A Blog about Environment Art
...and anything else CG related

Grout texture and first renderings

I created a quick grout texture within Substance Designer sticking to my initial reference. Here’s the height map for it.





I then used this as a mask in zBrush to inflate details on a plane behind the bricks.




Lastly, I started exporting a few first test of the actual texture passes. I will tweak it more tomorrow and export things like cavity and AO as well.




More work on the brick texture

I finished 10 varations of cinder block bricks. Honestly, I probably could have done with 6. But it’s never bad to have more variation.

I started placing them on a plane with a basic grid texture in zBrush’s 2.5D canvas, offsetting them with the tilde key while I go. Tomorrow I’m going to create the grout for the background (probably doing it all in Substance Designer) and play with the depth of each row, which are on their own layers.




Texturing the bricks

So I decided to texture the individual bricks inside zBrush. That way, I will be able to export a finished tiled texture in the end and also have the finished and polypainted brick meshes in case I want to do something entirely different with them.

I started by jumping into Substance Designer and creating a base graph for the color of all the bricks. It is basically a few noises with gradient maps for the plain texture. Additionally, I added more details like black / colored spots and dust traces which can be turned on and off. Having set up this base graph and exposing all the important parameters, made it pretty easy and quick to generate four different versions of my texture.









I switched back into zBrush, gave all the bricks a basic UV Layout (UV Master Unwrap) and applied one of the plain textures to it. I then started using all the other texture variations I created and added detail using the Projection Master and the Alpha Brush tool.





First few bricks done.

I finished the sculpt for the first couple of bricks. I tried a different technique for each one, finding the best way to replicate what I’ve photographed yesterday. I’ll finish a total of about 10 bricks before I start on the actual texture. I’ll also have to decide whether I want to polypaint each brick beforehand or just export height & normal maps and do it all in Substance Designer or even Painter.




Gathering reference (used cinder block texture)

Unfortunately, I don’t have much to show today. I spend most of my day fixing the most recent Photoshop update, which caused massive lags and slowdowns to my system. Also set up Zbrush for sculpting the tillable brick texture for the second building in the scene.

I did some rough sculpts of a few bricks but nothing really worth showing. I was also lacking proper reference, so I took some pictures myself while I went out grocery shopping today (I actually even went back to get my camera for it), spotting the perfect example for what I was looking for a few steps outside my door.

I’ll be working on the sculpting and normal/height creation all day tomorrow, using my pictures as a shape and color reference.



cinder_block_ref_ (3 of 13)

Oil barrel renderings

Did another quick Marmoset rendering of an oil barrel asset for the scene.

I will try to get a decent tint material going in UE4, but I’m still struggeling with the right mask for the occasion. For now, I just quickly changed the base material in Substance Painter and exported a few alternative albedo maps.







More work on wood, duh!

So this will be the end result for now. I may go back and add some detail if I think it’s necessary, but I’ve been spending waaay too much time on this, so I should move on. I also created a variation in structure (which is actually a whole new graph, because the original one was not as optimized as it should have been), which will be used for a bit smoother surfaces.

I chose a rounded cube as the render geometry. It serves the material much better.