High poly baking

In between lazing around for 3 weeks and working on admin for OTM I have done things! I know shock horror, I will not have a repeat of last years summer where I did no work what so ever. This year I am aiming to do loads of projects in my spare time.

I have recently been working on a horror project inspired by P.T., with James (http://jmbroderick.blogspot.co.uk/), Zhan√© (http://wearethinkingcritically.blogspot.co.uk/) and Hazrat (http://thegamesartlootchest.blogspot.co.uk/). Unfortunately we haven't been able to work on this as a group much because people are having to work on OTM full time, but I have been working on making a phone for the game; you use this as a flash light in the game.

I decided to take this as an opportunity to learn how to high poly bake. Here's how I went about this process:
 Firstly I created a low and high poly model in 3DS Max (as shown above) this was then put into x-normal where I generated an occlusion and normal map. I soon realised that my modeled didn't match up in max and fixed this so that the normal's would be in the right place. I then re-baked it and tested the timings of generating a cage to see how this would differ the bake, honestly it didn't make much difference but i ended up using a 25s bake.
As you can see the bake left artifacts so I fixed this up in Photoshop. I also didn't like the way that some of the bakes looked so I generated a height map in x-normal and made a normal map in crazy bump. I combined the parts that I liked of both of these maps and created a hybrid normal map. I know this isn't the way that high poly baking is meant to work but it came out with the best solution so I don't mind.
Here is the final normal map on the low poly model. The next thing to do was texture so I set off on making an albedo, metallic and roughness map. Here are the finished maps:
 and finally here is the finished textured phone in UE4:
Overall I'm very pleased with how this turned out, I have learnt a lot about how to bake models now and I will be using this for models from now on.

I have also been messing around with a website called sketchfab and I have recently just posted my Sloth chacter on there, as shown below:

I have also spoken to a tutor and a third year about what they think we should do over summer and what people wished they had learnt over summer before starting third year here are a few things that were brought up in conversation:

  • Learn zbrush, xnormal and UE4 (lighting and vertex painting).
  • Get faster at modelling.
  • Do dioramas and things for your portfolio.
  • Write a CV and cover letter and make an online portfolio.
  • Make sure you have made your FMP before (meaning make sure you know how to do it, if you are doing an environment make sure you have made one before).
  • Look at professionals work and work towards their level.
  • Find ways to be unusual and interesting.
  • Do the professional practice breifs from the year before
  • and finally GO PLACES AND SEE THINGS
The last thing was something that James and myself were going to do anyway and Chris suggested to look at: Swithland woods, The out woods, Bradgate park and Beacon hill. I am looking into going to all of these places to gather reference. Hopefully you will be seeing more work soon,
Cheerio for now.

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