When it comes to 3D modelling my go-to application these days is Foundry's (Luxology before they merged) Modo. Over the years I've tried most 3D modelling applications such as 3D Studio Max, Maya, Blender and Cinema 4D, but none of these seem to match the speed and intuitiveness that Modo brings. I always find myself fighting with the UI instead of embracing it. That said, in no way am I knocking the other applications, I guess I just have hundreds of more hours invested into Modo which makes it more of a joy.
Texturing on the other hand has recently been turned on it's head with the use of Quixel Suite 2 and Substance Designer/Painter. Historically I would have exported my UV sets from Modo, imported them into Photoshop, and then set aside a good few days of texture hunting, aligning, cropping, blending, painting, griming-up, more hunting, more cropping, a bit more painting, etc. Don't get me wrong, I still do a lot of these steps and I still head into Photoshop for post work, but I guess the biggest difference is that I can see these changes in real time, in 3D, on my actual model, within Photoshop. I've dabbled with both Substance and Quixel, and whilst both are fabulous products, I seem to be firmly routed into Quixel Suite 2 now.
With all these different applications there always seem to be a differences, albeit small, in what they call maps and their channels, or how normal maps are exported etc. It's never a big deal when I ultimately end up in Unreal Engine or Unity as Quixel has export settings preset for both engines. So I know with regards to Unreal that the Metallic map will plug nicely into Unreal's metallic material pin etc.
My Issue comes with me liking to produce a few high quality renders within Modo or Maxwell Render. It's not always true that the equivalently named shader channel exists within these. After some tweaking of Modo settings and the obligatory pluging of maps into random channels I found a sweet spot that seems to work for me. In now way am I saying this is the definitive combination of Quixel exported maps into Modo channels, but I am seeing fairly consistent results using these so far.
The section on the left, 'LargeVentFan_x' is the map that gets exported from Quixel Suite. The right section is the corresponding Modo channel. They all seem fairly similar apart from metallic and ao. The only other change I've had to make was within the Modo material.
Like I said, I'm not saying these are the definitive settings, but they do seem to give good results for the tests i've completed so far. I'll obviously update you if I find better results.
With our Beach Pack 1 being live for about a week now, it was time to make a start on the next set of assets; Levers and Switches Pack 1.
This pack will differ from our previous packs by adding functionality to the assets instead of the static meshes of the previous pack. As this is a levers and switches pack, all the buttons, levers and switches will fire events when clicked via Blueprints, so it will be easy for you to hook up your game's functionality off these events.
I envisage the pack to contain 10 different switches and levers. These will range from basic on/off single button switches (i.e. a light switch) to more complex control panels. The switch I've most recently been modelling is a generator type electrical switch.
The above image is taken from MODO where I made the mesh. There are 3 buttons on the left panel, 1 button in the central panel towards the bottom and a 'cut off' type button in a more central position. I am currently working on the UV unwrap and material stage.
The above image is a basic block out of the materials and was rendered with Maxwell Render.
I am hoping to have the pack all finished and off to Epic Games for their QA by the end of next week with a release date towards the end of April.
Me being a game developer, I've had the opportunity to attend numerous gaming conventions, such as EGX and Rezzed, as both an exhibitor and as a general public attendee. My eldest son (10), whilst being an avid gamer who spend most of his spare time (or the time that we allow him) knuckled down on his Xbox One, has never attend such an event before. So imagine his excitement when we hear that an event named GamerCon was coming to Dublin. This is the first time a gaming convention has been held on Irish soil.
GamerCon are marketing the event as...
"Come join the biggest gaming event in Ireland."
"We are sponsored by THE BIGGEST names in gaming, bringing you the BIGGEST & BEST titles and merchandise. Get your game on at GamerCon!"
So I said to my son, "we have to go to this, what do you think?". To say he was excited doesn't even come close. The chance of meeting his YouTube heroes with the listed meet and greet, to playing the very best and newest games, was almost too much for him to contain.
So we added 2 pre-paid tickets to the shopping cart and hit buy!
The day of the show was upon us so we boarded the 5 hour bus from Donegal down to Dublin... walked up O'Connell Street and headed towards the Quays where the convention centre is. As the building loomed closer we finally got to see the event...
Or more accurately, we saw the queue!! When we arrived the queue was already zigzagging around 3 buildings and contain thousands of people, and that is not some wild exaggeration, literally thousands! Undeterred (well slightly), we joined the back of this massive people snake, in the driving rain, and crept exceeding slowly forward. 3 hours later... we were still in the queue, although not creeping at all... god knows how many hours later... hmm, I think I should maybe get some thoughts on the delays from the organiser. Upon speaking to one of the security staff that were manning the queue it was confirmed that the doors were already locked and everyone was being turned away.
And how true it was. For the previous few hours we had noticed people walking in the opposite direction to the queue, but put this down to the waiting duration, appalling weather, and basically losing the will to live. After stopping a few of these tired looking souls they all seemed to be telling the same story. "Queued for 5 hours to be turned away at the door".
Can you imagine my boy's disappointment! 5 hours on a bus, 4 hours queuing, clutching our pre-paid tickets, to be turned away!
As it turns out, my son wasn't the only disappointed child (or adult). Thousands of people were told they couldn't get in. Children were crying everywhere you looked. I have never before, and hope to never again, see such a scene.
After a quick read through the Twitter #GamerCon & #GamerConDublin hashtags it was obvious that things were not going well for the GamerCon organiser, all Social Media was alight and angry. The organiser had deleted his twitter account etc.
A complete fiasco.
So what's next for us in this saga? refund? Well, to be honest, we don't really know. The event's website has posted about refunds being available, a channel which we are currently pursuing. Getting the monies spent on the tickets would be a start (I can't see us getting the transportation costs reimbursed though), but the real issue here for me is how did this happen? As I mentioned at the start of this post I have been to numerous other events which have always been highly enjoyable and hitch-free.... so what happened here?
All the media channels that I've read are claiming that the organiser sold thousands upon thousands of tickets more than the venue could hold. I can't confirm this, but from what I saw on the day it's seems to hold true.
GamerCon.... it's seems the name is quite befitting of the event!
Today's blog entry is a no holds barred piece of self promotion, lol!
From the 13th -> 19th March our Worn Furniture Pack 1 for Unreal Engine 4 is 30% off; that's $10.49 down from $14.99. The pack consists of 20 unique (28 with variants) high quality props of worn wooden benches, tables, stools, and chairs for use within your game projects.
Head over to the pack's webpage to grab it whilst it's on offer.