Making A Start

Nyquist-Shannon sampling theorem says to pull off photo-real resolution you need to have double the pixel ratio to generate the necessary anti-aliasing. If you're an artist and not a mathematician, simply take a 2K (2,048 x 2,048 pixel) face map and zoom in on it—you'll see pixelization of the character's close-up. To avoid pixelization in close-ups you really need 4K maps (4,096 pixels x 4,096 pixels). Which means if a human is seven heads tall, you are looking at least 28K worth of texture maps. The industry is in for a big wake up call—there is nothing that drives me crazier than the bad airbrushed look of some CG models.

Shrinking resolution is a basic rule in print. When doing a book cover illustration you paint four times larger at screen resolution (72dpi) and change it to print resolution (300dpi) to fit on the cover. You don't create extra pixels, you're just fitting more pixels into each square inch. The same laws apply with 3D textures. 4K is the maximum resolution Maya can bake maps (3ds Max can bake 8K maps—8,192 x 8,192).

When introducing the concept of 4K textures to video game developers, I got a lot of cross-eyed looks. If you're not using compression you have to shrink these massive maps I did a test one day with some skeptical developers who commonly use 1K and 512k maps. I had a 4K map on the right side of the screen and took a down-rezed 4K map and put it on the left. I asked the developers to guess what resolution the down-rezed map was. They all guessed 2K and when I revealed they were looking at a 512 map, their jaws dropped. Most game developers never think above 2K and certainly don't work at 4K where you can properly manipulate pixels and down-rez effectively.

One of the challenges I faced with the high volume of asset orders in video game production was the quality of textures. I was contracting out work to some of the masters like Chris Thunig (MPC London, Blizzard) and Paul Campion (the lead texture artist for lord of the Rings') and had a stable of young kids fresh out of art school. How was I to maintain quality?

The result was to create a massive texture library that all artists would draw from. Working in conjunction with Peter Levius (3D.SK), we created a massive archive of creature, skin, vehicle, and weapons photography. With hi-res photography, a young artist with proper art direction, can churn out face maps like the pros

Monika Kubickova

Making a start

Building up maps

Making a start

Building up maps

O Step 1: Lambert (faceted, flat, diffuse shader)

The beauty of a scalable model is that I can begin work dn an early model Because the UVs don t change I begin working on this 10.000-poiy model which will get higher The modeler will continue to sculpt and dial in the model in ZBrush without holding me up. We'll start with the initial alignment dn a Lambert, but soon switch to a surface shader once we have the underpamting Save your Lambert render for registration overlays

Jana Kurt Rajce
0 -1

Post a comment