Project Creepy Farm House

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by Renzatic, Sep 25, 2012.

  1. macrumors G3


    I figured it was time for me to start a new project since it's been, like, about...months since I last fired up Modo. Don't want what little skills I have to get rusty on me. I also figured I'd talk about it here since getting feedback, cheers, jeers, and insults are always a good way to go about improving yourself.

    What I plan on doing is taking this old abandoned house I've been obsessed with for years and years, model it, and make a little scene surrounding it with a few little extra details to spice it up. Like an old 50's Ford truck with a wheel missing positioned in the foreground. Throw a few trees here and there for variety. Add one of those oldschool square wire fences in the background. Maybe an old ruined barn somewhere. Things like that.

    ...also maybe have a ghost standing on the porch. Cuz that'd be so rad.

    Here's a shot of the house itself. Nothing too terribly complicated about it.

    And a clay bake of what I've done thus far. Kinda simple and rendery at the moment. I need to add a ton more detail to make it look old and abandoned. That'll be coming later.

    Plus an interface shot as an added bonus. They're always neat to look at. Yeah. I know. I'm using Windows. Don't throw rocks at me, please. :(

    Next up will be the old truck and the fence in the background. Provided I have the time and patience, I might do a step by step on that next scene. Time and patience being the key word here, since I rarely have both in abundance.

    So tell me what you think of what I've done. I've got really thick skin and a tremendous amount of inflated ego, so you can all call me nasty names or whatever without phasing me at all if you want. Or, you know, offer constructive criticisms. Whichever. :p
  2. macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    Thanks for posting a picture of my house online. :mad:

    I'm kidding, that's really awesome actually. I like that you showed a screen shot of the work you're doing within the app. Are you planning on putting it in a scene of sorts?
  3. macrumors P6


    Mar 20, 2004
    "Between the Hedges"
    Looks really cool actually
    Makes me incredibly jealous wanting to do something like that

    I look forward to seeing your progress
  4. thread starter macrumors G3


    You need to mow your lawn. [​IMG]

    Yup. This whole project is mostly an excuse to practice some more high poly modelling and learn how to do proper rendered lighting...which is something I can barely do at all at the moment. By the time I'm done, I should hopefully have a nice little scene going on.

    Thanks. I can't wait to post more. :)

    Just don't hold your breath waiting for the next up. I'm about sporadic at the best of times. Though hopefully by late tonight/tomorrow sometime, I should have the spline cage for the truck done.
  5. fig
    macrumors 6502a

    Jun 13, 2012
    Houston, TX
    Good stuff, you're off to a nice start. Modo is an awesome little package.

    Your base model looks solid, my only crit would be to look at building in a bit of irregularity to things like the shutters, probably easier to do that in the model than in surfacing. I think the key is going to be as you dig into the texturing and lighting to really get the mood you're going for.

    Keep us updated!
  6. macrumors 6502

    Jul 9, 2008
    Really nice job.

    I've tried Modo but the way it handles textures/materials freaked me out - the shader tree - agh!

    How long did it take?

    Oh, just looking really closely - one thing to try would be some very small bevels on some of those sharp straight edges. (The window beams/pelmets etc). It will make all the difference when you light it.
  7. macrumors 604


    Jan 26, 2008
    Isla Nublar
    Awesome! I love seeing stuff like this I could look at it all day (oh wait, I do).

    I adore Modo too, I just bought a license about 2 weeks ago.
  8. thread starter macrumors G3


    Yeah, that's gonna come later on, probably around the time I start adding in ivy and generally grunging things up. I dunno if I'll go all out with unique models for every shutter and plank, but I'll mix and match a bit. Knock a few things askew at the very least.

    I think it's a helluva lot better than the way Max handled materials. It's more like Photoshop to me, with each material being it's own image. Like instead of having individual channels for diffuse/spec/normal/ect to load images into, you just pile all your images underneath your base, put em in order, and right click-assign what you want it to be. It's quicker and a lot more free flowing. Didn't take long at all for me to come to terms with.

    I thought about doing that, but since the house is going to be off in the distance a little ways, and I wanted to save on the polycount a bit, I decided to forego the beveling and constraining to get it subsurf ready. It came out looking okay in the AO bake, so I'm hoping it'll look alright when I start working on actual lighting.

    ...which will be a moon or two from now.

    Welcome to the I can't believe I just spent that much money club! Grab a seat and have a drink! \:D/

    Yup. I liked Modo so much I was willing to drop nearly a full grand on it. I think it's pretty well worth it, but every time I fire it up, I always think..., I could've bought a helluva computer or bought my kids their diabetes medicine with that cash. It's pretty expensive for what's really nothing more than a hobby.

    And speaking of hobby work, I haven't had much time to play with it tonight, so I've only got a tiny bit of the spline cage done for my future truck. I thought a nice 50's style Ford pickup would look good sitting in the environs. Particularly since they look really nice abandoned and rusted.

    I picked a '51 F1 for my base model. I liked the grill on it.


    ...and then later discovered it's about the hardest vehicle in the world to model. I can't find any blueprints of schematics for a truck that old, so I'm having to eyeball it, which makes it considerably more difficult. In about 3 hours and 2 do-overs, I've managed to get the wheel well area looking halfway decent.

    Which you can see the rather underwhelming beginnings of here.

    Still, it's not too bad, considering it'll eventually be the first vehicle I've done without relying on a tutorial or premade assets. It's just gonna take me awhile to get it done.
  9. macrumors 6502a

    Nov 21, 2004
    That's really good. What kind of work do you do for pay, just out of curiosity, and how did you get into this, of all hobbies?
  10. thread starter macrumors G3


    You mean as far as 3D work goes? I have yet to receive a single dime for any of my work. I haven't bothered trying, because I don't think I'm quite ready for the big leagues yet. Thus far, everything I've done has been for practice and fun.

    So how did I get into the whole 3D thing? It's a very dorky story. I'm not gonna drop any names, but there was this board I used to visit way way back in the day. I always had a passing interest in making a little game. Never wanted to create a career around it or anything, but I always thought it'd be something pretty cool to do. So then one day this guy pops up and screams "HAY GUYZ! I GOT A GREAT IDEA! LETS MAKE A MOD!". I figured I'd throw my hat into the ring as a texture artist (despite not even knowing how to use even Photoshop back then), and...long story short...I contributed a little bit, and just kept at it over the years. Goofing around with PS and random 3D editors whenever I felt like messing with them, learning more and more as time went on.
  11. thread starter macrumors G3


    Little mini update to my diary thread. I wanted to have a little more done by this point, but damn. This truck has proven to be more difficult to put together than I realized. It's been like putting together a puzzle, seeing how each part fits together and flows into the rest. Kinda makes me wish I picked a more modern truck, but...hey...I'm committed now.

    You can see what pathetically little I've done here.

    I'll be redoing the cab section here tonight. I made it too big and too wide, and now I can't follow the contours of the actual vehicle. I could keep going as is, but I want this to be pretty close.

    One thing I've learned from my first foray into modelling cars is don't look at the parts individually. Look at the whole thing, see how it all comes together, and measure like a bastard.
  12. macrumors 604


    Jan 26, 2008
    Isla Nublar
    I think it looks great so far!

    I'm stalking this thread because I LOVE to see 3D work in progress.
  13. thread starter macrumors G3


    Stalk away, man! That's half the reason why I'm doing this. To show off what I've done, and to hopefully get a few suggestions if I do something wrong.

    I'm about done with the front section of the truck. I have to add the bit along the bottom section below the doors, and finish the footing and trim. I just can't believe it's taken me this long to get as far as I have. Comparatively, I already had each board positioned, each window and shutter made, each tile on the roof placed and skewed, and each brick modeled and moved around the foundation of the house in the amount of time it's taken me to knock out what I've got.

    The good news is I think the hardest part is about behind me. The rear half doesn't have nearly as much detailing and weird curvature as the front, so it shouldn't taken me even a quarter of the amount of time to do. Knock on wood.

    ...and here it is.

    If anyone has any suggestions or see anything weird I should tweak, feel free to criticize away.
  14. macrumors 6502a

    Sep 3, 2009
    Awesome, you seem like a really good modeler. That's one thing in 3D that I really suck at...Luckily I can animate and I'm pretty good at lighting and texturing so it balances out. It's sort of in my instinct to want to see the house hit by a meteor or blow up or something when I see the clay bake you've got. I've never really used Modo, but it seems like a pretty good program. The interface looks really similar to Cinema 4D, which I'm familiar with. C4D isn't really the best program for modeling, but the latest update added some cool sculpting abilities like ZBrush.
  15. macrumors 6502

    Jul 9, 2008
    I too tend to use Cinema 4D (you should take a look at Modo it really makes C4D's modelling tools look antiquated. It's funny how many of us who use C4D think we suck at modelling when we see what people can do in Modo)

    I'm actually not sure what Maxon's strategy is these days. It used to be a really well rounded 3d app but it seems to have abandoned modelling and body paint and seems intent on becoming just a motion graphics tool. And then they introduce sculpting - eh? What was that all about? Why not rework the modelling tools to something halfway decent then introduce sculpting later? I can understand why they dropped the module system but it's now circa £3,000 to buy the studio edition. (That's roughly the same price as Maya! I can vaguely remember it always used to be about half the price.)

    I'm going to see what happens over the next year or so, but might have to drop C4D and try and learn Modo more seriously.
  16. macrumors 604


    Jan 26, 2008
    Isla Nublar
    Looks great so far! I too am being REALLY slow on a project I'm doing. (Then again I'm UV mapping and texturing as I go along so progress is slow).

    To the others who were mentioning C4D's antiquated modeling tools, I'm not sure how similar C4D is to Maya but I'm coming from Maya (who also has stagnate tools) and Modo is a breath of fresh air! The work plane is fantastic and makes it super easy to precisely line up elements (at first I hated it until I learned how to use it) and the entire program makes is really fluid in how you go from one work space to another. I love it.

    One thing, if you try it, make sure as soon as you start the program and you are in a viewport, press the "O" key and at the bottom of the menu that pops up set "Trackball Rotation" to no. If that option wasn't there I wouldn't own Modo today because I could not get used to its viewport navigation. That option makes it just like Maya (and C4D I'm told).
  17. macrumors 6502

    Jul 9, 2008
    Excellent - I shall try that, I'm running out of anti-seasickness pills when playing with Modo...
  18. macrumors 604


    Jan 26, 2008
    Isla Nublar
    It makes a world of difference!

    Also just beware it only sets it for that viewport. If you move to render view or UV view or quad view, make sure you set it for each of those viewports too.

    Theres a way to nab all of them at once in the preferences apparently but I haven't found it yet.
  19. macrumors 6502

    Jul 9, 2008
    No doubt you'll know this one... but pressing the space bar drops a tool. I was in a world of 3d pain until I figured that out!
  20. thread starter macrumors G3


    You can set it so Modo doesn't use it at all by going under preferences/display/openGL and checking or dechecking the appropriate boxes you find there.

    Why it's under display/OpenGL, I have no idea. That's about the last place you'd expect it to be. All I know is I'm glad I found it, because I hate trackball rotation.
  21. chrono1081, Oct 1, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2012

    macrumors 604


    Jan 26, 2008
    Isla Nublar
    Same here! I kept selecting other tools until I heard on a tutorial to press spacebar.

    Thanks! This is definitely a time saver. I also have yet to know of one person who prefers trackball rotation.
  22. thread starter macrumors G3


    If you want to post pics of your progress in this thread, feel free. It's kinda lonely being the only one in here showing off their stuff.

    And speaking of which, I've finally got a little more to show off on my truck. Not much, cuz, like you, my progress is creeping along at best.

    It kinda sucks cuz I've started patching out the splines, thinking I was finally past the difficult part. It was all going smoothly...until I got to the cab. Turns out the one part I figured would end up looking sloppy turned out to exactly how I thought it would.


    Double Damn.

    That sharp edge and pinched bit kills the topology flow, and the monopole that ends up forming there is causing a really crappy looking pinch to appear on my model. I've gotta redo the front part of the cab to make it look right. :(

    On the plus side, I have learned quite a bit about spline modeling. Mostly what not to do. :p
  23. macrumors 604


    Jan 26, 2008
    Isla Nublar
    I'll post a pic since you're feeling lonely :p I've been learning Modo off of a "Making a Ruins" video series I nabbed. Its pretty good although I put a halt on the texturing since I'm going to need to retopo this if I want to make it a game asset. (It's still only about 1/4th modeled).

    Also that pinching sounds like a pain to fix. I gotta get better with my spline modeling since some things are just way easier with splines. The truck looks like its coming along nicely though despite the pinching.

    Attached Files:

    • pic.png
      File size:
      1.3 MB
  24. thread starter macrumors G3


    ...I've seen that somewhere before. You gotta link?

    From the looks of it, you wouldn't need to retopo that at all. Games can handle a ton of geometry these days, and what you've got already is pretty nice and clean. If anything, I'd suggest throwing in a little more detail. Bevel some edges, and smooth out some silhouettes.

    edit: just saw the ngon front. That's easy to fix, though. If you want to make it game ready, just delete the front, grab your edges, bevel it in so you've got a nice sized lip, then collapse it into a bunch of tris.

    That's the quickest way to do it. Might mess up your smoothing a bit, but it'd work.

    Though if you want to save a little on the polycount, you could take those gnurly cylindrical bits down at the bottom of your pillars and convert them to a normal and heightmap without any problems.

    Actually, I've almost got it fixed. It wasn't nearly as bad as I was expecting. More a time consuming mini pain in the ass than anything.

    I think I'm just about to be on like donkey kong again.
  25. macrumors 6502

    Jul 9, 2008
    Nice stuff you guys are doing.

    I know I should probably ask this in the Luxology forum but I think one of you two will probably know the answer to this.

    Splines and Modo - when I create a pre-defined path in Illustrator using say the text tool, square or circle tool I can import it and using the curves palette - and freeze it into a polygon.

    When I do the same with a path I've drawn myself using the pen tool (a closed path and I've even tried compound one) it just doesn't work. What schoolboy error am I making? I'm currently using 401

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