Orcrist Sword Project: Pre-Production

I’ve been itching to do another 3DS Max project for a while and with most of my assessments done I’ve finally got the time to do it.  After doing a stylized Treasure Chest not too long ago, I want to attempt a more realistic model this time around with an emphasis on learning more about the texturing and mapping process.  So I’ve decided to do a sword.  It’s relatively simple to model which gives me more time to learn how to make it as realistic as possible.

Initially I wanted to create a custom sword from my imagination combining styles from Witcher 3 and Final Fantasy swords.  I’m a sucker for both games I’m afraid, did you hear they’re remaking Final Fantasy 7!! so excited, but I digress.  I designed a lot of concepts exploring different styles and moods but I’m not sure if it’s my poor drawing ability or my high standards, nothing I came up with was aesthetically appealing.  Nothing.  I just didn’t feel any of the designs.

So as a result of this I decided to sacrifice a unique, one of a kind sword for a sword of quality.  At least that’s my hope anyway.  Scouring the net for some swords I found a sword called ‘Orcrist’ that I immediately fell in love with.  It’s the sword that is used by Thorin in Lord of the Rings.  With my sword of choice selected I checked out some documentation for both Unreal 4 and Unity game engines to see what requirements is needed of a model for it to function optimally.

Thorin_Orcrist

Whilst I didn’t get much specific information, I did learn that models should be saved as an ‘fbx’ file in order for the materials to stay with the model when its imported into the game engine.  Unity works in scale of meters so 1 unit in Unity equals 1 meter which is handy to know when modeling to size.  Unreal uses something called Speedtree to import models.  As for the specifics, I did find some very convoluted information about polycounts but it seems to apply more with mobile games than anything else.  Game characters seem to sit around 5-10,000 polys with game props ideally under 5k poly’s.  Due to the various conflicting information though, I think I will only understand when I actually start playing around with it.

Now it’s off to model it.

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