XM Magdalena 3D print, GGeorgy (3D)
LC #42 Pipers Alley

View Full Version : MGAC-37-"Tools of the trade"

05-14-2007, 09:39 PM

Alrighty, my turn to get the challenge rolling. This week's "tools of the trade" theme is props-oriented, but go nuts if you find some other interpretation. Magic wand? Gravedigger's shovel? Assassin's silenced pistol? Nose flute? Pom-poms? Anything goes, as long as it has a purpose!

tri limit: *EDIT*200 triangles should give you more to play with.

texture limit: max 1 x 512 diffuse, 1 x 512 spec, 1 x 512 bump/normal, 1 x 512 opacity
No displacement maps, though. That thar is cheating :D

time limit: 1 week starting...now! Deadline is:
18.00hrs (GMT+0) MONDAY 21Tst MAY

Let's see some stuff!

05-15-2007, 06:43 AM
So...if I'm the only entry this week, do I win by default? :D
Some zombie-smashing gear, still very WIP. I'm looking for a way to fix the specular and make some decent bloodstains:

05-15-2007, 08:34 AM
So...if I'm the only entry this week, do I win by default? :D
Some zombie-smashing gear, still very WIP. I'm looking for a way to fix the specular and make some decent bloodstains:

Ahh piss.. :scream: I just noticed you changed the tri limit. I just squeezed a model down to 100 tris and did the uv layout.. :shrug: Oh well.. I guess I can go back in and add something else.

I'm gonna be on vacation this weekend so I'm doing my best to finish things before Thursday night.

Here's what I've got thus far.. (the gray plane will be a batarang).


btw, your hammer rocks. My first idea was an anvil and blacksmith gear.

05-15-2007, 11:29 AM
cool topic, im in. spex thats an awesome looking sledge hammer

05-15-2007, 11:52 AM
lol, 'nose flute' hehe

yeah im in hopefully, just for the record spex, what exactly are we aiming for here? i.e. originality? realism? humour? what would be advantagous to head towards? i.e. on mine it was the gory factor, the more gross the better.

05-15-2007, 03:53 PM
that batman mask is awesome


05-15-2007, 04:08 PM
Nice mask! Sorry about the updated tri limit; with no replies in the thread I thought I could sneak that in without a problem.
MrGrotey: humor is good, but something that has a distinct purpose and maybe even an implied backstory will win the day. In this regard, my hammer=kind of lame, while the batman mask=right on the money. I'm only really looking for originality in translation of the theme...using the batman mask as an example, a fellow who dons a bat mask and a cape and sneaks around the city in his spare time...well, that's a pretty original "trade", even though everyone is familiar with the character.
One idea I had was a squeegee brush/pail of dirty water next to a carboard sign reading: "will model for cash $$"
Go ahead and be gory if you want to...maybe your trade is murder 0.o Urk.

05-15-2007, 04:16 PM
Thanks guys! I decided it was a relatively unique set of tools of the trade (superhero gear). I'm trying to decide whether to keep it dark and serious or if I should add a tiny bit of humor to it..

I'm thinking of adding more to his utility belt (pouches, etc.), a cape, adding a few more tris to the mask and batarang.. and the humorous accessory. :D

If I finish this tonight (with some textures, too!) I may try another entry.

05-15-2007, 04:49 PM
Thanks guys! I decided it was a relatively unique set of tools of the trade (superhero gear). I'm trying to decide whether to keep it dark and serious or if I should add a tiny bit of humor to it..

dark and serious, the batman way!


05-15-2007, 05:54 PM
HAHA, spex we had one of the same ideas. I'm doing 'Bum' tools. Cardboard sign, bottle in a bag, some magazines, change... good times. Now we have 200 the bottle and bag should turn out nicer. :)

05-15-2007, 06:25 PM
HAHA, spex we had one of the same ideas. I'm doing 'Bum' tools. Cardboard sign, bottle in a bag, some magazines, change... good times. Now we have 200 the bottle and bag should turn out nicer. :)

Sweet! You're in! I enjoyed your past work (I'm still working on my "battle babe", I had problems with UVing when my manipulators disappeared, but now they're back and I'm ready to texture :buttrock: ) :D Can't wait to see your entry! BTW, I just tried to access your webpage, but nothing came up. You still have it up?

05-15-2007, 07:35 PM
its a chuck shoe
i think its some kind of tool too *G*
maybe just for kicking ass


05-15-2007, 10:35 PM
Sweet! You're in! I enjoyed your past work (I'm still working on my "battle babe", I had problems with UVing when my manipulators disappeared, but now they're back and I'm ready to texture :buttrock: ) :D Can't wait to see your entry! BTW, I just tried to access your webpage, but nothing came up. You still have it up?

Na, I got a CGsociety gallery and decided there was no point paying for another website. Good to hear that battle babe is still under way! LOL. Im gona try and get back into doing these once a week. Building the ol' portfolio again.

Nice shoe Monk!!

05-15-2007, 10:55 PM
Here is mine.. laugh if you want.. but this is what I would use if I was fighting off zombies.. the old mustard trick... It squirts at it's enemys and makes them messy.. and they have to change their cloths.. and its just a freaking bugger.
the red on the mustard bottle is ketchup, not blood btw. This took me an hour to make just one colour map no spec.



05-15-2007, 11:27 PM
wartoon wins.

05-16-2007, 12:23 AM
Well, the challenge isn't over yet!
Wartoon, awesome concept :D That bottle might look good with some spec on the ketchup...

05-16-2007, 02:58 AM
only 200 triangles but a 512x512 texture is a bit upside down if you ask me.

You'd be more accurate to game specs if you were using 500-800 triangles for a simple prop and a 256x256.

05-16-2007, 03:24 AM
I suppose. 256 seems so small, and most/many tools can be executed without a large number of faces; for instance, my sledgehammer doesn't really need more than 200 tris, but it would look awful with 256 textures. Maybe if it was handheld spec, things would have to be reduced, but for now the 512 works well. My solution? 1.Post! 2.Win! 3.Make the rules for the next challenge! :D

05-16-2007, 06:14 AM
agreed. just because something is 200 tri doesnt mean it gets stuck with a 256 texture. The size of the object in game realy determines the apropriate texture space.

05-16-2007, 06:52 AM
Indeedy. So..I've been messing with this, trying to get the seams out of it. There's a weird issue with seams in the normal map where there shouldn't be any (ie, on welded UVs), and it's a little over-speccy but I'm calling it done. Tried out the Polyboost demo for viewport paint, and...meh. It didn't really work very well, very slow to use.

05-16-2007, 03:25 PM
Indeedy. So..I've been messing with this, trying to get the seams out of it. There's a weird issue with seams in the normal map where there shouldn't be any (ie, on welded UVs), and it's a little over-speccy but I'm calling it done.

Nice! Looks awesome!

Wasn't able to finish much last night on mine, but I've added a few tris here and there. I hope to call this one done tonight or tomorrow night.

05-16-2007, 11:15 PM
Cool looking sledge hammer there!

Right my 1st turn :)

not really exciting, zombie killing or bizzarre but im pretty pleased with the result. I was going for the most shape i could get out of 200 tris rather than anything else.

It be a gardener's tool, his/her trusty watering can! (Its seen better days though)

I used exactly 200 tris :)


Budget proof...

Diffuse map...

Specular map...

Normal Map...

Hugely wasted Opacity Map...

05-17-2007, 12:07 AM
Heres my progress so far. Ill update this post when I do the texture.

Its 'Bum tools'. a cardboard sign, a bottle in a bag, some dirty magazines, and change on the ground. Its all 198 tri right now. I may add one more penny to finish off my budget. :scream:


05-17-2007, 02:16 AM
Codenothing: looking forward to those textures!
MrGrotey: awesome watering can :D That is indeed a lot of form for only 200 tris.

05-17-2007, 12:59 PM
awesome watering can, i really want to enter but im having trouble getting ideas. Does anybody know where i can get a nice scifi concept for something :bounce:

05-18-2007, 02:12 AM
ok, Heres all the tools you need to be a successfull bum!
(dont ask about the specular on the magazines...)




05-18-2007, 04:55 AM
Perhaps the manliest of power tools, the jack hammer. Exactly 200 tris. I'm happy with the lowres mesh. Hopefully I can pull some more detail out in a normal map.


05-18-2007, 04:41 PM
Well... here's mine.. I'm not really happy with the render though.. I still ran out of time (out of town this weekend with very little chance of working on it Sunday night) and I was having rendering issues.. I'm getting really jagged shadows on the belt. The texture isn't quite done either. I gotta get more experience with alpha maps, spec maps, and texturing.

One question, I notice on my render and on code nothing's, the alpha planes are still visible. It's there a way to make the shape of the plane invisible and only have the textured parts visible? For instance, on mine, even with the spec map applied to eccentricity (is this the right slot?) and the alpha'ed (black) areas COMPLETELY black (along with a completely black area on the spec map) it's still influenced by the lights in my scene. Should I apply the spec map to Specular roll off?

Anywhoo here's my mostly finished entry. I was trying to keep it dark without going too dark. I've got 3 lights and I've heard you should make the intensity of all of them add up to 1. I wish I knew my render settings a bit better, but I guess this is where I practice it. :D


One last note.. you may see his cape in the texture sheets.. I made the cape to scale (with the cowl) and due to my inexperience with the lighting, you couldn't make out much detail on the cowl when zoomed out enough to see the cape.. so.. it's there.. but.. yeah.. :rolleyes: not pictured..

05-18-2007, 05:03 PM
the model is looking good but id definitely lower the ear tips, far too high for my liking. interesting take on the batman symbol though, very tribal :)

I think if you used raytraced shadows you will both get rid of the jaggy shadows and also remove the alpha problem you describe (not too sure what you were trying to say myself) raytraced shadows aren't affected by alpha maps and cast accurate shadows (they're just a little sharp)

eccentricity slot? what the hell's that? i guess you may be using maya or something looking at one of your gizmos in the perspective viewport.

regarding the light intentcity, i nearly always use 1 as the main spot intensity ive heard the general rule for 3-point lighting is that the combined intensity of the other two shouldn't be more than the main spot, not total intensity that's daft!, you really need some more key lighting on your render to make it stand out, i know you said you wanted it dark but that doesn't mean you need to keep it dull (with all due respect :))

your throwing...'bat' needs to be moved down a little as only the edges of the (un alpha'd) plane were touching its surroundings but after the alpha is applied then it takes the image into the middle of the plane and makes it look 'floaty'

as i said good work just needs to be tweaked here and there to make it great :)

05-18-2007, 05:42 PM
Blacker! I totaly have the same problem! I have no idea how to get the alpha to work 100%. There is always that clear plastic effect on the plane. Ive tried to drop the map into all the different slots, I always get the same thing. Maybe It has to do with what type of material it is? Im using a Blinn. No reason realy, I just dont know any better. :P

Honestly you cant see it that well in my render, except for the shadows, but there is deffinitely light effecting the area of the plane that should be invisible with the alpha. Like clear plastic. I'm thinking It may be a maya rendering problem.

05-18-2007, 05:43 PM
Cool entry :D I agree that the lighting could be pumped up a bit. I'm no expert, but as far as I know, if you are rendering with global illumination using Vray, then the light multipliers should add up to 1.0
If you're using scanline, it doesn't seem to matter. I tend to use .8 for my primary, .3 or so for my backfill lights, and something crazy high for my rim lights...like 2.0
I've yet to figure out how to bring out a normal map successfully, though.

*EDIT* Of course, in Maya I am clueless :P

Codenothing: funny entry, maybe the sign could be propped up a bit so we can see it?

05-18-2007, 06:40 PM
Hmmmm... If I get the chance I'll fix it up before I leave or on Sunday night. I also thought we were limited to 3 maps of any type, so I might add a bump or normal (if I can get em to work).

MrGrotey, I like them tall pointy ears. ;) They serve no purpose and might get in the way, but I like the look of them. Thanks for your tip on changing the batarang orientation. I've got a crappy video card so I can't view alphas in the viewport, but I'll see what I can do.

Thanks for your replies, guys! I'm hoping to tweak it a bit. Maybe I can even get his cape to show up! ;)

05-18-2007, 07:14 PM
hey codenothing, i completely missed your final entry :D looks great but whats that in the top left of the maps? cant work out what it is in the scene :s (oh unless its the bottle cap?)

aslo you would have improved you UV space if you'd have rotated the pages of the (looking suspiciously personally scanned in :p) if you'd have them both portrait way up and then could have made them bigger, like this... (hope you dont mind me doing a paint over, just trying to help :))


you gain a lot of space which at this size is a big deal (in fact i just had a sad-git moment and worked it out in photoshop, you gain over 50% more area for the mag pages by simply rotating them round and sizing up! cant be bad!)

great fun image :)
looking forward to more entries!

05-18-2007, 10:26 PM
Hey blacker, nice tools. You using D mapped shadows? Just increase the size in the shadow map parameters. Keep things to powers of 2. Try just pumping it up to 2048.

Anyway here is my entry. Exactly 200tris. Not to happy with the texturing or the high poly but normal mapping really agrivated me. I'm setting it down until I get a new setup because it is just problamatic with the slowness and crashing.



05-18-2007, 10:42 PM
Thanks for the UV tip Grotey! Your right, I could have saved me some space!

And yea the green secion is the top of the bottle sticking out of the bag. I would have given it less texture space, but i wanted to make a normal ridge around the rim of it.

05-19-2007, 10:35 AM
Hey nice jack hammer JuddWack :)

Heres my second (and msot probably final) entry

The Micrometer
(if someone doesnt know what it is, its a precision (mainly engineering) measuring instrument to measure stuff with a very tight accuracy of around a few microns)

Im really pleased with how it came out, particularly the normal map.
All textures are hand painted apart from the white range text on the side. (oh and the mottley effect on the paint), for that i used a rust image and adjusted it to suit)

198 tris
1 x 512 diffuse map (with baked AO pass)
1 x 512 specular map
1 x 512 normal map

Ive thumbnailed it as its 1023 x 452

http://i96.photobucket.com/albums/l161/mrgrotey/th_Rendermic.jpg (http://i96.photobucket.com/albums/l161/mrgrotey/Rendermic.jpg)

normal map only...










Comments/crits welcome as always :)

05-19-2007, 07:21 PM
Juddwack: cool jackhammer! It looks brand new, out of the the box...somehow I imagined a jackhammer being dirtier :D

MrGrotey: um, wow. Once again with the stompage. My only crit is that the shadow pass means that one side of the object will be consistently shadowed regardless of orientation in-game. That means it wouldn't work very well as a physics object. As an un-moveable prop, though...:D
I would like to know how you accomplished the knurled pattern on the handle...is it just a diamond hatching pattern converted into a normal map, or are the markings actually pyramidal? *goes into photoshop to attempt a grip texture*

05-19-2007, 07:43 PM
cheers spex, yeah its a pattern i made in photoshop

drew some lines, duplicated the layer, spun it round 90


then zoomed in and cropped it to a tileable area


and created a new fill pattern from it then just filled the aread i wanted to be knurled and used the nvidia filter on it. I feckin love that filter, saves on sooo much work. the numbers, lines, bumpy paint, lettering and the burnt ID mark are all done with that, the highpoly Mic' was pretty smooth.

05-20-2007, 09:10 AM
That Micro meter is frigin sweet! very nice!

05-21-2007, 03:44 PM
Some really cool entries here. Here's mine -- It's a Roman legion standard (see what happens when you play too much Rome Total War? :D):


A couple of close-ups (stupid long spindly thing...)





Diffuse map:


Bump map:


Spec map:


And opacity map:


I wasn't able to make a normal map, cause I found out that trying to teach yourself zBrush at 3:30 in the morning just leads to tears. And possibly punching things.:argh:

Anyhoo, What do you think?

05-21-2007, 04:33 PM
Looks pretty good but I think you could have saved a lot of polys. For instance on the shaft (huh huh.... I said shaft) the 3 medallion things could be quads with opacity maps. Possably even one quad if the UV's were laid out to support that. Then you'd have a lot more to define that ring better. Also the shaft texture seems a bit neglected. Even still it's a great entry.

05-21-2007, 04:45 PM
Nice entry, carlg! I second the use of alpha planes for the round medallions, so you have more polies to devote to the ring.
Maybe tiling that shaft texture would allow you to get higher resolution out of it? Next time :)

About an hour and 15 minutes left, if anyone wants to complete a last minute entry!!

05-21-2007, 05:26 PM
cool entery! I agree with the round coins being one quad, with an alpha cut-out.

And to do normals on low poly stuff like this all you need is crazybump, or the nividia filter for photoshop! You should go check em out! :)

05-21-2007, 06:26 PM
Awwwwroighty, it's time for deliberation...after an unofficial 25 minute extension, hehe.
I'm really impressed by the number and quality of the entries this challenge, so thanks to everyone who participated! We had tools for conquering the known world, kicking arse, repelling zombies, construction, deconstruction, gardening, fighting crime, begging...a nice range :D I was happy to see some normal maps bringing your creations to the next level.

In the end, I have to give this week's crown back to MrGrotey for his two excellent entries, which got a lot of milage out of the tri limit, were normal mapped, and were generally good-looking. Oh yeah, they fit the "tools" theme, too :)
I really appreciated the humor some of you incorporated...I think the mustard zombie-repellent is a standout :D

I anxiously await the next theme! So....


05-21-2007, 07:59 PM
Bah its a fix! i totally should have won that round.

Oh hang on....hehe

Cheers old chap! http://i96.photobucket.com/albums/l161/mrgrotey/Smileys/teachug02.gif

I'll have to get my thinking cap on again. took me ages to think of that last round. Ill keep you all posted.

[edit] Ooo im a cgtalk vet now! :thumbsup:

also ive set up my freebee cgs portfolio now in case you wanna looksie :)

05-21-2007, 10:02 PM
New round folks, no rest for the wicked, and you are legeally bound to join in so dont disappoint :)

Here's the link, I think you'll like it :)


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