May 12, 2018

Devblog #6: Learning to paint on 3D surfaces.

Greetings Legends!
This week, we've got Hailey Anuscavage who is going to chat about painting textures on 3D objects!

Hello darkness my old friend.

Hey I’m Hailey and I guess I need to tell you all about the amazing journey I’ve had self-teaching myself to paint textures on 3D objects. Coming from a 2D illustration background with just a hint of knowledge regarding 3D programs, this was a disaster just waiting to happen. I did what I do best, and mashed buttons until something presentable came out of it. I had only ever work on one side of a surface with the rare turnaround or clay model.

The thing that ate up the most time was learning the new programs that I would use for modeling on the computer. Tutorial videos are a good start to figure out where things are, especially when a program has had a hundred updates since the last time you used it. I practiced on simple models before even attempting to use the actual file. My life was spent in front of computer screens for a solid week before I was able to pull a UV map out of Maya and attempt to paint. 

Mistakes were made.
I had hoped the map would help break things down for a more approachable work flow, but it just ended up with a bunch of rainbow vomit and running back and forth between two programs. My first idea was a mesh and hard to work through as some of the shapes were way different than what it would fold back into.
Eventually we settled on 3D-coat, a program that turns my hobby of painting miniatures into a much easier tool. It was better to see the whole model instead of the disjointed shapes on a map, and I was able to paint and layer to achieve the product that I wanted.
The only other problem I had was getting the texture to actually look like metal. I’ve mainly worked with very natural and fluid things, like bunnies and disjointed heads. Metal has not been something that I’ve worked with. Even with references figuring out the correct way to layer the colors made for sleepless nights as my laptop screamed for sweet release (it is an old, loyal laptop, but I’ve found it doesn’t work well with these large programs).
So many textures, all so hard to paint.
Good thing I had my team to back me up as 99% of my attempts were kinda meh at best. With their help I was able to stumble my way through creating this monstrosity. Color Dodge and Multiply were my most used tools to make the model look bright and polished. I eventually got a system down, and now smarter me can get through painting models in no time. Do not do what I do and just jump in, you’re gonna need help from others, especially from people who know how to paint metal.

The evolution of machine.

That's it for this week's post. Next week, we will be hearing from Rory Yates about his process of creating concept art!

Thanks for tuning in! 

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