How to carve these Sci-fi details to then bake them in a normal map

(DantexAGC) #1

Hi everybody, I wanted to ask anybody who knows how to create carved lines that follow along the model, this is very common in robots or sci fi guns.

In this model (awesome by the way) from McCarthy3D there are those carved lines that go along the model. My question is, how would you create these lines and what techniques you think are best for this task?

What I know so far is:

  • You can use the knife tool to make cuts in your high poly model and then use bevel to make curves instead of having 90º angles. No idea how to make curvy lines though.

  • I don’t see how using an alpha in, for instance, Substance Painter would help you with this since the lines go all along the model

  • I don’t know any accurate way of making curves in sculpting mode, I know about the curve mode but it seems a bit clumsy to me? (maybe I just don’t know how to use it properly)

Thank you all.

(FlyingBanana) #2

Ok as far as the modeling a crease you would kind of plan your topology along the lines of where you are wanting those creases modeled and add in edge loops and place them into position and scale them in or drag them in to create the crease. As for the sculpting method and using curves you just have to remember that when you create the curve you want it stays there as a kind of brush so you can draw the same curve all over the model over and over again without having to redo the curve. Just have to keep in mind as well that the object placement affects the placement of the curve hence zoomed in will create a different size compared to zoomed out. Now with both of those mentioned for straight creases along the model you could get away with just edge loops positioned where you want. Now for curved creases then sculpting with curves could be easier.

If you are going to be baking the creases anyways I imagine you are wanting to bake a high poly mesh onto a lower poly one in which case the high poly count that sculpting would create would be fine. Just duplicate the low poly version and move to another layer and start sculpting your creases and modeling your creases till your heart desires then bake that result of the high poly mesh and apply that to the low poly version. Blender Guru has a tutorial on an anvil that shows the process of taking a high poly mesh and baking it to a low poly version.

Here is two screenshots, the first is just the edge loop crease method, and the second is just a simple curve created in sculpt mode and then placed randomly on the cube.

Hope this helps but again if you haven’t checked out BlenderGurus anvil series on youtube might check that out and it will walk you through the process.

(PyroGXPilot) #3

(DantexAGC) #4

Thanks, I really appreciate it. I will keep this in mind for my future projects :slight_smile:

(AngryCat) #5

There are several ways to get the desired result. Here’s another option: “As mentioned earlier, I use Substance Painter to add panel lines and other details at ease. Here is an example of a door lock I made for Warframes: War Within Expansion:”
Details under the link: