Helmet Modeling and Considerations
SOE will supply the base textures along with a base head for reference. Make sure that no unintended part of the head protrudes through the helmet.
Things to consider:
- Coming up with an idea is one of the most challenging parts of asset creation. We recommend starting with a few sketches, until you find something you're happy with. Once you're happy with a sketch, refine it by adding cool design elements and details that will make your model stand out from the rest! Concepting is an iterative process but can save you time in the long run. We only need the model from you, so do what works best.
- To improve your chances of being selected into the Marketplace, be sure what you create fits into the PlanetSide 2 universe. See style guide section above for more details.
- The shape of the helmet should stand out. The silhouette should look interesting from a distance, and up close. Pay attention to how light bounces off the fine details, like bevels and creases.
- Please do your best to maintain quads and edge loops in the mesh, in case we have to make any revisions.
- Polygon budget. You are allowed a maximum of 6000 triangles for a single helmet.
Materials and UVs
To make item creation as accessible as possible, we will only be providing you with two maps - a Diffuse (Color) Map and a Normal Map - to work from. Below you will see other maps that are used by the art team. We may enhance your submission with any appropriate additional maps to make sure it works best in game.
List of Texture Maps:
- Diffuse (Color): Assign the UVs to any area of the texture sheet except for the areas marked in bright red.
- Normal: To stay within triangle limitations it is good to find areas of your helmet that can use normal map detail.
- Smoothness (specularity): Surfaces like lenses, glass, or polished metal have high spec which appears white on the map. Matted or flat areas with little or no specularity are black or darker values on the map.
- Metallic (shine): White makes the metal appear chrome. Darker values give the texture a flat metal finish.
- Dielectric (Gloss):White gives a glossy finish. The darker the value, the thinner the glossy coat.
- Emissive (Brightness): White is 100% brightness. Most of our emissives stay around 50-75% white so as not to be too distracting in game.
- Detail Select: is on a 2nd UV set (not supported by OBJ). This 2nd set is assigned to the detail cube. Each color on the Detail Select map represents a side of the cube containing a custom pattern. UVs on the 2nd set are kept uniform so that the patterns flow nicely on the model.
- Tint (Color or Pattern Overlay): The tint map is black and white, white being the tintable area.
Example maps 1-8 mentioned above:
Note when laying out UVs: UVs should be oriented the same as the 3D mesh so that the normals read correctly. Having UVs flipping vertically or horizontally will result in inverted normals.
The Following images are an example of our workflow for creating helmets from concept to completion.
When creating a concept, it is best to start with loose thumbnail sketches to find the shape or silhouette of the helmet. From those thumbnails pick the one you like most. Here are some examples from the art team.
Here, Zbrush is used to quickly block out important shapes that define the look of the helmet. Zbrush is one of several options you can use for high poly sculpting, so use the one you feel most comfortable with. Zbrush and similar applications are great tools for baking out normals and cavity maps (you will need to use the SOE provided normal maps for helmets).
Once, most of the helmet is in place, the artist spends more time refining the sculpt.
Next, the artist retopologizes the sculpt, so that the helmet can work with the SOE’s proprietary engine. The artist does his best to retain the shape and appearance of the high poly sculpt. Since players naturally look at the front of the face, it is important to use most of your polygon budget in that area.
The finished helmets should be tested on all classes to ensure no clipping occurs once exported into the game.
Here’s the resulting helmet in the Engine with all textures applied:
And finally another look at the helmets attached to a character model.
We will provide to you a male head model to help ensure that your helmet fits on the head and make sure the head is visible when modeling.
Here are several examples of helmets each approximately 5000 triangles. The UVs are colored green so that you can see what areas of the texture sheets were commonly used. There are no restrictions to what type of helmets that can be created. Helmets do not need to cover the entire head, for example: goggles, gas mask, caps, etc. are acceptable submissions in the helmet category.