View Full Version : Modeling Rock surfaces

10 October 2006, 03:46 AM
Hi everyone!

I have just recently joined the forums, and I am finding it very useful and it is loaded with a ton of information. I am currently a student in a 3D animation school in New Zealand, and I have encountered something that I am not sure how to approach. We are currently doing a character model and I chose to do a very detailed troll, with rocky skin.

This is where the problem is I have no idea how to include the rocky surface texture, and I am afraid it may ruin my topology if I go ahead and do some myself. Anyone have any hints or tutorials that can guide me in this darkess hour?

10 October 2006, 07:25 AM
And why do you need to model this? Sculpting would be the better approach i think, i made good experiences with Claytools and Mudbox on creating rocky surfaces. maybe a handpainted displacementmap would do the same job, but modelling it? I don't see the sense in that.

10 October 2006, 08:50 AM
Neox is correct that it's best to use a displacment map in this scenario. In terms of the rocky surfaces, I would really only model the most characteristic and prominent rocks on the actual character and leave the majority to a displacement map to work out.

Now if you don't have access to Zbrush, Mudbox, or Claytools, the process is going to be a bit more tricky. You can still generate displacement maps, take a look at these tutorials for a nudge in the right direction:

The tutorial for 3ds max is for normal maps, but it's just as easy as changing your render element to hieghtmap instead of normal.

Basically the idea behind this is to take your troll character without any rocks and copy the mesh. You can then model seperated pieces of geometry on it for the rocks. They don't have to be very well integrated into the skin, but do as good of a job as you can. Collapse all of the rocks into the troll character and ensure it's all 1 object. You can then take your unaltered mesh and project a displacement map off of the rocky character.

You just use that as a base for your hand painted displacements. Touch it up in photoshop to get the exact results you want. If your not familiar with projection work, make your life easier and test this process to get an idea of what you should be doing for you final character.

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10 October 2006, 08:50 AM
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