November 13, 2016
Facade with new statues
The facade of the church of the Alamo has four empty niches. In 1836, it is believed that they contained statues of four saints: Anthony, Ferdinand, Francis and Dominic. The statue of Anthony had been damaged during some of the work on the compound the year before. This statue was found years later in a weedy lot near the Alamo and is on display in the Long Barrack museum.
My latest work has been to replace the low resolution statues in my model with improved high res digital sculptures.
The new statues were crafted by using the following workflow:
- A base mesh was created in MakeHuman and imported to Blender
- The model was posed along with some of the accessories that the figures carry.
- The posed models were imported into ZBrush where the clothing, hair and other details were sculpted in high detail.
- ZBrush was used to derive a lower polycount mesh from the high detail model.
- The low polycount model was imported into Substance Painter and the high detail model used to bake normal maps (giving the appearance of detail in the render).
- A limestone material was applied along with a layer of dirt.
- The resulting textures and low polycount model were imported into Blender and placed into the scene.
Here are renders of the individual statues taken from Substance Painter.
Saint Anthony (Antonio)
Saint Ferdinand (Fernando)
Saint Francis (Francisco)
Saint Dominic (Domingo)
And here are their SketchFab renders:
December 25, 2015
Ben Milam looks at Mexican position on San Fernando church
In 1835, Ben Milam lead a small group of Texians into San Antonio de Bexar in an attempt to take the town from Mexican forces commanded by General Martin Perfecto de Cos. From the courtyard of the Veramindi house, Milam studied the Mexican positions around the San Fernando church using a field telescope given to him by Stephen Austin. He was killed by a shot to the head from a Mexican sharpshooter in a tree across the river.
This 3D model was made using the Makehuman tool and Blender. The textures were created in Substance Painter.
Link to Sketchfab model.
December 1, 2015
Last year I modeled a soldado using ZBrush. The model used too many polygons to be practical in my Alamo model and I never went through the process of changing the topology and rigging it for animation.
The new model is based on the MakeHuman tool. The clothes were modeled in Blender and textured using Substance Painter. The level of detail is suitable for a display in which the character is less than about 500 pixels. The character (with gun) uses about 8K vertices but I could probably reduce it to about 6K without losing much detail. It is completely rigged and can be posed and animated.
Here is the model in SketchFab: Soldado in 3D
October 19, 2015
Mexican Infantry Shako 1836
This is a model of a shako worn by Mexican infantry soldados during the battle of the Alamo in 1836. The hat and visor are leather with brass furniture and plate. The chin strap is a scalloped pattern brass.
The model was created in Blender and textured in Allegorithmic Substance Designer and Painter. It is a bit more complex than it looks. I had to choose between using geometry vs textures for some of the more complex objects. The model has 15 different materials.
A simple model will be built for low-poly distant viewing.
View in 3D on Sketchfab here.
Chartrand, Santa Anna’s Mexican Army 1821 – 1848. Osprey 2004
Hefter, The Mexican Soldier 1837 – 1847, 3rd edition, The Virtual Armchair General, 2013