new incarnation in MWO/Mechwarrior Tactic.  The Did you pull inspiration from a that universe?

The inspiration was a cross between a low tech universe such as Alien and yeah, the battletech univers. The main difference is that I wanted to get away from sleek and go for bulky/grimey. My mech will most likely eventually be integrated into my upcoming indie game, so I used it as sort of practice for that.

Just wanted to mention that for things like camo, you can even just generate that stuff generatively with the built-in fractals in designer. The great thing there is it will always be 100% unique everywhere and you can even change the seed to randomize it further. For me however, because my mech's texture work is being generated and rendered realtime inside of Unity I baked off some generative noises into a static image for faster processing on load.

Another thing you could try for camo is just use a very small image (like 256x256) as an input to an FX-Map that then splatters a whole array of them as patterns to form a larger camo texture. That way it's pretty quick, and you can have greater control over how the pattern is put together instead of completely random. Really, there are almost endless possible approaches you can take, which is one of the great strengths of Designer.

@Eli Tuttle: Your graph compositing work is inspiring! Now i want to find time for something similar.

i think I'll endeavor to try and post as detailed a graph as you have, since I have a similar setup. That way we can compare homework.

@ uuderzo - Thanks.  I actually didn't realize how big it was until i comp'ed it together like that. It seems really easy to get a lengthy/involved graph once you start nesting them.  I am sure mine could use some retooling and to decrease the generation time. I also should have just made a resource graph with multiple outputs.  That way I wouldn't have had to keep building it in each one.  Live and learn.

@ aphex_guy - Please post and link your graphs I would be curious to see them.  If you want more detailed images let me know.

Have you looked at the "Dark Ages" of Battletech?  Wizkids started that when they got right/ownership of franchise elements.  They started experimenting more with Agromechs as combat mechs.  You might find some cool inspiration elements.  It would also have more of that Alien(s) industrial feel too.

I hadn't though of a fractal node since I wanted to have a designed pattern.  It also let me color the different areas and quickly mask them out.  With fractals I would assume I would need to use a few different ones with some levels, different parameters/tillings, then mask out areas, followed by colorizing.  Could be interesting and give a lot of very organic variation though. 

I used a 1k map with RGB and Black values that made the camo pattern.  Then masked each out those out, used a blend with that mask applied, and added the color node.  The pattern was then tiled with a transform 2D, which could also conceivable be built as a function, and because of the uv's I get plenty of patterning.  To my eye it worked similar to when you have a camo pattern applied to multiple attached MOLE pieces that are then attached to a harness or something.  Its all the same patter but different section overlapping which gives it even more variation.  I also was thinking of it as the fictitious production where in the future there might be a DLC pack to get more camo. So being able to swap out a single map a user bought would be a big advantage.  Especially, if the "game" was a FTP model where you need to up sell look dev elements like that.

I didn't know the FX-map could do things like that.  I looked at it briefly but had no clue what it did so I haven't played with it much.  In the above example I did consider using a 512 or 256 but went with the 1k because I noticed some blurring on my masks

Like you said their are plenty of ways to make camo patterns each with a strength and weakness too. 

Your approach is certainly very valid, and that is the nice thing, there are so many ways to skin the cat so to speak. From my perspective, I am being very cognizant of randomization and customization because eventually I will use assets like this mech for a video game. Like you mention, my eventual intent is to provide alternative patterns and options to the player, and I think the power of being able to let the player feed their mech with parameters is great for that. Imagine having a sort of paint-shop where you can take the mech and spray any desired paint job on it and have that update realtime. That's the kind of power doing it procedurally allows for.

The FX map stuff is SUPER powerful, I highly suggest looking into it, as it's sort of a hybrid between noise maps and explicit textures. Basically it lets you splatter patterns of your chosing (textures or shapes) at however density and shape you want them. It can be a row of neatly spaced patterns, random, or a little bit of both. Definitely worth playing around with.