Our primarily used software are Gimp, Blender and the UDK.
Gimp is a freely distributed image manipulation software that we use for making textures and drawing concept art. Blender is also free, it's an open-source 3D modeling software.
I'll show you how a simple object is made from scratch, all the way till it's usable in the engine.
In this case, we wanted to make a crate. We made the mesh in Blender first (although in some cases, it is recommended to make the textures first). We only use the necessary amount of polygons, because it's not an important object.
We then exported the UVs (the texture maps), and made the textures based on the UVs (though they are only placeholders right now). We used 3 kinds of textures in this case: a diffuse texture, a specular map, and a normal map.
I'll briefly explain what they do:
- The diffuse texture is everything you see without any "special effects", essentially a drawing that the model is wrapped in.
- The specular map determines what happens when the model receives light.
- The normal map makes the model look more detailed, for example, the wood grains on this crate are normal mapped, so they don't look like they are simply drawn on.
To import the model into the UDK, we usually export from Blender in FBX format. After the importing was done, we needed to make a material, using our previously made textures.
So then we had our crate model in the engine as a static mesh, placable on any map. We created LODs for the crate (so that it gets simpler the farther away it is from the player), and a collision box.
And that's how it looks in our test map.
The cel-shade effect is not made by the material, it is only a post-process effect that is placed on every object.
So this is how we make simple models in a nutshell. We also plan on making modeling and UDK tutorials sometime soon.
See you next time!