The Blacksmith project was fairly large. We had to create a scene containing a few items normally found in a blacksmith. The items were: barrel, forge, stool, anvil, stump, horseshoe, bucket, hammer, sword, covered structure (any structure that has a roof and at least 1 wall) and a wheel. As before, we had a tri-count limit for each item.

The main difference between this and the previous projects I had in modeling classes is that we had to make both a high poly version and the low poly one and then use Substance Painter to bake the high poly model on the low one and texture the models, unlike before when we use Photoshop for texturing.

We had some reference images for the scene, but I decided to mostly go with my imagination when it came to item placement in the scene and only use item references for each object.

Anvil (max 900 tris)

For the anvil I managed to keep the tri-count to 850.  That is really good in my opinion. and have to say, I think it is the one that baked the best out of all of them. I love this anvil. I am also really pleased with how the texture ended up.

Barrel (max 900 tris)

For the barrel we just had to follow a tutorial, which is why, even if it is good, I don’t have much to say, other than the fact that it is exactly 900 tris. It is, however, one of the few models that has an ID map.

Bucket with handle (max 400 tris)

For the object I managed to get about half the limit, with only 232 triangles. It is ok, though I wish I had more so I could make a much nicer handle than what it is now. It is not bad, just not as fancy as I imagined it. However, just like the barrel, this is one of the few models that actually has an ID map.

Covered Structure (max 2k tris)

The structure had to have at least 1 wall, but no more than 3. This model I actually remade it. At first I divided the walls and extruded each face, but it didn’t look much like brick, so I then made a brick model and duplicated it to make the high poly version. It was worth it, because it looks really good. And even though the triangle limit was 2k, I actually have only 116 triangles. Though, I could have added a bit more detail, since I had so many triangles left. To be honest, I wish I could have transferred some of the extra triangles to other models.

While the model itself is really good, I actually don’t like its roof material. As stated before, since I didn’t have a ceramic material, I improvised and used a scales one, which doesn’t look as good.

Forge (max 1k tris for low, 7k for high)

The forge was a special model, because we had to make a low poly, a medium and high one. All able to use in the game. So besides these, I made a 4th one, an ultra high poly (which normally would be just the high poly version for the other models) so I could bake the information on the other versions.

My low poly version was 985 triangles, the medium one was 3798 triangles and the high one was 6937 triangles.

The only problem I had with this model is that I got a bit impatient with the very high poly one, so I did a poor job with it. I would probably go back and try to make it better so the baked textures aren’t so bad in the future.

Hammer (max 300 tris)

Not much to say about this model. I simply looked at references and made it. Managed to stay in the triangle limit, having a total of 204 triangles.

Horse Shoe (max 500 tris)

I actually struggled to keep this model under the triangle limit, while keeping a lot of the details and in the end I managed to get it to 492 triangles.

Stool (max 500 tris)

I went a bit with my imagination based on some references with this. Kept it under the tri count as well, with it having only 268.

Wood Stump (max 2k tris)

I kept the low poly way below the threshold with only 536 triangles. It probably is one of my favorite models I made. I feel like I did a decent job in making it look natural. The only thing I hate is the texture for the exterior. I should have gone with something much nicer, because with the current texture it looks like it is composed of plastic, way too shiny.

Sword (max 2k tris)

This one is pretty boring. I had no inspiration when it came to it. Should have looked for some reference images, because it looks too generic. Also, this had a very high triangle limit, because some people would use Z-Brush to sculpt it, which I didn’t do because I don’t know how to use it right now.

At least I managed to keep it clean and simple, having only 96 triangles, making it the model with the lowest amount of triangles among everything else. It is just very boring. Even the high poly isn’t that special.

Wagon Wheel (max 2k tris)

The wheel was pretty easy to make. I kept the triangle limit to about half, with a total of 1080. I followed the reference and ended up really nice. It even baked really well and the textures fit perfectly. I should definitely get more references in the future. Helps a lot with the process and keeping objects interesting.

Problems

I didn’t have any problems with the geometry at all. It was a bit frustrating trying to keep the tri-count low in the forge, but that was about it.

What was most annoying was UV-ing and baking. for some models, the UV part was not that bad, but for the high poly forge, it was a pain. I still don’t like the UV map for that, but in the end I was like “It will do”.

Baking was my main problem, some bakes were…. not that good. For example, I still think that the high poly forge bake is bad. Luckily, with the textures on, you can’t even notice, which is why I am proud of the texture design over there.

Not really a problem, but more something that has to do with how I textured is the structure, specifically the roof. Wanting to save time and effort on the texturing part, I simply used the materials Substance offers. This worked actually pretty well with most objects, except the roof. There was no ceramic material so I ended up using scales material. It looks horrible. If I could go back in time, I’d try to put in a bit more effort and change that to something better.