3D Asset Workflow: Completed asset checklist

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3D Asset Workflow
← Previous step: 3D Asset Workflow: Exporting to Editor


  • This page consists of a checklist for the 3D artist to go through once the 3D asset is otherwise finalized, but not yet exported to the Editor/workspace

Checklist before Exporting to the Editor

  1. Are the vertex normals correct and updated?
    • Modo doesn't update vertex normals automatically when the object is e.g. rotated
  2. Are all your asset sets' meshes in the same Modo file, and you have removed all the extra temp stuff from there?
    • The same asset sets' meshes should be in the same file, on separate layers - the Editor will read separate layers as separate meshes
      • If you need to add an extra model but don't want the Editor to read it as a separate mesh for whatever reason (e.g., adding a triangulated version of the model in addition to the quad model), add an underscore ( _ ) in the beginning of the layer name - Editor will ignore these meshes completely
  3. Is the asset's pivot correct?
    • In Modo, the asset's pivot is the scene origo
      • Different pivot affecting cases include:
        • A) general asset (center the asset to the origo, this applies to most cases),
        • B) asset with e.g. hinges (center the hinges to the origo), and
        • C) asset that e.g. grows from the ground (origo should be on the bottom of the asset)
        • This way, the asset is as usable by the level artists in the Editor as possible
  4. Are the layers named correctly?
  5. Are your texture files in the binary, and you have linked the albedo from there, not from your own computer locally?
    • You should always put the texture files to the binary first (no need to commit yet), and link the materials to your Modo file from there
      • Otherwise, they will not work correctly in the Editor
  6. Are there extra materials in the Shader tab or extra images in the image tab?
    • Delete everything that's temp or extra from both
    • In the materials, there should only be the correctly linked albedo texture, no other textures
  7. Have you done and checked the LODs?
    • All assets should have LODs, besides from assets that are already super low poly (e.g. billboards, for which even the Editor's automatic LODs should be turned OFF)
    • The LODs can have some overlapping UVs and stretching, so no need to fix everything as the LODs will mostly be seen from far away, but fix the most blatant issues
  8. Have you made sway maps for the assets that need to sway (e.g. trees, banners)?
    • In general, we want all vegetation assets and banners/flags etc to sway
  9. Have you compressed your targa files?
    • Open them in Photoshop and save again, tick the "Compress" option
    • This greatly reduces the file size
  10. Have you made sure the tintmasks/alttextures work and are configured properly?
    • The assets should be ready, usable, and good-looking straight from the Type Tree with no additional tweaking needed

Checklist before Exporting an Asset that will be animated

  • An asset that will be animated will be exported to the Editor by the animator, after it's rigged and animated
  1. Is the asset's topology done as desired (e.g. with edge loops where they need to be, not triangulated)?
  2. Are the assets' textures in the binary, and linked to the model from there?
    • The textures can and should be committed to the binary separately, before giving the asset to the animators, so that the linked textures will show up correctly when the animator opens the file
  3. Have you committed the model to the SVN workspace, and told the animator about it?
    • Unlike with non-animatable assets, which are committed to the Editor by the 3D artist, animated assets will be committed by the animator (excluding the textures)
  4. When the asset is animated and in the Editor, does it looks like it should?
    • The 3D artist's job is to keep track of the process of their own assets, even if they are committed to the Editor by the animator
      • The animator will only make sure the animations work, but will not touch any model settings etc
    • Move on to Checklist in the Editor

Checklist in the Editor

  1. Does the asset look like it should?
    • I.e., do all the textures look like they should, have you adjusted the emissive/tintmasks/SSS/other (if there are some) etc
      • As a general rule, the asset should look good when the level artists want to take it from the TypeTree, with no additional tweaking whatsoever (unless they want to tweak something)
  2. Are there holes in the asset?
    • Our Editor can't render ngons, thus creating holes in their place - check if your model has ngons (polygons with more than four vertices)
    • In general, we want all our assets to have thickness and backfaces in them - that way they're more usable for the level artists
  3. Do the LODs work correctly?
    • Check by forcing the LODs ON from the Renderer options, both stages (1 and 2)
  4. Do the swayable assets (e.g. trees, plants) have sways ON? Do they work correctly?

Checklist for committing workfiles

  • Workfiles should be committed to the correct workspace SVN, so that they can be easily found and modified later by someone else, if need be
  • Only keep the latest version of each file in the workspace SVN
  • Organize and name all the files, layers etc properly
- Workfiles required:
3D models: LXO + FBX
Texturing: SPP + PSD/TGAs
  • Unless you're working with the triangelihuttu method, keep an un-triangulated version of the model and commit that to the workspace SVN as well (if you e.g. need to triangulate the mesh for better baking results)
    • It's much easier to modify quads than triangles later, if need be
    • Add both versions to the workspace SVN