GoldenAge – Buildings details and decor
Models and textures for Rob Tuytel’s Golden Age project, These are hipolys for still rendering of VR panoramas.
I used the same workflow as for realtime game models, just using a bit more detail on the “lowpoly” (or better, in this case, ‘final’ model that is used in the scenes renders) so a few things like shutter hinges or thin frames are in the final lowpoly, but these aren’t much heavier than what’s used in a modern fps , the hipoly is still used, and baked to textures in Substance.
You can see these used in some amazing stills Rob has published lately on Artstation:
More info below :
Sculpted detail here means actual sculptures (like statues and capitels) but was also used on wood frames or plaster walls to chip , scratch and generally add subtle organic detail, that gets picked up by baked normal and cavity maps and helps a lot with making Substance painter procedural materials.
The typical example of this question, which i guess happens to everyone texturing with Quixel , Substance or using Blender nodes, is when you make a concrete pillar and wonder whether is still necessary to sculpt edge damage manually or if a straight box edge can be “picked up” and procedurally turned into a realistic chipped and weathered edge.
My current answer , unless you have 100s of pieces and really can’t spend time sculpting each one , is to quickly and roughly sculpt a bit , and that takes less time than trying to push a procedural material to do everything. You don’t need to sculpt every scratch and fine grain , but a quick scrape brush along the edges of the pillar will make any Substance smart material work much better, with less tweaks, less layers and passes.
Dyntopo has been great for this, in my experience, besides the Blend file getting huge quick (as disk size) there aren’t many downsides .. having some millions of polygons for some wood sticks of a window frame, isn’t a problem as long as it’s not the final mesh (and if the project gets big, not storing it in the same file of the final scene too)
In screenshots you can see cycles materials , using the PBR textures generated in Substance, including a detail mask, that tells cycles where to overlay tiled detail like bricks, high res plaster or wall grain textures or just a flat paint color (to add variety in the final scene)
As of lately, i didn’t use batch baking in Blender or its nodes to make base textures, Substance, for me, still has too much already done, at a convenient price, to keep working on the tools i used for the early GA ships, but i keep using a simple batch export script that gets the fbx low and hi poly ready for Substance in 1 click, this personal ‘toolbox’ script now also has an export batch for Unity .. All of it still very w.i.p. and tweaked for each project, but i will publish it as soon as it gets a bit more mature (i.e. a box for output folder instead of that being hard coded in the script .. yes, i’m lazy like that).