Breakdown | Original U.S. WWII Wood Box for MK1A1 Grenades

Making Of / 04 July 2020


Feedback based on the previous crate.
Special thanks to my mentor Stephen Honegger for guiding and marking up things that needed to be adjusted.

After getting this feedback and markups back from Pops, I knew for a fact that I really had just delete everything and simply start again. Collected in PureRef are references from Battlefield Battlepacks, Renders and Cinematic shots from games such as Call Of Duty along with the one to one reference that I was going with for this project. I gathered more reference this time as shown below, and made it one to one as mentioned. The form and the textures had to be spot on, the crates measures at 25 x 9.5 x 6 and assuming this was inches I need to get the scale right. I also have been obsessed with plugins lately so I need to find something that would make the scale experience, fun and visually better for the UI.


I added a human base mesh from Maya’s content library as a scale reference and have been working with different types of templates as well. This dude is at 180cm, I then realized afterwards this box was tiny, here I was able to understand how big it was, I was shocked after I converted it. I measured the crate with the plugin called Measure Tools, this made this process much easier and real-time as you can see in the image below.

Next step was to figure out how I was going to get the shape working with the panels. I used Union, and the Boolean tool then cleaned up the areas where needed. Steps are shown below, from block out to the final panel. I bevelled the areas that resemble the overall shape and form, then soften the edges the give it more depth.

After the details for the crate was completed from the reference, I needed to create the rope. Doing this was quite changing and the only way to get it right was to make it procedural and dependent on a curve. Doing this I need to make a NURBS curve and duplicate them to create the base for the rope. Afterwards, I then layered what was necessary then kept only the one reference curve. I decided to go further with this and have the one curve with joints. Doing this has now allowed this to become what I call Rope Maker and all you really need to do this make an adjustment to the curve and it can be any Rope I'd like. Works using the shape and the adjustment with a spline. As shown below.

At this point, all was needed was to get the reference in Maya and view it from the Z-axis so I could copy it exactly.

I then set the map size to 4K, knowing I didn't want to comprise detail. Two texture sheets were exported but easily would have been only one if the inside wasn't necessary, but I had to get this right, then I started the UV Mapping and preped this for Substance Painter.



Was all done with Substance Painter, and Source for the wood texture. The stamps were created in photoshop with the original references with photo retouching, then to be turned into Alphas. I used masking for most of my process know I was only limited to two Texture Set. Started in a 2K workflow and worked with masks, stencils and layering to give it a worn look, stains, scratches and spray paint stamps were added for additional realism.

Once everything was done, I then baked all maps in 8k with Anti-Aliasing and Subssampleing at 8x8 then exported out to 4K to retain all the detail from the masking and the textures itself. 


After getting an understanding of how the textures would work with the rope, I then took the rope into Zbrush to add Inflate and Sbend. The first one is without Sbend, and I ended up leaning towards 0.2 Inflate, Sbend at -20 and 3.0 for the rope as it looked pretty close to the reference

Lighting / Rendering

Lighting was done with one spotlight and a shadow catcher, multiple cameras were added for the ease of rendered without having to move and pan the camera too much. All of this was done in Marmoset Tool Bag. After everything was prepared, I was able to create the necessary like a turntable and exploded view for extra viewing  


Final steps before I post anything online really is SEO, I know not many people might not take it this far. But I actually do keywording for everything I do, Images and Video Content, even if it is for 3D. It's a habit I took with me from my Photography Days. But, it really does help, it's difficult enough as it is with what we do in the 3D industry, so I highly recommend it. Taking the extra mile for this and researching on how you can too, well help your traffic, It also will save you time because when you post to folio either Artstation or other, the tags will always be there, and you can always reuse tag and filter it if you have a system as I do. It's a must. I'll never need to add the tags one by one, but your work still has to be boss.

Final Result

Final results show variations, all angles and an exploded view for more detail for look dev.
The Original U.S. WWII Wood Box for MK1A1 Grenades | Prop
Can be found at the following links. 

C4 Explosive Day 13-16

Work In Progress / 10 June 2020

Day 13
Focusing on the overall shape and aesthetics as well as understanding how tape and support ties work for something like this. As you can see a lot has changed since my last post. The tape was done by hand, although the next day shows different. Took it more serious and worked with physics to get a realistic look for the wrinkles in between the gaps of the wires.

Day 14
Unfortunately, I couldn't find a tape material so I decided to use Substance Alchemist for this and make them on my own, including a seamless circuit board material. With the help of an old photographer friend, it was pretty easy to get this done and super fast. Note: Also, if you're a photographer and you know its craft make your own, but personally, just hire one it'll be cheaper and it'll save you time especially for materials don't exist.

Day 15
The current asset has now been retopologized and is now officially ready for a clean texture pipeline. During this ongoing project, I have been using a bunch of plugins to help speed this clean model done and dusted. Poly Raven for UV mapping and Romain Chauliac's Cable Script, and ModIt for Maya, and at the same time have been brainstorming few more assets for the scene that I want to showcase this C4, highly considering a garage / wood-shed look with tools on a bench.
Day 16
Here, I worked with more detail. Redoing all my UV s and sizing them out per components so no resolution wouldn't be compromised.
Successful baking was discovered and manage to attain all the details with the high and low with no issues with AO or overlapping.

The assets from here will be reused, especially the resistors and physics for the mess of the garage scene soon to be.
Time to whip out the tablet and listen to Madonna's Material Girl. Until the next one.

C4 Explosive Day 12

Work In Progress / 26 May 2020

Okay, this. So this somewhat of a final post for now,
and as mentioned I will be having a post with multiple days so it will be more interesting or could even lessen the stress.

But as you can see, the extra detail has been added, and the plans to add more to this is quite evident. Based on recent feedback, small projects with lots of details and a well-lit scene it's the way to go. Reworking some areas like the tape and the roughness for it, but small things Iike this and components do matter. I'll though I do plan to make a normal map for the whole board to lessen the geo count. Specifically for the parts and the idea in mind, the detail is important.

I'll be going with real-world colours for the components for the normal map plan, and perhaps have some of the legs for them stick out underneath, with the board that's under the keypad, I'll be adding some emissions to give it a point of interest. This is what is currently in the works.

As you can see from the following images, I've started with some normal maps for the screws. This works best because if I'm not happy with the current, I can always swap it out, it's also using less geo for this. So it's a win! 
After all the components are coloured, I'll be adding fake solder, but more details on that and dirt in the next post.
Until the next one.

C4 Explosive Day 11

Work In Progress / 26 May 2020

Still a lot of masking to go, but the next posts should be interesting that's for sure in fact. Day 12 could be my last post until we actually start getting somewhere with the textures. Planing to do a 13-17 / etc post, that way the posts won't get boring, and I'll have something to talk about.

At the moment I'm preparing the areas for masking and selected areas. More of a break down in the next post.
Until the next one.

C4 Explosive Day 10

Work In Progress / 24 May 2020

Interesting day. Had a few baking issues, but their somewhat solved now. Also had to jump bake into Zbrush to adjust the tape, didn't seem tight enough. Currently there's no wear on the dirt yet, components and the wires still are need to being colored. So far it's starting to show a bit of life. 

For the most part I think I got the color and roughness for the clay just right. Until the next one.

C4 Explosive Day 09

Work In Progress / 24 May 2020

Not so much to talk about here. Although I have been more room on the sheet for extra if needed. 

It's packed nicer now. At the moment I'm trying to fix out the bake for the Clay, might be the frontal distance. But the maps are all baked out for the components, once I fix the Clay I'll be ready to start painting. I'll be saving out the current project, then come back to this after the next texturing is done. Then slap on the material and update it. 

That way I don't have to worry about move the camera a whole heap. I rendered these in Keyshot earlier, this is progress as of late.
Until the next one.

C4 Explosive Day 08

Work In Progress / 23 May 2020

Today as shown, back at it with my UV tools, more packing and more optimization. Got a new layout and got the keypad packed now. So, plans are going well so far. As you can see below I did a lot of packing and manage to make a square. 

All is left now is to make the smart material for my army, not only that but I'll have a full kitbash and modular components for future purposes.

Army ready to texture;

Ideally the goal is to get it looking something like this but for everything else including a stripes and patterns provided in the refferencing.

Until the next one.

C4 Explosive Day 07

Work In Progress / 22 May 2020

Today was a crazy productive day nothing but, UV, packing and optimization most likely for the next couple of posts also more details on this most likely as much as possible. All these components that you see here from one single UV sheet, some also have noticed and asked, why have I packed them in a little collection as seen. The reason being is not that it just looks cool for the post, but to help me texture and prep this when loading it to the board.

It'll be easier to texture in SP and to update in config rather than going back and forth. Then just save out the smart material and drag it on afterwards, on a new document with both sheets. More packing as we speak and aiming to get the keypad along with the circuit board on the sheet also.
Until the next one.

C4 Explosive Day 06

Work In Progress / 21 May 2020

Today, I worked on the UV and textures, pretty cool that it's starting to get a little interesting. I had a basic idea on how I would go about texturing this and what would I do for the circuit board. Thankfully, I been playing around in Substance Alchemist and it's quite handy to know old school tricks in Photoshop. As you can see, I've made my own Base Material, it helped a lot. I was also able to get all the names of the parts that are on the board, which means I can just look them up when referencing. Quite a lot of Kit-Bashing too and super fun, and I can definitely see me using these parts in the future. I've added a basic colour for the components for now and will be working on adding other assorted colours based on the names of the components. Obviously, there's a lot more work to be done, UV sets need to be fixed with layout, masking and surface detail and more work with the keypad, but it's coming along nicely so far. I'm happy with this as a starting off point for getting this ready for real-time.

Finally, there's Color. Until the next one.

C4 Explosive Day 05

Work In Progress / 20 May 2020

Today was really good. Got tones of work done for the Asset, but didn't quite get through the material stage. I got paranoid, because of a thunderstorm, sounded pretty severe, so I quickly saved everything and jumped off. 

But, here are the last actions took place. Wires are all in the positions they need to be, added surface detail to the C4 and underneath the tape as well as detail to where the pins are, went through the whole asset and giving it some parts lower polycounts.

Then after that added all the parts to the folder and merged all, ready for export out into Maya. 

The section where the wires to are, are now "soldered" to the board and the battery is also connected to them. As you can see it looks like a real mess of wires (like real life). Here are some screenshots of the changes to the wires and the board along with the C4 with detail. Just have to smooth in Maya and add the materials. Then bake the high on the low.
UV and Texturing should start today (in Day 06), can't wait for substance only talk. Until the next one