Sunday, 4 December 2011

Zbrush - Book (Incantartum Dragonomicon)

The slightly pretentiously labeled 'Incantartum Dragonomicon.'  Quoting my friend, "Warhammery stuff is fun to name!"

This is another prop from my Dragon/Cultist lair environment.  I'm currently working on the low poly but this will be my last post until Christmas as I'm moving to Southampton tomorrow!  No internet until the 6th of Jan.. boo!
I've aimed for an amalgamation of Celtic, Arabic and even some Aztec patterns, which have come together quite nicely (I wanted clear influences, an unmistakable mix of cultures but not so much that the book was grounded in reality.)  Not sure about the runes on the front cover as the simplicity clashes with the detail of the rest of the book, I may make them look a little more complex. The two large blocks of symmetrical pages will also be hidden by randomly placed pages protruding at various angles.
The awesome watermarked design is by Josef Treweeks, I wasn't sure if it was a little extreme to watermark it but I wouldn't want anyone taking his artwork without his permission.  I'll be using this design and another throughout the environment so much thanks to him!

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Small Mushroom Props

Some small mushrooms for the interior of the Dragon lair/Cultist Cave I intend to make. Some medium and large sized mushrooms still to come. I've tried to design them in a semi-modular fashion so they can be easily edited and placed. Low Poly modeled in Maya, High Poly sculpted in Zbrush.

Tuesday, 8 November 2011


Managed to fight through my man-cold to finish texturing the IronMaiden. *sniff*
I'll probably end up tweaking the maps (not sure about the eyes) while I work on some other props but for now I consider her complete!  I played about with the lighting to try and back up some dramatic imagery in my head.  I have some cool ideas about how I'd like her lit in the final UDK scene so consider this image a mock-up of what I'd like to achieve.

Monday, 7 November 2011


Diffuse (+AO, Cavity), Normal and Normal detail.
No spec map yet but its in the works.

Sunday, 6 November 2011


Back from Manchester and just in time for a little texturing!  All texturing has been done in Photoshop so far, apart from a little seam correction in Mudbox.  Also generated a detail Normal map from the diffuse by desaturating and editing the gray-scale values before throwing it through crazybump as a height map, alternatively nDo.  It doesn't tile like an average detail map but it complements the diffuse and having the ability to tweak the smaller details away from the main normal map makes me happy.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011


Up in Manchester at the moment but I've had a fair amount of time to work on the IronMaiden prop.  The Low Poly is pretty much complete, unwrapped and had AO + Normal maps baked.  I'm pleased so far, just in need of some texturing and tweaking.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011


Started rebuilding the low poly. Not keen on poly distribution with the head ornament so I'll probably redo it. So far the High poly (excluding the head) is about 95% complete with just a few minor details to include, I'll post some screens of it as soon its ready to bake down.

The image below shows my low poly progress, unwrapped with Ambient occlusion, normal and cavity maps. I've also baked out displacement maps for use with dx11 tessellation (also implemented in the image.)

Friday, 21 October 2011

Iron Maiden_WIP_01

WIP Iron Maiden prop for the Dragon Lair enviornment. I realise the arms are quite long but I wanted to try and reinforce her creepy factor. Still lots to do!

Thursday, 29 September 2011

A short break.

I'm off to Manchester for the next week so work on the environment will be slightly slower than usual. I'll be working on some designs for the environment so the Egg and Egg Holder prop are now going to be ticked off my list. I expect I'll be tweaking the maps at a later date, haven't got the blood quite how I want it yet.

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

DragonEgg Video Example

So here's a video of the prop I've made and imported in to the Unreal engine. I've tried toning down the gold texture so the eye shouldn't be entirely focused on it. I decided to ditch the alpha style goo hanging from the egg as it just didn't look as I hoped it would, it also covered the nice rocky shell texture at the bottom of the egg. I imagined the Egg would have some animations in the final version like squirming and wriggling which would help it stand out more. Par particle effects like a fire and some splashes this is probably close to the final result.

View HD for best image quality.

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

UDK mats

Spent the last day and a half inside UDK, setting up material nodes for the Dragon Egg and Egg-holder props. There's still some work on both props left to do. For the egg holder I'd like to separate the blood on the rocks with a mask so I can set it to a separate specular power, at the moment its too broad. This'll be easy as I've already done it with gold dragon heads and I always keep details such as blood decals on separate layers on my photoshop master file for easy masking. The Egg is also missing alpha details such as hanging ooze. I'll also need to look into particle effects such as blood splashes and fire effects.

Monday, 26 September 2011

So far so good. Steep learning curve but surprisingly fun. Still lots to do! Trying to make some of my textures more dynamic and interesting to look at. All textures 1024x1024.

Saturday, 24 September 2011


First UDK mesh and material test. All materials at 1024x1024.

Friday, 23 September 2011


Quite a large prop for my dragon environment (It holds the dragon eggs). I'll be putting it in UDK and fixing a few things, textures.etc. Updates to come soon.

Wednesday, 31 August 2011


While figuring out how to make my Dragon lair environment, I've started to make some smaller props. A Dragon can't have a lair without a horde of gold so naturally I've just started making some coins. Although small, I've made several different textures for a single coin to try and make every few coins of the same type slightly different. They'll range in size and material, gold, silver, copper.etc aswell as weathering, rust, dirt.etc

Aswell as low poly models I'm also looking in to rendering them as flat 1 poly alphas to be layered over the environment floor. I'm also aiming to create piles of these coins as single static meshes.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Low Poly Dragon WIP 04

Finished with this guy until I take him in to UDK (fun stuff.)
  • Enlarged Iris and pupil texture
  • Created Emissive layer for the eye
  • Created textures for Fins and Spines - Normal, Diffuse, Spec, Gloss
  • Added Alpha channel for Fins (cuts and tears.etc)
  • Reviewed and cleaned up existing normal maps

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Low Poly Dragon WIP 03

Painted in mudbox and photoshop.
Started working on:
  • Diffuse + ao + cavity maps
  • Spec
  • Gloss

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Low Poly Dragon WIP 02

  • Corrected all cavity maps, EDT & EMB
  • Increased anti aliasing on ambient occlusion maps
  • Updated with fins, skin flaps and tongue
  • Created a separate normal map with -Y for use in 3Ds max and UDK

Monday, 15 August 2011

Friday, 12 August 2011

Sunday, 29 May 2011

Sword and Shield Texture Comparisons

Tests to see how efficiently texture space was saved:

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Sword and Shield Prop

I've set myself a target to create a game prop piece or generally small CG model every 1-2 weeks. Its definitely a challenge as I'm working full time during the day and only have a few evenings free a week.

With this prop I set myself an extra little task: to waste as little UV space as possible. This should always be a priority but I really wanted to nail it. Getting textures to look good at 1024 x 1024 is my main task. A small polygon budget is also something I'm aiming for.

Here is my result rendered with a map resolution of 4096 x 4096 (Large I know but I really wanted something to compare lower map renders to.) I'll update with more images, including lower resolution maps tomorrow morning. Final Polygon count for both Shield and Sword was 960 tris.

Friday, 13 May 2011

Gun Transformation test

Transformation_Test_01 from Daniel McCarthy on Vimeo.

A quick test displaying two different modes of the gun I've created.
Ammunition clips have been excluded for the time being.

(Zdepth cuts out early, will be corrected)

Saturday, 7 May 2011

DW V Gun progress_04

Not quite finished yet but here's some renders without the ammunition clip or energy cell. About 3k tri's in total.
Textures are pretty much finished although I'm yet to do a specular map. I've used a few different lighting set-ups. I think the 2nd lighting set-up definitely helps show off the normals better.

This is just me fooling about but I quite liked the result. - In game? =P Tempted to put it in UDK now!

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

DW V Gun progress_03

High res from Maya:

High res Zbrush detailing:

Zbrush Texture experiment:

Low Poly texturing, taking inspiration from the art-style in the game 'Borderlands':