Saturday, March 3, 2018

My Ice Cream Truck!

     I spent two days working on this and... This is one of my favorite 3d models I have ever created. Now I know it looks a bit rough, a bit unprofessional and somewhat sloppy but that's why I love it so much. I had more fun creating this model more than any other 3d model I have ever made before because I allowed myself to just be creative with it. This was one of those "first instinct" type of works where I just went with whatever I came up with. No planning, no prototyping, no "oh these colors don't work with each other" or "this texture doesn't go here" or "maybe I remodel this more accurately to look more like a real ice cream truck" kind of deal.

None of that. The process was just "I like how this looks so i'm just going to stick with it and keep going" kind of deal. I just let myself have full creative freedom with this one and this is why I enjoyed working on this model and love how it turned out so much. It's kind of hard to explain, but what I mean is, as an artist (and i'm sure many others can relate to this) I always feel the need to get things looking just right. Looking "believable" to a certain extent. So, even though we always create art, it's like we always kind of put limits on ourselves our work flows. It's like we tell ourselves "no, this wouldn't go with the work, it wouldn't make sense, it wouldn't feel consistent". Sometimes as artist, we just have our own set of rules that we force ourselves to follow and in turn that kind of limits the creative process and creative freedom. I'm not sure if any of that made any sense. But, when it comes to creating art - something that should be fun and enjoyable, it sometimes just feels like an un-enjoyable more stressful experience because of how over critical we are of ourselves sometimes, or how sometimes we have high expectations for how a piece of art will turn out and in our head we imagine this perfect, epic, stunning amazing piece of work but then when we go to make it, the actual art work turns out looking nothing like how we originally wanted it to come out. Then we get even more stressed out because the work doesn't look exactly how we wanted and then what happens? That piece of art work just gets scrapped and never seen again. It never gets shared.

Artist need to stop being over critical of themselves. If you make something don't be afraid to put it out. Give yourself creative freedom, don't always try to be a perfectionist because that just makes the process feel stressful. Me personally, I feel like I learned an important lesson from creating this weird ice cream truck model. And that's to just go with first instincts sometimes. If you're having fun creating something, just keep going at it. Don't worry about technical aspects like matching colors based on color theory or getting something looking exactly like something else. Don't think about these things and just keep creating. Experiment with things outside your comfort zone.

     Anyway, I didn't mean to get off topic. This blog post is about my new ice cream truck that I made which I plan on using in one of my new upcoming games.

     The colorful rainbow texture is something I created by accident. I was just messing around in blender and trying some different things and man, you can create some crazy looking materials in there! I kept messing around until I eventually ended up with this colorful graffiti looking texture which I instantly loved and said "yes. This is what i'm going to go with". This texture is created procedurally. It's not just a random image texture that I got and slapped onto the model. It's something I was able to generate in blender through many experiments and it's actually not that hard to create a material like this within blender. Maybe later i'll do a short tutorial to show you guys how I ended up making this rainbow diarrhea.  Most of the materials you see on this model are procedural actually. The eyes and mouth, the ice cream and cone, the sound horns, and even the striped umbrella thing in the back. I was able to generate all of these all in blender alone without outside resources and that is very awesome.

     Here is a white version of the rainbow material. I was able to easily create this using the same rainbow material above. All I had to do was tweak a few settings. I think this white rainbow material seems more fitting for an ice cream truck. It feels like it fits more. but I personally like the original rainbow material I created first in the images above more. I will probably end up using the all rainbow material in the actual game I intend to use this model for.

    The above images are just quick blender renders which show other details such as this specular glossy look and bumpiness and smaller finer details because of the normals. I don't really care much for normal maps or over glossy models so these details likely won't appear on the in game model. I baked out the textures to a map to use in game and the game model of the ice cream truck will look more like this: 

     This again still isn't the final in game look. Once I set this model up in the unity engine, things like the lighting, color correction and other post fx that my game is using will give the truck a more polished look and to match the overall presentation and style of the game itself.

I also created a "rusty" version of this model, a third version which will also be used in my game somewhere.

     That's all for now. More updates soon. Maybe my next post will be about the actual game I am working on. We'll see how things go so keep checking back! I really like my rainbow ice cream truck though!