Saturday, January 25, 2014

Pigs, Cows, and Pens! Oh My!

After fairly good results with the barn, I decided to take a bit of a break from programming and focus on modeling some more game assets. I am still pretty new to modeling, but the little experience I have had with 3DS Max during my career as a freelancer has made Blenders learning curve a bit easier on me.


Having never created my own models for use in-game, I did a ton of research on the subject beforehand.  Considering my lack of experience, low-poly assets were definitely in order.  I opted to go with a cartoony, obese shape for the farm animals, keeping the base shape the same throughout and using only features and textures to differentiate between species.  Beginning with the pig, I slowly but surely extruded features from a sphereified cube, and ended up with the following:



From there I quickly seamed out a uv map and a texture based off of materials.  With a lot of adjustments, I had a model that was really starting to look like a pig:



Then I repeated these steps for a cow, working with the pig as the base model and adjusting features to make them more appropriate for the species.  While these are not necessarily my final drafts, they will definitely work as first drafts, which I can bring into the game, allowing me to put the entire concept to the test.  The first draft of the cow:


Repeating the same basic steps as with the pig, I also got some foundation work done on a pen for the farm animals. My goal was for the fence to have a bit of character while keeping the topology simple, so I added some damaged boards to the model. The result is the following:



Each of the animals averaged me about two hours total, textures included. This is my first time producing my own game assets, and while I am happy with the results, I'm anxious to have a final blender > unity3d pipeline in place so that things come together a bit quicker.  I continued work on the textures for the animals, and repeated the steps for the barn and the pen.  The textures are currently flat colors with some ambient occlusion baked on; I have not done any of my brush work in Photoshop as of yet.

With these models nearing completion, I figured I had enough to start working an updated scene in Unity3D.  This will hopefully allow me to hash out any problems that may arise before modeling the rest of my assets.  After about an hours work in Unity3D, this is the result:



The only assets in the above scene that I did not create myself are the barrels and the grass texture.  Considering this is my first time creating my own game assets in Blender, I'm more than happy with the results so far.

The next step will be to apply all these changes to the gameplay, followed by creating the rest of the farm animals and also adding some more props to the world. For now, though, it's back to my full-time job... gotta pay the bills right?

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