2021 Artstation Recap

General / 11 January 2022

I've been contemplating gray. Gray, after all, is an elegant color, and I LOVE gray. This brings me to where I'm at in January 2022. I'm happy, I'm looking forward to creating new worlds, and new civilizations, to boldly go where no Camille has gone before. I am knowledge, ignorance, fear,  bravery, sorrow, power, and I am excited! I am gray!

Here is to 2021 on Artstation, and with a bright (light gray) heart I welcome 2022 :)


AI generated art

General / 11 December 2021

I was playing with an artmaker called Dream. Came up with this exhibit.


Sweep Curve Maya 2022

General / 28 October 2021

Curves...so useful and yet so frustrating to use. I am currently updating from Maya 2020 to Maya 2022 for the Sweep Curve command. Wish me luck, pray the bugs are rare.


Getting Unreal now.

General / 21 August 2021

I'm bringing my meshes from the asset gym to the origin, ensuring the pivot point is where I want it, and exporting to FBX one by one. I've heard OBJ is less error prone than FBX but it isn't requested by Unreal...so here we go again on the testing of the FBX versus OBJ.

I then started importing the meshes into Unreal, so that when I update the meshes with detail and material, it will easily repopulate my scene. I'm starting to really like the look of it. Unreal import in progress below, you can see the overlapping blockout and imported individual static meshes. 



Happy First Crash Day!

General / 20 August 2021

A year ago, Maya crashed on me for the first time. 

A year goes by so quickly, and I'm grateful to you for helping me come so far. I've had a hard time putting into words without feeling cheesy, the emotion I get when I think of the awesomeness of the 3D learning community, and also of my family, and friends, and the artists who are long gone who figured out things like chiaroscuro, or perspective, or even the creators of procedural texturing and real time game engines. Thinking back on the day my mother stayed up late into the night programming the Commodore 64, sending a small boat floating up and down the screen, "Look what I did!" she said to my dad after hours of hard work, "Look!"



"Wow, that's amazing!" he said, "Now what?"


And because my mother didn't have a drive on which to save her creation, they powered it off and the boat is left only in my memory.


It is small victories, and small failures in life that stack up eternal, and, I know to my core that I stand on the shoulders of giants.


So when I say thank you for helping me grow, it seems barely enough. Thank you.




Divination Shop Blockout in Unreal 5

General / 03 August 2021

I decided to go with UE5 on this after listening to my teacher Peyton Varney's feedback on his tests so far. He says, overall pretty similar to UE4 with the exceptions of lumen and nanite. I'm still going to design this for games, so high to low poly baking etc.  I've got beautiful hanging colored lights in my concept and am excited to set up emissive materials for them, see how that goes. 





Making progress on the shop.

General / 31 July 2021

My scene block out is finally coming together!



Baking Maps for Games Reading List

General / 25 July 2021

In theory baking maps and UVs is pretty straight forward, especially when it is working as planned. The odds it always works as planned are low, thus some light reading is in order.


Baking Maps for Games Reading List

* ========================================== *

General 

The Toolbag Baking Tutorial by Lead Artist at Marmoset Joe Wilson 
In-depth with examples. Read iiiit.


Normal Map Specific

Bit Depth and How Compression Affects Normal Maps by 3D Artist at CG Cookie  Jonathan Lampel
Unity Focus - Dated but helpful

Height Maps vs Normal Maps (Video 03:22) 
Illustrated Normal Tangent Space, Object Space, and World Space


Banding Errors

Banding in Games by Mikkel Gjoel


================================
Takeaways for my current Marmoset Toolbag 4 baking project with final render in Unity.

  • Height Map - To ensure that your zero point is 50%, set the min and max values proportionally, for instance, -5 and 5
  • Smooth the cage, get more skew, less crazy edges. Fix skew with skew paint.
  • Try split uvs instead of continuous.
  • Make sure to triangulate your mesh before importing it into Toolbag. (triangulation mismatch causes x-shaped smoothing errors )
  • Right handed (OpenGL) for Unity (handedness can be overridden via the normal map settings in the Baker object by clicking the Flip Y checkbox )
  • Dither Map
  • 8-bit tga, 16-bit tiff (Unity alpha 2020.2.0a13 supports 16-bit formats as of June 2020)
    Baking to a higher bit depth (16-bit) helps to remove banding, and down-converting to 8-bit with dithers (in Photoshop) to more effectively cram the values into the 8 bit space. Screen captures from Bit Depth and How Compression Affects Normal Maps




  

Technicolor Nightmare

General / 24 July 2021

This is what happens when the distance is off on a bake.






You could stop scrolling now and save some cones in your eyes.







IT HURTS ME








I warned you.








Why? Why did you do this??


(Solved) What's this warping? Blender Mesh Issue

General / 09 July 2021

Had an issue with my work on the coaster car a couple of days ago where I was trying to figure out why my normals were all messed up. You can see the ugly distortion on the mesh below.


I asked for help.

Is there any obvious flaw with my topology that would cause these ugly warpings? This is the back of a seat that needs to be flat. I've flattened out components, lining them up with the same axis. I also ran a cleanup to remove stray components. I'm new to Blender and any help is appreciated.


Thank you to Daniel Lince (impressive new portfolio piece Daniel) on Discord, and to FrankPolygon and SnowInChina on the Polycount Mega Blender Thread


(The solution is at the bottom, it is fine to jump ahead.)


Daniel Lince had me check it out in another modeling program which is a good idea but showed it was still broken. The image below is a render in Arnold from Maya.




FrankPolygon really helped me further down the troubleshoot/educate-myself path. I'm quickly realizing the importance of the Blender docs. 


@Camille_Meehan Looks like inconsistencies in the mesh shading properties. Try recalculating the normals, marking the faces with shade smooth, clearing sharp edges and setting the per-object auto smooth value to something above 45°.


Below are some links to the official documentation that covers each operation:

https://docs.blender.org/manual/en/latest/modeling/meshes/editing/mesh/normals.html#recalculate

https://docs.blender.org/manual/en/latest/modeling/meshes/editing/face/shading.html#shade-smooth

https://docs.blender.org/manual/en/2.80/modeling/meshes/editing/edges.html#mark-sharp-and-clear-sharp

https://docs.blender.org/manual/en/latest/modeling/meshes/structure.html#properties 


The solution!

Courtesy of SnowInChina.


Smoothed end result below.


I had earlier smoothed and flattened my meshes to avoid subdividing, which in hindsight, was needless. In between that and the final high poly model, I deleted and filled faces, which resulted in the glorious nonsense above. Clearing the custom split normals data reset all that, which was what I needed.


Hope this helps you solve the issue, please let me know in the comments.