Warhammer Process

I think it’s finally time to give this one its own blog post. I wasn’t sure if I was going to let this get in the way of the other stuff I felt was probably more important, but I was enjoying it too much to put it aside as a rainy day activity.

First, a recap: In preparation for Polycount’s Darksiders II Create A Weapon Contest, I grabbed a bunch of reference of warhammers. Unfortunately, by the time the deadline was close enough that I didn’t think I could reasonably expect to finish something that I was happy with, I hadn’t come up with a single feasible hammer that was stylistically consistent with the Darksiders style guides they had given.

However, I didn’t want to let this reference go to waste, so I grabbed the hammer I thought exuded the greatest air of “Don’t fuck with me” of my reference and started modeling.

I started getting some crit that the head was too small. I was resistant at first, but I gave it a shot, and the results spoke for themselves:

Polished up the model and started getting it ready to sculpt:

Calling the Sculpt “done”:

And now onto reducing. I’m going to attempt to use the constraints given within the Darksiders Contest rules even though the contest is long over. Approximately 1,500 Tris, 512’s for Diffuse, Normal, and Spec.

Test bake. Got the hammer down to 1,427 Tris. I’m starting to rethink my plan to just add the strings on the grips in the texture, as having the wood below baked onto the grip itself looks kinda wonky. May be too early to tell. I might not even notice it once I get diffuse detail and those strings in place.




Textures nearing completion. Haven’t done much with the wood yet. Could probably stand to touch up the leather and iron parts as well. Trying to figure out something to add to the big empty spaces on the side of the head.

I’m losing momentum on this project. I think I’m probably going to try and call it done by the time I go to work on Wednesday. I’ve procrastinated way too much on what should’ve been a quick, simple project, and I should probably get back to work on the stuff that’ll allow me to cast the broadest job-hunting net possible (i.e. environments).

On the subject of too much procrastination, after almost a month of ignoring 3D to try and get back into writing and drawing, I decided to attack this again with a whole new pile of reference and philosophy on how to go about texturing the metal. I’m a bit disappointed in how little the changes show up. Something’s not working, and it’s rather frustrating. Also, this is reminding me of a quote from the excellent Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon:

“Inertia is the death of creativity. You have to stay in the groove. When you get out of the groove, you start to dread the work, because you know it’s going to suck for a while. It’s going to suck until you get back in the flow.”

I’ve definitely gotten out of the flow in terms of figuring out a better approach to texturing and figuring out how to make this thing look good. I guess I’ve got a lot of work ahead of me if this is ever going to be something I can show, and not just another monument to my former aptitude for starting projects without finishing them…

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