October 21, 2019

Adventures making stylized vehicles

0 comments
After making three stylized characters in Blender I needed to do something else. So why not learn hard-surface modelling and texture painting while making some stylized vehicles? The first vehicle is a US coast guard helicopter model MH-60:


The reason I decided to make this exact helicopter was that I had an old non-stylized model of it collecting dust in a folder, so I might as well use it and improve it. What I also wanted to learn was to add decals to a model. Decals are those logotypes and text and there are several ways to add them. When making games I think the best way is to paint them on top of the base texture by using Blender's stencil function. What you do is you have the texture with a transparent background and then you just paint it where it should be and Blender is figuring out how to add it on top of the base texture. The problem I discovered is that the texture resolution has to be high or the logo and text will become pixelated meaning that you can see the pixels and can't read the text. The helicopter's texture is 2048x2048, but because I realized this was a problem after painting the base texture, and I didn't want to redo it all, I had to cheat by using a 4096x4096 texture on top of the base texture or the logotypes would be visible. This is something I wanted to improve when making the next model.

I also decided to experiment with low-polygon characters with lower polygons than I had previously used. The stylized characters I experimented with before are still low-polygon but they take several days to make because you have to make a high-polygon version and then a low-polygon version, which is a process I talked about in a previous article: How to make a stylized game character in Blender. A single of these lower-low-polygon characters takes less than a day and I think the result is still good if you are not looking at them very close:


Next vehicle I made was a Visby corvette belonging to the Swedish navy:


As said before I wanted to fit everything into a 2048x2048 texture and the easiest way to do that is to have as few UV islands as possible. This is the texture and you can see I managed to paint the logotypes and text on top of the base colors. The result is still kinda pixelated if you look really close, so I might have to experiment more to get a better result:


I wanted to put the Visby corvette in a scene, so I also made the underwater robot rov called "Double Eagle." It belongs to the Visby corvette and they lift it out with a crane to look for underwater objects such as mines:


The final scene is a half below water and half above water. To make the light shining through the water volume I had to experiment with volumetrics, which is really slow to experiment with. The reason is that volumetrics is really slow to render so if you make a small change you have to wait really long before you can see the result of that change. But after a few hours I think the result is good:


If you want to see more images, I've uploaded them to my Artstation account: