Where Everything Lay to Rest [Completed]


(Creationsmaxo) #1

This is my final entry for the contest:

I'm really proud of what I have been able to accomplish in 7 days!
I really want to thank Sketchfab for this contest. It was a good reminder of old-time techniques and really fun to do!

What's following is the first post I wrote for the contest.

I'm pretty late for this contest (less than 8 days until the end), but, except for those 8 days worth of work, I got nothing to loose from trying my best at submitting something, right?

I didn't participate earlier because of 2 reasons. I know its change nothing to my participation, but I still wish to share those:
A) Recently, my last "working" PC mouse started to show some sign of ages (an old Microsoft mouse which I, as a gamer, have used for over 5 years). I got other mouse, but they all display some sign of age or bad behaviors. So it was time that I should buy a new one, online to save quite a few bucks. (Freelancer with no steady income as of now so...)
I had to wait to receive this new mouse before think about taking on something like a contest.
B) I'm not a WoW player. I played the original vanilla game back in the days you could easily get "working" 1-month game card from vanilla game (disk) package for 5$ at your local game store (while game card were costing much more), but stopped once those weren't working anymore. (Back then I couldn't even have a credit card as I was around 15-16.) I never played any expansion and I'm completely out of the last 10 years worth of the story and content or even latest visual concept. So, instead of just going head-on into the unknown and really hit my head, I decided to study the Wow lore and, more precisely, things related to the Burning Legion expansion. I learned most from the youtube video around where players play and explain the content in the pre-release patch.

My idea (which made me think "it's possible within 1 week") which gave me interest into participating even if late is this, which I sketched in the last hour:

For some reason, I really like to sketch in white over black (like chalk on a board). Due to my ignorance of most of the lore behind WoW, I decided to make something based on the small amount of knowledge I have gotten out of the last couple of weeks.

Since I'm quite limited in time, I have though of a way of making a base which can easily be upgraded once completed and that as long as I still have time. The initial setup is the a view of a small river of that green lava/goo stuff from the Broken Shore and, at least, I plan on adding some damaged items laying around it.

This may reeks of simplicity, but I decided to move toward something with an higher value in emotion than quantity.
For whoever know about the content of the pre-release patch, you will already know why I decided to put the Ashbringer and that shoulder plate around there. Those are my absolute minimum to reach in time. I decided on those because of one thing that stroke me when I watched people play the Broken Shore patch content... and that's how they were all affected when a specific scene happened with an huge demon. (I try to no spoil any of the content for those who haven't try that content yet). I was able to sense the deep emotion from all those videos and I though "I must do something about that"... So that's why I decided to go with this.

So... My diorama will includes, as the piece of background, the Broken Shore with river "slice" going through it. A broken Ashbringer laying on a small patch of dry land and a "well known" pauldron piece resting close to it. If I do have enough time, I'll add weapons from both the alliance and horde in good way which will bring an even better visual toward the title of the scene which I call "Where Everything Lay to Rest". Through my concept, I'll try to demonstrate that the Legion expansion will be a real bringer of deaths and sorrowfulness where both the Alliance and Horde will have to pay a deep and tragic price to overcome the upcoming challenge.

(Creationsmaxo) #2

Well well... Who would have guessed? Things seems to go really well for me... for the modeling at least
3 hours in and I'm done with the first batch of modeling for the ground and the Ashbringer.

For modeling, I still got:
• The pauldron

• Adding rocks, then retouch the ground a bit (adding some details and making it pop-up a bit more)

• UVs. Currently, I think I'll use 2 materials. 1 for the ground & water and 1 for the props.

• Doing a small pass in Mudbox to paint the background volume edges and reliefs. It's a kind of artistic point that I always found intriguing in WoW: All the environment seems to have been stroke or sculpt with some kind of knife (or axe) as it's uses lot of highlight and contrast in its color layout. It's what makes it seems a bit cartoon-ish yet still keep the serious value whenever needed.

• Digital painting the good stuff. :wink: Gonna paint the whole thing by hand in Substance Painter. Why SP? Simply because I might add more weapons and armors. If I do add new weapons and armors, I can easily make uses of SP ability to repaint the layers (with its function targeting UVs from old to new UVs with projection technologies) and add more weapons while modifying the Props materials' UVs. In my opinion, it's the best kind of possibility when you're adding stuff and finds out you can fit more new stuff within an previously painted material. :laughing:

As the painting might take a long time (as I'm still unsure about my speed to represent the WoW style), I'll do it step by step : Finishing the scenes as previously stated, UVs, painting the minimum amount of stuff, returning in the 3D software, adding more items, redoing the UVs of the props, returning in SP to paint the new props while having the old props repainted immediately with theirs new UVs, then adding new stuff in 3D and so on until I'm close to the deadline or until the scene seems to me as completed. (If things gets too fast, I won't fill the whole area with tons of armors and weapons without making it seem legit... right? And each armor/weapon should have a visible story of their own anyway.)

Anyway, I'll stop for today. Gonna relax this brain of mine.

(Bart) #3

Welcome on board! Keep in mind there's only one week left, so you'd better hurry :slight_smile:

Also, please subscribe to this thread to receive contest updates.

Have fun!


You're right, you've got nothing to lose! I like your approach to this, can't see where this goes!

(Creationsmaxo) #5

Since things already seems to move fast for me, I already decided to add 4 more items on the scenes even before texturing the content. After some quick test, I also found out that I'm able to skip the Mudbox step for the background as it seems I'm able to reproduce the cartoon+painted style of WoW directly into Sub. Painter.

I might actually have some loose time by the end, but as long as I'm not done, I'm not getting too ahead of myself. :persevere:

This is the current stage of the scene:

Things I have done up to now:
• The ground is 80% done for now. I added some spike-like rocks and made adjustment with the river's bed so that it's seems separated from the river itself. I have done the UVs of the current parts and I still have some room for some smaller stuff in the background.
• TheDamaged Ashbringer and the pauldron are both finished, including their UVs.
• I modeled a damaged Shella' Tor and a broken Ellamayne and have finished with their UVs.

What's remaining in my current planing:
• Creating Vol'Jin's broken tusk and his twinblade weapon on the other side of the river.
• Adding some small rocks and dried/dead plants. I got to finish the props (weapons/armors/items) laying around to decide where to put them so that it doesn't hinder the scene's composition.
• Adding some teared part of the Alliance's and Horde's banners laying around.
• UVs of all that is planned above.
• Painting the scene's textures.

Then I'll be done!

=Edited the number=
I'm planning on using 3 materials for the whole scene. I know that the background will uses a material with 2K textures (as the size requires it), but I'm still unsure if I'll use a 2K or a 1K textures for the props' material. I might paint it with 2K, but bake the texture at 1K if it seems useless to boost it up. There's also a transparent material for things like teared banners and flying green spirit/particle/fog stuff that comes out of the green liquid.

There's a "possibility" that I will create an animated version of the scene, but as I haven't tested Sketchfab's animation feature yet, it's not part of the main initial goal. Gonna put the thing in its statics form first and, if the remaining time allows it, I'll animate some stuff like the teared banners floating with the wind and some of those green fog/spirit/dust thing that comes out of the green lava/goo liquid.

(Creationsmaxo) #6

Modeling and UVs are done!

Only need to paint the texture now... (A bit of sarcasm in there, right?)

... Actually as I was writing this, I found something wrong with the composition and position of the props and plants... So I just went and changed it.

Switched the places of the tree and surrounding plants with one of the rocks.
Also changed the layout of Val'Jin's broken twinblade and moved the plants a bit.
Now, the composition seems much more efficient with all views direction.

The different colors represents the different materials.
Purple = Background.
White = Characters' items
Green = Vegetation and banners (Will have an opacity map)

Once this batch of texture will be done, depending on how much time I got left, I "might" add more stuff.
But I'll stop at this for today and for modeling. Can't tell how long it will take me to paint the whole scene yet so if I want to keep it within the deadline, I think 3 days of modeling is alright as this leaves me 5 days (excluding the final day for the sake of last minute issues) to fully paint and submit it.

Forgot to mention. Final scene is made with 8131 polygons (total of 15,914 triangles).
The UVs were done in the good old manual way, which explains why it took a bit of my time. While it's true that 3D software that includes projection painting capacities doesn't really need fully clean and understandable UVs, in the case of this scene, I will have to paint in cartoon style both in 3D (projection) and in 2D (onto the textures) so I made sure the UVs allows me the best controls and less risks of visible seams. :wink:

(Creationsmaxo) #7

I have painted the background and rocks. Might have to paint a bit more details later, but the base is done.
I also started to paint the props (Shalla'Tor). I'm still bothered if I should use more PBR features for the props or not with the scene since my references are mostly screenshot from in-game assets and painted artworks I can find online.

This is something I have noticed as really awkward in WoW. You rarely see any equipment materials that uses any kind of specular/reflection/refraction and not even bump/height/normals maps. Most of the relief is hard-painted/baked into the diffuse texture. But, at the same time, many parts of the background seems to includes normals/specular/reflection/refraction of some sort.

=After testing things out a bit with Shalla'Tor=
I decided to do a bit of both. I'm also painting a bumb/normal map (unlike the actual in-game method) and a Metallic/Roughtness map, but only applying a "light" effect into the scene.
So, I'm adding a bit more details, but not that much... Only some generic slightly visible relief.

There's an example (though I have modified its roughtness a bit further, but don't have the mind at creating a new set of screenshots. :wink:)

(Michael Calvert) #8

Nice work so far, looking forward to the final product. =)

(Creationsmaxo) #9


Since I got really good refs, it's a lot easier to paint than I anticipated... though it requires a LOT of patience.
Substance painter is a lot like Photoshop with layers in real 3D, filters and stuff, but when it comes to colors setups capacity, it's pretty much like painting with MS Paint. The reason why I'm not using Photoshop's own capacity to paint on 3D is because SP has a really closer final rendering capacity to Sketchfab and it has all the required tools to isolate where I paint and have the right effects in.

I'm done with Ellamayne and finished Shella'Tor as I had its grip to finish and worked a bit on the tint/feeling of its now cold "dead" metal. As my goal is to display the scene as a kind of battlefield's graveyard, I'm making the weapon in a broken and dull state.

I know it's not really part of the Lore like having the weapons' floating flame/disks removed/unattached from the weapon's body isn't something really possible in the game, but I though it would give the weapon a kind of "broken soul" feeling. (You know... the feeling that the weapons have lost their master/user and, until a new owner come around and fix them, they're into a soulless state.)

(Creationsmaxo) #10

Ashbringer is done. Now, onto the Pauldron! :grin:
I think I got the hang of the mixed art style now! (75% like in-game + 25% boosted for PBR rendering!)

I analyzed the scene and I don't think I'll be able to animate it much in the remaining time. Got 3.5 days left and I'm texturing at approximately 2.5-3 props per day since they are painted in the old fashion way (brush stroke after brush stroke until it's done). I haven't mentioned it earlier, but I'm actually using Wacom's first edition of Bamboo tablet to texture. That's a 6" wide X 3.9" height tablet. :sweat_smile:
It's this thing here:

Still got it since... let me think... 2007 I think while I doing a DEP in Graphic Design. :laughing:

(Creationsmaxo) #11

There's another quick screenshot:

The pauldron (which I learned lately is part of a set called Lightbringer) Is done. It's surely the most hard part to paint in the whole scene because I noticed how inconsistent the pauldrons design are in the development of World of Warcraft related games and other similar stuff. In the case of the Lightbringer's pauldron, there is not one single design that is used twice in every official image, model, etc. I looked everywhere so I could gather as much references as possible, but the thing is only the key elements are respected like the book design on the Right pauldron and the hammer on the left pauldron and the fact that its glass-like material glows like a lantern and the general color layout (golden frame, stone-like symbol and small metallic frame). Anything else : the size, the form and even the text marks on it are not the same between the different media like cards, in-game model, arts of Tirion, etc. Even the cosplay created by fans aren't similar in any way.

This is why it was so hard to come up with this part and took me 3x more time than the weapons as I could get a clear reference of "each part" and had to create my very own version of it. I made it so that it doesn't give out any light anymore since it got exposed to an over-quantity of demonic power which nullified its "light" power. So, I had to make it looks like a simple piece of opaque glass and metal. (Now that I look at the screenshots I made.. I added some cracks on the book patterns... but wont upload new picture until later)

Currently working on Vol'Jin assets. Plan on finishing all the weapon and banners todays... so that I can works tomorrow (last full day) on the vegetation and final details* and finally uploading the scene.

  • Final details consist to make the props (weapons) and vegetation as if they were slightly overtaken by the demonic green stuff. Plants will have veins-like glowing lines. As for the weapons/armor, they will have some kind of lighted pattern growing on the parts that are in contact with the corrupted environment. Also gonna add some manual glowing effect on the assets that are close to the river.

(Creationsmaxo) #12

I'm done with Vol'Jin's tusk and unnamed twinblade. I also added the latest version/update on the Lightbringer pauldron.

It's ironic... really. When I started modeling the scene in 3D and also when I painted Shella'Tor, Ellamayne, Ashbringer and almost finished the Lightbringer Pauldron (Tirion's), only then did I discover WoWHead's 3D viewer which could have give me some additional point of view on some of those weapons. (I wasn't exaggerating when I previously wrote I knew not much about WoW...)

For most parts, I made all those 3D models from references I extracted from some the web.

This is the main reference I used for the Pauldron and the Ashbringer:

I only used WoWHead.com for getting the details on the "book" pattern as I was always missing a half or more of it.

I used those references not only for modeling, but also for the pixel colors. The trick I used is picking the darkest, lightest and average colors of each "material" parts on each weapon, then I reproduced the kind of design/visual from the references. Since some references were less detailed than the others (or their design varies too much due to the amont of details), I simplified the strokes so that every weapons doesn't seems of different quality or applied a blur effect on some layers. (I must have like 30 layers or mask with a blur filter right now :sweat_smile:) Sometimes, it's a lot easier to just apply a blur filter to smooth things out a bit instead of doing it with many brush strokes.

This contest really pushes me at rediscovering pixel-based painting though. If anyone wonders how I can paint in Substance Painter with such ease, my main trick is that I paint 90% of the texture in "Base Color" mode (only the diffuse/Color map is displayed with opacity if used.) Then, once the color is done, I paint a new set of layers with the bumps and additional details.

(Creationsmaxo) #13

This will be my last update on the Work-In-Progress of my entry.
The next update will be an edit of the first post with the Sketchfab's view of the diorama.

It's almost done! Last Push! Last Push! Last Push EVERYONE!

Final entry has been uploaded. Check the first post or click this link to see: Link

(Amineroula) #14

awesome man !!!