Art Time #19 – Axe Modeling

Welcome to this week’s dev blog! It is art time again and this time I will show you the process of modeling a weapon for Tamarrion.

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The first step is of course actually designing the weapon, this is a concept for an axe that will be used by one of the characters in the game. It is supposed to belong to a strong and heavy character in the undead wing where Nihteana and Valac belongs, so it needs to be coherent to both its owner and the rest of the wing. Therefore (and to make it more interesting and cool) I have chosen to add runes on the blade, which will be the same ones that were used on Valac’s sword. I also incorporated the edged swirly pattern that Nihteana has on her clothing and spikes from Valac’s armour. Since all characters have some kind of skull as part of their design, I also wanted to incorporate it on this axe.

After creating a base mesh using the concept as a reference, it was time to start working on some high poly sculpting! I started adding basic details and testing placement, before going further and adding more. I like to work on all pieces of a model simultaneously, so that they are always at the same level of detail, starting general and then going more and more into details.

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In the previous picture I felt that the runes were just too cautiously placed and needed to be stronger and deeper into the blade to give it a harder and more menacing look. Simply more readable as well. I wanted the axe to look as if it had been well used in battle so I gave it dents and scratches and made sure that the edges were not perfectly smooth as if it was brand new.

Once the high poly model was complete I had to create a low poly model to retarget it to and then UV-map it. This part was pretty easy and straightforwards, since a non-animated object does not need very complex edge flow. The biggest issue faced here was having to go back to high poly sculpting as the wrapped grip had intentionally been meant to be reused from a different weapon. When unwrapping the UVs I soon realised however, that because of the size of this weapon, the stretching of the texture would be quite extreme and too visible for it to work.

The final step of the modeling process, while waiting for normal maps to be baked, was to

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piece it together and merge it into a single mesh and send it on its way to Unity (how it turned out you can see below). Now it just needs a texture to add some colour and it will be ready to hack away!

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Check in next week for another dev blog and in two weeks we will be back with more art!

Love
Cobrabird

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