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how to make custom static meshes look profesonal

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    Originally posted by karmatized View Post
    umm beyond modeling all we can say is photoshop and some imagination.
    And time, lots of time. Making simple wood plank (just box that is textured) can take few hours, if you want to make it perfect.


      well, i know im not going to be a whole ton of help here but if you have questions about maya or getting uv snapshots or adding an alpha channel or even on matte painting (if thats what you want :P ) take a look here. Mucha lotsa great information

      and if you don't find your question, start a thread, ive had good luck with people helping me out on there.

      PS. hourences posted his WIP 99% custom content map on there way before it was on here so there are some vets on there .


        Originally posted by Nawrot View Post
        And time, lots of time. Making simple wood plank (just box that is textured) can take few hours, if you want to make it perfect.
        thanks to Zbrush, a plank of wood would take no longer than 5 minutes to add detail to


          You want to know how to improve your design skills?

          Answer: Don't work in a creative vaccuum.

          Come up with a simple idea - don't complicate it in your head yet, and don't have an aneurism trying to build a crystal clear mental image out of thin air. Some people are extraordinary visionaries, and can imagine extremely detailed and complex designs, and then transfer them to paper with little trouble. But even these people aren't inventing genius from nothing - they're following a process called Appropriation, Fragmentation and Retextualisation.

          In short, they gather reference material that informs their idea (appropriation), breaking it down into it's component parts (fragmentation), then throwing away the things they don't like, and reconnecting the things they do into something new (retextualisation). The more you do this, the more instinctive it becomes, to the point that your brain is doing it so quickly you might as well be conjuring constructs from thin air.

          Let's say you want to build a stone wall that was made by flying space monkeys. You go gather as many reference images of stone walls and crazy science fiction images as you can. Then you pick your favorites - those ones that most closely match your (probably vague) ideas, and find an interesting way to blend those references into a new idea. Then you can put your own little twists on it, to make it better than the sum of its parts.

          The only difference is that they've been doing it longer than you, so they can draw from a vast library of resources in their memory.

          Again, don't work in a creative vaccuum. Find resources, and inspiration, for everything you do, or you're fighting a losing battle.

          It's important to be aware though that there is a fine line between inspiration and plagiarism. It's one thing to copy a style from a reference photograph (preferably your own, but if you're taking an element from someone else's photography as reference for how a realistic object should look, that's fine). It's another thing entirely to take someone else's artwork and completely reproduce it. If you DO wish to copy someone else's stone wall built by flying space monkeys, you should NEVER do so without first asking permission, and then crediting that person for their design.

          Also, if you're serious about good visual design, study color theory and the art and physics of light. There are thousands of free resources available online to learn more. Fine art photography is an excellent study - try starting at somewhere like Good lighting (use of light, shade and color) is the single most important aspect of this medium, imho. Try this website for an excellent overview on the properties of light: Even a flat-white series of cubes can be made beautiful with good use of light. Conversely, the best meshes and textures in the world won't necessarily inspire awe if they're lit badly. From what I've seen, it's a fairly common problem with beginners where all the effort is put into the shape and texture, and the lighting seems like an afterthought. I've seen many maps that would have been transformed from 'alright' to 'stunning' if the mapper had given the level's lighting the focus it deserves. Of course it's important to mention that most of what makes up '3D graphics' is the faking of the physical properties of light, and in the 3D world this has as much to do with the material attributes as the light sources themselves.