Spaceship in Blender – Training Project

In preparation for learning texturing with Substance Painter we started a small model project. Our targeted workflow for hard surfaces will be the following:

  1. Modeling in Blender
  2. Texturing with Substance Painter
  3. Rendering in Gameengine Unity3D

The first step was modeling the spaceship in Blender.

This process was very helpful to understand the demands on 3D models for texturing.

spaceship-in-blender

We evolved this 5 key topics from our first spaceship in Blender:

  • Topology optimization for Substance Painter and Unity3D
  • Edge Split Modifier
  • Mirror Modifier
  • Smooth shading
  • UV optimization for Substance Painter

As 3D model novices we underestimated the importance of a good topology in the first place. We finished the first spaceship in Blender and imported the model in Substance Painter. If you don´t know what a good topology is, your problems will start right now. A lot of shading artifacs appeared and normal map glitches were all over the model.

As always google came to our rescue and we found a pretty helpful youtube video about good topology from Richard Snyder.

We would suggest everybody who starts with blender modeling to watch this video. You will get a better unterstanding of how things are working. Good topology is not only important for a texturing applications like Substance Painter. Also gameengines like Unity3D or UE4 benefit from a good topology.

In conjunction with topology we learned alot about smooth shading, edge split modifier and UV optimization.

Another interesting video from Richard Snyder deals with the topic of fixing a bad topology.

After watching the videos we choose to start the spaceship in Blender all over again. This time it was much easier to import the model to Substance Painter. The next step will be the texturing process. We will live streaming our first texturing attempts with Substance Painter on Twitch.

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Weekend Painting Session – 06.09.2015

This weekend we used the time provided by the bad weather to finish the wood plank texture we started last week. While huge raindrops hammered at the windows we streamed some digital painting via Twitch and Youtube and finished our work.

This is what the final texture looks like:

stylized wooden planks from painting session

As provided in the results from the last session, we enhanced the details of the wood texture. We painted more shadows to the grain to increase the stylized look. In the final step we added rivets which fix the planks at the ground.

From time to time people ask us which software we are using for handpainted textures. Photoshop works great for painting textures, but we changed our art pipeline to Krita. Krita comes with a feature called wraped around mode, which lets you easily paint tileable images without seams. It copies/wrapes the current image around it self. The best thing is that you can even paint over the edges and the brush stroke continous.

In the next sessions we will use this texture for a wooden floor of a watch tower 3D model.

Feel free to send us feedback and critiques at Facebook.

Posted in Gamedev, Handpainted Textures, Painting, Stream

Paintstorm Studio Release Version 1.40

A few month ago we stumbled over the release of a new painting software called Paintstorm Studio.Paintstorm Icon A quick Google search led us to some promissing videos. We did more research and found a serious looking website with:

 

  • an overview of all cool features
  • save and easy purchase via Paypal
  • email with an activation/license code
  • free lifetime update
  • help section
  • tutorial section

This first impressions convinced us to give it a try. Time to start playing around with the new toy!

At the beginning of September Version 1.40 of Paintstorm Studio was released.

This is our experience so far:

  • It is very easy and intuitive to set up the settings for a brush and achieve pretty good results
  • Even for beginners it is not very hard to get into digital painting with this software
  • For professionals a fully customizable interface provides the option to optimize the workflow and set up things to their needs
  • For just 19$ this tool can be a reasonable painting alternative to other professional painting software like Adobes Photoshop or Corel Painter
  • Paintstorm Studio supports layers, blendmodes, stroke stabilizer and much more. One of the features is a really awesome color mixer
  • For Photoshop users it might be appealing that PSS supports the .psd file format
  • Wacom graphic tablets support

The developers team provides some video tutorials to get familiar with the different features and settings. More support comes from a forum and a deviantart community. Our personal experience is that the devs team answeres very fast to questions via email.

If you have become interested you should give it a try. Test painting with Painstorm Studio with 15 days trial version.

Posted in Painting, Software Tagged with: , ,

Weekly Twitch Live Session – 03.09.2015

In our weekly gameart session yesterday we focused on digital painting. Some people joined the stream and ask: “What software is this?” We suggest everybody who is interested in digital painting especially in tileable textures to take a look at Krita.Gameart: Hantpainted Stylized Wood Plank Texture Krita comes with a cool features call wrap around mode. We use this for all tileable textures as it prevents you from creating seams while painting.

Our goal was to create a tileable and stylized wood textures, which can be used for wooden floors. This is what we achieved so far!

We would love to get some feedback about our work on Facebook.

For our next session we plan to add more details to the grain. This will make the texture look more stylized. For the finishing touch we will add rivets to each plank. If you want to watch us improving this texture follow us on Twitter or Twitch.

Posted in Handpainted Textures, Painting, Stream

Creating a landscape in Inkscape

Review of our last live session:

We had created some 2D art foliage for a sidescroller scene in Unity3d.

For the background we had used a realistic photo as a dummy or placeholder.

This time we used Inkscape and Photoshop to paint a landscape scene with mountains and trees.

To create the illusion of depth we drew four layers of mountains for the landscape in Inkscape. We started with the layer in the very back and used a light teal color. This mountains are very high. For the next layers we used darker teal colors depending on the distance to the foreground. The nearer the layers are to foreground the more darker teal values we choose.

 

Landscape in Inkscape

What do you think about the landscape in Inkscape? We would love to see some feedback on facebook!

Did you miss the live stream? Follow us on Twitch!

Posted in Gamedev, General, Handpainted Textures, Stream Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,

Fruits from our Twitch gameart session…

Hi everyone check out what we created yesterday in our live show.

results_from_2dArt_session_hollowlabs_de

We used Inkscape to create vector graphics like a tree trunk, a mushroom or a rock.  After that we enhanced the foliage in Photoshop with some incredible brush-technics. The game engine Unity3d is used to place all the created sprites in a scene for a sidescroller game. For the background we used a placeholder photo, so the scene is not that empty. Background will be part of the next session.

Did you miss the live stream? Follow us on Twitch! And don´t miss the next part!

Posted in Gamedev, Handpainted Textures, Stream Tagged with: , , , , , ,

Risks of buying gameart from online stores!

As a game developer, especially when you work at a small indie studio or solo it is very attractive to buy gameart like textures, models and sprites from asset stores and stock archives. There is a huge range of stores that provide all kinds of gameassets and gameart.

The disadvantage of buying gameart from the web:

This art will be found in many other games and you do not stand out of the masses, but there is another problem:

Be careful when you buy gameart from dubious websites.example image for gameart It might be stuff stolen from other stores or extracted data from released games. Even reliable stores are not 100% save.
Authentic shops check submitted content for licence and copyright issues. But stuff might slip through the net and cause a lot of trouble like here. This risk even exists when the offered art is for free.

What might happen when you use unauthorized content?

  • You get sued
  • Your Kickstarter or Greenlight Campaign get stopped
  • You have to pay a fine
  • Your reputation suffers

How can you try to prevent this?

  • On many web stores you can check the authors website and other products. At this first step you might be able to identify a untrustworthy provider.
  • Search the same content on different store platforms. Different authors? Check out the price ranges, huge differences are suspicious!
  • Search the web for the art or author
  • Use rated and commented content
  • Read user comments
  • Report suspicious content

If you really want to be on the safe side you should make your gameart by yourself!

The advantage of free and low-cost art assets:

This kind of content is great for prototyping and testing. It saves you alot of time when testing game mechanics or demonstrating some parts of a game with placeholders.

This article asserts no claim for legal accuracy or completeness and in this respect do not absolves the user from his duty of verification.

Posted in General Tagged with: ,

Some stylized billboard foliage

from our twitch painting session.

We created a beautiful stylized billboard for a 3D game.

stylized_grass_billboard

If you want your game to look unique and coherent you can start making your own #gameart. For this image we used Photoshop and a Wacom Tablet.

Did you miss our session? Want to know how you can create such art for your game?

Follow us on twitch!

Posted in Gamedev, Handpainted Textures Tagged with: , , ,

Details for the cobblestone texture

in the second twitch live-painting session.

In this sessions we added scratches and little holes to the stones using a screen and mutiply layers.

result2_twitch_session_painting_stylized_cobblestone_by_hollowlabs

 

For the background we use a handpainted mud texture. The smudge tool becomes very handy for blending the stones and the mud.

In our next sessions we will enhance the texture with more details and more colors variation. Don´t miss the next session and follow us on twitch or twitter.

Posted in Handpainted Textures, Stream Tagged with: ,

Check out Twitch painting session

results on our pinterest site.

After 2 hours we finished our first sketch of a handpaintd cobblestone texture for a videogame.

results_handpainting_stylized_cobblestone_by_hollowlabs

Don´t miss the next session and follow us on twitch or twitter.

We will continue with the details and add some interestion aspects to the texture.

Posted in Handpainted Textures, Stream Tagged with: , , ,

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