Creating a Proto-structure - or a rock hut basically / by Andreas Kopriva

Hello everyone and welcome to another rock bashing based asset creation overview. 

Today I go over the workflow used to create a sort of proto-structure, or what ends up looking like a small hut/shrine built of large stone elements. After the gallery I've included some notes in terms of the production process I followed for this one : 

  1. Similar to the previous posts in this series, I started off with a series of primitives within Zbrush which were dynameshed and then sculpted on
  2. After finishing maybe 5-6 assets I followed the automated UV unwrap/decimation/normal mapping process that I outlined in previous posts. 
  3. After acquiring the low-poly (5k per stone approximately - though you can definitely go lower) off to Substance Painter they went for texturing, which again followed a mixed method of hand painting some normal details and using texture maps sourced from royalty free files online
  4. These files where then imported into 3dsmax for assembly and bashing
  5. Scaling is usually necessary as Zbrush and 3dsmax don't necessarily follow the same unit principle - though I remember reading somewhere about 'unifying' meshes within Zbrush should those be imported from 3dsmax. 
  6. Once the overall structure was complete and texture maps relinked via 3dsmax's material editor, I exported the whole structure as an fbx file and imported it into Marmoset Toolbag for rendering and visualization
  7. The 3dsmax (or your favorite 3d suite) step is pretty crucial in terms of nailing the dimensions that you would want, especially if you're gonna be importing the asset into a game engine somewhere further down the line. This asset was used for a very simple playtest map for a project that is currently in hiatus, and worked pretty fine in terms of its scale and overall presence. 


That's pretty much it for this one. I'm entertaining the idea of maybe making some Youtube clips on how I make these and sharing them with all of you. I'm very much still at what I consider to be early stages in this field, but I think there is always some validity in sharing workflows. This is something that I see in the fields that I have professional experience in (ie cinematography, photography and music) and how the more you develop as an artist, the more you start focusing on a series of seemingly simpler issues, such as how to best express a particular emotional situation in a movie through lens selection and lighting, or how a particular melodic progression supports the vocal narrative. When one thinks of such a bigger picture, the tools and techniques that one has been slavishly copying from tutorials and lectures take the back-seat and the focus shifts on fleshing out the vision. 

It's all about communication at the end of the day - sharing an experience, an idea, a situation that could provoke thought which in turn stimulates reflection and potentially results in change. Technical proficiency enables a better alignment of the final product with what one had considered in the beginning, but the former largely depends on the latter for it to have some substance. 

At least that's my opinion :) I'd love to hear your thoughts on the overall creative process and on these posts. I'll be sharing more stuff in the near future, including a post which could prove interesting outlining the whole workflow of going from a concept to a tangible final product via the usage of 3d printing. 

Till next time, take care and see you soon!