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PIE 1 Art- Modeling
Use your high res redesigned Samus model from the previous assignment to generate a normal map for your low res Samus model. Suggested programs with which to do this are xNormal and/or Maya itself. In addition to creating the normal map, texture your final, low res model (which will require UVing the model if you haven’t already done that). You may use whatever texture maps you’d like. They may be up to 2048×2048 each. If you need to, please make changes to the model itself. Remember to stay within the 4,000-5,000 tri limit. As with the previous few assignments, make sure your model is bound to a skeleton. Treat this model as if it were the final model that was going into a game.
The entire time I was making the high res model, I was worried that a lot of the detail wouldn’t transfer well to the low res model in the normal map. Unfortunately, I was right. That said, once I finished texturing and posing Samus and lighting the scene, I was pretty happy with the outcome. There are definitely places that I could go back and tweak, specifically to round things out and make the model look less blocky, but it’s not too shabby overall 🙂
Again, though, the normals were a pain as was the ambient occlusion. Unfortunately EVERYONE had problems with the normal maps, but we all got them to work in the end. At first, I tried using xNormal for both the normals and the AO. I exported each body part as its own separate .fbx to load into xNormal. Aside from taking forever to do (both exporting and xNormal itself), it didn’t really generate very good results. I also tried Faogen for the AO, but that didn’t work out either, so I ended up using Maya to produce both the normals and AO. Then I threw them into Photoshop with the color and incandescence maps to make the final textures.
On top of all of this, I kept tweaking the shape of the low res model. I did a lot of work removing unnecessary geometry so that I could use the tris in other areas that needed the detail more (such as the legs, helmet, and shoulder dome things).
Note that I did not make the head inside of the helmet (it’s Brawl’s Zero Suit Samus). I added it rather than using a plane with an image on it because I knew I was going to rotate the model in my presentation. Thankfully the teacher didn’t mind that that put it over the tri limit since it wasn’t really part of the model 😛
The “revisions” mentioned in the image descriptions refer to the numbered save files I have for each model. For example, I have 67 (yes, sixty-seven :P) different files, each being more complete than the last, with the 67th being the final model that I turned in.
Tris: 4,912 (not including the head in the helmet or the stand she’s on), 7,228 and 9,850 (including the head and environment respectively if you’re curious)
Maps: Color (2048×2048), Ambient Occlusion (2048×2048), Incandescence (2048×2048), Normal (2048×2048)