Building better Tanks!
Earlier this year I was invited by an old colleague to give a talk at Goldsmiths University in London. It was aimed at MSc students undertaking a course in Computer Games Design. My guidance for the talk's subject was, - discuss something from my professional experience that couldn't be found anywhere else online, such as YouTube tutorials or Vimeo etc.
After much deliberation (because there were many things I could think of to discuss!), I decided that I would go through a short model optimisation exercise. Typically this is the kind of knowledge you would only pick up by doing it (in my case usually in short time spans under deadlines!).
Having worked a lot in Unity recently I looked on the asset store and chose a German WW2 Tank that I liked the look of. Now to be fair to the model I purchased it was pretty good, and would probably have done its job ok, (and for the price, pretty good value). However if it had been built for a game that I had worked on previously it would have been knocked back for fixes. I've known Tech Artists that would have gone all space invader on me if I had given that to them ;)
Anyway, I spent a weekend dissecting this model and putting it back together again, mainly fixing the geometry to make it tighter, more efficient and visually more clearer and interesting. For me the thing with models is making them shine visually in the overall silhouette. The shape that you see quickly and go "Ooh that’s cool", or "Ooh, what’s that", rather than... "It’s a Tank". I re-used the original texture as well, just baked in the additional detail and lighting, fixed mapping etc.
Hope you find it interesting!