Creating Props for Games, Vol 1
PROPS DUE Environment artist Nick Reynolds shares years of knowledge as he creates in-game objects that look the part
Environment artist Nick Reynolds shares his knowledge for creating in-game objects.
Creating a simple prop for a video game might not sound like the sort of in-depth topic that demands over seven hours of video training. But there’s far more to it than you might suspect.
When you’re creating a 3D scene whose visuals are being updated at up to 60 frames per second, every element in the scene needs to be built for super-efficiency. At the same time, though, everything has to look great.
In this video, Nick Reynolds drills into the complexity of modern games design and shows what you need to consider as you work to balance detail with efficiency. In particular, he explores the core technique of baking, which is essentially rendering visual information in advance so the computer or games console doesn’t have to calculate it on the fly. You might commonly bake in an ambient occlusion map, for example, so that some light and shade information is already worked out.
So while the base software used here is the familiar combo of Maya and ZBrush, Nick spends much of his time in specialist apps including Marmoset Toolbag and Substance Painter, although most of the concepts are applicable regardless of tools. You’ll discover a lot of ways to use all the tools 3D software can offer to get models looking the way you want, without piling on the polygons.
Nick’s been very generous with his knowledge here, distilling years of experience into a few hours and sharing techniques that go deeper than your typical reference manual. His exploration of normal maps in particular will enable you to apply his knowledge to any model you create in the future, rather than imitating what he’s done and then getting stuck.
In the first volume of Creating Props For Games, Nick Reynolds offers a deep-level exploration of crafting great-looking video-game scenes. Discover how to make a low-polygon model look almost as rich as the high-poly version you create for renders. Nick’s demos show some alternative ways to present raised detail without adding polygons. Nick’s prop is a weapon-carrying ‘pack mule’ that follows the character around the game world.