"Force of nature" is a small diorama showing the roots of the tree overpowering the human-made structures.
Once the asset gets approved, it will be available for download here
My time is up, so this are the final textures for the asset. The wall and floor is 4096x4096, the metal parts and the roots are both 2048x2048. Software used: 3Ds Max, Substance Designer (baking) and Substance Painter for texturing. The final scene in Unity uses HDRP. Some other software I used as an experiment (generating low poly meshes and UVs automatically) with mixed results (I describe those attempts below) - Houdini, ZBrush, Instant Mesh. I've also used Allegorithmic's Alchemist to get a quick mix of certain materials and or add a small puddle of water.
It took me about two days to finish the project. I've spent waaay to much time tweaking things in Houdini. I know that with enough prior experience this would have worked much better. Definitely something I will be looking more into, but it's not as flawless as advertised.
Things I was planing on doing, but run out of time: 1.polishing the root material and creating a main set of maps and detail maps 2. adding some ruble and other scene fillers.
Screenshots from Substance Painter:
Some screenshots from Substance Painter
First iteration of texturing inside Painter and the results are pretty good. My main concern is with the roots and I think I will have to make a custom Shader Graph for this object. Few screenshots from Unity below:
All maps baked in Substance Designer - check
Initial scene setup in Unity - check
With very little time left I can finally move to Substance Painter!
Small update and another experiment, this time with Allegorithmic's Alchemist. Getting a moss-covered, broken concrete with puddles of dirty water in under 10 minutes? No problem!
As I mentioned, I only had two or three hours since I finished the high poly model, to get the low poly version and UVs in order. The plan was to test Houdini and other options and to automate the process (including ZRemesher and Instant Mesh). To be honest I ended up spending a lot of time fixing the models :-). Some thoughts:
Houdini game dev tools are still not 100% reliable (in theory they are 'one-click' SOP that gets you from a high poly mesh to a full set of baked maps and a low poly mesh). One could adjust the high poly model workflow to fit the way Houdini processes the mesh, but I've spend way to much time tweaking the parameters and the computation takes too much time to experiment quickly. Not a good option if you're in a hurry. Also it crashed a few times and gobbled my 64 GB of RAM effortlessly. The automatic UV generation, as in any other existing software is just horrible. ;-) This is still an unsolved problem in computer graphics, so I wouldn't hold it against Houdini if it wasn't for overlapping UVs in a few instances, which is a big no-no for baking.
Instant mesh is a great, open source tool, but it works well only on organic-like 3D objects. Pebbles, logs ... go for it. But a more complex or hard geometry and you will get a lot of nasty artefacts. The main benefit is you get nice quad flows in topology
Zbrush. Zremesher combined with other tools for creating a watertight model out of complex, kitbushed geometries will get you quite good results, but similarly to Houdini it's not 100% problem-free (especially if you're aiming at getting the polycount really low) and as always UVs are less than perfect.
This means I'm almost done with low poly meshes and UVs and I have a full day to finish the project. Easy-peasy.
Few hours behind the schedule, but I have finished modeling the highpoly version in 3DS Max (with some procedural root growing!) and off to sculpting for some final details on that crushed storage tank.
As I won't have the time to create high quality UVs and mesh for such a complicated geometry manually, I will resort to using automatic UV generation as well as creating an optimised low poly geometry. Without the time constraints I would not recommend trusting the automated tools to do a proper job, but at least it's a good excuse to test the game dev tools inside Houdini.
In terms of material breakdown I plan to create three sets: 1. wall and floor (for consistent texel density might be 2x the resolution) , 2.pipes, railing and other metallic surfaces and 3. the roots and organic materials (this one needs to be tileable since our small roots won't have baked maps).
I have around two days of free time to finish this, so I'll be focusing mainly on working fast and utilising Substance Designer/Painer procedural workflows to cut some corners without sacrificing quality.