Modeling a small village/town has always been a project that I wanted to pursue ever since learning more about environmental modeling from my full time job. I recently found some time to attempt it and I began gathering ideas. I knew I wanted to skip the concepting phase so I decided that I will model something based off another video game.
Initially, I was contemplating on doing the entire first level of Metal Slug X. After spending one whole day just sculpting rocks in Zbrush, I knew I would not have the patience to complete the whole level. I decided to give myself a one week duration, and turned towards the sandy beaches of Costa Del Sol, from Final Fantasy VII.
The original environment looked a little dated, so I decided to do a quick paint over to re-establish the colors and to clarify some of the ambiguity in design. While doing the paint over, I quickly realize that the buildings were in fact not scaled properly. The van in the background is as tall as the opening of the door. It made sense back in the FFVII world as characters were represented by a 'chibi' version due to technical limitations of the Playstation. I decided to stay true to the roots and not edit the building proportions.
The gray box models were massed out to give a clearer picture of the proportions in the 3D space. I was debating between whether to include ZBrush in the workflow, as it wasn't particularly necessary. I decided to put off the decision to a later date and concentrated on the textures first.
Unlike the Class 30 model, the workflow for this project began with the texturing phase first. I allocated what I felt was sufficient space for each element in the concept based on the screen real estate they occupy.
I underestimated the time required for texturing, and the whole project was extended by two days. Eventually, I settled on not using ZBrush, as that would further extend the production period. The normal maps were generated using nDo.
I tried doing the final render using XoliulShader, but the transparency from the opacity resulted in a lot of noise. I went back to Marmoset toolbag to finish things up.
Overall I'm quite happy with how it turned out and definitely learned a thing or two from this project.