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Dillon
03-17-2015, 01:51 PM
I think this would be a good topic to discuss. I see that I'm not the only one who is enamored of all the new real time capabilities of game engines and texturing/modeling programs. It's just a matter of time before everything is pretty much real time (except for more expensive rendering tasks that require computation/time).

So I'm wondering, for someone like myself who's been involved in 3D for over 15 years (and who's largely stepped away from it for a few years), what's the best roadmap for someone like myself to get back into the game?

I'm convinced that VR is the next new medium to create for, and I want to pursue this! Since tech is still evolving on the input/output part of VR (and its application in game engines), what's the best path to take?

Here's my thinking (in order):

1. Learn new workflow for texturing and modeling (Substance Designer/Painter and Mudbox/comparable sculpting program). PBR up to the front.

2. Learn workflow of a game engine. I'm leaning towards Unreal Engine, but am waiting for the unveiling of Source 2 (from Valve), and Autodesk's Stingray. Source 2 is supposed to be out this spring, and I don't know when Stingray is supposed to arrive. This includes learning the VR plugin support made available by the game engine.

3. Master the workflow from texturing / modeling <---> game engine. Materials/textures/UV maps, PBR, etc.

and hopefully by the time I feel comfortable with moving assets between game engine and modeling/texturing....


4. Animation workflow - I hope I don't have to learn another program, and hoping I can stick with the incarnation of Lightwave. Hopefully animation will be updated by then (and modeling?).

Any one else have any ideas on what would be the best course for me to take?

mummyman
03-17-2015, 06:43 PM
I think this would be a good topic to discuss. I see that I'm not the only one who is enamored of all the new real time capabilities of game engines and texturing/modeling programs. It's just a matter of time before everything is pretty much real time (except for more expensive rendering tasks that require computation/time).

So I'm wondering, for someone like myself who's been involved in 3D for over 15 years (and who's largely stepped away from it for a few years), what's the best roadmap for someone like myself to get back into the game?

I'm convinced that VR is the next new medium to create for, and I want to pursue this! Since tech is still evolving on the input/output part of VR (and its application in game engines), what's the best path to take?

Here's my thinking (in order):

1. Learn new workflow for texturing and modeling (Substance Designer/Painter and Mudbox/comparable sculpting program). PBR up to the front.

2. Learn workflow of a game engine. I'm leaning towards Unreal Engine, but am waiting for the unveiling of Source 2 (from Valve), and Autodesk's Stingray. Source 2 is supposed to be out this spring, and I don't know when Stingray is supposed to arrive. This includes learning the VR plugin support made available by the game engine.

3. Master the workflow from texturing / modeling <---> game engine. Materials/textures/UV maps, PBR, etc.

and hopefully by the time I feel comfortable with moving assets between game engine and modeling/texturing....


4. Animation workflow - I hope I don't have to learn another program, and hoping I can stick with the incarnation of Lightwave. Hopefully animation will be updated by then (and modeling?).

Any one else have any ideas on what would be the best course for me to take?

I'm really considering starting to check out something in my (sigh) free time for a real-time engine. Have you seen this recently? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s-iskyI9JX8&feature=youtu.be Lino's awesome rigs-to-unity workflow

Surrealist.
03-18-2015, 02:32 AM
In this video he talks about the basic workflow of texturing pipeline:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OwLWishhLPM&index=1&list=PLB0wXHrWAmCwLRTzdb-RxadGk_xBBQKar

Should be interesting.

But I think you can keep it simple. The PBR aspect of it is really just a method of rendering at the end of the line. It really is not too different than texturing in LightWave in the basics. That is you are using values to drive the channels that in turn create a certain material property.

You can hook up these maps in LightWave or Mudbox or anywhere and do similar things with the right adjustments.

Of course this is why having your target renderer displayable in your texturing app makes things much smoother.

But everything else, Modeling, UV mapping and so on is about the same. And baking is a key element to how things work at the texturing phase.

If you go with a Substance Designer/Painter workflow to Unreal for example you will have a very smooth workflow as all of the materials in UE4 are PBR. Same with any engine that supports this.

On the modeling and sculpting side, I recoment Zbrush for sculpting and probably for this workflow you might drop Mudbox and go with Substance Painter. Alternatively use Modbox for fine sculpting.

This way you are modeling in LightWave and Zbrush or Mudbox and unwrapping in Zbrush (Mudbox currently has no unwrapping tools) and/or Modeler baking in Zbrush/Mudbox or Xnormal and then move over to substance Designer/Painter.

I think if you keep your pipeline simple you will have an easier time of it. Remove apps from the pipeline that create conflict with the workflow.

On the animation side unless you have PBR or some reatime feedback like you get with Maya Viewport 2.0 you don't want texturing getting in the way. So if you are going to animate in LightWave just display your color channel or nothing at all. You can also animate in Unreal.

Netvudu
03-18-2015, 05:20 AM
When you say animate in Unreal, you mean regular keyframes for object or CA? I ask this because Im playing with UE4 as well, and so far the only way Ive found to do keyframe animation is through Matinee...is this right? (or import it as a skeletal mesh)

mummyman
03-18-2015, 05:54 AM
In this video he talks about the basic workflow of texturing pipeline:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OwLWishhLPM&index=1&list=PLB0wXHrWAmCwLRTzdb-RxadGk_xBBQKar

Should be interesting.

But I think you can keep it simple. The PBR aspect of it is really just a method of rendering at the end of the line. It really is not too different than texturing in LightWave in the basics. That is you are using values to drive the channels that in turn create a certain material property.

You can hook up these maps in LightWave or Mudbox or anywhere and do similar things with the right adjustments.

Of course this is why having your target renderer displayable in your texturing app makes things much smoother.

But everything else, Modeling, UV mapping and so on is about the same. And baking is a key element to how things work at the texturing phase.

If you go with a Substance Designer/Painter workflow to Unreal for example you will have a very smooth workflow as all of the materials in UE4 are PBR. Same with any engine that supports this.

On the modeling and sculpting side, I recoment Zbrush for sculpting and probably for this workflow you might drop Mudbox and go with Substance Painter. Alternatively use Modbox for fine sculpting.

This way you are modeling in LightWave and Zbrush or Mudbox and unwrapping in Zbrush (Mudbox currently has no unwrapping tools) and/or Modeler baking in Zbrush/Mudbox or Xnormal and then move over to substance Designer/Painter.

I think if you keep your pipeline simple you will have an easier time of it. Remove apps from the pipeline that create conflict with the workflow.

On the animation side unless you have PBR or some reatime feedback like you get with Maya Viewport 2.0 you don't want texturing getting in the way. So if you are going to animate in LightWave just display your color channel or nothing at all. You can also animate in Unreal.

Awesome link! Thanks for sharing...

Surrealist.
03-18-2015, 06:19 AM
When you say animate in Unreal, you mean regular keyframes for object or CA? I ask this because Im playing with UE4 as well, and so far the only way Ive found to do keyframe animation is through Matinee...is this right? (or import it as a skeletal mesh)

Animation:

https://docs.unrealengine.com/latest/INT/Engine/Animation/index.html

Persona Animation

https://docs.unrealengine.com/latest/INT/Engine/Animation/Persona/index.html

Rag Doll

https://docs.unrealengine.com/latest/INT/Engine/Physics/PhAT/index.html

Community Videos:

https://wiki.unrealengine.com/Category:Community_Videos

Video tutorials on animation:

https://wiki.unrealengine.com/Videos/Player?series=PLZlv_N0_O1gb2ZoKzTApbv3LvhaXJ9elg



I have not used it yet, so I have no idea how useful it is. But it appears you have IK control on rigs and can pose and keyframe as well as mix animation and Blendshapes as well as rag doll physics.

Personally I'd prefer to do all of that in MotionBuilder. But the tool set seems to be there in Unreal and I think even Unity has animation tools.

Genoma preset for Unity Mechanim:

http://forums.newtek.com/showthread.php?144868-Genoma-Preset-for-Unity-Mecanim

Netvudu
03-18-2015, 10:18 AM
This is all CA. I was precisely interested in non-CA keyframing (though now that I reread what I wrote, I understand it might be misleading)... Just through Matinee?

Dillon
03-18-2015, 12:03 PM
Animation:

https://docs.unrealengine.com/latest/INT/Engine/Animation/index.html

Persona Animation

https://docs.unrealengine.com/latest/INT/Engine/Animation/Persona/index.html

Rag Doll

https://docs.unrealengine.com/latest/INT/Engine/Physics/PhAT/index.html

Community Videos:

https://wiki.unrealengine.com/Category:Community_Videos

Video tutorials on animation:

https://wiki.unrealengine.com/Videos/Player?series=PLZlv_N0_O1gb2ZoKzTApbv3LvhaXJ9elg



I have not used it yet, so I have no idea how useful it is. But it appears you have IK control on rigs and can pose and keyframe as well as mix animation and Blendshapes as well as rag doll physics.

Personally I'd prefer to do all of that in MotionBuilder. But the tool set seems to be there in Unreal and I think even Unity has animation tools.

Genoma preset for Unity Mechanim:

http://forums.newtek.com/showthread.php?144868-Genoma-Preset-for-Unity-Mecanim

Wow, thanks for all those links - especially the community page! I didn't know about this resource. And also news to me about performing IK style animation right within UE4. I haven't come across any of that in the studying I've done so far. So much to learn.

Great advice from everyone thus far. Absolutely I want the cleanest workflow possible; I don't want to be held up by kinks and workflow issues. I just want to create and push things around as much as possible.

Slowly learning UE4, and have been following the tutorials that Epic put online. I don't want to get into a UE vs Unity debate, but which app is better? ;O

Dillon

Surrealist.
03-18-2015, 12:10 PM
This is all CA. I was precisely interested in non-CA keyframing (though now that I reread what I wrote, I understand it might be misleading)... Just through Matinee?

Yeah if you import an object (does not have to be a character) as a skeletal mesh it creates a skeleton. Again I have not used this. But then I assume you would animate that in the animation editor. It also creates a physics asset so I assume it could take place in simulations as well.

Dillon
03-18-2015, 12:13 PM
Yeah if you import an object (does not have to be a character) as a skeletal mesh it creates a skeleton. Again I have not used this. But then I assume you would animate that in the animation editor. It also creates a physics asset to I assume it could take place in simulations as well.

Yes, it creates a skeleton with bones, but I haven't come across any IK type controls for animating. The latest version docs seem to indicate that bone control and keyframing was just added on a per bone basis. I could be wrong. Still a total and complete novice.

Surrealist.
03-18-2015, 12:15 PM
Wow, thanks for all those links - especially the community page! I didn't know about this resource. And also news to me about performing IK style animation right within UE4. I haven't come across any of that in the studying I've done so far. So much to learn.

Great advice from everyone thus far. Absolutely I want the cleanest workflow possible; I don't want to be held up by kinks and workflow issues. I just want to create and push things around as much as possible.

Slowly learning UE4, and have been following the tutorials that Epic put online. I don't want to get into a UE vs Unity debate, but which app is better? ;O

Dillon

Yeah seems like a lot of interesting options for animation. Some people swear by unity... :). Seems to me Unreal has better looking stuff. And Cryengine by far as the best stuff all around as far as quality visuals. But they are adding new features all the time to Unreal so who knows it may catch up.

On the IK thing:

https://docs.unrealengine.com/latest/INT/Engine/Animation/IKSetups/index.html

Dillon
03-18-2015, 12:33 PM
Damn dude. I'm impressed with how on top of all this you are!

mummyman
03-18-2015, 12:36 PM
Yeah seems like a lot of interesting options for animation. Some people swear by unity... :). Seems to me Unreal has better looking stuff. And Cryengine by far as the best stuff all around as far as quality visuals. But they are adding new features all the time to Unreal so who knows it may catch up.

On the IK thing:

https://docs.unrealengine.com/latest/INT/Engine/Animation/IKSetups/index.html

I've read that Unreal is more difficult and is more for the "serious" users.. and Unity is easier, and better for smaller users. Who knows. they all look really nice. Been watching a bunch of Substance Designer videos. WOw.. amazing.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OwLWishhLPM&index=1&list=PLB0wXHrWAmCwLRTzdb-RxadGk_xBBQKar

Can't thank you enough for that vid!

Surrealist.
03-18-2015, 12:58 PM
Yeah I watched that whole series last week. Pretty cool.

As far as more difficult than Unity I have no idea. A lot of times people are relating that to making a game whereas I am relating it to how easy it is to get up and running just in general. Importing things and so on. Unreal seems fine in that regard. Real easy to understand all that is happening and applying textures and so on. Seems real easy to set up scenes and adjust parameters. Unity might well be just as easy.

Cryengine on the other hand I have yet to successfully import a mesh... lol.

Surrealist.
03-18-2015, 01:20 PM
Damn dude. I'm impressed with how on top of all this you are!

Just that recently I have been diving into all of the same things you are now seeking out. I just had a little head start. :)

And I have been working for the last 4 years on a game pipeline mainly with modeling and textures and so all of these things are coming together in an interesting way now.

Dillon
03-18-2015, 01:23 PM
Just that recently I have been diving into all of the same things you are now seeking out. I just had a little head start. :)

And I have been working for the last 4 years on a game pipeline mainly with modeling and textures and so all of these things are coming together in an interesting way now.

Indeed! This is why I'm jumping back in now. Been waiting for this day to come for the better part of a decade. :-/ The Octane render 3.0 has me agog.

I'm gonna keep close tabs on you, hope you don't mind if I cyber stalk you on the discussion forum. :)

mummyman
03-18-2015, 01:26 PM
Just that recently I have been diving into all of the same things you are now seeking out. I just had a little head start. :)

And I have been working for the last 4 years on a game pipeline mainly with modeling and textures and so all of these things are coming together in an interesting way now.

Cool! The company I work for is looking at all this and there are a few of us using multiple 3d programs, so of course there is the internal struggle in that alone! Being the solo LW guy amongst a few XSI'ers and Max users. We'll see how the next few years go. I HATE not knowing what's coming down the line from LW group. I love the direction they've been taking, but not knowing is killing me. Seeing Lino develop a lot of tools for gaming is promising. Since the original unveil of LW's VPR they've been moving towards more "realtime" way back.

Surrealist.
03-18-2015, 02:11 PM
Yeah will be interesting to see what happens. @dillon, feel free to connect on FB as well. Link in sig. :)