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[Blender] asset creation : texturing and low poly

Hi,

I am starting to really learn UE4 with my team, and I am the only one who can create the 3D assets.
I actually spent 2-3 years modeling some “nice” rendering, and I consequently know very well how to use Blender and 3DSMax.
However, I am in a computer science school, 3D modeling/texturing is not my major at all (compared to programming) and I never created 3D assets for game, I am completely lost now.
I tried to watch many tutorials but I did not succeed to apply what I saw to some models I made.
Is my method right ?

  • Create the high poly
  • Texture the high poly
  • Create the associated low poly
  • Bake the texture from the high to the low poly

I am asking this because I am always stuck texturing my high poly which is simply too hard to texture (I have always been better at modeling that texturing unfortunately).

In order to learn simple baking and low poly modeling, I tried to create a wooden chair (simple, I know).
I obtained something like that :
86161c4ed7e810d66e82eb287d4d4ff41cec9241.png
However, I have two concerns about this chair :

  • The thing is that, for object like that, with many “rotating” faces, it is difficult to texture it in a good way.
    What do you use in order to texture it with some nice defects ? (knowing that I have all the needed texture, such as the wooden one)
  • Is it a good way to texture it and after to project the details on a low poly ?

I could have post my questions on some famous 3D forums, but I prefere to ask you guys as I can also learn to create it in order to really fit with UE4 and to be as efficient as it can.

Kind Regards,

David

Might be better off posting about blender questions on these forums :wink:

Do not overuse subsurf!
Unwrapping is no problem, “rotated” means cylindric?
There are some good unwrap tutorials around for you.
Look out for array and mirror modifier tutorials too.

I personally texture the low-poly model only, if I do not intend to use the higher one. You are wasting time on baking. Baking ambient occlusion might be necessary, but I would advise against baking textures. When you need to texture anyway, then why do it for two if you use only one?

Having a good understanding of unwrapping helps a lot with texturing. Yes, it can be a hassle. Texturing isn’t my strong point either. :slight_smile:

Could you show wireframe?

Also, my approach is opposite of yours. :slight_smile: I model the low-poly version, with that I can be sure I have a good silhouette. For high poly I duplicate the first, add subsurf. Then start to add loop cuts, where necessary. The only time I might do it the other way is for quick sculpting, but then I still do low-poly retopo, and continue the usual route.
I only texture the low-poly version, because then there are less faces to keep track of, and if you have been careful there aren’t a lot of stretches.

Hope this helps a little!

Hey David,

Yes your method is theoretically correct-

  1. Model high poly
  2. Texture high poly
  3. Create low poly
  4. Map texture from high poly to low poly

However, this is not easily done in Blender. You first want to make a model that translates well from high poly to low poly. Your model looks like it is made with a lot of cylinders and separate shapes which will just translate to being a pain in the neck to actually make a working low poly model especially if you’re going to create lightmaps/etc from this model in order to properly import it into unreal engine.

I would suggest re-modeling this chair as a low poly model itself, keep your poly count low and try to use connecting vertices to make it one coherent complete object. Using a program like Zbrush would be the easiest way to like you said “map the high poly texture to the low poly model” as it does this automatically for you. Doing it completely inside blender, you will have to pay close attention to your UV’s (make sure they don’t overlap) and create a nice texture that’ll make your chair look high quality even when you don’t have many vertices. I’m not sure if there’s an easy way to “project” your high quality map on a low quality model inside Blender-- so I would suggest creating your LOD 0 as your highest quality model from blender and import that to UE4 and make sure your texture and lightmaps as you expect before moving on to different LODs.

To give your chair some good looking defects, make a normal map of your texture (I use the Quixel suite) and apply this as well as your texture inside UE4. To get some variation maybe try toying around with some lerp nodes controlling textures over different vertices colors- make a couple different texture maps that work together and paint in areas of your chairs to make the texture switch. Maybe one worn wood texture and one regular wood and vertex paint in different areas to change between the two? This would also help if you intend to repeat the asset across your map to provide variation chair to chair.

Take my advice with a grain of salt, I don’t know everything but I hope I help a bit.

Good Luck,

Luke

Standard answer would be, if you ask me:
Because you could use the HP-Normalmap and put it onto lowpoly, then lowpoly looks like HP…
http://www.xnormal.net/
When you bake normal maps, best is one solid object, nothing intersecting, or facealign and delete overlapping faces…

Well, I would probably bake NormalMaps and AO from high-poly, then do final mixing in some photo editing software. I wouldn’t bake DiffuseMap. That’s what I meant.

Yeah, Baking highly to lowly to get the normal maps and AO is good but only do UV’s and diffuse texturing on the low poly.

Thank you for all your responses.
However, some of you advise to create the low poly before, and others advise to create the high poly.
I do not really know the order I should follow.
Anyway, this is my wireframe (followed by the low poly version)
Untitled-3.png
This is really a way to understand how it works and to try, the object is quite simple, and, sure, my modelization could have been better.
If you have any tips for me, it would be nice.

Thnak you!

Sry sir, but you use a wrong path of wisdom, if you ask me.
Try to understand UV-Unwrap first, before digging deeper.
Some steps later, that hp-lp you understand more easy.
You will encounter for sure problems, where you “stick” your objects together, and import into ue4.
Export single objects out of blender, give different parts different materials.
When that works.
https://youtube.com/watch?v=ApzVWuPa4A4
:slight_smile:

Both approaches are possible, it is a personal preference. I personally approach this as traditional sculpting or painting. Main shape first then add the details. That’s why I do low poly first and work my way up from there.

I did some lines on the highpoly to show the shape difference between the chairs and how maybe make the lowpoly version. I do not make these lines when I’m actually retopoing.
But hope it helps to understand a bit.
98df774a243ed35a4430986673675866a90fc859.png

Also I would use 5 to 6 sided cylinders for the legs. The smaller ones, if necessery, you could get away with boxes, but I would rotate them so one edge would face toward the player.
I understand that it’s a crude version, but the shapes are very different.

I would suggest try modeling both ways - from highpoly to lowpoly and the opposite approach. After a while you should get an idea, what feels more natural to you.
Good luck!

Thank you for all your answers!
I succeeded to create something actually really not bad. I did not use any high poly model as my chair do not have special caracteristics that needed to be shaped.
I am now creating other assets that need to be baked from high to low poly, and actually I am a bit using both methods.
Sometimes I model the low poly first, that I duplicate to improve and add some details, sometimes I do totally the contrary.

Thank you for your answers!
See you :slight_smile: