View Full Version : WIP - T-34 for next gen game

11 November 2007, 08:56 PM
Hello all,

This would be my first post for getting crit, and I'm quite nervous and exciting same time.
Here I'm modeling T-34 (Soviet Union) armoured vehicle, and this is the link on WiKi. (

My final goal is to finish this as next gen game model for portfolio, and have a little trouble to finish modeling stage. Since I'd like to use normal map on this model, I'd like to get as solid low poly model as possible I can with max limit of tris... More I spent time with this current stage, higher # of tris I get. So I guess this current model should be consider semi-high poly (57220 tris). High # of them was out of traks and wheels, and I hope to get some advises how to reduce # of tris.
Also here are some more questions...

Q1. What would be maximum Tri # for this type of vehicle for (realistic) next gen game? (assuming this can be used in various LODs, I'd like to know what would be highest # for CU low poly model on game screen)

Q2. What's the spec for textures? (same assumption from Q1; the model will be CU to player)

More questions would be followed, and I hope your fresh eyes will give a right direction for me. Don't mind getting tough crit as long as it is productive on my portfolio, and hope to hear you guys soon.

Thanks for watching.

3/4 front

3/4 front OL

3/4 rear

3/4 rear OL

Side OL

front OL

11 November 2007, 02:43 AM
You'd have about a fourth of that number if you took out all the useless details which will be in the normal map anyway. If this is your low poly model, take out all bolts and track details. That's several thousand polygons at least. They're all completely useless on the low poly version.

Use them for your high poly version and put all small details in your normal map. The squares in front, the track details, all bolts, etc. The cylinders inside the tracks aren't your problem at all. They need to be fairly round in order to look ok so you don't have a choice but to use more polygons there...but not on the tracks.

11 November 2007, 09:29 PM
i must accept with BigD
these details on track are not needed though. And all these nails on the armour too.
and all these little details that normal map can take care about, at first look, i thought that it has something about 9k tris, but in fact it has 57k.
nevertheless it IS really good looking, especially for the topology thing.. but you should really drop triangle count to something about 10k or 15k
1 is it manifold? -> it should, becouse it is better for physical simulations, manifold means that every edge has two triangles
2 are you using Fgons? -> if yes, you shouldn't! it will NOT be in the final mesh.
PS: it seems that you were highpoly graphician before ;)
PS2: nextgen is usually the best you can do.. not just more tris; it also depends on diffuse texture a lot

11 November 2007, 05:31 AM
Limit wise, it would depend on the engine and how it would be used in the a scene. For a background static prop, it would probably be about 5-7k tris with 1024 diffuse, normal, and specular maps. For an important set piece, I would say 10k tris with 2048 diffuse, normal, and specular maps. Since you want to show off your best work, I would say to go for the 10k/2048 limits. That should be about right for unreal 3.

11 November 2007, 06:55 PM
Yesterday I got comments from other forum, and reliazed I got major scale problem, had to spent quite amount of time for 'house cleaning.'

Another part dragged me down was, as I saw from other post, 3ds max imageplane setup was quite mysterious;
I precisely set the image size (in 'Pixel') from PS and bring it into max (my current working unit is 'cm'), and applied UVW map with bitmap fit option. Although all ortho images has matching length, width, and height, once 'bitmap fit' process was done, it scales randomly. Extra works had to be done (cropping/placement) from material editor, and again minor nudging from viewport... I think I spent too much time for it, but as I was freaked out after found scale isuue, I am in piece for now.

Big D: Now I'm really aware of how much I was wasting my polies.. :)
now I got two separated meshes : low and high...
I worked on traks and wheels more, and hope to hear you back.

alfisko: Thanks for your comments.
No bolts, no (insane) traks will stay on low poly from now.. :)
Now I am aiming for around 15k up/down...
Hmmm, for your questions;
(a1) If you meant wheather my mesh are quad, I'm working on as far as I can.
(a2) Is 'Fgons' same as 'Ngons' (single face that has more than 4 verts)? Then answer is same as above...

PredatorGSR: Thanks for input.
...I would say 10k tris with 2048 diffuse, normal, and specular maps. Since you want to show off your best work, I would say to go for the 10k/2048 limits. That should be about right for unreal 3.
That sounds about what I'm aiming for. Apology for lack of plateform info before... :)
Do you know about limit for # of textures ? (I'm thinking as same plateform, Unreal 3.. if the tank will be major mesh in CU shot)

As I explained above, yesterday was quite rainy day, but at least I managed some highpoly parts for normal mapping.
Traks and wheels were those, and here are some renders;

(1) overview

(2) WIP part lightend

(3) Traks and wheels CU

(4) Steps for trak piece

(5) Different light setup

Thanks for watching, and welcome for comments.

11 November 2007, 08:13 PM
When I first started out, I ran into image plane issues like that. There is a really really easy fix, and now I never have to think twice about them. In photoshop, just increase your canvas size to make it a perfect square. Then in max or maya, create a square plane, and apply it as a texture. No fuss, and the proportions will be perfect every time.

11 November 2007, 08:56 PM
I usually just keep the proportions right. So if you have a 640x480 images, just make your plane 4:3. I'll usually go with say, 64x48, to keep the same numbers. That works everytime and you don't have to change any UVs on your plane.

12 December 2007, 06:03 PM
PredatorGSR: Woot! It worked alike charm~ thanks for your help!

iSOBigD: I guess this was first time ever I tried to nip picker, and it was nightmare before I use the method I learn from post above... Thanks for comment!

Well, it's been awhile and 'shamlessly' I'm still modeling. :)

While I'm not fast modeler yet, I wanted to build this as accurate as possible. More I gathered reference materials, more I needed to change the parts around. Indeed, I found the article ( identifying difference between various models, and it helped me so much.
Also I had a lot of troubles to model parts right, and some had to be done overnight for themselves. Plus, judging if any given parts would be appropriate for normal map (degree of edges mostly) was not quite easy as I thought in the beginning. Lack of experience was telling the truth, I guess.

So here are some screenshots for "highpoly." First time using VRAY renderer, and it was not as easy as I guessed as well.

It'll be great to hear your crits, and thanks for watching my progress.

12 December 2007, 06:49 PM
Think I saw this on polycount. Looks great, good luck with the low poly. I'm actually made a low poly model (different version though) of this tank and I'm texturing it now. I'll have to check back in for competition reasons;-)

12 December 2007, 12:00 AM
caseofchill: Good to hear for friendly competitor :)
Yes, I will do make good effort for lowpoly, and hope to show you soon. Stick around~

Minor update this time.
I was doing 'final touch up' last night, and here are some shots (as"highpoly") for lit render...

Again, thanks for watching, and will be appriciate for your comments.

12 December 2007, 06:17 AM
Hello all,

I'm working for lowpoly version for the model now, and it'd be another battle I need to overcome. :) It'll be great to hear from you soon, especially critical comments, since I was dealing with this model quite long amount time, my eyes are tended to be compromise with minor errors...

Here are another sets of tiny update I worked tonight, and hope you enjoy them...
(comments from another forum pushed me to make them looks right~)

Old bolts:

new bolts:

12 December 2007, 03:46 PM
Hello folks,

So here are some screenshots as highpoly 'semi-final' stage. (need "aging" work in zbrush bit more, I guess.)

Currently working on lowpoly, and it's another huge battle. :)
Thanks for watching, and looking forward to hear some crits.

12 December 2007, 07:27 AM
looks sweet I can't wait to see the LP and some textures

12 December 2007, 07:04 PM
BakerCo: Thanks for your kind words~
Working every hours possible I can find, and hope you come back to see my progress. :)

Hello all,

Yesterday, I was dealing with trak for lowpoly. I'm not sure I'm doing okay with it but here are some WIP shots.

[Lowpoly (spec is below) with normal map]

[1k Normal map. It's not final version yet, and left some mapping areas for other stuffs will fill them in short future. Plus fixing some red spots as well.]

[200K poly high version (left on screen) vs. 447 poly(894 tris) low version with normal map]

It'll be great to hear critical comments for what I am NOT doing right, since I spent whole night to render this 1k normal map (took 8 hours) in max. I am not sure it is normal, but it was one hell of rendering time since 2001. :)

Thanks for watching.


12 December 2007, 07:37 AM
Baking textures takes a bit of time, it looks great for the # of polys. I want to see the final textured high poly vs textured low poly. Good luck, its looking great so far.

12 December 2007, 09:24 AM
Why don't you just bake a pice of the trak and then tile it all over the mesh. The trak animation is generally done by animating the uv's. (correct me if I'm wrong) You could get some trouble with your uv layout. Furthermore it would allow you to use a lower texture resolution, and you'd have still more detail in it.

12 December 2007, 04:08 PM
Zac-Donald: Thanks for your comments.
I found I was using MR for that 8 hours RTT session, with lots of high # on setting. Once I strated use default scanline renderer, it took about 1~3 minutes (not 1k though, just up to 512). I'm learning hardway all the time. :)

zortech: Hi, thanks for your input.
I almost screw it up, and appreciate for your correction. :) Today's post have fixed version of UVs. Still WIp though.


Looks alike I am doing daily for you guys as I'm @ work, which pushed me keep going.
Appreicate for all feedbacks.

Here is another set of WIP shots.
Traks were daunting me whole day yesterday, and I'm still working on them.

[2nd version of UVs for trak. (Big thanks for dejawolf) ]

[Quick render with the new UVs]

[Current stratage for tiling (3 sets of both front and back traks were used as 'base' for UVs).]

[Current stratage for tiling with High version]

Since I wasn't using equal size of the face over the entire trak (as I learned from dejawolf's) squashed thread patternes were too obvious. I guess I need to try another shape for lowpoly.

Here are some questions I gathered while I was working last night.

Q1. Using "Render to texture (RTT)" from 3ds Max, which renderer you guys are using? I did both default scanline and mental ray (MR), and MR always serve me better results. Just wondering how you are deal with it.

Q2. (Similar to Q1) What's lighting setup for RTT for normal map? I have a skylight, 4 spots, and 2 onmis, and turning on/off for experiment reason, but not quite clear what I am doing, so here I am.

Q3. For the UV map, I was wondering how much gap is necessary to preserve good normal map (or any other types of baked map). As you may noticed, my current UVs are quite close to 0.0 spot, and I found great amount of 'red' spots (= 'normal' error). It may caused by other factors, but just want to clear about UV part first.

That'd be it for today, and thanks for watching. All feedback will be appreciated~

12 December 2007, 06:04 PM
Glad to hear your completely re-doing a lot to make it as good as possible, I would of said, screw the threads a long time-ago, great job. :thumbsup:

12 December 2007, 06:09 PM
Zac-Donald: Thanks for encouraging comment~

Hello all,

It was another hell of weekend with traks. I was wrong the way I approached for normal mapping.
Since this would be game model, traks should be animatible. Tilable texture was obvious choice but I had no clue how to do it right. After several re-takes, got some level of satisfaction.
Here are some shots:

Ignore the red spots on the last pic since I was put it away awhile for detail texture works later.

Thanks for visiting my post, and please leave any comments will make my WIP stay in right direction.

12 December 2007, 10:41 PM
Yeah for the tracks it all depends on what you want to do with them. If you make a separate texture for the tracks, make it tilable, and map each set of polygons from the track model and overlap everything, you can then simply animate the texture (just move it in one direction) and it'll look like the tracks move. This way you don't need to animate any objects or use up a huge part of your texture for the entire length of the tracks...or model/texture more than a small part of the tracks. :)

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