Jesus. Im a programmer who does some modelling etc (mainly rigging), in maya, and i swear, i would murder children to have your skill. Currently working on a UDK project with my girlfriend (also a modeller/texturer/rigger/animator), and i can only hope our scenes turn out even half as good as yours. Well done, best thing I've seen in a LONG time.
Glad you liked it! Zbrush was a pretty big part of my work flow. One of the best cg programs ever made in my opinion. The base of the cave was modeled from planes believe it or not (easy to UV then apply tiled texture. Each plane was then snapped on and merged to another plane to create the over all shape. Subdiv, give it shape in zbrush, back in Maya smooth verts and apply both tiled texture and normal map from zbrush sculpt. Then in UDK, painting layers based on vectors allowed me to have a few diff textures for one mesh. The rest is just detailed meshes duplicated, grouped and layed out accordingly.
I like Zbrush but its re-topo algorithm is terrible, i can't stand the UI cause it just seems like it was designed at the bottom of a well, and this whole "dynamesh" thing that does now (seems to be the "big thing"), 3D coat has been doing for like 4 years longer, but i seen some stuff recently, and im thinking of giving zBrush another chance. 3D coat can do instant auto-retopo (you can give it a target polycount and draw the edgeflow on) and it has auto-UV unwrapping so after using Zbrush, switching to coat made things so much faster. Maybe doing it manually can get more results though, il get Zbrush when i get paid next.
I suck at UDK so il have to REALLY spend some time trying to get that to work. thanks for the tips though, your work is fantastic. Watched and fave'd. Im gonna have my gf help me pull apart everything you just said and have her teach me how to do it .
Btw, do you work for any game development studio? (I've seen many finished game artwork that looks nowhere near as good as what you can do), if so what one? and if not, "why the hell not?" haha.
Tbh, I hated zbrush at first too. It was so difficult to work with, mainly because the mindset and UI tried to be too different. I actually got to meet some the pixologic developers, and they just want to be seen as different even though its alienating quite a bit of people. Eventually it clicks though, just takes a bit of struggle first.
3D coat is a great program too, very useful for blizzard style art as well. Very easy to use. I generally like to avoid using Zbrush for UVs and even generating normal maps. There are just software packages that do it so much better. Xnormal is what I use now for normal maps(its free). 3ds max has a great pelt mapping tool for UV space as well.
I had some job offers actually but they were in Washington State. I live in LA and for the time being and trying to stay in southern california (gf works in visual effects here) so I'll shop around for a studio down here first. Its slow going.
Thanks for the compliments though! I see you using the cryengine 3. Good SDK, hopefully it gets polished up to be like UDK.
I played around in it, because for UDK you need licence to access the source code right? being that im a C++ programmer by nature (not a modeller or anything), i wanted that access. but now i use unity, UDK, cryEngine, and im building my own small engine (very slowly ). They all seem to have their strengths though. for small projects unity is fantastic, its so easy to get into and handles alot of things really well. You already know UDK's strengths so i wont go into that
but i find if you want something just purely for the sake of rendering stills or movies, cryEngine 3 is best for that. Its a shame it sucks for games. Things look great in it, but it doesn't have a whole-lot of flexibility from the get-go. since its free i'd recommend downloading it just to play about with it. its effects like lense flare and DoF and stuff in the most recent version is unrivalled. I think for game development, UDK is beyond the best though. I do have a conviction with it. Every game made in it, has this particular "feel" to it, and its impossible to make a game in UDK without that. Which is kind of irritating, but iv never seen anything like its tool set. If i need some tips about UDK in the future, do you mind me dropping by and asking you via note or something?