Entries in Textures (3)


Steampunk Gatling Gun Redux with Quixel's dDo

Several years ago I created a steampunk gatling gun for a modeling and texturing class in college. I decided that it might be a good model to test out the new beta version of Quixel's dDo, considering it had a fair number of separate materials. I stuck with the same base texture, but I let dDo do the rest with only minor tweaking. The thing that took the most time was creating the colormap from the original texture (maybe about 40 minutes), but if I had incorporated dDo into my workflow back when I originally created the model it would have taken almost no time at all. I also took some time to render out an ambient occlusion map, which I had never done with the original model (I hadn't learned how to do that at the time). Getting the object space normals rendered out also helped. By the time I got everything into dDo it probably only took me about 20 minutes to get things looking the way they do now. It could probably use some more work, but I honestly can't believe just how good it looks from the minimal amount of work that it took. Below are some comparison shots with the original model and textures. Click to view full size images.


Advanced Unity Terrain Creation

I've been working on some art tests for an open-world exploration game and I thought I would share some the resources I have found that help in creating some extremely detailed and realistic terrains in the Unity 3D engine. The main point is custom shaders. Unity's built in terrain shader leaves something to be desired, but there are ways to work around it.

At some point I might get around to creating an actual tutorial, but until then here are some useful links for those of you who would like to get results similar to the images seen above:

  • World Machine - The program I used for generating the terrain.

  • World Machine to Cryengine tutorial - This one is very long and detailed. Even if you aren't using Cryengine I highly recommend watching this to learn how to make effective, realistic terrains before even worrying about importing into a game engine.

  • World Machine to Unity tutorial - This one is much shorter, but specifically references using World Machine and importing into Unity with custom splatmap support.

  • Tom's Terrain Tools - These are a set of tools specifically for Unity that help with importing custom splatmaps generated outside of Unity.

  • ATS Colormap Terrain Shader - This was my starting point for creating a better terrain shader in Unity. Most of the credit for the shader really does go to the creator of this. I simply made a few additions that reduced the visible tiling and improved the support for multiple terrains. The biggest thing here is the addition of a colormap, normalmap, and individual normal maps for each detail texture.

This whole process requires a TON of tweaking and testing. A great deal of artistry is required to get it to look just right. The shaders and terrain generators won't do everything for you, but they get you a much better starting point than if you were to use the built in terrain tools in Unity. If you want to get started coding your own shaders I would recommend you open up some existing shaders and just trying to make a few small adjustments. By doing this I was able to eventually understand what each component was doing and start to work towards the exact look I wanted.



Skyrim Dragon Textures Enhancement Mod


I've been playing around modding some textures and assets inside Skyrim and I have officially released my first simple set of texture improvements. I was disappointed with how low-res the dragon textures were in the game so I decided to double their resolution and improve some of the color contrast. I'm pretty happy with the end result even though they are just simple photoshop filters and effects. The new textures look much better when you are up close to a dragon bashing their face in. If you want to see more screenshots or download the mod files yourself, visit my Skyrim Nexus mod page here.