Near-future request: ZBrush 4r7 hard surface modeling for games training

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tburbage3's picture
Posts: 3

I got a lot out of Michael Pavlovich's earlier ZB3/ZB4 video series. But now I want to concentrate on hard surface modeling and the workflows involved in producing high quality textured "prop" and environmental pieces destined for e.g. Unreal, Unity, CryEngine, etc.

Unfortunately for training developers, ZB is a pretty fast moving train! Based on what they've shown so far, I'm anticipating that ZB4r7 will present a pretty new and different toolset for hard surface modeling. While I'm guessing it will more augment rather than replace current tools and techniques, I think new training courses will be needed to cover the new landscape.

I thought I would put in a request and describe what the ideal training would look like for me personally, and hope that it would hit the spot for others as well.

First, my focus of interest is not so much in hero character model development as in environmental and "prop" modeling, where "prop" might include some quite complex primarily hard surface models like vehicles. I'm specifically interested in learning from a master in this area who works in high end game production (such as someone with the experience to be a person at Ubisoft, Naughty Dog, etc.) and knows well the whole production chain from concept to in-game. Joseph Drust comes to mind as someone who fits my description, but I'm sure there are other environmental/prop guys out there who could do  it. I'm currently using Maya and other traditional modeling tools, ZBrush, Photoshop and 3DCoat, and am intending the content to go into Unreal 4.

- I'd prefer the model to be a complex one, with a variety of surfaces, providing the opportunity to illustrate multiple approaches to creation. I'd prefer the model to NOT be the usual: gun, robot, armored character. It would be great if the model encompassed a good variety of flat and curved surfaces, and could even include soft surfaces intended for deformation (like a cloth flap covering the opening on the rear of a troop transport -- or whatever). Ideally it would have multiple parts, for example, a vehicle might have wheels or treads one intends to animate in the game engine.

- If the base mesh is started in a traditional modeling package (meaning Max/Maya etc. etc.), I don't require that creation process to be fully detail out since folks don't like it when "their" package isn't the one used, but would want the author to discuss the what the choices were in making the mesh, what it needed to be ideally to bring into ZB etc. If UV'ing was done outside ZB, then I'd just want to know how that was done in a general sense and with what objectives. The mesh should be provided with the training of course.

- Within ZBrush, I'm then interested in the primary techniques/workflows our expert has worked out as being the most effective and efficient to achieve the desired result under production constraints. I'll want to know why he/she chose them over other alternatives. If the author believes specific steps in the process are still best achieved outside of ZB, then go for it. Just explain why you think so.

- I'd like the end result to be a fully textured, high detail "hero" prop for Unreal, Unity, or CryEngine with all the maps these modern  engines support use of.

- I'd love it if the training conclude with the model taken into one of those engines so the presentation can end re-enforcing why the assets were created in the way they were and what the final model can look like lit and ready for use.

- I'd want the content at each key step in its evolution to be able to pick apart and analyze.

If this and ZB4r7 were available today, I'd be buying on the spot. After a *lot* of searching, I don't think there is anything out there currently that really hits this on the nose (I mean, even for ZB4r6 of course, since ZB4r7 hasn't been released yet as I write this).