FSU Year 03: Texture Painting and Sculpting (TPS) 1712

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Gosh, I’ve been holding out on posting about this since my grades were not updated as it should have been. Now, that that’s dealt with, though, I’d like to catch you all up to what’s been up in my education at Full Sail. 🙂

For the last month of 2017, Texture Painting and Sculpting (TPS, in short) ended the year nicely with even more knowledge I wish I knew from the beginning… The class taught two distinct ways to add texture maps onto meshes and both are amazingly fun to do, albeit time consuming.

Now, I’d hold off on linking to my ArtStation images since my future professor says it’s not organized well and was, quite frankly, weak (I entered a mini-depression here), but I digress and will still do despite me having to fix things later on. In the case that I forget to update the links, please let me know so I can fix them appropriately. I’d like to be sure that you folks can follow along as you read on.

The Class

The class, as always, is divided into 4 weeks of major projects. This time is no different. The first two weeks focus on handdrawing  stylized textures a la World of Warcraft or League of Legends. The following two weeks are realistic using Substance Painter and following the footsteps of something like The Witcher 3 or Fallout.

We learned how to UV map more efficiently to help with the texture painting process. It is now a common school of thought for me to make sure to divide UV shells according to major part of the model. I also learned that we are able to overlap UV shells, only taking note that both shells will be mirrors of each other (meaning if you flip the model, you would se the exact light sources and shadow, but in reverse). Nothing to crazy is used here, only Photoshop once the UV snapshot is taken and saved. Within the layers, we are taught to utilize a similar pipeline to standard digital drawing: UV snapshot (lines) on top with multiply, colors underneath and base gray color at the bottom for a neutral baseline.

Following that, we learned that Substance Painter is an invaluable asset to any digital artist. Dabbling in some of in from previous classes, we have dedicated a full 2 weeks just to master its basic components. All the fancy materials that we have access to is very basic, but it has many uses even on that level.

How was it?

TPS was fun in the sense that I can finally go back to 2D hand drawing since it was my forte prior to 3D digital. And I’m learning cool tips for lighting and shading in 2D. This was always an issue with me. I can’t say I’ve perfected the art, but at least I’m moving towards the right direction. This goes for both Photoshop textures and Substance Painter texures.

I think my favorite part of Substance Painter was their smart brushes. You could literally paing in rain and it would rain on your object and leave residue. Just the best feature!

In Substance Painter, though, I had a rough time getting transparency to work as I wanted it. The ambient occlusion kept making my bottle fog up inside and it messed me up on my final renders. Opacity is a whole new moster, according to my teacher, so I did not get docked for any opacity issues on my final renders.

Tips for coming students?

If you are new to UV mapping or are uncomfortable with it, please work your way into a comfort zone in UV mapping. This is key to making great textures by means of making hard edges with separate UV shells. Means you’ve technically masked off an area without taking extra steps!

Photoshop hand drawn textures are hard to master since you turn lighting completely off and you have to draw in the illusion of light and shadows. I’m weak here, but I learned a lot since I was literally painting a 3D object. Color choice is primarily my issue. Which color hue and saturation to pick to make it look nice. I think I play colors too safely. I want to breach this hurdle one day soon.

Substance Painter is straighforward and there are tons of tutorials. You pretty much just import your stl file or obj file that is fully UV mapped and use the proper settings to upload and bake the high res mesh as your other maps. From then on, the painting is as traditional as it gets. A la coloring book style, really. Then you make sure to re-bake any maps and include any new maps you added (like omissive maps, if used) and export all into maps that you can plug into programs like Unreal Engine for showcasing. It’s all super intuitive.

I can say that this is one of the rare classes that really require raw skill and creativity in tool usage to get somewhere. 🙂

Also, make sure you have a drawing tablet of some sort. That will definitely be most recommended item to have beside your capable computer! I drew the 2D stylized textures on an iPad Pro 12.9″ via Procreate. Similar to Photoshop. Otherwise, I was using an Intuos Pro medium for Substance Painter. 😀

That’s all for Texture Painting and Sculpting for December 2017, and next up in January 2018, I’ll be heading straight into Project and Porfolio 4!! OH NO!! — Correction: Game Characters, where we will be learning to play in zBrush! I’m a little intimidated since zBrush was so confusing the first time, but I’m hoping for the best…!

FSU Year 03: Art Creation for Games (ACG) (and Physical Science)

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This month kicks off my third academic year at Full Sail University and it also marks the beginning of my core classes that revolve around game models, textures, pipelines and techniques.

Many fundamentals we learned in years one and two are now exactly that, fundamentals. The new things we will be learning from now on are packed above the basics or different altogether. I’ll get into more depth on this today.

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FSU Year 02: Project and Portfolio III (Game Art) and Career Module on Resumes

This month was hard. =___=”

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Remember when I talked about feeling so underequipped in my modeling classes? This class made me feel like I got a little better. Project and Portfolio III gives us the freedom we wanted by means of asking us to create a project solely by the knowledge we had learned prior to this class. That also means that we are on our own for the most part.

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Our Favorite Paris Games Week 2017 Highlights (Sony, Monday 10/30)

This week holds a nice big fair in Paris showcasing more great games and today marks the start of all the new trailers!


Check them all out below. 😀

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Modern Old-Fashioned Cuphead is Finally Served

Having been on Cuphead all week long after waiting three years for it, I’m glad it came out as great as it is. Cuphead looks all fine and dandy, but it is a hell of a fun challenge. Emphasis on challenge. Expect to be stuck at a stage or boss learning its quirks before you can move on. Make sure you’re equipped with appropriate equipment before running into a stage and be open to retries.

Pro Tip: Make sure you buy one shot and one charm from Porkrind in the beginning. You will be stuck with those two choices for a little bit due to lack of gold coins in the beginning, so pick wisely! I ended up choosing the Spread Shot and the Smoke Bomb Charm. These two helped me big time for the Slime boss, specifically.

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Monster Hunter Stories…Stories!

MHST Logo.jpgSorry for the lame headliner, but that’s kinda what we do. We’re corny, fun and a little eccentric. Plus, we like sharing our stories! So, stick around!

Now, I opened up like that because Monster Hunter Stories presents just as quirky. Behind the serious calamity looming over and bonds built and broken all over, it is a fun and funny game that does not hesitate to pull the puns out all over the place. But that’s not all it is. Just like The Witcher 3 can be the new golden standard of open world fantasy RPGs, Monster Hunter Stories should be the golden standard for  JPRG spin-offs.

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FSU Year 02: College Mathematics

Here’s another quick recap on what this month had to offer at Full Sail Online. College Math was totally not the breather I was hoping to have before my next checkpoint class…

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Monster Hunter World Release Date

A bit of awesome news came by yesterday and finally, it is about Monster Hunter World’s release date. Check out the trailer I’ve attached below from TGS 2017.

We are finally getting a larger emphasis on story in this entry. That’s a good thing. Maybe they learned a thing or two from Destiny 2, which has a good amount of content without having each of them be mandatory of each other.

What do we think?

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Destiny 2 Is Worth the Wait on PC!

–Or get it now on console!! PC won’t get it until 10/24/2017… T. T

If I were to give you one word to describe my experience with Destiny 2, it would be “fulfilling“.

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The Farm

<vlog coming soon!>

It took me a little under a week to complete the campaign and master all Hunter subclasses, even if I restarted a character part-way. Oddly enough, the character I brought back from Destiny 1 made me feel like the intro to the game didn’t fit the Exo race due to the whole intro, but after some thought I decided to kick it with my Exo Hunter like the good ol’ days anyway. 😀

Words of wisdom to those who’ve yet to pick up for PC (or console):

**Pre-order the game for cool freebies! The game is worth it anyway!

  1. ALL DLC, except the Emotes and Emblems, will be unlocked AT THE END of the campaign, even pre-order Coldheart and Kill-Tracker Ghost shell. (All emotes and emblems are in your hub vault ASAP). They are also obtainable in-game at one point.
  2. If you have money to get the Expansions out of the way, BUY the DIGITAL DELUXE. (Note that Digital Deluxe is the $100 pack, the $90 pack is Expansion Pass only). DO NOT base it off the emote, emblem and sword, it wasn’t worth it. (You get them all in-game and the sword was post-campaign along with a cooler sword).
  3. If you are looking to save money or can wait to buy the Expansion Pass, DO NOT BUY the fancy editions and just stick to the Standard edition of the game.

You have been warned. I would have rather spent the extra $40 on silver for bright engrams when I hit Level 20. I would’ve gotten cooler stuff.

Continue reading Destiny 2 Is Worth the Wait on PC!

FSU Year 02: Lighting and Shading

FSU LogoThis time we’re going back to Maya and 3D scenes. Instead of animating or making models, we will be manipulating lights and settings to make an interesting scene with convincing materials and textures.

I hated matching every single detail at first… Each of our scenes had to look EXACTLY as the reference image provided. As if we needed to get the exact value for each setting. I say this because this is, by far, the most strictly graded class in my 2 years at FSU at least if you get Professor Sakson.

I learned much about lighting, hypershading, materials and texturing in this class, but the class was poorly set up with the online lectures being inconsistent live classroom recordings and demos and the other instructor had 2-hour sessions of pooely planned content. More on these later.

Despite the interesting and essential knowledge provided in this class, Lighting and Shading with Tony Sakson and Tony Bagsby is totally one of my most disliked class right beside 3DF…

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