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medium to unity texture/material and topology???

eithman
Level 4
I am about as novice as it gets; self taught and just started learning late last year. 
My husband and I are trying to make a VR video game in Unity and I have been designing characters and assets(such as buildings, plants, vehicles, objects, etc.) in medium. 

As I have been practicing and learning how to use medium, I have created some designs including different colors and materials including emersive and metallic materials. I have tried exporting the finished object in every combination I could think of (FBX with vertex colors, FBX with texture material, OBJ with vertex colors, etc.) and upon importing the object to Unity, it is all cracked up and the colors aren't attached. You have to create a material using texture maps from medium, and even after doing that, the object and colors are all cracked up, blotchy and discolored. I know that medium creates far too high-poly of a mesh for Unity to work with, so it cracks up, but if I export from medium with a lower percentage of triangles, it looks bad and still has all the same issues.

I am really stuck in a rut here. I know that I still have a lot to learn in Unity and that I probably have a lot to learn in several programs and this is probably a SNOWFLAKE ON THE TIP OF THE ICEBERG, but I could really use some guidance. I have looked through forums and blog posts and I haven't found anything that actually solves the issue or teaches me anything that will get me any closer. I have heard Blender, ZBrush, Meshlab and a few others mentioned in several threads related to this, are these all necessary to know well in order to be able to create playable characters and usable prefab assets? 

If anyone has any advice, tips, tools, tutorials, examples, shortcuts or anything that can provide direction, that would be amazing.
(HELP!)

-Tiff
10 REPLIES 10

lord_of_shred
Level 5
Hi Tiff,

Let me preface that my knowledge of Medium is limited but 3D is/has been part of my job for some years now. Medium creates high poly sculpted meshes like ZBrush or Mudbox. Sculpted meshes are normally not well equipped for usage in animated context (since there is no "logic" behind the position of the vertices/edges and of course due to the high poly count).
Normal workflow would be to sculpt the mesh in a way you want it and then do some retopo -> meaning you build a low res version of the mesh to later attach details baked from the sculpted high res mesh.
By building the low res version (can be done in any 3D modeling application; Maya, 3DS Max, Blender...) you are able to give it a proper edge layout and it is far easier to get good UV maps from a low poly mesh with good edge flow than from a calculated sculpted high poly one. Good edge flow becomes very important if you want to animate it later on using joints/bones so that you don't get silly behaviour in bending parts like shoulders or elbows.
On to the texture side, Unity uses a PBR based shader (with its standard one) so you need to create texture maps for that as well; like stated above I haven't played around with medium very much but I could take a look at your exported files to check if there is anything that can be used for Unity or if it would be better to do it another way.

TLDR: I'd say it is not a one step process to get an animateable, well working character directly from Medium to Unity (or any other engine), if I'm worng and somebody knows how I'd be happy to hear the solution as well 😉

Cheers

P3nT4gR4m
Level 12
Gameready is a minefield. Personally I'd be shooting for .obj with UV's. Make sure to check the "tangent space" option and you might have to flip the green channel in unity ( I only know unreal and you have to do it in that)

My advice would be to forget about doing a game to start with cos a full project is the quickest most surefire way to kick the shit out your motivation and leave it lying in a ditch. There is a lot of work involved in bringing a game to life and, unless you're familiar with all the bits from the git go, you're just going to run into roadblock after roadblock.

Tackle it in little chunks. Get your import pipeline down pat so you can go from medium to ingame in a couple of clicks. spend some time playing with the pbr toys in unity, try out some retop and rigging. Go right through the scripting manual.

I'm not trying to put you off but there is a hell of a lot of stuff you're going to have to learn before you'll be ready to put a game together. Trying to dive into a project is a bit like expecting a five year old to learn reading and writing by authoring a trilogy of historical novels. 

Learn your alphabet. Get to grips with punctuation and grammar. Have fun and don't worry to much about projects. You'll grow into those 😉

lord_of_shred
Level 5

P3nT4gR4m said:

My advice would be to forget about doing a game to start with cos a full project is the quickest most surefire way to kick the shit out your motivation and leave it lying in a ditch. There is a lot of work involved in bringing a game to life and, unless you're familiar with all the bits from the git go, you're just going to run into roadblock after roadblock.


Amen to that...although I sometimes like the feeling of running roadblock down with my head.

danilo
Level 4
You need a "middle" software to send to Unity. Medium is not suited for game ready assets. 

Suggested workflow:

1 - Create in Medium, don't paint in Medium.
2 - Export a OBJ
3 - Import OBJ in zbrush.
4 - Duplicate, Zremesh (auto retopo) the copy using zremesher guides. You will lost surface detail.
5 - Subdivide the copy, use "project all" to regain lost surface detail from the original.
6 - Use UV Master to make an UV map. Generate height maps, normal maps.
7 - Then paint textures in Zbrush + Photoshop or use Substance Painter to create the materials ready to Unity.
8 - Export to unity

But remember, this is the dirty and fast workflow. I use it for my animations (www.medulaestudio.com.br - Just the zbrush part, medium is a new acquisition, i am still learning it. )
But in my particular case I use cinema 4d for animation so my meshes doesn't need to be super clean, so, zremesh, auto-retopo and auto UV does the job for me.

For games a well planned UV layout and well planned topology is good for real time optimization. 
But for some assets, like rocks and scenery, auto-retopo and auto-UV works well. 
And it can work for some games and concepts... but you need to be careful 






falken76
Level 13

eithman said:

I am about as novice as it gets; self taught and just started learning late last year. 
My husband and I are trying to make a VR video game in Unity and I have been designing characters and assets(such as buildings, plants, vehicles, objects, etc.) in medium. 

As I have been practicing and learning how to use medium, I have created some designs including different colors and materials including emersive and metallic materials. I have tried exporting the finished object in every combination I could think of (FBX with vertex colors, FBX with texture material, OBJ with vertex colors, etc.) and upon importing the object to Unity, it is all cracked up and the colors aren't attached. You have to create a material using texture maps from medium, and even after doing that, the object and colors are all cracked up, blotchy and discolored. I know that medium creates far too high-poly of a mesh for Unity to work with, so it cracks up, but if I export from medium with a lower percentage of triangles, it looks bad and still has all the same issues.

I am really stuck in a rut here. I know that I still have a lot to learn in Unity and that I probably have a lot to learn in several programs and this is probably a SNOWFLAKE ON THE TIP OF THE ICEBERG, but I could really use some guidance. I have looked through forums and blog posts and I haven't found anything that actually solves the issue or teaches me anything that will get me any closer. I have heard Blender, ZBrush, Meshlab and a few others mentioned in several threads related to this, are these all necessary to know well in order to be able to create playable characters and usable prefab assets? 

If anyone has any advice, tips, tools, tutorials, examples, shortcuts or anything that can provide direction, that would be amazing.
(HELP!)

-Tiff



I don't think Medium is a good package to use to make models for games.  The way it makes models would make extremely dense meshes.  I can't imagine there is any good topology either.

I've worked on games in the past.  These are the programs I used:

3dsmax
Photoshop
Lightwave 3d
Solidworks (This isn't good for organics)


The problem you're running into would be called UVW mapping in the programs I used.  I did this type of work YEARS ago so it may have changed a lot since then, but you will want to look up UVW mapping and see if Medium addresses that at all.

Zbrush might be the closest thing to medium that isn't a VR program, but it will be much more capable and will also create extremely heavy meshes. (Which you can of course export and reduce the poly count in other programs).


I would suggest learning a real 3d package if you want to make games.  Something like 3dsmax.  Learn how to "Box Model".  Half the games released today have primitive looking graphics (I.E. think any of them that have that big blocky "Duplo Lego" look to them like Rec Room) and would be easy to replicate using simple box modeling.  Learn about Rigging your model.  "The plugin you use to rig with bones is called "Biped" and the plugin that works with Biped to skin your model is called "Physique" or at least that's what they were many years ago, searching for those terms would lead you in the right direction.  If 3dsmax is too expensive, I think Blender is either free or cheap.  I've never used it since I had 3d studio and then max before Blender came out, but I seem to recall Blender being an excellent alternative to 3dsmax with a very good selection of tools that are very comparable.  Blender has been around a very long time so there should be tons of tutorials on it.  UVW Mapping, Rigging and Skinning models should all be covered in tutorials for blender as well.

P3nT4gR4m
Level 12
@danilo, @falken76 I'd say that for static assets, you should take look at medium decimation export/unwrap/normal-bake It's quick and dirty, yeah but it's really, really and thrice - really f'kin quick and it aint so dirty you need to wash your eyes out afterwards. 

https://sketchfab.com/models/356a8cc80dd045c18e6f16de63326540

This guy came down from a couple of million polys to 45k and change Everything else came out of medium, bar the lighting and PBR which took ten minutes to setup in sketchfab with the medium .png's. Total time, from loading up medium and drawing a skull to neurotically clicking refresh over and over, praying for likes - about an hour and change with a coffee break in the middle while it crossed the interwebs. One package, one RT engine, bish bosh. For a team of ninjas working on the next aaa blockbuster? Maybe not quite but for a given level of indie/hobbyist your productivity just shot through the roof B)  





ag858
Level 3
You can export straight from Medium if you use an art style that is sympathetic to the way that Medium uses vertex colours ie don't paint on colour afterwards. Just set the desired uniform colour before adding clay. This will translate more easily to the colour texture output. This can work if you're working on the plasticine style that most of the example art uses. To be honest I think the only art style Medium can deliver on is that clay/plasticine look. May as well embrace it. Also work at the highest resolution possible to get the best geometry and normal maps, then decimate down to < 60000 verts. Remember the vertex count setting is a maximum setting whereas the texture resolution output is a minimum setting.

eithman
Level 4

P3nT4gR4m said:

@danilo, @falken76 I'd say that for static assets, you should take look at medium decimation export/unwrap/normal-bake It's quick and dirty, yeah but it's really, really and thrice - really f'kin quick and it aint so dirty you need to wash your eyes out afterwards. 

https://sketchfab.com/models/356a8cc80dd045c18e6f16de63326540

This guy came down from a couple of million polys to 45k and change Everything else came out of medium, bar the lighting and PBR which took ten minutes to setup in sketchfab with the medium .png's. Total time, from loading up medium and drawing a skull to neurotically clicking refresh over and over, praying for likes - about an hour and change with a coffee break in the middle while it crossed the interwebs. One package, one RT engine, bish bosh. For a team of ninjas working on the next aaa blockbuster? Maybe not quite but for a given level of indie/hobbyist your productivity just shot through the roof B)  







ok, let me just say that I know this is a super old post, but I just now got that skull to load and it is em-effing BEAUTIFUL.

P3nT4gR4m
Level 12
@eithman Thanks so much!