@Tristan: I studied computergrafics for 5 years. I'm making 3D art now since about half a year fulltime, but I had some experience before that. Its hard to focus on one thing, it took me half a year to understand most of the vegetation creation pipelines. For speeding up your workflow maybe spend a bit time with the megascans library. Making 3D vegetation starts from going outside for photoscanns to profiling your assets. Start with one thing and master this. @Maxime: The difference between my technique and Z-passing on distant objects is quiet the same. (- the higher vertex count) I would start using this at about 10-15m+. In this inner radius you are using (mostly high) cascaded shadows, the less the shader complexety in this areas, the less the shader instructions. When I started this project, the polycount was a bit to high. Now I found the best balance between a "lowpoly" mesh and the less possible overdraw. The conclusion of this technique is easily using a slightly higher vertex count on the mesh for reducing the quad overdraw and shader complexity. In matters visual quality a "high poly" plant will allways look better than a blade of grass on a plane.
Is this not like gear VR or anything else
Anton Kazakov broke down his incredible sci-fi stun gun fully modeled and designed in 3DCoat and KeyShot.
Hi, my name is Anton Kazakov. For the last two years, I’ve been living in Sweden, Malmo and working on Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden as a lead artist. My responsibilities are art direction, outsource management, concept art, and promo/key art. I also partly deal with interfaces and design of some locations. My way to the industry was not very straight. One day I decided that I want to do CG, bought a pen tablet and began drawing. After half a year I got a 2D artist position in a company which made games for social networks. From that day I obtained a job I had always dreamt about and I am not going to change it.
Not so long ago I met 3DCoat. For me as a 2D artist, the process of choosing a 3D software solution has always been a torture. But 3DCoat happened to be very easy and intuitive. My stun gun concept is actually a result of my further explorations.
I had an idea to do a sci-fi stun gun paralyzing the victim’s muscles with high voltage. The design was going to be futuristic and believable at the same time, sort of a gun from the near future. The main idea was a solid composite “shell” outside with a complicated metal structure inside. And I also wanted to make a power capsule recharging mechanism that would look not very ergonomic but spectacular. It was the main goal I had been trying to reach. Speaking about the technical side, my goal was to use 3DCoat for the modeling and KeyShot for materials and renders.
I have to say that 3DCoat is not very convenient for high detalization. Up to some point, it is a perfect instrument for general detailing, but you’ll waste a lot of time and nerves for small details and geometry editing.
My workflow always starts with 2D silhouettes. After that, I draw the main lines and deal with design. Sometimes at the later stages of modeling, I overpaint a screenshot of the model to look for the small details.
All the modeling was done in 3DCoat, from the blockout to the final detalization. Also, thanks to the flexibility and quickness of 3DCoat many decisions can be checked in 3D right along. It made the work easy and sped it up.
As for sculpting, I mostly used voxels. I rarely use surface layers, just for very small details and for kitbashing screws. My main tools are Cut, Build and Boolean operations.
I had the idea about a recharging mechanism from the very beginning. During the work, the upper reservoir was changed to the cylindrical one. A square shape of the main part was kind of a bold decision but I felt like it was a clever move. The mechanism isn’t complicated, a shooter pulls on the lever on the back side of the gun, moving the reservoir forward and releasing it. Then the capsule can be changed.
I had no special references, just a few random photos of the modern guns to understand trending designs and materials. During the design and modeling, I always ask myself: How does it work? What is it for? Is it believable or not? It is tiring but in my opinion, this inner filter allows to avoid many mistakes and makes the final design convincing.
When I started, I already had a silhouette, a rough concept of the design and main parts. Then I made blocks, improved shapes, added smaller elements and improved them. Gradually, I came to the smallest details. If something is too big or too small, it is never late to scale it! My model is not perfectly accurate.
Rendering & Materials
Rendering and materials were fully done in KeyShot. I used Photoshop only for the post-processing: lighting effects, lightning strikes, sparks, blur, color adjustment. I made about eight materials for that model in KeyShote, four of them were main. KeyShot is probably the only one rendering software solution I use. It is fast and convenient, I like a real-time workflow. A material creation pipeline is easy and effective too.
For the lighting I used the classical three-point technique:
- The first source is main, bright and warm;
- The second source is a bright backlight to emphasize the silhouette;
- The third source is soft ambient cold light.
It is enough to emphasize all the necessary design elements. Also, remember about a position of the model and a camera angle. The final shots demonstrate my vision of the advantageous compositions.
I hope it was helpful, thanks for your attention!
Anton Kazakov, Concept Artist
Interview conducted by Kirill Tokarev