Now on my third attempt because I still did not feel satisfied with my previous examples. I wanted to represent the stump with a smooth bark free upper section which would flow naturally into the lower bark level that was still intact. I did this by problem solving from my previous trials of the tree stump and figured out a way by masking out areas of the tree stump and then extruding and separating that section out.
|Beautiful image of a isolated tree stump, something along the lines I was trying to achieve.|
I decided to chop of the limps of the tree stump, keeping it simplified. The extension of the arms just got in the way. I also sculpted a variety of form from a separation of its firm structure of the bottom half, of the tree stump and en-large forms to show the grandness, this allowed me then to get some ground elevation when sculpting in the terrain later on.
I created these three different variations of my tree stump. I was at the stage of experimenting with 'Alphas' in ZBrush. From my previous attempts, it lacked the actual detail of the bark, and it was hard to even sculpt them in. However I also came across the 'noise filter' in ZBrush which really sped up the detailing and aswell given me alot of new forms, detail and information that I wouldn't thought otherwise to do so, it very much was a treat and discovered at the right moment. With that in mind my variations above refines it self to be much realistic and believe-ability.
The first tree stump, was a test after small amount of alpha brushing applied and then used a heavy dose of noise. It looked pretty good but I was after something more subtle. The second one had more alpha brushing applied and hardly any noise filter active. I'd then improved from this by adding a larger noise forms and the tiling more wider, to which it bulked out certain areas and gave extra subtle sculpted bark details.
Here were the alpha brushes that I created my self from my own references. I placed the original reference in Photoshop, created a soft circle mask to which I paste my reference with a circle selection and then changed them to grey-scale, adjusted light and dark's, then saved them out as JPEGS.
I decided to work on the smoother upper bark. By keeping it separated from the main body it was alot more organised that helped when sculpting because I could work on this without affecting the main body and help when retopologizing or applying ZRemesher it could give me a better typology. I gradually was building in the forms and detail. I didn't want it to heavy but very subtle, which I'm sure I have achieve.
At this point, I still kept my previous tree stump version, which were still in my sub-tools. By when getting feedback my friend suggested to merge my previous tree stump versions with the one I will be keeping. It worked out great and given it some slight variation in the detail.
My final version of my trees stump, I am happy with what I have achieve so far but have to leave it as it is and move on. I have definitely improved from my first tree stump to my final, I feel that my decisions choices, problem-solving and my skill and techniques has grown alot stronger.
I have learn't alot from this for now I will then apply and learn more when doing my other assets.
Testing out ZRemesher, ouch doesn't looked it did a great job, so I have no choice in manualing retypo it in 3DS Max.
In my 3 years at University I have never retypo before, better late then never! So I have to do some fast learning to understand how to do it and properly.
I'd centered them both to 0,0,0 and with pivot and xform reset.
In Grey is my High-Poly from Zbrush, which I had to decimate it from 15million to around 1.5 million, it kept alot of it detail :) However my PC couldn't handle it in 3DS Max which I notice the tri count doubles it from what you decimate it in Zbrush.
So standing at around 3 million in 3DS Max, my PC was just very slow. So I decided to make a decision to decimate it alot lower and import that into Max which the High-Poly stood at around 450,000. After I retypo from this I would then import back in the 3 million High-Poly to bake.
|450,000 High-Poly alot of detail still captured.|
After many trial and errors of retopologizing, I came to this result. I still feel I would need to tweak it or actually redo it again but I need to move on and get onto sculpting my terrain. I can always go back quickly, I just need it in engine as a filler to sculpt around.
Just placed some color onto the high-poly in max and the retypo version next to it which I vastly improved from my previous attempted. Using the graphic modeling tools were very useful to help conforming the low poly to the high poly.
I did attempt to do do the landscape in Zbrush but I stopped mid-way to see how to import it into UDK and it was a ball-ache. I believe I had to do have it as a RAW. format but to get it as that, I have to get my height map file of the sculpt to a 16bit bmp, if I remember correctly. Which I searched around on how to do this and couldn't' come with a conclusion. So I just decided to just keep it to UDK.