This video showcases the end result of this project. Feel free to scroll down and view the other production videos, or screen captures that will give you more insight into my work process for this environment. In time I will import everything into UDK and make a first person view walkthrough.

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This video shows the final real-time product for this project, in the Maya viewport. Overall I like the look and feel of the industrial elements in the scene. Although the lighting is not final it does represent what I am trying to evoke with the use of a low ambient key light that is supplemented with bright point lights that are set to cubic falloff; I feel that such an approach gives the scene a 'cavernous' look. As I mentioned in the video I will be exporting everything from Maya and into UDK. Therein I can take advantage of the illumination channels in the textures, so that I can actually light this scene with the light fixtures instead of using default lights. I will post some shots after I do that.

All in all - I am quite satisfied with the outcome and the time constraints that I was able to maintain while working on this portfolio piece. In a week I will be moving this page to the environments section and beginning the next phase of this 'Battlestar-based' environmental development campaign. Below are some more screen shots.
Sign Off E.Flint 5-15-2012 10:40 am EST ( FINAL LOG)

Project Overview

March 12, 2012 - Jump Ship Hangar Project: BEGIN- 8:25 pm

At this point I have decided to focus on developing futuristic industrial environments, having been inspired by the latest rendition of Battle Star Galactica. Design-wise that series is awesome! One thing that I noticed when I was watching each episode was the great attention that was paid to the environments. The hangars, airlocks, quarters, and bathrooms all seemed like real places instead of just mere sets. Each environment felt sold and believable. Furthermore, I think that the detailing and cohesion of the industrial design motifs were simply superb. The series hit it home on many levels, but most of all it rocked the 'true grit' factor. There is dirt, rust, grime and grease on those sets. We are given the impression that space travel is a dirty business, and things don't just stay clean by themselves, like in other space exploration series.

What I will do in this project is begin with a small room that is designed with some of the hanger columns or sections that are found in Galactica (the ship itself). I will improvise a bit because I do not want to simply copy the environments; I want to take them to a new stage as if I were creating designs for a new installment of the Battle Star Galactica series. Initially, I will start by developing some 3D sketches, to base my line work upon in the drafting phase. Then I will model the actual environments in full detail to be used as game assets - derived from high ploy models for normal map information.

The texturing phase will come last. Once I have completed about three of these environments I will texture them together, in order to create a uniformed look and feel. That's all I have for now. I will post any sketches that I come up with soon. As far as 'time to be spent,' is concerned, I will be working on this project about 1/4th to 1/8th of the time (due to my current schedule). These environments should be about 45 - 60 hours a piece - equaling 135 - 180 hours total. I should have them done by September, depending on how many working sessions I can fit into my current schedule.

Kind regards,

Emmanuel C. Flint


Here I am at about 40 hours for this project over the past 4 weeks or so (working on it here and there - in my free time). It's not bad at all, and it will look even better once I apply normal mapping with specular mapping to the entire scene. When all is done I will be bringing in the entire set into UDK. Keep in mind that all you are seeing is the Maya viewport in Open GL. UDK handles real-time rendering quite well, so the appearance of the textures will be more interesting I think. This set would make a good A or AA asset. AAA games have bigger budgets and perhaps more labor allocation per asset production.
Sign Off E.Flint 4-29-2012 6:43 pm EST

I am slowly working my way into finishing this piece off by adding the decals and industrial markings that are usually seen in military or construction sites. For this project they work just fine even though this is inside a Battlestar Ship hangar. When I am done, I will be using the diffuse textures to generate normal maps, however it will be tricky because I have to use the dirt maps, occlusions maps, and diffuse maps to generate height maps. These height maps will then be used to generate the normal maps. I think that I will have to make the ribs/ slanted columns more interesting by adding some 'techy' panels via normal mapping. I'll see how that goes. The airlock still needs attention, but that will be easy. I am also thinking of panting a chipped paint pass for all the surfaces in Zbruh - to get that authentic look of worn out paint. At hour 35 this is looking pretty good! I can't wait to put it all together - especially when I overlay the hand-painted dirt maps.
Sign Off E.Flint 4-25-2012 4:03 pm EST

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In this section I am detailing the surfaces in Zbrush for texture enhancement in Photoshop, or via composite layers in UDK. Essentially, I want more of that authentic "aged" look that you would find in a seasoned space vessel that has seen many days of use and battle. Enjoy the commentary and look forward to the next update.
Sign Off E.Flint 4-24-2012 1:04 pm EST

When dealing with an industrial environment that has been used quite a bit the most important thing to remember is the existence of aging, wear, grime, and dirt. There are some nice dirt shaders out there, but I have not found one that I like too much; in general they seem to produce uniform effects that don't compliment certain textures very well. Therefore, I usually take some time to paint my own custom dirt layers that I will composite over the textures in either the materials themselves or in Photoshop. I have been doing this since 2008, when I observed some buildings in a science park, in downtown Boston. The images above show some shots of me painting dirt maps in Zbrush. I have decided to only budget myself 3 hours to get all of them done. Once this portion is completed I can them move onto the normal map generation and specular map generation. I still have to deal with the industrial decals and the illumination layers, but that will come soon.
Sign Off E.Flint 4-23-2012 7:45 pm EST

Not too shabby so far - although it looks a little too pristine. This is the how I am coming along on Texture Level 1. All I am doing is laying out the diffuse (color) and tiling wherever needed. In the next phase I will be normal mapping. Then I will paint dirt maps for overlaying in Channel 1, in order to make things less boring. The normal mapping will come around in Texture Level 2 - and that's when things get more interesting.
Sign Off E.Flint 4-18-2012 8:27 am EST

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Comin' back at you with some commentary about my texture intentions for this environment, before I dive into it and see you all on the other side (I know it sounds dramatic). In this video I will talk about my purpose and use of textures to convey a particular look and feel that will be different from that of the source material (Battlestar Galactica reference photos). I will be posting some screenshots as I work. When I am done texturing the environment I will eventually make another video to showcase a real-time walkthrough. Ultimately, I will be exporting all the 3D assets from this project into UDK so that I can set up some paths and the final texture based lighting.
Sign Off E.Flint 4-18-2012 11:31 am EST

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Hello everyone,
After just doing some serious occlusion baking, I have arrived at the result that is demoed in the video above. The outer shell is not supposed to be Galactica at all. It seems to have taken on a type of vessel-like shape, notwithstanding. Nevertheless, enjoy the video and my audio commentaries. The next phase will be the color mapping in UV Channel 0, whereas all the Occlusion that you see in the real-time view port from this video all reside in UV Channel 1. As you can see, I am using Maya mostly, but the baking was done in 3DSmax with Vray 1.5 Sp5. Since I don't own a copy of Vray for Maya, I decided to export everything via FBX and then bake with VRAY in Max. So far I am about 24-27 working hours and about 5 render/ baking hours into this project. However, in the 'real word' scenario baking is done overnight in most companies, so I will subtract it from my actual 'hours spent,' heretofore.
Sign Off E.Flint 4-15-2012 3:58 pm EST

April 8, 2012
Like I said before UV MAPPING! I am almost done with it. I just have to UV Map the lights and small rails/ details. The lights will have illumination coming from them via the texture in the game engine. Eventually, I have to organize the UV Shells in a way that will allow me to efficiently distribute texture space. I will be overlapping UV's when I am texturing the final, so I will also be making an extra UV channel (Channel 1 in UDK) for the light mapping, occlusion, and alpha overlay for certain decals. I am reaching the 17 hour mark on this, and if I were in a studio setting I would have just fishied DAY 2 ( two eight hour work days). Not bad huh -for any of you budget-conscious art directors that need some nice environmental development ;)
Sign Off E.Flint 4-8-2012 7:27 pm EST

April 2, 2012
I have made a few more additions that help establish scale, while adding some more industrial appeal to the environment. The most notable are the freestyle panels that I modeled in so that the space on this side of the hangar does not look so bland. It just gives it a little more 'pop' and the occlusion will work wonders to add some depth during texturing. At this time I am looking at the subdivisions of all the elements to see how I can formulate my UV maps. First objective is to make everything as modular as possible. Then I will devise a UV map system for the major elements, which allow me to use the texture space as efficiently as possible. I am also thinking about the fact that I want to add decals, which will require me to use alpha overlays in UDK. Doing this will allow me to actually tile textures for enough detail, and then overlay the decals. 3DSmax has a similar system called composite layers. From what I can tell UDK can do the same thing; I have done it with Normal Maps in UDK before. Although light mapping is cool, I think that Occlusion will help add some extra shading, so that I can keep the light map resolution to a medium/ low for now. Next stop UV MAPPING!
Sign Off E.Flint 4-1-2012 12:12 am EST

March 25, 2012
After doing some Global Illumination tests I have decided to ease up on my intentions for the opposite end of the hangar, in regards to polygons. Here you see a simple but effective implementation for a back area access elevator that looks like it is for the bridge (actual) personnel. Although this section is totally improvised, I tried to maintain the 'cohesive look.' I will add some minor elements, like lights and panels in various areas. After that I will start modeling detail panels in several key placed to add some detail. These will be totally improvised or my unique concepts. Then I will begin with the process of optimizing the meshes manually and creating low poly targets when needed. So far this scene is 9,852 faces total.
Sign Off E.Flint 3-25-2012 6:25 pm EST

March 21, 2012
This is a rough pre-render of the environment using global illumination. I wanted to get an idea of how UDK would handle the light mapping using 'object based lights.' Since light mapping resembles directional occlusion in appearance (an perhaps in the way that it uses P, N, and samples with 1 minus occlusion, in calculations for some engines), I felt that a quick render like this would help me understand where to start. This render was produced with VRAY in 3DS max. Next I will begin to detail some of the surfaces for normal mapping intentions. I will also begin to conceptualize the access ports in the far end side of the hangar (opposite view of what is seen here).
Sign Off E.Flint 3-21-2012 7:32 pm EST


March 30, 2012
I have just added light fixtures pipes and other non symmetrical details like side a side corridor which has a slanted trapezoidal cross-section. This is the type of thing that I liked about the concepts in Galactica. They were highly geometrical and not always reliant upon symmetry. I will add an ambient occlusion render shortly just to see some of the lighting intentions of the actual model. However, I am already seeing some potential for new lighting placements, apart from the actual set. I find that most of the modeling can be low res. When I get into creating certain panels that I will conceptualize myself, those will be high poly - to be projected onto low polys or simple planes later. Soon I will start dealing with the other end of the hangar which will have a junction or joining silo-shaped end that has some access doors. Although I will base it on Galactica design motifs, I will add a little bit of my digitalflint flavor to it.
Sign Off - E.Flint 3-20-2012 : 12:35 pm EST.

March 17, 2012
In this update you can see the industrial forms beginning to really take shape. The base of the ribs/ columns are more substantial, plus the notches in the ribs give a better sense of scale as well. The next task will be to add secondary elements like light fixtures to add more sense of scale.

Sign Off E.flint 3-17-2012 : 8:14 pm EST.


March 16, 2012
I have just added symmetry, the door and other details. I also modified the spacing of the ribs/ columns. Next I will be adding the bases to the columns - in the next modeling session. So, far I have kept it to about one hour per modeling session.

Sign Off . E.flint 3-16-2012 : 8:43 pm EST.


March 16, 2012
At this point I have blocked in the basic rib shape for the length of the hangar. As you can see, I wish to maintain the trapezoidal shape that permeates most of the structural development in Battlestar Galactica (the ship itself). This is the current progress after modeling for 51 minutes. Next, I will address the cross-sections in the ceilings and rib bases as well, because they also serve as columns. I will begin to tighten some of the intersecting forms to make the environment more believable.
Sign Off . E.flint 3-16-2012 : 7:20 pm EST.

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