3D Tutorial of Next-generation Scene "Magic Book Room"
In this article, as a leading cloud rendering service provider and render farm in the CG industry, Fox Renderfarm will bring you a tutorial on creating the 3D scene of the next-generation "Magic Book Room".
1. Analyze and Build a Rough Model
This is a case of PBR process, specifically using 3ds Max to complete the low-poly model, ZBrush to complete the high-poly sculpting, TopoGun for topology, Substance Painter and Photoshop for texture production, and finally using UE4 for rendering.
To ensure that we can still achieve model proportion consistency after dividing the workload, we first built the overall scene in 3ds Max based on the original artwork as a reference for proportion. Then, after assigning each person with their respective models and props, we began the production process.
2. Making Mid-poly Model
House structure: As the basis of the scene framework, the house is divided into three parts: roof, walls, and floor. By analyzing the original painting, the walls and floor are made of four-sided continuous materials, and the walls can be made into modular kits, which can then be reused in the scene.
Props part: Scene props include two statues, a number of books, chairs and so on, of which statues, chairs, Roman columns and other props are sculpted in ZBrush, while books are classified based on material mapping, and a total of 18 books are produced to facilitate the future reuse.
The process of making a mid-poly model is to refine and add more details on the basis of the rough model. In the pre-production, we should analyze what models need to be sculpted and topped, and what models can be obtained from the low-poly model by reducing the line in the mid-poly model. Pre-production analysis and planning can greatly improve the efficiency of our production.
3. Making High-poly Model
The production of the high-poly model is relatively calm, everyone is doing their own work in a step-by-step manner. The rough model made at the beginning is convenient for the present scale reference, so it is smooth to adjust the scene.
Sculpting of statues:
Sculpting of props:
In order to better reflect the texture of the wooden chair, the wood grains on them were all carved by me one-by-one. I also sculpted the Roman columns, treasure chests, lamps and other props.
4. Making Low-poly Model
In the early stage, we analyzed the assets and found that only two statues needed to be topologized, the low-poly model of the remaining props could be obtained by reducing the line of the mid-poly models. Topping the low-poly model is a simple but patient job. There are several points to note in the process of topologizing statues:
(1) Control of model face;
(2) How to layout wiring in a reasonable way, and whether some details need to be topologically designed;
(3) Whether the wiring density is reasonable;
During the low-poly topology phase, there are not many difficulties encountered. We made textures with a standard of 1m3/512 pixels and finally planned the texture reasonably according to the preset pixel density. Then we performed UV unwrapping and layout. During this process, some models had seam problems, but we were able to locate the issue - it was due to some areas of the model not being disconnected from the smoothing group in the UV. When placing the UV, it is important to make full use of the UV space to avoid wasting resources, and further UV rework may be required in the future.
Next is to bake the normal map. We matched the high-poly and low-poly models in 3ds Max, and then kept a certain distance between all models to avoid overlapping when baking. If there are issues with the baked normal map, we use Photoshop to repair it. Throughout the baking process, we did not encounter major problems, so any necessary modifications in Photoshop were minor.
5. Creating Textures/Materials
When making materials, it is important to focus on the overall volume first before adding the finer details. By "volume," we do not just mean that the material should have a three-dimensional appearance under lighting conditions, but rather there should be a sense of volume even in the absence of lighting effects, through the use of color and shading. The addition of dark tones and textures will further enhance the sense of volume in the model. Finally, a sharpening filter can be applied to make the details more visible, resulting in a material that has a true sense of depth under lighting effects.
After meticulous file organization, we also standardized the naming of models, material balls, and textures, which made our work much easier when we entered the UE4 engine. After all the preparation work was completed, we began to place the models, add lighting and special effects, and finally set up the camera for rendering. During this process, a lot of time was spent on lighting, and it was difficult to achieve the desired effect in the combination of model materials and lighting. Finally, the problem was solved by using the lighting channel in UE4.
The above is our experience and tutorial sharing on the entire production process. The experience of this month and a half of production has benefited us greatly. We not only consolidated the production process but also learned many production experiences and supplemented previous knowledge. Although we encountered many difficulties during the process, when the final product was completed, we felt that all the previous efforts were worthwhile.
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