Asset Creation: Cave base model

Here is the model of my cave created in ZBRush, this is my first time using the software and I have found it quite challenging, but I am slowly picking it up. I am pleased with the final outcome however. The main issue I have been having is with the texturing and UV maps of the model, when applying texture in ZBrush it looks OK but seems very pixelated, there is also stretching some points, this is when using the spherical UV option. I am also having issues when I try to create the normals within Maya using transfer maps, from the high poly to low poly. The next issue is also in Maya when I try to unrwap the UVs its very messy, this could be due to the still relatively high poly count even on my low poly model.


Asset Creation

Here are my designs for the different assets I will be having in my scene. They are all designed to fit in with the prehistoric style of the environments, from bone handles to stone axes heads.

The time machine is the the asset i had the most difficulty coming up with an idea. my first idea, the box like machine I felt was too cliche and boring, plus would require some kind of power source, sadly there are no plugs in a cave! My second idea was a portal like creation, this solved the issue of power as it drew power from the earth itself, with big plug like sockets and cables, this allowed me to also experiment with particle and fluid dynamics, as well as, nCloth dynamics.

Creating many different assets has given me an opportunity to improve my modelling and texturing skills. Before this project I had not done much of either and was an area I found quite challenging. For this project I have used both Zbrush and Substance Painter to create and texture my models. These pieces of software have made the process much easier for me, so much so that almost every model has first been modeled in Maya, a high poly version created in Zbrush, baked on using transfer maps back in Maya, and finally textured in Substance Painter. This has made it much easier, not only to model everything, but to also easier to keep a consistent style throughout. Below are my various models and their accompanying textures.

Time Machine

This time machine functions like a portal and it gains its power from the earth through the cables and large sockets at either end. It is loosely inspired by the portal from Battlestar Galactica.



Wooden Trailer

This trailer was created by piecing individual pieces of wood, all the same model, just scaled differently so they don’t all look the same. It is supposed to look like it is in the process of being completed as it is the final thing the time traveler needs to introduce to the caveman population.


Wood and Stone Axe

This axe is created from a wooden handle a stone head, I wanted to create some twine that connected the two pieces, however when I tried creating this in Zbrush I could not get any useable UVs so I have left it out.



Bow and Arrows


Bone Saw

I wasn’t originally planning on having a bone saw in my scene, but after creating the trailer, out of planks of wood, I thought to my self, “this doesn’t make sense, how would he have cut these planks of wood without a saw” so after having a look at various reference images online I came up with this.



Stone and Bone Hammer



For the books I used the same models for each book and scaled them differently to give some variation, I also applied different textures so they weren’t all the same colour, but still the same, word old style. They have this old worn style as the books contain information, from ancient times, that the time traveler needs to help man-kind



Bone Blade

Similar to the axe I wanted to create some twine or string to connect the two objects but i couldn’t work out an effective way of achieving this. However it doesn’t look as obvious on this model and the blade fits in nicely into the cracks.



Within my scene I have a few environment rocks so give the impression of a rocky mountain side, this rock is the rock used to cover the entrance to the cave, I was inspired by the cave from the lion king to include this type of entrance. All the rocks are also covered in snow so the viewer knows it is nearing an ice age.rock.gif




This fire was created using FumeFX, this is the plugin used in the industry and I managed to get a hold of a copy. I wanted to use this plugin, one, because its good practice for me to learn and industry standard and two because it offers much more realistic results as opposed to Maya’s own fire through fluid dynamics. I have used models of logs as the emitter for the





This calendar is supposed to be on a stretched piece of hide, I felt this would make it fit in with the style of the scene instead of using paper. This also is a visual representation of the ‘Judgement Day’ or incoming ice age, this along with the stone labels is supposed to help the viewer understand this.