Bystroushaak's blog / English section / 3D modeling / Microtron model progress 2020/07

Microtron model progress 2020/07

So, one of the top todo points on my todo list is to "finish microtron model", for my article about microtron visit (microtron is a kind of non-linear particle accelerator). At the moment, the geometry is mostly done, and I've struggled with my inability to use textures, that don't look horrible.

For example, I've played with textures in blender in order to try to create something like microtron paint, but it looks weird:

One of my friends rightly said, that it looks like wheel of babybell cheese.

So, I've decided to try something simple, to just texture one object. I've managed to join together objects of the rectangular magnets. This means, that I couldn't properly unwrap and texture them, and I was too lazy to trying to fix that by un-joining them, as the geometry was quite complex. This has leaded me to remodel them again, in standalone blender file, and with more details:

I wanted to try Substance painter, which should be this magical program, that can do a lot of work for you. In the youtube videos I've watched, people just splash materials on the model and the Substance painter does everything for them.

So, I've exported my blender model, and it didn't work at all. Everything looked much worse, than in blender. I've spent several hours toying with the uv-unwrapping, and it still looked horribly. At the end, I've learned my first lesson, that I have to "apply transforms" to the object, before I use smart unwrapping.

This is one of those blender bullshits, that I have no idea why they exist. Basically, as you model your model, you update the geometry of the objects used in your model. You would expect, that this is it. After all, it looks changed, no? But several parts of blender use cached versions for the data about the objects, like origin points and rotations and sizes. If you use some functions, like smart uv unwrap, it operates on the cached version.

You have to manually tell Blender, that the objects have updated transformations (CTRL+a, apply transforms). After that, smart uv unwrapping finally worked and the pieces in my textures finally unwrapped itself neatly and in proportions used in the model:

So, naturally, I've loaded them into the Substance painter .. and it again didn't work, and everything I've tried looked so bad, I couldn't believe my eyes.

It took me several hours of trying and watching video tutorials, before I've learned that I have to:

  1. Apply transforms.
  1. Fix normals.
  1. Bake textures right after opening the model in substance painter.

Theese were helpful:

After this, texturing itself was pretty quick and easy:

I am still getting used to how the substance painter works, with all the layers and different maps for different stuff.

After this, I've remodeled the long microtron magnets. Texturing was then really easy and finished in maybe ten minutes, or so:

The microtron model in the picture above is pink, because I've deleted the old texture and blender complaints that it can't find it. It doesn't matter much, because the body of the microtron was the next thing I've taken out and completely remade.

Microtron body remodeling

It was the first thing I've created, and I didn't know much blender back then, so I did it mostly for looks. It worked from the outside, mostly, but from the inside, there simply wasn't anything. I've recreated the main body model using this picture as reference:

At the moment, everything on the microtron is done and I'am uv-unwrapping the model and preparing for texturing, which is again quite more complicated, than expected. The geomertry is quite complex for simple uv-unwrap and I think I need to learn first how to use multiple textures for multiple objects.

Also, invisible boolean cubes, that are all over the place really mess the object when loaded to the substance painter, so I have to look into that.

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