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I've been modeling in Blender for about a year now, and I am modeling for games and use Unity to put the games together. Now, I know Blender pretty well but I lack knowledge about specific techniques to achieve more naturalistic looks (closer to AAA games). In particular, I am looking for a workflow or techniques to reproduce something along the lines of the pictures below (it is an asset on the Unity store).

It looks like the author of this model created a low-poly based mesh, then sculpted it, decimated the model, baked the normal maps from the high-poly model onto low-poly one and used procedural materials (maybe Substance Painter). But I am not sure whether my guess is correct.

Do you think this is how this was made? Can you share your own experiences workflows and techniques of creating assets like that? I feel like I don't have problems creating things in Blender but I am really struggling with making them look more natural.

Thanks so much!

enter image description here enter image description here

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  • $\begingroup$ Hi, if you aim for photorealism modelink "rocks", see this also blendermarket.com/products/the-rock-essentials. It is about a paid assets pack, but the page explain why it is so difficult, and why the item is worth spending some money, because it explains how you could do the same (hint: is not so easy...) $\endgroup$ – m.ardito Nov 9 '17 at 11:42
  • $\begingroup$ Hi m.ardito, thanks for this link! I understand that it's not easy. However, I am looking for a solution that will give me at least a somewhat similar result and still will be doable without spending a ton of money. The result does not have to be super realistic, I am looking for just a more or less decent look. $\endgroup$ – BlendGirl23 Nov 30 '17 at 17:23
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There are many ways, it depends of the type of asset you want to create (asset with handpainted texture, etc.). I use this sometimes:

  1. model low poly first
  2. UV unwrap the low poly model
  3. texturing of the low poly model. In "properties" panel, go to "data" tab and then "UVmaps", add a second UV map by clicking on the plus button, highlight this second by clicking on it, unwrap the low poly model for a second time for a good unwrapping because of the texturing
  4. create a new image, bake textures and normal maps and remove all the materials and the the second UVmap
  5. duplicate the low poly, add more details to the second low poly models and bake normal map again.
    And you can export textures if you want for more details on Photoshop or Gimp.
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