Welcome to the forums =)
Posts made by Quillisia
RE: Hello, big fan from moddb
Welcome to the forums, dowdpride
RE: Unofficial maps.
You do use udk to produce custom maps but in addition we will be releasing tools and assets to utilise our features. Hopefully that answers your question better.
RE: New and curious
Best way to learn is to get some basic tutorials then teach yourself.
Pretty much all the information in the tutorials are available for free, but you gotta search and dig around the internet to find them.
If you wanna know how to go about making rocks and foilage then your best bet is to again look for some tutorials. There are so many ways to do things and all are pretty involved and complex that you really cant give simple answers. Many people have taken the time to explain and how why they do things, you just gonna find them. Good places to start are art communities like polycount.com and gameartisan.org
RE: Who looks the best?
I clearly look the best out of everyone here ;)
RE: 3D Modeling & Enviremental Dev
Jason summed it up nicely but the question is so big that its impossible to describe everything in detail. If you have any specific questions I hopefully will be able to answer them a little better.
Traditionally Zbrush is the package people use to do their sculpting. Mudbox has come along way recently and the two are now more or less on equal footing. Mudbox would however be the easier to learn as the interface for Zbrush is noticeably different than most programs and so there is that initial block. I have however found Zbrush to be the more powerful of the two.
I use Maya for most of my low poly work and only use Max if I find I need a specific tool which Maya does not offer. A typical workflow for me working on environments would be something along the lines of this:
I start by discussing and getting some reference/concept together for the area I wish to make. I have found it very helpful to have an idea or goal to aim for. Planning is hugely important for environments and half the battle working out the design and composition before you even start making anything. Each major area should have a focal point and be easy to read, guiding the player through the level as well as looking functional and interesting. This is by far the hardest part of environment art, at least for me.
Once everything is set I block out the entire scene in Maya and then import everything into the editor. This will allow you to get a sense of scale for everything as well as let others jump in and start playing in the space straight away. You will have a pretty solid idea on what models need to be made and to what size from this too. A lot of tweaks usually take place here so expect to spend some time here.
Next I go through and apply material place holders to each asset working out what meshes will share what textures and so how best to utilised the texture space.
Then I would go through and make the high poly sculpts of the assets, bake the textures down, then make the lowpoly, which is uved, tidied up and exported. I tend to work in sets so that I am focusing on a selection of similar meshes at a time.
Once in the editor, I focus on lighting and finalising any issues. I like to leave small errors (like uv fixes, collision mesh changes ect) until later as getting bogged down redoing on the same thing is hugely demoralising for me. I have found coming back and sorting issues with fresh eyes to be much more efficient.
Throughout the entire process, I like to get feedback and comments from the others as they see things I do not you can bounce ideas back and forth.
However, workflows vary hugely depending on what needs to be built and how it will be used ingame. Important assets that have unique textures can be created with a very linear workflow easily, whereas a series of meshes that use tiling textures could have the textures made before anything else. The way you build models is hugely dependant on how to plan to place them ingame too. A lot of texture work can be done within the engine itself, often creating effects or details that you could not create in the textures themselves. The ability to adapt is very important so if you were to dive into environments I would suggest learning the basic workflows first so that you have a grounding to adjust your own workflow from. Learn the rules so you know how to break them!
As for learning software packages, I have found once you learn one, it does not take much effort to learn another. A vast majority of the tools are the similar, if not the same, and all the same techniques apply. I do however have difficulty switching back and forth as switching controls can be a nightmare. The UDK is a wonderful piece of software and the documentation available is remarkable. Take a good look through the stock UDK stuff to get an idea on how things are put together and how epic does it. Try to workout how and why they are doing it this and that way.
The best advice I can offer you is to learn to love learning. The more you learn, the more you realise you have so much more to learn and I find that a huge drive. It takes a lot of hard work and practice, you never stop learning, but for me game development is undoubtedly one of the most passionate and fun things in the world. Surround yourself with people who are passionate about it and you will love it so much more. Get stuck in, start making stuff and you will be deving in no time!