Modeling Advice/Aesthetics

Good morning, good afternoon, or good night, wherever you are, Mr. Fox here.

After looking at my modeling for some time, I began to realize that it’s is definitely way too high poly for Unturned’s aesthetics.

For example, a few previous versions of my unfinished models I was working on.

I’m looking for advice to not only to improve my modeling skill, but to try and fit what I can do to a even lower poly count to fit the vanilla aesthetics.

Your modeling skill is plenty imo. It’s just the style you’re having issues with.

When it comes to the Unturned style, there’s a few key rules that I tend to follow:

1. Never directly import a reference image into the modeling software
Now, this is just my opinion but using a reference image in the modeling software is bad. Directly basing it off of a reference image in the modeling software means that the proportions will be off when compared to the unturned character. I use a reference on a separate tab so I naturally make the proportions less realistic and the shape of it becomes less high-poly.

2. Throw away small details or make them a lot less detailed
For example, triggers are removed from most guns. Small holes are either removed or turned into a flat hexagon or octagon. Thin areas are made thicker.

3. For things like Cars and buildings, .1 meters is the thinnest you should have to go
For most details, .1 meters is the thinnest you should go. There are some exceptions but it’s the general rule for 99% of the details you add.

4. Look at other people’s styles
Take a look at what other people have done for certain things and think about if it looks good when compared to the game style. This is especially helpful when you’re stuck on how something should look.

5. Circles mostly have 8 sides max
You can use 12 sided circles for big stuff like giant tubes, but for anything medium sized it’s better to only use 8 or 6 sided circles.

6. Remove the ability the move parts
Unless you want to go into the process of rigging the entire gun and learning how to make animated weapons, don’t make parts that can actually move. Though, it can be worthwhile to make animated weapons. They do look neat

(These are just my opinions. I don’t doubt that some things I said here can be ignored while still keeping the unturned style)

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Someone else gave good advice already, but I noticed you wanted to make the fire selector functional - I’m pretty sure there’s no way to do that

When it comes to guns at least you want to model them with the context that the player is holding them.
The players limbs are very fat, so details a lot smaller than that will look weird. Prioritise the general form of a weapon, make some details thicker than others. It should be believable that the player can use it.
Polaris and Elver both have decent looking guns and it’s a good place to start if you’re looking to reorient your style.

For objects try to avoid sub 0.2m sized details. Obviously sometimes it can’t be helped but it’s a good rule of thumb.

In particular, I’ve found the barrel and handguard have to be made a bit more chunky to fit

CPL is spot on with the rule about cars and buildings needing thicknesses greater than 0.1 meters. Having anything too thin ruins how it looks among other models in the game. Typically, I go a little bit lower, as far as 0.075 meters, but then it becomes a bit iffy. Only do this for details that really do require a limited thickness.

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To address everyone at once, I’ll use the ‘@’ function.

I believe using hexagons will be a solid improvement. Smaller details like the holes in the handguard might be done away in favor of ‘darker colored hexagons’.
After some in-depth searching for what others are capable of, I found that the guns modeled by Dizzpie and Luci for their ‘Cobalt’ submission on the Workshop seemed detailed enough in my opinion to have the details I’d like to include.

That’s definitely true, I really didn’t think about that…

I I might be more comfortable with 0.1m sizes thanks to what I’m trying to achieve like the sight, but I’ll try my best to reserve those sizes for things that absolutely need it.
Elver has some guns that are a little too low poly in my opinion, but the aforementioned ‘Cobalt’ seemed like my likely candidate.

Thanks to y’all, hopefully I should be back with definite improvements to my later designs. I’ll probably post these other models to the workshop for the heck of it.

As for the vehicles, I began to look to the Arid vehicles. They’re usually high poly enough to get the point across (tractors have engine detail, cars have a defined grill, and tires have detailed rims). My car might be ‘salvageable’ if I just down the poly count around the grill and headlights. There’s definitely something about the curves of the car that really appeal to me, but I might have to do away with curvature entirely in favor of a vanilla style ‘boxy’ car. I’m not sure how I’m going to do that for modern cars 2015 and newer in North America, but I’m sure there’s a way to do it.

~ The (only Somewhat) Fantastic Mr. Fox.

For sure, there are definite exceptions.

Agreed, though I personally find starting very low poly while blocking out the primary details then adding more detail in subsequent revisions. Whatever works for you. Cobalt has a good art style and if you can manage that then you’re in a good spot.

Here’s some examples of good higher detail guns that use smaller details.

From UO, by Hedgehog and LatvianShprot respectively.

The main shape of the body is perfectly fine. Vanilla isn’t a good standard to look at imo, it’s 100% possible to make more rounded, modern cars in an Unturned style. The grills are always a sore spot though. Again, remove small details (the mirrors are def too rounded, make them a bit larger and more blocky) and use a more limited colour palette (I’d recommend staying in 4x2 texture size for now)

Here’s some car renders people have posted in UO which I think are a good example of a higher poly style that still fits in Unturned.

by @Mew. The licence plate and wheels are too detailed but generally everything else is good.

By @Sup4ik is really good all around The mirrors are decently blocky but still have some smooth accents. The indicators in the mirrors are used tastefully as well. I would criticise the indent for the door handles but it’s pretty subtle here. Obviously this style car lends itself well to Unturneds style, but it’s a good example of using curvature on things that would be bricks in vanilla.

Also by @Sup4ik. The depressions for the door and wheel well as the grill is general are too much imo and the wing mirrors are too high poly as well. But it is possible to make smoothness work in unturned.

The biggest thing all these models do is emphasising sharp angles to connect smooth sections.

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I’d just recommend testing everything out before you commit to it, just to prevent wasting time on something that turns out to be impossible to implement