Sunday, September 27, 2009

Realistic 3D Rendering

Sometimes I like to see the final product of my work. Wings3d does not have realistic lighting built in, but I can get photo realistic lighting and affects by rendering my model and a scene in a rendering application like Kerkythea.

Georgian Townhouse

Hey that looks very realistic! This is a Georgian style townhouse I made wile trying to emulate the 1700's Georgian style. It is actually one of the first buildings I made. My goal for that model was to see how realistic I could make it, and I needed to figure out a good work flow and process to make buildings. It was made in several pieces on purpose so I could fit them together to make a two story or two window wide version. I also made it so I could easily switch out the front door for some variation. A funny feature in this model is that you can actually open the windows!

Honestly the features of this model are overkill. It took me an entire week to make correctly but I learned a lot from it. A modular design is often used in games nowadays but it is very difficult to get the pieces to fit together. The hardest part is to get the textures to line up so it does not look like there is a seam. If I made this two stories I would likely have to reapply the brick to make it seamless. Fortunately Wings3d has a Snap Image feature that makes it easy to re texture a model like this.

When I made the Georgian Townhouse I reapplied the texture several times throughout the modeling process. Every time I changed something I reapplied the texture to see if it worked right. That was the reason it took so long for me to make it. I now complete the model entirely before I texture it at all.

I no longer use this process for the most part. Sometimes I will reuse windows or doors across several models but beyond that I make the rest of the building in one piece each time. The models I am making now for my first town are made with my own version of the Tudor style. They are architecturally fairly realistic, however I do not plan to make the next super realistic game like Crysis or Oblivion. Usually they take about an hour to make and an hour to texture. I plan to make a slightly stylized game that is intentionally slightly unrealistic, that way its not unusual to see crazy environments or neat and fun looking towns.