Damp Moss…

•July 16, 2018 • Leave a Comment

Looks like I missed a blog post last month! Here’s a quick one as a tide over, not worthy of a breakdown really, it’s a 3D scan of some damp moss on a low stone wall. It was tricky enough to split out the moss shading from the paved stone, but was an interesting exercise nonetheless. Rendered in Toolbag 3 with Photoshop for textures.

petemcnally_mosswall_03

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The future of Content Creation….

•May 31, 2018 • Leave a Comment

… Maybe! 😀  I recently did an interview with 80 Level about my latest art experiments and my thoughts on the future of game art content creation, you can read about it here if you fancy it!

 

Seamless Stones…

•May 24, 2018 • Leave a Comment

In my last post I said I’d have to stop posting rock materials up here, but this is an old post that I’d forgotten to publish 🙂 I started this blog post on Thursday 1st March 2018, the evening when “Storm Emma” and “The Beast from the East” clashed over Ireland causing blizzard like conditions and Wintry landscapes not seen in this country since 1982. Public transport was suspended, many people were off or working remotely and the public were advised to stay indoors until the Red Weather Alert lifted later that week. So, with extra time indoors I had some time to process scans and create materials, and put Artomatix through it’s paces. As you may have seen on this blog, I’ve run a few scans through the software already, mainly for “texture mutation” which creates variations of a texture, or multiple textures simultaneously as part of a material and also for seam removal, making textures tile. These can be controlled somewhat by moving jitter sliders and painting ignore masks, which is very handy for getting rid of blurry areas or scan artifacts.

The first of these seamless materials from scans was some beach pebbles I shot on my phone in the shade of a cliff a few weeks back. The scan itself worked in places but is noisy throughout and needed a lot of filling in, which would usually have to be done manually in Photoshop or Substance Painter. I used 3dsmax to bake diffuse, normals, height and AO and hand painted roughness in Photoshop. Artomatix was used for seam removal and cleaning bits of seaweed and areas that hadn’t been captured well enough to use. Here is the result applied to a plane primitive in Toolbag 3:

pebblesmaterial_petemcnally_05

Wireframe (with PN triangle tesselation, displaced from a plane primitive)

pebblesmaterial_petemcnally_06

I took all 5 textures into Toolbag to test how they responded to PBR lighting

pebbles01

pebblesmaterial_petemcnally_01pebblesmaterial_petemcnally_02

pebblesmaterial_petemcnally_03

progression

And here is the real-time material applied to a sphere in Sketchfab

 

 

Craggy cliffs…

•April 13, 2018 • Leave a Comment

This material was scanned near Malin Head, Ireland’s most northerly point last week, on this beach near the “Wee House of Malin”

I brought the DSLR this time, and I there’s a healthy increase in quality over some of the phone stuff I’ve been doing lately. From 50 odd photos, I should be able to create three separate tiling materials, the first of which is a craggy cliff like material made seamless in Artomatix. Here’s the obligatory material sphere:

And the breakdown (roughness was constructed by hand and the height map was done in Knald, everything else was baked from 3DSMax)

 

The whole idea of making seamless materials from 3D scans is so that materials can be decoupled from geometry and used elsewhere arbitrarily, in different scenes and lighting conditions. Here’s an example of some simple geometry:

This is how that same geometry looks with tessellation and the material applied (rendered in Toolbag 3, as ever)

I really need to stop making rocks. 😀 Here’s a video, you’d be hard pressed to spot the seams.

Seamless Autumn Leaves Material…

•March 24, 2018 • Leave a Comment

This post is about further experiments with Artomatix and 3D scanning to create usable, seamless PBR materials. A few months back I was standing at a bus stop for what seemed like ages and got really bored, so I took out the phone and started taking photos of the ground around me. There were a lot of fallen leaves  around the bus stop, mixed with overgrown ivy and weeds. I took about 20 photos and loaded them into Reality Capture that evening just to see if anything could be made of them. I wasn’t expecting great things due to the small number of photos I had and the half-arsed nature of the shoot, and indeed results weren’t perfect, some leaves were nicely sharp but others were a blobby mess or missing completely. I still baked down the geometry to diffuse, normals, height and dropped the normal map into Knald for quick AO and cavity maps. There wasn’t enough usable info to make a square texture, I settled for bakes of 4096 x 2048. I stuck the assets in my “partial scans” folder and left it for months, until this week.

Artomatix came to the rescue, after duplicating the original textures and laying them out side by side in square 4K textures with very obvious repeats, I loaded them into Artomatix and was able to crudely mask out the problem areas and generate a tiling material from the 3DSMax bakes. I also saturated the diffuse to create a sub surface scattering map on the fresher leaves. Height could be better so I’ll revisit when time allows. This is the albedo input, the painted mask and the output from Artomatix:

Here are the results, all rendered in real-time in Toolbag 3:

Base geometry in Toolbag 3

Base geometry with material applied

Material Sphere

Material sphere texture breakdown

Lighting tests

Video (watch in 4k where available)

 

Sketchfab

 

 

The 60 Minute Cave part II…

•March 8, 2018 • 2 Comments

Quick post – some time ago I made a post on here about making a simple cave in 3DSMax in an hour over lunch. This evening I did something similar! I’ve been playing with Artomatix, as per my last post and I was pleased with the results of an experiment tonight and thought I’d post the results here. I had a partial scan that hadn’t resolved well  it was wet rock on a very sunny day so large areas of detail were missed or were blurry. I baked out what I had in 3DSMAX, diffuse, normals, AO, height and a shadow map used to help with manual de-lighting in Photoshop. I ran these textures through Artomatix for seam removal and it tiled them quite nicely. After some tweaking, I applied the material to a sphere in Toolbag 3 and tested out some lighting environments, before applying the same material to the inside of a curved cylinder and tiling appropriately, to make the cavernous environment you see below. Not bad for a single material!

 

Seamless Materials from 3D Scans in Artomatix…

•March 2, 2018 • 6 Comments

I’m starting this blog post on Thursday 1st March 2018, the evening when “Storm Emma” and “The Beast from the East” clash over Ireland causing blizzard like conditions and Wintry landscapes not seen in this country since 1982. Public transport is suspended, many people are off or working from home, and the public have been advised to stay indoors until the Red Weather Alert lifts some time Friday evening.

With all this time indoors I’ve had some time to process scans and create materials, and put Artomatix through it’s paces. Based here in Dublin, the Artomatix app is currently in an alpha state, but already functional and promises to automate “the most time consuming, repetitive tasks creating time for artists to focus on what really matters,” – music to my ears. It’s not procedural, like Substance Designer, but uses a different approach, example-based creation. I’ve run a few scans through the software already, mainly for “texture mutation” which creates variations of a texture or multiple textures simultaneously as part of a material, and also for seam removal, making textures tile. These automatic processes can be controlled somewhat by moving jitter sliders and painting ignore masks, handy for removing blurry areas or scan artifacts. This could be really useful for making partial or unsuccessful scans usable as world textures.

The first of this series of materials from scans was some earthen rubble (blogged about previously here ) in a wheelbarrow I shot on my phone one afternoon. The scan itself worked quite well in places but needed a lot of filling in, and of course parts of the wheelbarrow removed. This would usually have to be done manually in Photoshop or Substance Painter. I imported the textures into Artomatix as a material and connected up Texture mutation and Seam Removal nodes and after a few minutes of communicating with the cloud, my textures were ready to preview. Here’s what Artomatix looks like right now, it’s still in alpha so this is likely to change, albedo input on the left, 3D preview on the right and node graph beneath:

artomatix

 

Here are the input textures, and their Artomatix seamless versions:

 

AlbedoBarrowRubble_albedo

 

NormalsBarrowRubble_normal

 

AOBarrowRubble_AO

 

Height (not apples to apples, as I used Knald in the end to generate height from normals)BarrowRubble_height

 

Here is the result, rendered in Toolbag 3

 

 

 

Another variation, same inputs

 

Finally, in realtime on Sketchfab, this one is tiled less than the Toolbag versions:

 

 

PS: Unrelated, but I couldn’t let this frozen weather pass without trying a bit of photogrammetry 😀 Quickly rendered in Toolbag 3 with some SSS for the snow.

screenshot052

screenshot051