View Full Version : Question: Regarding next gen Weapons

11 November 2007, 04:57 AM
Hello all,

Well its been a long time that I have started some personal work from real work and i'm in the process of doing a weapon. I have several ideas on how to approach the model in regards to the diffuse/normal and spec map but i am looking for other's suggestions. What would your take be on the textures for a weapon? Do you leave a base grainy diffuse map with just the basic texture (text and bolts) and then create a spec map that includes all the scratches? Im not sure how to approach it, do I put both the scratches into the diffuse and into the spec map?

So im open for suggestions and if anyone has a usefull tutorial or tips it would be appreciated =D

Thank you


I will show the process of the metal i have eventually.

11 November 2007, 05:07 AM
I usually create the diffuse map first. I use the normal map and an additional occlusion map to improve it. Then I create the spec map from the diffuse map. That's my approach ;)

11 November 2007, 05:09 AM
There should be some sign of scratches on the diffuse map (the material that is scratched would look different, just like if you carved stone the carved part would be different). Avoid directional shadows and the likes on the diffuse tho, leave that to the normal map to make. Baked Ambiant Occlusion can be a good thing, which would be in your diffuse texture (keep it on a separate layer in PS or whatever you're using, with the layer set as Multiply).

11 November 2007, 04:23 AM
Would you guys have a tutorial on how to do the ambient occlusion render. I found one online today, actually a few, but they werent very helpfull. I don't need visual aids so if you wanna take a min to explain it here that could do too =P



11 November 2007, 05:23 AM
Personally, I build high poly models and bake down an AO, normal, and mask from that that I can use to create the diffuse/spec maps.

For the AO in 3ds Max(I actually use a skylight because Mental Ray is finicky), you simply set up your model for projection like you would for the normal map, except you drop a skylight in, adjust the number of rays to around 300-350 to reduce grain, and set the color to pure white (by default it is slightly blue). Then just render out a lighting map in addition to a normal map and a diffuse map (I color different parts Red, Green, and Blue, so I can chop up the resulting diffuse map into three different selection masks to make it easier to isolate details.)

I will usually work on the diffuse in layers, painting the base colors/materials without specular (for scratches, I will scrape down through paint to the dull metal underneath, if it exists. otherwise I will put a faint scratch there that is muh more pronounced in the spec). Then duplicate the diffuse map with all the layers, and work through that turning it into a spec map (this allows me to isolate each material easily instead of the "super contrasty re-colored diffuse" hack that most people do, while still saving a lot of time).

11 November 2007, 05:11 PM
Hey man. I wrote up a tutorial on how to bake an AO map for use in a diffuse texture. Is that what you're looking for? I tried to PM you but your box is full.

I also got a lot of weapons in the gallery, not exactly current gen but not exactly previous. Got any openings up there in the art department?

12 December 2007, 09:51 PM
Sorry for the late reply, my inbox is open now so send again =)

I have started the texture, but its very early so dont state the obvious =P. All layers are overlays and such so the scratches, marks etc... can all be easily changed.

its an HK 416

The current poly count is 8000 tris (and im missing the front sight), but that number will jump down a lot when i delete all the unseen backfaces. Im aiming for 5000 triangles which should be simple but will try to push it even lower afterwards =)

Crits are welcomed of course!

12 December 2007, 08:23 AM
Looks sweet in my eyes, alittle poly hungry but with all those rail bits that's no suprise really.

Only crit I can give though is on the accuracy of the rail, it's alittle off. The groves should only go down to where the rail is at it's widest, not all the way down.

12 December 2007, 06:58 PM
Wow you're very right, thank you for pointing that out. I just looked at my ref's again and noticed that.

Thanks again!

12 December 2007, 11:05 PM
You really should smooth out the rear/stock area - that part will be close to the camera in a FPS all the time, and the current chunkiness there is going to drag down the rest of the model - it looks like you're using more triangles in the barrel than you are in the stock, and yet the barrel is much smaller and farther from the camera, to boot.

12 December 2007, 03:56 AM
Yeah i noticed that after i rendered it out, was an eye sore. Fixed the previous issues, minus what you just mentioned ghostscape.

12 December 2007, 04:19 AM
Here, fixed that part now.

12 December 2007, 04:27 AM
Started the ironsight,
Still some tweaks to do in regards to the scratches and spec map. I think ill add a sublte normal map for the metal, very subtle.

Comments/Suggestions as always, never enough!
(note, there is a slight UV problem on the lower bot left hand side)

12 December 2007, 03:20 AM
I have an un-related question for you guys. Im helping my roomate out with modeling, teaching him the ropes.

Ive come across a problem i didnt even realize happened to me too

Hes modeling car from blueprints and when in the viewport the texture doesnt look as crisp as the actual image. Now im aware of the match closely as possible option and have changed all my video settings to high but still have no luck.

Im a person that tries things until i get it but im all out of ideas.

Heres an image,

left is viewport (duh) and right is render (actual image)

12 December 2007, 03:28 AM
What program are you working with?

12 December 2007, 05:00 AM

Max 8.

I actually had this happen at work too and asked around. No one was able to fix it so it was spot on. =/

12 December 2007, 05:09 PM
I've had this problem before when I first stared learning 3d. The problem is when I first started learning I started on Lightwave, Max and Maya at the same time so I don't remember which one it was on :P I dont have my laptop with me but I'll try to get you an answer tomorrow if nobody else does by then.

12 December 2007, 05:49 PM
Go to Customize->Preferences->Viewports->Configure Driver and check the "match maps as closely as possible" for background and download textures, and also mash the 1024 and 512 buttons for the respective textures.

It should refresh with the actual-rez maps when you refresh a viewport, if it doesn't, restart max.

12 December 2007, 06:02 PM
Now im aware of the match closely as possible option and have changed all my video settings to high...

Done that already

12 December 2007, 06:30 PM
Had same issues for my WIP tank model Image plane, and I kinda skip tiny detail part for myself.
But, if you are dialing up much more detail for yours, here are steps to make vector (pixel independent) image plane~
PS, Illustrator, and 3ds max were used.

(1) PS step: Set image mode as 'gray.' "ctrl+LMB" selection from 'channel' will pick inverse section of the ortho's outline. Inverse selection. From 'path, "make work path from selection" and "load path as selection." Import the path as illustrator file (

(2) Illustrator Part: select whole path, and change the color as Pink circle shows (transparant for "Fill" / Black for "path"). Save it as older illustrator version compatible type (I used "illustrator 3")

(3) Max part: import it as "" and adjust a few setting for the path shows in circles.

There are some 'unnecessary lines (paths)' showing in screenshots that generated while I was transferring them between progrmas. I'm sure you can take care of them, right? :)

Hope this helps~


12 December 2007, 06:29 PM
Holidays are brutal...

Its been quite awhile so i figured i would post an update. About 70-80% done with the diffuse texture. Still need to do the spec and normal

This is only diffuse, 100% lit with an Ambient occlusion overlayed in the PSD

12 December 2007, 06:05 PM
This is just the diffuse map, no spec or normal. Need to do a little bit more work on it.

Crits please!!

12 December 2007, 10:01 PM
Here is a normal map test, im almost satisfied with the results, still some tweaking. The spec map is just a grey 125 atm, it wont be as shiny (duh)

No crits???

And one with a quick camo test for fun

01 January 2008, 03:43 PM
Tis looking good and coming alone well :thumbsup:

(By the way the camo does not work at all hehe. :deal: )

01 January 2008, 02:09 AM
looking great! my only crit is not specifically regarding the model, but the background in some of the renders being black.... it just makes it really hard to make out the form around the edges. Keep up the good work!

01 January 2008, 04:34 AM
that gun is looking pretty sweet so far i dont have any crits on it. if you dont mind could you post the diffuse map your using? i would like to take a look at it if possible.

01 January 2008, 06:51 PM
Update, with requested texture maps. Still WIP, lots of little things need to be addressed and some parts not textured yet.

01 January 2008, 07:32 PM
Just a few quick crits for you (overall the gun is looking great, sharp texture, great model detail):

- 2 1024 maps (2 texture calls) is a bit much for a weapon.
- The gun grip and other 'grip like' areas should all be all normal and spec, not painted in the diffuse.
- there are a few other areas as well that have painted highlights in the diffuse - should be in the spec instead.
- there are a few star cuts in the geometry that could be floated.
- needs more wear (lighter diffuse, higher spec) on some of the edges, moving parts, and high contact points of the gun. The safety for example should show sliding wear. The clip should show entry point wear, etc.
- The camo as well looks too random. Think more about the shapes of the colors / spots.

Overall its looking good - these are just some nit picky fine points.

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