Hi. My name is Aidin Salsabili. I am a 3D character, creature and prop artist. In this tutorial, I want to share my workflow of how I made a realistic sofa using Quixel Suite 2.
At first, I want to talk about the project “Our Heritage” and the work I did for it.
“Our Heritage” is a story by me and Ehsan Ebrahimzadeh about the future of the world and human beings. The story happens in New York City, year 2050, where the people are fighting with horrific climate change and its effects. A massive company called “The Answer” has made sanctuary cities with special technologies that people can live in. Adrian, our main character, is a scientist working on clean water and food in the Answer Company. During his research, Adrian finds out the company had a very decisive impact on the world’s climate and that they have genetically modified both plants and humans. Adrian decides to get out of the sanctuary city and find the truth. Thus, he ends up in part of New York City which has been abandoned and overgrown by foliage.
This environment is the first part of the series we have planned for since we have a full story with characters and environments. This room is his safe house where he studies about the truth and works on evolved creatures.
This sofa is one of the props I made for “Our Heritage” project.
I go over three steps to create objects for any scene:
I think props in any scene should serve the story and the beauty of that scene both individually and with the combination of other objects. In addition, it is important to make sure they are correct compositionally.
It is crucial to put enough time finding good references. You can create awesome concepts based on the story you have and the references you gather.
I choose my software based on my needs, polygon budget, texture size and all the other technical and artist style of a project. For this project, I used Quixel Suite 2.
Here are some references I used for the sofa.
Based on our story, I needed a worn out, old leather sofa. Thus, I gathered many references that served my purpose. In addition, I looked at many detail references to create my model materials and textures.
To start your project in Quixel Suite 2 you should have a normal map, and AO. An ID map is also useful but not necessary. You can also import Object Space Normal Map, Curvature map, and Position map or simply bake them In DDO using 3DO Baker.
Some tips on importing your object and textures into DDO
After creating my projects in DDO, I use 3DO to check my maps and make sure all the maps works fine. Hold C key on your keyboard to see your ID map. Since I had three material IDs, I made three folders and named them as the materials. I created a base layer with a color the get the sense of my object. I like DDO because you can achieve a great result in a very short amount of time. You can create great Smart Materials by combining materials from the DDO library and Megascans library. The key is to find good references and use them to define your materials.
Some tips on making awesome materials in DDO:
The leather material has five layers:
You need to make the perfect mask for each layer to get as close as possible to your references. Usually after I select a DynaMask, I play with the brightness and contrast, then I use my own custom brushes to paint in 3DO and get the look I want.
Some tips on creating masks:
Roughness is as important as albedo or normal map. Make sure you put enough time for your roughness values.
Some tips on creating great roughness:
I added a slight amount of dust at the end. It can help your materials blend with each other and gives you more natural look.
When you use DDO’s scanned data, it is easy to have accurate albedos and roughness values. However, remember to look precisely to your references when you want to add your own materials. For example, there are many greens and blues in a brown leather. I added those colors by hand to get a more natural look.
I used Marmoset Toolbag 3 for my presentation. You can export your object and its textures easily and import them into Marmoset. I used Metalness since our scene was in UE4 and UE uses metalness approach.
Some tips on presenting your props:
I use a specific set of software throughout my project depending on my project. This helps the harmony and consistency between props and other parts of the final environment. Always keep your project organized. Name your materials and textures by a rule. Gather lots of references for shapes, models, textures etc.
Thank you for reading, and good luck!