I would like to show you this reconstruction of the Lut Gholein city of Diablo II that I made, as I am a big fan of the saga.
Original map :
Also I wanted to share with you some information about its creation and process in case you are interested.It’s a quick overview but if anyone interested in anything feel free to ask and I’ll explain more details
My main problem about this, was the lack of time to complete such a big map, as I’ve been working on it in my very spare time after work, so what I needed was to build it as fast as possible and keep motivated to finish it.
As I consider that the most time consuming task is the specific texturing, I decided to texture almost all the assets inside the engine, taking advantage of the powerful material editor and the vertex paint feature. This way you can get your models ready inside the engine really fast, mainly by taking care of propper modelling and UV.
First I made a Master Material, but I noticed that it was very complex and had too many options, so I decided to make another from scratch, simpler and easy to use.
This material is configured by the main texture that “lerps” with a second texture assigned by the G vertex color multiplied by the first texture heightmap, and multiplied by a dirt texture (with 3 dirt channels) and tinted in the B vertex color.
Then the same stuff with the roughness and normal, adding some parameters to control the values that I considered most important.
Then it’s just a matter of create propper material instances when needed.
…Well this is a bit long to explain, but if you want a more in-depth view and explanation of this material just tell me.
I used Blender for all the modelling stuff. I have been working with 3D Max and Maya for years and I definitely think that Blender is by far the most powerful, efficient and fast in modelling/uv/texturing terms (still can’t figure why is not a standard in the videogame industry ).
Regarding texturing I used Photoshop, Krita and Awesome Bump (this one is an open-source CrazyBump-like software that I highly recommend).
So, first I began modelling a single hut with specific texturing ( https://sketchfab.com/models/ccc7614aa44945f1ac7ed5c5f1199ef2 ), but here I realized that it was going to be a very long process to finish all the map in that way, so once I tested the main material I started to model the Tavern . I made a timelapse about it ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DSKVQCzuhcc ) .
Then I was planning to make Timelapses of almost every asset, but … at that moment it wasn’t worth it ( Made the two first building timelapses though https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t1ZphxOmKSw , https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KeBGuxAFXq8 ).
I made all the buildings in a row in order to check their positions and fill the map with the walls. Then started to complete the map with the rest of the assets .
At this moment it was the time to model the temple. It was the most difficult model, as this kind of architecture is a bit tricky, had to fit all the lines properly, and had to figure out the proportions of the modules in order to fit one with each other .
Notice that I used a simple line texture (used in cloth and entrance as well ) in the dirt vertex channel and just UV mapped it. Fit all of these lines in Photoshop manually would have been a pain in the neck hehe .
For the trees I was a bit lazy because never made foliage before, but I had 30€ that Epic gave me after the suscription (thanks!) to spend in the marketplace, so I purchased one Foliage pack, but it wasn’t exactly what I needed, as the trees in the original map are very different… so I extracted the textures, and made the trees by my own.
The ground material is a modified version of the main material with some tweaks and vertex displacement in the R channel in order to elevate the sand zones
The ocean shader was quite simple, just some panning textures mixed to displace the vertex position (Also with parameters to tweak all the values in real time)
************************* Argh! Limit of image attachments, I’ll continue in the next post