View Full Version : Sniper rifle for Source engine mod

08 August 2006, 12:06 PM
Hey everyone. I joined a mod team and this is my first complete assignment. The team is real small at the moment so I asked permission to go public for some comments and critiques.

Just wondering how everyone feels about this auto snipe before I lay out the UV's. It rests at just about 3000 tris. There are 5 seperate objects which I will eventually combine. The scope, scope connector, barrel, clip and body.

Quick viewport wire because I can't seem to get a good render of one. I know I can reduce the polys along the top of the body. I'm afraid it will distort my texture by having really long tris.

Although I don't believe it fully resembles an autosnipe, and perhaps may make the mod a bit unbalanced, I'm just working from the concept art I was given. I think I did a pretty good job, but the part with the hole going through it right infront of where your left hand would be seems a bit awkward. Too thick maybe.

Also can anyone give me some words on making a a 1st 3rd person model? I was planning on just saving an extra copy of this before ripping off the polys out of view. With that I would just delete some minor details that wouldn't distort the UV map and shrink the texture down by half for the third person.

Heres the link for the website although there isn't much content. It's really in its early stages: (

08 August 2006, 03:20 PM
The magazine itself looks very thin and could use a lot of optimisation.
For example the cut in the middle.

08 August 2006, 03:33 PM
you might wanna do the "wholes" in the magazine with texture, not polys... this will give you more polys to add to other part of the gun.
other thing is, open your model viewer and open some gun from CSS or HL2, youll see that the gun has polys only from the side you can actualy see. the other side is deleted ?!@
so this will give you even more polys to add :)

08 August 2006, 07:20 PM
yes, but those areas are deleted in the viewmodel, not in the third person models. so don't go deleting half of your model thinking you don't need it.

the most important thing to do for the model is to make sure that the silhouette looks good from all angles, or at least as many angles as possible. 'internal' geometry, such as the detail on the side of the magazine, can be faked with the texture maps. if you have the extra geometry resolution to play with though, go for it.

you also don't *have* to delete polys or scale textures. yes, it's a good optimization, but i would save that for later, when more stuff is done. optimizing can be done any time. for the mod i'm working on, we actually use the same models for the viewmodel and the third person models. they're LODed, so you don't see the full resolution ones unless you're up close to another person. rather than scaling the texture down, we actually just referenced the same texture map, and let the engine do mipmapping as needed. in the end, the preformance is almost the same as what it was when we were using half resolution textures, and the detail is much better.

some critique on the model itself: i would do something about the muzzle tip. i know not all guns have that little flare bit (don't know what it's called), but it's so common it's almost expected, and without it, it loks a tad naked.

08 August 2006, 02:50 AM
TBH, you can double your polycount with no problem. Remeber that this is Source, and it is a poly powerhouse. As well, you will most likely delete parts of the model AFTER the animation is done. Even lay out the UVs with the whole model.

I just think the model looks very thin and there is a lack of detail in the handle/trigger area and above. The scope could also use more sides. There are also a lot of hard edges.

So try giving it a little more bulk and smooth it out :).

08 August 2006, 03:18 AM
Wow, glad I posted. I thought it was looking tip top. I was told to make it under 5000 tris but I really felt like that was WAY to many. 5000 is cool for a source gun?

Does anyone know a way I can evenly add sides to a cylnder shape with a modifier in Max? Like if I create a primitive with 8 sides and convert it to a editable poly. Later I realize I can go 10? I'm just trying to figure out a way to make the scope more rounded without remodeling the whole thing.

I see what you are saying about the siloette Andrew, but I'm not quite sure what you mean about the muzzle flare.

And as far as deleting half the model, I don't understand why people do this. I thought that the only thing that gets rendered is what is visable. So if a large poly is completely blocking a smaller poly from view, then it won't be rendered. I guess I'm wrong?

Does anyone have something to say about the wire, besides the mirroring I can loose on the magazine?

08 August 2006, 07:07 AM
my answers in reverse order:

the wires look clean enough, if that's what you're asking.

actually, it does render it. go into a game and use a wireframe command; hl2 is mat_wireframe 1. you'll see that it's actually rendering everything until there is something that tells it to stop. the only things that do that are objects the mappers place inside walls and such, to stop rendering of stuff on the other side. so it is actually rendering the back side of your rifle, it's just rendering the front side on top of it.

the word i was looking for was muzzle brakes.
quiet apologies to the owner for hijacking the image. that one's not very prominent, but it breaks the flat surface of the barrel a bit and makes it more interesting (though i'm sure it does something functional too :P)

if you use modifiers on a primitive, you may have varying degrees of success changing the sides. for instance, if you add an extrude modifier to the primitive, and then change the sides, you should be fine. but if you add an edit poly modifier on top of that and start cutitng deleting or whatever, it'll go hezbonka on you when you change the number of sides.

5000 is ok for source, but that's still pretty high. most of the source guns are in the 1500-2500 range i think. next-gen games have targets around 5-8k for weapons, but source is more 'new-gen' than next-gen. i don't know that i would really go over 3-4k tops, and that's still a bit high (though i'm old-school, and it's hard to shake the polygon-phobia sometimes.) some of your bolts and pins can be drastically reduced, and you don't have to connect everything neatly either, you can have intersecting geometry (barrel going through the body, for instance). open up the model viewer and take a look at some of the game weapons that are in there--they are great reference. just keep in mind deleting stuff like they did should be done after animation.

good luck

08 August 2006, 10:12 AM
5-7k is just fine for a whole rifle, pre-animation. Source is a very powerful engine, and most of the commercial models that you can use for reference have already had deleted faces and such, so they do give off a false impression.

To get a good idea about where, what and how to go about weapon modeling for the Source engine hang out on for a while, you will learn a ton!

08 August 2006, 10:50 AM
yes, but those areas are deleted in the viewmodel, not in the third person models. so don't go deleting half of your model thinking you don't need it.
why, is theare a problem deleting the polys you dont see ?
actualy i dont think theare is problem, pls explain because to be honest i havent modeled dunz yet...

08 August 2006, 11:06 AM
He is saying that you should leave the faces until the last minute. After you have finished the model, done everything that needed to be done (texturing, animating and most of all making the low poly world model) If you delete the 'non seen' faces before then, then you will have to just fill them in for the world model. Also, I find it better to leave the whole model in tact for the animation process...otherwise you really limit the animator as to what can be done with the gun.

09 September 2006, 11:08 AM
I haven't been able to spend as much time on this project as I would like but here is an update. This is with no lights, just self illumination. This is in the 3500 range. I'd say a little bit under.

I paint textures REALLY slooooooooooow.

A link to the texture map (

What does everyone think? Any comments?

09 September 2006, 03:18 PM
Looks great to me :D It's too late to correct any of the modelling, since you've already started skinning, but if you were to do another sniper rifle, I wouldn't recommend the clip scaled down like it is at the bottom. And I don't understand what the screens on the side of the clip are for.

Is this based on a real gun or your mod's concept?

Incidentally, you were saying you couldn't get a good wireframe, if you're using max, here's a tut for you.

09 September 2006, 03:19 PM
You could comment on the geometry, however i probably won't be fixing it unless it is easy and won't set me back much.

I'm not a big fan of the clip being scaled down, but like you asked this is based off the mod's concept. The only bit I really added was the piece with the 3 knobs around the scope since it was on like every reference I looked at.

The golden piece that looks like a screen is not actually a screen. It's not actually anything. I just wanted to add some color there. It does look kind of strange but it is real boring with nothing there. I'm trying to think of another way to make it. My concept is real clean and just major lines really.

Thanks for the link. It does seem to be working right now but that could be my crappy connection.

09 September 2006, 03:46 PM
As some of the others have mentioned geometry crits, and as you say they probably won't get fixed I'll just comment on the texture :)

Ok, first up about the gold piece on the's probably a bad idea to try and get colour onto a sniper rifle imho, after all, the main aim of a sniper is to be hidden somewhere and to not draw any attention to themselves. That gold piece could easily be seen by an enemy, or it could reflect sunlight off and make the enemy spot the sniper.

I know this is for a game and so 'any thing is possible' but still, I would personally prefer it if the gold was removed.

The rest of the texture map looks nicely done, I'm especially liking the screws.

There do seem to be a few areas that are very shiny, this would probably be bad news for the sniper as it would draw attention to themselves as with the gold, but I understand that having a purely matt black weapon would look pretty boring in game, so maybe it's ok.

On the gold piece there's a point that is about in the middle where the texture isn't aligned, but I'm just being picky, I doubt it would be noticable in-game.

Apart from that I think you should look to add a few more scratches and signs of wear and tear, it seems pretty clean at the moment.

Hope some of my comments are useful/helpful :)

09 September 2006, 04:49 PM
Mmm, you want color? Drop the screens and add some more geometry. Not to the gun itself, but like... a gillie suit kinda thing maybe?

Or, just get rid of the screen and put black there maybe. Or, mud. Make it look like this weapon's been out there recently. Paint peeling maybe? Stuff like that.

09 September 2006, 08:40 PM
I would definitely not taper the magazine at the bottom. The magazine has to hold the bullets and the bullets would not fit after about halfway down. I highly doubt there is any gun in existence that has a magazine that tapers towards the bottom. I think your model looks good. Adding the adjustment knobs to the scope was a good call. I like Jedianakinsolo's idea about adding some camoflage to the rifle. This would add some nice color and make perfect sense. I would feel more like an elite sniper using a rifle like that. I think you've gotten great crits from everyone here. The muzzle break is to reduce recoil, and is common on big bore rifles (sniper rifles). And I personally don't like the front sight on it. Many rifles (Remington 700 for example) don't even come with iron sights, and it would save a few poly's anyway. Also, the front skeleton thing on the bottom of the barrel looks a little funky to me, as do the little rings on the barrel right above the forend (where your left hand would go). Other than those little nitpicky things, I think it is a fine looking rifle. I hope to see more of it in the future. Nice job. No crits on the textures, really. I agree with what's been said, that you should give it some wear to make it look a little more battle hardened.

09 September 2006, 02:20 AM
Great comments. I think I will be taking out the gold. It does make sense now about staying hidden.

As I said I don't like the clip tapering but it was on the concept. I just imagined the bullets being a bit smaller than the bottom plane and the extra space being filled in with solid iron. Is that to small for a sniper bullet?

Definitely Dirt and scratches but I imagine that would be best saved for last.

I sat in my chair and broke it so as soon as I buy a new chair I will finish this baby up and post the completed images.

09 September 2006, 02:12 PM
All done. Here's what I got:

I'm pretty happy with it. I still have problems creating and balancing spec maps. I won't be revisiting this work but of course I'm open to all critiques and advice for next time.

09 September 2006, 02:30 PM
Looks good. The clip's still slanted but I don't guess you could change it. I think you're lighting needs some help, somehow the whole scene isn't coming together, but I like the gun.

09 September 2006, 02:38 PM
Lighting definitely needs some help! I'm a bit confused as to how to do it though since the light painted on the gun is coming from an imagined sky light, but in the scene it is coming from a different source and the gun lays flat on a surface rather than being held. It seems to throw it off a lot.

Which scene are you talking about exactly? The one without the texture map and first person view? I think a large part of why it looks so lame is because I textured the door way to low and to really show off the gun's texture I had to render very high.

Anyway please help me with the lighting guys. Both are being lit by one spotlight with a shadow map and one area with no shadow.

09 September 2006, 04:37 PM
Well, I'm not much of an expert on lighting, but I can try.

It's a problem to begin with since most Low Poly models have light painted right onto them, but I think in this scene, I'd get rid of the single spotlight, because since it's from one source, you already know that the lights on the gun could not possibly be from that light source. Go for a couple of omnis I think. Light the whole room. Who has a spotlight built into their ceiling?

The other thing is that while the tex resolution is nice and crisp on the gun, it contrasts really badly with everything else. Up the res on the table maybe, the notepad, stuff like that. You have to establish a standard. Things this size get texture's this size, and gauge everything to that ratio almost, so that you won't have the problem you have now.

09 September 2006, 06:28 PM
The gun seams really out of scale to the rest of the scene, if that is a magazine its laying on the whole gun would have to be only a little over 2 or so feet. Also, the resolution difference (texture and model) between the gun and the background is really distracting, if this is a beauty shot, you may want to address it.

09 September 2006, 02:27 AM
It is laying on a notebook which would be the size of standard paper, 8.5 x 11. I think your right the gun should be scaled up by about 15% or so.

Maybe I shouldn't include the beauty shot, let me explain a little bit and you guys can tell me if I went about this correctly. I textured the gun at 2048 because it is going to be onscreen the whole time and occupying a good portion of it. It seemed to be of greater importance than the other assets. Here are the texture sizes for the rest:

door- 512
notebook- 256
bucket- 256
cinderblock- 256
cards- 128

I don't imagine that their distance from the character's eyes could ever be shorter than the barrel of the gun otherwise they would collide with each other. I know in the beauty shot these items in the scene appear to have low detail, but actually they were modeled to be used in the mod. The size of the render is huge! Way more than you would ever have your screen resolution set to. So with this said you guys still think they need to be worked on?

CGTalk Moderation
09 September 2006, 02:27 AM
This thread has been automatically closed as it remained inactive for 12 months. If you wish to continue the discussion, please create a new thread in the appropriate forum.