Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Zbrush Skulls

Here so far I have the Australopithecus afarensis, Homo habilis and Homo ergaster modelled in Zbrush, soon to be taken into xnormal with the low poly models for n baking and texture making. Hopefully by the end of the week I can have these skulls done and I can move on to more assets.

Friday, 24 February 2012


Here I've made low poly skulls for the museum, which will most likely be used more than once. All of which are unwrapped and ready to go into UDK.

Over the next couple of days I'll be taking these into Z-brush to bake out the appropriate maps. 

At the moment, the Homo Neanderthalensis Skull is missing, but that will be added when I come to construct the full Neanderthal skeleton.

I intend to have a table much like the one below where all the skulls can be seen, but not behind glass. Where someone visiting the exhibition would be able to handle one of the replicas. 

Thursday, 23 February 2012

lights n glass

First up here I've added my busts to the scene to get an idea of how they currently light in the scenes,

From there I textured the lights, and tweeked the emissive settings to illuminate the scene. I then added a simple glass texture to a static box primative and placed it in position over the display cases, which gave me a much better idea of how the scene is actually going to look.

indeed my focus needs to be populating the whole scene before I move on to texturing.

Texture compromise

As you can see, just to give my level a little more colour for the moment, I've textured a few of my infomation boards which has all been easy and simple. However, slight problem. Turns out they take up a massive amount of texture space. In order for each board to actually be legable in game, they need to use a full 1024 texture sheet. otherwise it just goes too pixelated. So far i've added almost half of my infomation boards but this takes up 1/3 of my total budget already. So I had a choice to make, either reduce the texture size and compromise the quality, or reduce the number of boards around the museum. I'm going for the latter. Instead I'll fill out the space where they would be with paintings which can be far lower quality as there is no text to read.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

more bits.

So here the two versions of the homo_neanderthalensis bust have finished base meshes (appart from the ears on the first one, but they've been added now), which concludes my busts. However, most of them still need to be unwrapped and the neanderthalensis busts need to be zculpted still.

                                                                         1911 bust

                                                                         New Bust

With the wall arches, they're beyond repair, so i'm gonna have to redo  them. As for the archwars are the doors, I've modelled those, unwrapped them and applied them to the scene. For the next week, I'll be working on assets to do with the environment.

Monday, 20 February 2012

A little more

In working on the environment between bust production, I've started working on getting the older architecture aesthetic for the central room, which is based off some of the designs I saw in the natural history museum in London. More details will be added on these in my next blog. I've had an accident with corrupted files on the arches so I have to redo them.

Back onto the subject of busts, here is the start of the base mesh for the Neanderthalensis busts.

For this section, I stopped here because this mesh will be used for both versions of the Neanderthalensis bust.  So far I've worked in the details which both versions of the bust will have most in common. The eyes, jaw line, ears, neck and shoulders will bear the biggest differences, so I will duplicate this head and go from there.

Thursday, 16 February 2012

bust and level so far.

Next up the Homo Heidelbergensis bust...

So I'm definitley getting quicker at doing these busts, It only took a couple of hours to get this bust done (base still needs to be added), hopefully it'll rub off for when I make a full neanderthalensis character.

The Z-brush sculpt was also done the same day as the base mesh in max. Hopefully once the base mesh is unwrapped it'll bake down nicely.

Since I've been speeding up with my character modelling I've been using the extra time to  add my assets to my museum and edit the few textures I already had in the scene. Here's a couple of screen shots of what things lok like so far. On the static meshes is a solid white texture but the BSP that makes the walls and floor  have tilable textures, with normal and specular maps on.

As I finish more assets I'll add the to the level.

Monday, 13 February 2012

Assets continued

First off, since deciding to model my busts without hair, I've redone my base mesh for the homo ergaster bust, taken it into zbrush and done the high poly sculpt. However, the low poly model does still need to be unwrapped for baking, out the maps.

I've also finished the low poly model for the Homo habilis bust, which I should be able to take into zbrush and have finished for tomorrow to move onto the Homo heidelbergensis bust. Hopefully, by the end of the week I will have all my busts done and be able to start the Homo neanderthalensis full character.

As a break between sessions of modelling the busts, I've been working on assets within the museum, like the display cases, infomation boards and other assets that will be repeated. All of which are unwrapped and have collision meshes so are ready to be exported into UDK.

Friday, 10 February 2012


So here I started to create another busy, this time for a homo ergaster. When I came to taking it into z-brush however, I quickly realised that it was going to be very difficult in developing a particular hair style that I could use that would be consistent, and it would be a waist of time trying develop a way that would make them all have hair that looked asif it was sculpted, from stone or mayble, and not an attempt to recreate real hair in a 3D program. Further, there is no real accurate or innacurate way to depict hair since it doesn't fossilise, so instead, like actual museums, what I will do is model this skulpture, and the rest, without hair. For the australopithecus afarensis I will return to that later depending on the time I have left after constructing my other assets.

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Asset creation 1

So I've began my asset creation. Counting all my assets, it came to over 50 assets that I needed to have finished, and I ideally would like to have all my assets at least modelled by the end of February, which works out at nearlly 2 assets a day. and considering that half my models need zbrush work and baking time, which adds a couple of days to the simplest of models, there is no way that I can get them all done. My priority will be the assets for the main rooms which brings my assets down to 33 assets, which works out to just over one a day. My biggest concern is the busts and character models, but hopefully, if i just work my way through, I can get them all done.

The first assets on my list (going through in alphabetical order) was to remodel my 2sided infomation frame.  

Next up was my bust of an australopithecus. To do this I used a combination of skull references and concepts, getting the general shape and then working in the topology. Getting the topology of a human head on what looks almost like a chimp, was kinda odd, but I think I did a good job.

I then took it into Zbrush straight away to start working on the model. The biggest problem that I had was simply that I modelled the nose asif it would pertrude from the face, but I realised when sculpting, that it didn't. This caused a bit of a problem when trying to get the nose too look as though it blended into the face, but never the less, it actually woirked out ok. However, in Zbrush, the nose was too small.

Once I was happy with the Zbrush, I quickly unwrapped the base mesh, baked out the zbrush detail and applied it to the model to get an Idea of what it's looking like so far. I enlarged the nose which for now will do, and it is looking okish for now but I will return to polishing this when I come back to texturing.

Next model...