[Tutorial] Ultimate Hardsurface Tutorial: Turretgun

I`ve just released my latest tutorial and my biggest personal project so far – The Ultimate Hardsurface Tutorial for the Turretgun. I`ve been working on this for a LONG time – more then 9 months of my spare time and am so stoked that it is finally ready to be released!

This tutorial covers the entire creation process of this high quality, PBR game asset from the block out to the final mesh in over 40 hours of video. All of the important steps and most of the video is commented on, nothing is left out. In addition to modeling in 3dsmax you will learn how to use Modo`s meshfusion in combination with Zbrush to quickly create hardsurface shapes as well how to use Keyshot to create state of the art renderings of the final Highpoly mesh.

You can get it on gumroad or cubebrush. Use coupon code *Code: HS30OFF* to get 30% off for a limited time for the launch of the tutorial.

There are more images as well as a marmoset viewer file on my artstation

If you are interested, please check out the trailer for the tutorial here:











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[Tutorial] – Efficient Highpoly Modeling in Vertex 3 Magazine

Hey guys,

Vertex 3 has finally been released! You can download it here and check out all the awesome concent! Please check out my tutorial on page 198 as well! It`s over 20 pages and covers the process of creating the Protoss Cannon Fan art that you can find here.

A huge thank you to Ryan Hawkins for putting it all together and getting the book out. There is so much awesome information in there that you owe it to yourself to read it. And the best thing about it – It`s free!

[Substance Designer] – Creating Procedural Materials with Hugo Beyer

Hey guys,

I`m trying to learn substance designer lately and have found this awesome tutorial by Hugo Beyer. It is really in depth and gives you an overview on how to create a cobblestone texture. It`s a great tutorial and teaches you how to use the tool. There is a section at the beginning that explains the benefits of using procedurally generated textures as well.

Check out Hugo`s Artstation page for a lot of cool artwork from The Order 1886 and his vimeo channel for more tutorials.

[Tutorial] Using Zbrush, Dynamesh and PathDeform to carve out parts of your Highpoly mesh and add detail

Introduction

In this tutorial I am going to show you how to add detail to your highpoly meshes by carving out areas of the mesh and then adding a tiling piece of detail geometry into the carved out area. I will explain how to use Zbrush, dynamesh and the path deform modifier in 3d Studio max to achieve this. I will go through the following steps in this tutorial

  • Creating the highpoly-, detail- and carving objects
  • Using the Path Deform modifier to deform your geometry
  • Using Zbrush and Dynamesh to carve out an area of your highpoly mesh.
  • Troubleshooting and Tips and Tricks


Creating the highpoly-, detail- and carving objects

For this tutorial, I am going to keep the highpoly object fairly simple and just use a sphere. The detail object is a tiling piece of geometry that contains a frame, some lights and handles. The carving object matches the outline of the detail object so that we can use it to create a hole in the highpoly object and then put the detail object into that hole.

The carving object should match the outline of the detail object or be bigger. This is essential, otherwise the hole that we will carve out of the highpoly will not match the shape of our detail object. If you want the carved out area to be more interesting, feel free to add an extra extrusion to the carving object so that you get some extra detail, i.e. a bevel in the carved out area itself. If you look at the following gif, you can see that both objects match and our carving object has an extra bevel. Think of the carving object as a boolean operator that will be subtracted from the highpoly mesh.

Here is a closeup look on the extra bevel of the carving object


 Using the Path Deform modifier to deform your geometry

To be able to use the Path Deform modifier, we need to create a path first. The path will define the shape of your detail object on your highpoly object. For this tutorial, select the center edge ring of your sphere and click on Create Shape From Selection under Edit Edges in your Editable Poly modifier. Keep in mind that you can make this shape much more interesting by using the graphite modeling tools and manually drawing a spline on the surface or selecting a more interesting set of edges and using the Create Shape From Selection functionality on them.

Once the spline is created, combine your carving object and your detail object into one piece of geometry by attaching them together. The pivot point of the new object defines where the detail object will be applied to the spline. Since the spline of the sphere that we created earlier is resting right on the surface of your highpoly object, you can define which parts of your detail object will penetrate into the sphere by moving the pivot of your detailobject. The area of your detail object penetrating the surface of the sphere will be carved out of it later on.

Next we will create the Path Deform modifier and apply the detail object to the highpoly mesh. Make sure to reset xform on both the spline and the detail object first. Select the detail object next and go into the modifier tab and select Path Deform (WSM). Click on Pick Path and select the spline previously created. Once the object is attached, click on Move to Path first and set the Path Deform Axis to Y. Set the Percent Value under Parameters of your modifier to 50% to center the object on the spline and play with the Rotation Value to move the object into the correct position. For me a rotation of 90.0 is what i want. Using this modifier will make the detail object follow the shape of your highpoly object and place it on the surface.

Now that the Detail object is in the correct position, create a duplicate of it and collapse the modifier or use the Snapshot function of 3d Studio max to duplicate the geometry. Seperate your carving object from the detail object again by going into element mode and detaching the carving pieces. Export your highpoly mesh, your carving object and your detail mesh as seperate obj`s so that we can load them in Zbrush. Make sure to apply turbosmooth modifiers beforehand if needed.


 

Using Zbrush and dynamesh to carve out an area of your highpoly mesh.

Open Zbrush and select PolyMesh3D in the tools pallete. Click on Tool -> Import and select the highpoly sphere first. Next, click on PolyMesh3D again and import the carving object. Go back to your highpoly sphere object and add the Carving object as a subtool by clicking on Append and then selecting the carving object from the 3d Meshes list.

In the next step, we will merge the highpoly sphere with the carving object and then run dynamesh on it. To make Zbrush subract the carving object from your highpoly object when dynameshing, make sure to click the highlighted item in the following screenshot before merging down. With the Highpoly Sphere selected and the button activated, click on Merge Down under Merge in the SubTool Palette. Zbrush will warn you that this is not an undoable operation which is fine so just click OK to confirm.

To generate the new highpoly object with the carved out area, go to the Dynamesh Settings in the Geometry Tab. Make sure to set Resolution to 2048. With that value, click on Dynamesh and wait for Zbrush to calculate.

Once your new mesh has been generated, run the Polish feature with a value of 10 on your mesh to get rid of the jaggy edges. You can find the Polish function under the Deformation Tab

After this is done, you can already see that the edges are a bit cleaner. In order to further improve the quality of the edges run a ClayPolish with the default settings on the Geometry twice. You can find the ClayPolish feature in the Geometry under ClayPolish. This should improve the quality of the generated edges a lot.

After everything is done, you can import your detail geometry and append it to your newly generated geometry to see how everything looks. From this point forward, you can use the generated geometry to render your mesh or bake it down to a lowpoly mesh if you are creating a game asset. In the following image you can see a picture with the all objects attached and the sphere after the Polish and ClayPolish treatment.


 Troubleshooting and Tips and Tricks

 

  • If you create your objects for gameart, create the lowpoly object as well and attach it to your detail object before applying the path deform modifier. This will save you some time later on.
  • Make sure your detail object is subdivided evenly so that it can support the curvature of any highpoly object
  • Make sure to reset Xform on both the Spline and the detail object before using the Path Deform modifier
  • Think about working with these detail objects like you would with floaters – Create a library and share them in between projects
  • If you want cleaner bevels or more control over the look on the edges of your highpoly objects, consider using meshfusion in modo to carve the holes into your highpoly object
  • Remember that you can mask your object in Zbrush before running Polish and ClayPolish in order to affect only the carved area when using those features to preserve the look of the rest of your highpoly mesh.
  • Download the 3d Studio Max demo file here or get the Zbrush file here (Decimated sphere due to filesize reasons)

[Tutorial] Adding detail to your Highpoly Objects using the Slideknit Script

Introduction

This tutorial will give you an in depth overview on how to use the Slideknit Script to add detail to any Highpoly Mesh using UV`s and the Morpher and SkinWrap modifiers in 3d Studio Max. I will show you how to create UV`s for your highpoly object, turn them into flat geometry, model on top of the UV`s and then morph them back to their original shape deforming whatever is modeled on top of it. I will go through the following steps for this tutorial

  • Script installation
  • Creating  target highpoly geometry and  tiling detail geometry
  • Identifying a target area of the highpoly object for the detail geometry to be applied to and creating a straight, rectangular shaped UV Layout of it
  • Converting the UV Layout into geometry using the slideknit script
  • Linking the detail geometry to the UV Geometry using a Skinwrap Modifier
  • Morphing the detail geometry to the highpoly target surface
  • Troubleshooting and Tips and Tricks


Script installation

First of all, you need to download the slideknit script here. I could not find a working download link on the internet anymore so I uploaded it onto my webspace. I am not the author of the script, it was created by slidelondon.com so I wanted to say thank you for doing so first – It is a great script and will save you a lot of time.

After you download the script, go into your 3d Studio Max Installation directory and look for a folder called MacroScripts in your UI_In folder. The script needs to go in here. For my installation of 3DStudio Max the path would be C:\Program Files\Autodesk\3ds Max 2013\UI_ln\MacroScripts\SlideTools-SlideKnit.mcr

After you install the script, you need to restart 3d Studio Max or run the script first by selecting MaxScript -> Run Script -> SlideTools-SlideKnit.mcr.If everything worked correctly, the script will appear in your Customize User Interface Window

If you want to create a button for the script go to the Toolbars Tab in your Customize User Interface menu, select the slideknit action and drag and drop it onto any of your toolbars.


Creating  target highpoly geometry and  tiling detail geometry

To start this tutorial, you need to create the highpoly target geometry, a detail geometry piece and have the slideknit script installed as previously explained.


 Identifying a target area of the highpoly object for the detail geometry to be applied to and creating a straight, rectangular shaped UV Layout of it

I want to apply my detail geometry to the selected inner area of my mesh. In order to do this, I need to create UV`s for this area so that I can convert them to geometry using the slideknit script.

Select the area you want to unwrap and apply an Unwrap UVW modifier to it. To get a rectangular shaped layout, use the ‘Unfold Strip from Loop’ functionality with having the loop in the middle of your strip selected.

After using this feature, make sure to check the VW channel by switching to it in the upper right corner of your Edit UV`s window. Usually ‘Unfold Strip from Loop’ will create non flat uv`s in the VW channel so switch to it by clicking and holding the UV button and then selcting the VW channel. Flatten the geometry in that channel otherwise the slideknit script will create non flat geometry.

Switch back to UV mode and arrange your UV`s in the 0-1 area using the Pack UV`s feature or manually move / scale them.


Converting the UV Layout into geometry using the slideknit script

After you have created the UV`s for the target area, turbosmooth your mesh and create a copy of the target area in the final resolution of your mesh. You need to use a smoothed version of the target area because this will be the shape that we want the detail geometry to morph onto – not the unsmoothed control cage. With the copy selected run the slideknit script with its default settings. This will create a new piece of geometry with a morhper modifier on top of it. When running the slideknit script, make sure UV channel is set to channel 1 and UV Scale is set to 100. if the difference in scale between your morpher geometry and your target geometry is too big, try to play with the UV scale value until you have a mesh that has roughly the same scale.


 Linking the detail geometry to the UV Geometry using a Skinwrap Modifier

Move your detail geometry on top of your morpher geometry and match the outline of the shape using the scale tool and FFD modifiers. Make sure the distance in between the pieces is as small as possible to prevent any errors.

Once your detail geometry is in the right location add a SkinWrap modifier. Under parameters, click on Add and select the morpher geometry. Make sure to set the Deformation Engine to Face Deformation and the Falloff to 0.001. Depending on the Scale of your objects, you might have to play around with the Threshold value. The bigger your objects are, the bigger the Threshold value needs to be for the skinwrap modifier to catch all of the vertices.


 Morphing the detail geometry to the highpoly target surface

Once the Skinwrap modifier is done calculating, select your morpher geometry and morph it back to its original shape by setting the target spinner to 100%. This will deform both your morpher geometry and your detail geometry.

In order to work with the now deformed detail geometry, you need to copy it using the snapshot function. If you would just create a normal copy of the mesh, it will revert back to its original shape. Select the deformed detail geometry and go to Tools->Snapshot. Make sure it is set to Snapshot -> Single and Clone Method -> Mesh. Clicking OK will create a copy of your detail geometry that you can now work with.

All you need to do now is align the detail geometry back to your original Highpoly Mesh.


Troubleshooting and Tips and Tricks

  • Whenever you use the slideknit script or the skinwrap modifier, make sure your transformations are reset on all of those objects by using the Reset Xform modifier in the Utilities tab
  • Make sure that your UV Geometry is flat in the VW channel before running the slideknit script. Use the vertical scale tool to flatten UV`s in that channel
  • Try to keep the difference in scale between your UV morpher geometry and your target surface as small as possible by using the UV scale function in the slideknit script
  • Make sure that your detail geometry is tesselated densly enough to support the deformation on your target surface, especially when working with steep angles. Sometimes applying one turbosmooth modifier before applying the skinwrap modifier will give your detail geometry enough tesselation to support your target shape
  • Think about working with detail geometry in the same way as working with floaters. Create a library of detail geometry pieces and share them between your models to quickly add detail and play with differnt looks.
  • Download a demo scene with the described technique here