The amazing guys at Nuare Studio talked a bit about the production of 3d weapons for video games.
How is building 3d different from 2d?
L.E. 2 years ago we have started developing a 3D department at our company and we have been working on some huge AAA and VR projects, like Paragon from Epic Games and some others. This is just a small part of what we could show.
Making 3d models is a way more technical process. If 2D artists have the biggest challenges with stylization, using of light, tone, color or design volumes then 3D artists challenges are more related to following to references, precise texturing, preparing a model for a final production. I think it makes sense to let our 3D artist Valentine Sorokin answer to the most of technical questions in this interview.
V.S. Whenever it is a modeling process of the existing type of weapon – it’s pretty easy to approach the modeling. You just gather the bunch of references, orthogonal if possible, blueprints are the best and then you move on implementing all the details, starting from the smallest ones. But if you design it, you’re going to have to pass through block out stage, maybe use PS for photo bashing, creating shape read, create variations, find the most successful ones and then use them as a blueprint for modeling.
V.S. The closer you are to the reference – the better, but hey it’s boring when you just create an existing piece of something without giving it your own flavor so yes sometimes we add the non-existing details to the model just to spice it up. But on this SG553 rifle, we have shown it as close as possible to the reference.
The texturing was mostly done via shaders and box mapping, only some big chunks had some Substance Painter texturing to get a bit of a worn look. We have also created a texture that has the subsurface scattering data for the plastic parts so they look convincing.
There are 3-4 ways to add stickers and decal to the objects. Unwrap and texture it in some painting software (conventional way), place an object where you need a sticker and paint that specific object with a sticker texture (the fast lane), use displacement for the stamped parts like the way we had it on the EOtech holographic sight of the gun. And as for not diving too much into it – we always thought it’s all about diving into it and staying there for a while until you get the desired result. Time is relative, you know.
V.S. We used this one to practice some new shaders in max2018/corona render’s latest build. We made some nice cool plastics and to create bump textures I have used Berconmaps plugin, also we have used Sigerscratches‘ imperfections generator, Boomer Labs Geomaps to create some edges wear and side scratches, complex fresnel plugin to create a coating for the metal and nice sight glass with aberrations and translucency. Then we’ve created a studio environment with a bunch of light sources, placed highlights on the needed details and then added some HDRi just to get rid of some sharp shadows. I removed the HDRi on the postprocessing.
I can say it took about 5 days to create the whole thing. The biggest challenge was to work on the shaders for this one. It had to pass through my internal censorship approval and this time we decided to increase the quality, investing more time in shader work and now I really love the result.