The Mech Part 2 – Low Res

So when I finished my 10 million poly super high poly model, I decimated it down with zRemesher and then split it in half.


Since he is symmetrical I will get twice the resolution from the texture map by splitting him. It also makes optimizing much easier because you only have half the model to work with. I deleted a bunch of edge loops to get the polycount down further to game level. And ended up with a model that looks like this:


For the Unwrap, I wanted to keep my UV islands closely following the geometry of the original model. This should be a lot easier to fix when I start cleaning it up in Photoshop.


Here is my final UV Layout:


And here is what the low poly model looks like now with the first bake out of my maps before cleanup.


The Mech – Part 1 – High Res

This is something I have been working on using hard surface modelling techniques. It is both my first character from absolute scratch, and first time making a hard surface model in Z – Brush. For a first model he looks OK, but the whole flow of the character isn’t there. If I ever get a chance to live my life over, I would have spent more time concepting him out and less time doing.






The Castle Part 2

Modular Construction in UDK

I am totally not regretting switching from Unity to UDK. It was a lot to learn. But it is 10x better. If you look at the screen shots of the last level on my blog I did in Unity, and look at the screen shots below you can see what I am talking about.

Once Everything was exported from Part 1 of this post, it was pretty easy to start snapping the pieces together. My Cornice didn’t work out like I thought it would, but I was able to use it elsewhere and just substituted a different piece for it. I only used 2 pieces from Unreal Content, the roof, and the grating which I substituted for window in two of the towers.

Here are the shots of what everything looks like snapped together. I am surprised it looked this good for a first try at modular design.

Main Castle


Inside the Perimeter Corridors
Modular_Level_In_UDK (2)

Here’s where I left off. The bridge to nowhere.

In the last shot the right angle is jumping out at me. And the normal map looks good in some places and bad in others it is kind of obvious it is a procedural normal map. Next time the pieces should be sculpted the pieces in Z-Brush, and I will mind the corners. I kept it boxy just to make sure it snapped, but I am really hating those right angles about now.

What’s next?

build the level out just a little more with my few pieces
Make a material that gets good reflection on the windows
Add some props
Add some special effects
And then start making it interactive

The Castle Part 1

I have abandoned Unity for a lot of reasons and moved on to Unreal. Working on a modular demo level for UDK that snaps to the grid, and will allow me to construct something big with very few pieces. So far I downloaded a bunch of free pictures from CGTextures, and slapped them together to make

1 base texture sheet


I did some quick Normal, Specular, AO and Cavity maps off of it in nDO, and then I used that one sheet to build the following set of Meshes. These are the meshes with the diffuse map on only.


Still a few things to do before I can import them. I need to make the additional UV channels so that they will lightmap correctly and then I think I am ready to bring them in to UDK and start assembling them. They hold up pretty good up close. Below is a detail render in Max with the Scan line render and diffuse map only.

Detail Render
Detail Shot

First Completed Level

When I look at this level, all I can think of is how I could have made it better. It is really difficult for me to wrap the project up and call it complete. There are so many things I want to improve on. I am almost tempted to go back and do it all again.

But it is time for me to move on. I learned the things I set out to learn with this project. And a million other things, that I didn’t even realize that I needed to learn. I think I am ready to really build my first game. Only this time, it will really be a game that you can play. Not just a level to cruise around.

The compressed version is 42mb. You can download the complete level and check it out with the link below. For some reason if you play it “windowed” the glass won’t show up correctly in sizes other than 1024×768. Just uncheck the windowed option and you can run it correctly in any size. NOTE: This build is for windows only.