Nailing The Look! (fan project question)

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Old 01 January 2014   #1
Nailing The Look! (fan project question)

Hey guys! I'm just a new modeler trying to work on a few steady projects and turn them into something worth looking at. Currently I am working on a Bioshock Infinite influenced project to see how tightly I can work in a set art style, but still expand to my goals. I call this, the Air-Bike. It's based upon the workings of the B:I universe (rail launching and such) as well as constricted to a time period (being 1912). It may be a rather big task for me to take on something so large for my first high res project, but I'm willing to press my skills through the course of it's construction. Which is sorta my goal at the same time. So here is what I'm wanting to texture and bring to life...

Keep in mind the shots of the mesh are still WIP but the general silhouette and details are pretty final, (minus the horrid chesterfield seat) Still working that out!

While I have much to master in the line of baking procedures, my current concerns rest more in the texture work I'd be doing in Photoshop. I guess I'm worried about how to replicate the sort of loud elements that make a lot of the materials pop in B:I. Most the time there is a lot of watering down (from what I could tell) in other more games that try to nail a more "photo realistic look" Where as I feel B:I tends to exaggerate it's materials to try and draw upon more depth and definition.

A prime example for both color and lighting elements I wish to capture are summed up in this screen shot really well...

So I guess my question really is what are some good tips to help nail this art style? This would be in probably both textures and final render gathering, but this forum is just dedicated to the texture work so I'll leave it at that. Any and all constructive crits, are greatly appreciated. Just bear in mind I'm probably not near as advanced as you all.
Old 01 January 2014   #2
If you want to nail this art style then for sure you should try paint textures by yourself. Textures based on photos can destroy the whole style.

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Old 01 January 2014   #3
Hmmm, well that confirms some of my thoughts then. I probably ought to look at some in depth painting methods then. Since texturing is generally one of my weaker points, I had mostly worked exclusively in photo layering when my painting turned out badly.

I guess one of my other concerns would be just how much detail I want to bake into the texture and how much of it I want to paint?
Old 01 January 2014   #4
Yes but that's not all. I think more important will be also keeping a right style. Of course you'll have to make a lot of tests and experiments. This is very delicate sphere where any detail can change a lot.

Here you have a simple example:

Do you see this subtle difference?

In my opinion cartoon style is too cartoon and photorealistic style is too realistic. I think Bioshock style need something between of that.

If you don't feel good in painting you can try cutout filter or something similar:

This is what I've got in less than 1 min. Cutout filter is very limited but if you could spend more time on it than I then you should find some better script, plugin, filter or software which will give you better effects. This is just a way which you can choose.

You don't need a jet
You don't need a pet
If you don't know yet
All you need is to meet
The GarageFarm.NET
Old 01 January 2014   #5
That's a good point. I do see myself performing a lot of tests and trial methods before achieving the right look. I went ahead and asked Mr.Calen Brait, (Lead 3D Modeler) over at Irrational for any tips and this is sorta what he came back with...

"You should lay some colors down first with your bake then you can start tuning to your needs. You can always look at textures or screens from the game to get closer to the style. Hard to make an assessment with only flat grey material on this object."

Not a lot but he didn't actually say anything in regards to the painting as a method he relied on. Hard to say though, but I have spotted photo-real details mixed in among the bold colors I've seen...

Note the wood panels below the poor fellow that's about to get smashed. It's not a really sharp detail but it doesn't exactly bare strong paint influences either. What I'm seeing is that they seem to stick to their guns when they'd pick out color schemes to roll with, but would layer in subtle detailing where needed. I feel what makes this style different but difficult is that it sorta rides a fine line. Definitely gonna take time to get the hang of it though.
Old 02 February 2014   #6
Not meaning to double post but I had worked for some time to test this art style on a small prop. I was wondering if I could get any opinions on what to change, or just what you think of the look overall...

I did use photo layering as I can't sculpt detail in (since I don't have any application like that yet) but I did use a certain method. As far as I can tell, Infinite uses a both color and definition based style. It's a bit of a alter-realism style, as anything and everything can have correct scale and design but look slightly adapted to the game. The colors are more loud, as well as the definition, so I took my AO map over the whole object a second time to really draw out the depth. For the wood photos I used, I took the grainy definition down a bit with a blurring filter. That and of course dumping a louder color element onto them, that helped wash out the fine detail. That way I keep some wood grain (but not too much) and would have that gold/orange tone to the wood.
Old 02 February 2014   #7
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