Create a game engine asset from concept to finished design

Introduction

I think that the most important thing in the game industry is to know how to create something and see it inside the game. So in this tutorial we will talk about how to design something fast and get the object ready for use inside your game.

Alexandr Novitskiy fantasy skull warhammer blood
A complete design from idea to engine.

The idea was to create a design of the old wicked hammer. First of all I did the silhouette. The silhouette is the most important part here. At the beginning, I made a very simple photobash. It gave me an understanding that I should make the shapes more curvy and interesting. There is nothing to fear if your first attempt is flat and uninteresting. It’s just a search for shapes and the first steps in designing the new thing.

1. Concepting and shaping

Alexandr Novitskiy fantasy skull warhammer concept

You can see how the shape was changed after all steps below:

Alexandr Novitskiy fantasy skull warhammer shaping

The main steps in object blocking is to find its shape with primitives. Our goal here is to create the base contour, not details. So after a quick 2D working, I started to block it in 3D to enhance my silhouette and make the shapes more interesting.

Alexandr Novitskiy fantasy skull warhammer 3D

To boost my speed, I placed some bone elements like skull and a part of a spine on my model. So after Dynamesh and quick work with base shapes I got this result:

Alexandr Novitskiy fantasy skull warhammer

At this stage I achieved a final silhouette, but not a final object.

Tip: Do not try to reach a final silhouette in the 2D stage. It should give you only a vision of further design, but not a final result!

2. Detailing

Next I detailed my model with elements of spinal bones combined with cutting shapes.

Alexandr Novitskiy fantasy skull warhammer detailing

Tip: It’s very important to keep your design in harmony: if you use your skull as your main element, support it with some other bones, for example: use spinal bones as a part of the grip, it will make your design stronger.

Alexandr Novitskiy fantasy skull warhammer detailing Alexandr Novitskiy fantasy skull warhammer

3. Topology and UV

When the design was finished, I made a retopology. As a lazy person, I used an automatic decimation for it with a slight hand touch.

Alexandr Novitskiy fantasy skull warhammer blood topology

I think it’s not an ideal topology, but it’s fine for this use. I got 10K triangles. Here can be more or less polygons, depending on your needs. My goal was to repeat my shape without any losses in silhouette in the most important parts like the skull and grip. After all, I made a UV for it.

Alexandr Novitskiy fantasy skull warhammer topology UV

Tip: Even in fast and simple work try not to forget about layout and padding between shells and from borders.

4. Texturing

Here everything was simple. I made a mix with an old iron material with a layer of patina. I blended the patina with base material through the mask generator.

Alexandr Novitskiy fantasy skull warhammer patina

That’s all! Just default old iron material with a layer of patina! Ah, yes! The blood! I added a simple material with blood. I painted it with particles.

Alexandr Novitskiy fantasy skull warhammer blood

Tip: Try not to make as many layers as possible. Better to keep everything simple. If you have a good design, even default materials will look fine! And do not forget about the blood!

5. Rendering

I just made five directional lights with different angles. One of which was red. Then I moved some lights a little for other images. That’s all!

Alexandr Novitskiy fantasy skull warhammer rendering

Tip: Better not to use HDR at all. Start from one light source and then add another until you are satisfied.

Alexandr Novitskiy fantasy skull warhammer
Alexandr Novitskiy fantasy skull warhammer
Alexandr Novitskiy fantasy skull warhammer
Alexandr Novitskiy fantasy skull warhammer

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