I’m not quite as rusty with Blender as I assumed. 🙂 I thought I’d post these.
I think I got a better grip on rendering with Cycles, especially roughness/glossiness and using a semi-realistic light setup of a sky sphere, sunlight and a “kicker”. I also remembered a lot of Blender camera controls. I tried my hand at an unusual snapshot:
I like it because it looks really dynamic.
Here’s another shot of the hilt:
Massive sword, always a winning motive in my book.
BTW here’s how this model looked three years ago.
Stay tuned for other stuff, such as new website and, hopefully, finally, videos. 😉
Damn, Blender. You made me spend hours breaking my head about how to merge edges at their intersection. And then I find out you can’t do it. How is this not part of the standard functionality? I’m surprised. You made me jump through hoops, old friend.
I had to do that switch wheel in two parts because all the control edges would create ridges in the outer ring. So I decided to chop it up and sort of do the middle part as a floater. This is all going to get baked down anyway. I’m a bit rusty on the high poly modelling side!
The CERP rifle got a make-over in GIMP. I decided that the shoulder stock is movable. A magazine will have to fit in there somehow – perhaps remove the stock, or rotate it somehow, to exchange the magazine.
Hey friendly people. I made this nice greatsword in Blender yesterday. It’s the Order Executioner’s sword from Scout’s Journey. I actually got the idea from a dream I had, the little shield on the finger guard and the slotted fuller on the blade are details from the dream. This is one monster of a sword. It’s probably going to be in the Heavy category in the game, not because of its weight but because of the bulk and the damage type it has.
Here’s the hilt. I made it suitably bulky to fit the brutality of the Order. The Executioner is their top of the line heavy unit. I think this sword is fitting.
Here’s the wires. I learned some interesting details here, such as creating the pattern on the shield.
This sword was already made two years ago, as a low poly model. I took it to high-poly and corrected a few things about the proportions – such as the dimensions of the handle and crossguard in relation to the blade. I also added the rings, which follow the curve of the crossguard.
I also increased the visibility of the zigzag pattern of the blade. Whenever you use an effect like that in a game, make it noticeable. This is also why many swords in games are comparatively bulky, simply to ensure the visibility and help recognize the silhouette in a busy game render.
And here’s the wires.
Another model got some hi-poly love, the Herd Machete. A modern utilitarian design, they probably cut these out of sheet metal. I think this is the lightest and smallest sword in SJ, so there should always be room for one in Scout’s magic bag. Who knows when a lady might have to do some chopping.
Swords are very good examples of an object that has to be useful (form follows function), but can also look quite stunning. And there are a lot of cool variations. I really prefer modelling classical weapons to something like assault rifles, which admittedly have a lot more detail on them but by this time, we’ve all seen quite enough of them. Swords are an area where you can still experiment a whole lot.
Hope you enjoyed. Till next time!
Quick service announcement: How to model weapons in Blender.
Basically, you load a reference image into Blender and then you just trace the thing (in orthographic view), either (largely by extruding) with simple planes (faces, quads) or (in case of barrels etc) with something like a 16-sided cylinder.
And the parts that you traced with planes, you simply extrude into a three-dimensional shape so that they get depth. (You can round off the corners afterwards by adding some edge loops (Ctrl-R) and pulling those around in front/top view until it looks right.)
Slightly more difficult parts like this might require some elbow grease. Especially things like the holes. I believe I started with a cylinder for the lower part, then modeled one of the “wings” as just planes and extruded to create thickness. Then I probably mirrored that “wing” and positioned it on the opposite side, and finally connected everything. Luckily weapons don’t often contain terribly difficult shapes. (This part was done differently from the reference image because of possible copyright issues.)
The barrel and magazine tubes obviously began life as cylinders and just had some edge loops added and some parts extruded and connected.
This is high poly (subdivision) modelling, but since the parts were overall relatively simple, only a few control loops had to be added here and there to reign in the subdiv modifier. Once you get how that works, you’re set. The principle is always the same.
After this, either render to sprites or retopo and bake into a low-poly version as a normal map. Blender does support cage baking with Cycles, alternatively one could use something like Xnormal.
I hope this goes to show you that something like this is doable. I had done less than 10 weapon models before I made this. If you have any talent for sculpting or perception of proportions etc, you should be able to get the principle in no time. And then you just practice. Youtube has tons of tutorials for this as well.
Blender 2.75 RC2 contains a bugfix that allows for fly mode with a graphics tablet. Fly mode is especially neat for environment artists because it lets you traverse large models quickly and precisely, much like “noclipping” in an engine.
Previously, the view would spin uncontrollably.
I’m slowly getting into working in Blender with a tablet instead of a mouse – I use a Wacom for all my PC work now – and after some initial finding my feet, it works very nicely.
I’m convinced that a tablet is a much more ergonomic input device compared to a mouse, my wrist feels a lot better since I started doing this anyway.
You can get this version of Blender here.
Learned how to do pretty smooth lens shapes and do proper wire renders with Blender. There’s a simpler way than the Cycles one posted here.