Studio Ghibli-inspired monster heads up 3D competition

The results are in for Allegorithmic and 3D World magazine’s challenge to create a unique Titan.

This summer, Allegorithmic challenged video game artists to model a unique Titan and texture it using Substance Designer or Substance Painter. We ask the contest winner and two runners up to explain how they created their creatures and share their texturing tips.

Winner: Unchained

Unchained was inspired, in part, by the films of Studio Ghibl

Inspired in part by the films of Studio Ghibli, particularly the robot from Castle in the Sky, freelance character artist Nicolas Garilhe's gigantic Unchained Titan also draws inspiration from classic PlayStation 2 video game Shadow of the Colossus.

"I really enjoyed the art direction, and particularly liked the fact that my Titan didn’t look aggressive: more curious and mysterious," says Garilhe.

Garilhe came to the competition late, so he needed to take advantage of the rapid texturing workflow the Substance software packages provide.

"Since I knew Substance Designer was really powerful for making procedural textures and mask generation, I was able to skip [creating] micro details, and [defining materials], and save myself a lot of time," he says.

Know your layers

In Substance Painter, a single layer can hold painting information for each of its channels.

You don't need to create separate layers for height, diffuse, roughness and so on: just select the channel you want to paint in from the Tool panel.

Runner up: Oceanus

Carbine Studios’ artist Eddie Munoz reveals how he made an ocean giant

"The ocean has always been something that fascinates me because there is so much we don’t know about it," says Carbine Studios' character artist Eddie Munoz, discussing the inspiration for his Titan.

"Of what is known about ocean life, I think orcas are the smartest and most powerful creatures out there, and I wanted to portray that in my model."

Tileable textures

My base textures come from www.cgtextures.com and ZBrush stamp Alphas I made tileable

Vein textures

Veins/Blood uses a mask created from a clamped tileable marble texture. I reduced the noise of the skin by blending my original colour base. My Metal mask is black; my Rough uses an RGB value of around 115, 115, 115.

Runner up: Selves

Wayny Pictures’ Sylvain Castelanelli created a colourful mythic monster

Sylvain Castelanelli has been using Substance Painter since the start of the year, and used it in this project for 98 per cent of his texture work; prior to this he didn’t have any experience in Designer.

To create Selves, Sylvain – currently working at Wayny Pictures as a 3D modeller on animated feature film Fauve – made use of Substance Painter’s layers and masks for non-destructive work and particle brushes for creative experimentation.

Topology counts

Good topology can save hours of texturing time, especially when you start digging into the powerful features of Substance Designer's toolset.

Think your model through before you begin sculpting, and always keep UV mapping and texturing in mind as you work to avoid creating problems later.

This article originally appeared in 3D World issue 189.

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