I had the opportunity to recreate the mace weapons in Celtic Heroes. The best part, that I've got free-hand in the design of the weapons. While I had to respect what is already established game. For example the tier system. The low and the high tier are using the same models with a small texture variation.
About the process
What I love with Low poly modelling is that you can use several techniques to achieve very similar results. You can sculpt in Zbrush or Mudbox, bake the textures, and paint them up. You can also start with the low poly right away, and paint it in 3D Coat (kind of the old school style). Or one of my funniest technique is when you draw the wireframe on the concept art, cut it apart, wrap it around and model the first version of the low poly by using the concept itself. (I'll show this technique in another project)
MODELLING AND TEXTURING
The good thing is, that the more technique you become proficient in, the more options you have. You'll be able to pick and chose the right one, best suit to the project. For example, sculpting works well with bold shapes that needs a bit of exploration. Cutting the concept art is an efficient technique, when the form is easy and the concept contains great information to work from.
1. Blocking out the base mesh
3. Cavity masking (described in the RENGAR PROJECT)
4. Baking ao, normal map, colour (masked cavity)
5. Creating the base texture (see the layer setup)
6. Hand Painting
7. Creating weapons variants from the parts
The rest is poslishing and implementation, involving jumping between Softwares and meeting with the game requirements.
I never go too fancy with rendering the icons. Most of the time a simple screenshot is adequate. The speed and some Photoshop trick compensate me greatly. I saw artist spending a lot of time with rendering the icons and nothing wrong with that. For other projects it's absolutely necessary. In Celtic Heroes the inventory icons are 52 x 52, which is really tiny.
When I work with small textures and icons I aim to squeeze out the most details through sharpening. Be careful though, this requires a keen eye to achieve the right balance. You don't want the result to look too pixelated.
Thank you for passing by
I hoped you enjoyed this project and learned a thing or two! Thanks for any appreciation.
Have a grate day!