Hey, it’s the last MDU 115 post! Time for a brief rundown on the last month of work. After toying with the idea or modelling a custom colt 1911 (which I still plan to do in my own time) I went with the more versatile, if simpler option of modelling a sword. After browsing a few geographical regions and time periods I ultimately settled on a Chinese jian, or a suitable replica of one anyway. The photo embedded below was my primary reference, though I used bits and pieces from other reference images, and took a few liberties with dimensions in the final model.
Initial modelling involved a bit of trial and error. My original attempt at the blade was leaving it looking more like a roman gladius, in the end though I got the blade looking roughly the way I wanted.
I then made several tweaks to the guard and the general dimensions before moving onto unwrap/ texturing. The final model as shown has rather little in the way of detail, which is where I got to try something new. I’d never done a normal map for a texture before but had a basic understanding of what went into one, so it was in my mind from the start the better part of the decorative metal-work around the hilt and scabbard would come from a detailed normal and the lighting/ surface technology in Unreal 4, where it eventually ended up.
Given the relatively straightforward nature of the normal map required for the sword I was able to just run the diffuse through Crazy Bump to get the result I wanted, with the exception that the blade normal had to be edited flat. Thanks to the binary nature of how Unreal treats metals the map for such was also easily devised with about 30 seconds in Photoshop. The project, despite how easy the tools made it to achieve the result, was still an excellent learning experience as far as painting textures for powerful engines is concerned. I learned a good deal about how light is handled in engine, and a thing or two about the layout and capabilities of Unreal in the process. Final product in the video below.
Images Used in Texturing:
Cherry Wood Texture. (2015). Retrieved from http://www.psdgraphics.com/file/cherry-wood.jpg
Sword Buyers Guide.com,. (2015). Ancient Chinese Swords – Jin Shi’s Han Dynasty Jian Reviewed. Retrieved 8 May 2015, from http://www.sword-buyers-guide.com/ancient-chinese-swords.html