One step at the time

So today we’re going to start our in-depth look into Dota 2 item making. And as with everything, it’s better to start at the beginning, so we’ll start with the modelling part. While all the fance texturing is important, first of all you need solid mesh that will save you time and will help in avoiding wonky mapping or skinning. For this guide i have just the perfect model! This item heavily relies on the geometry and very simply mapped, so our main bet will be the geometry. There are LOTS of 3D tutorials and guides for every software package and if you’re just starting, then i recommend you get comfortable with your software of choice by practicing a bit and learning the essentials.

Clickity click to get on the workshop page

We have this neat concept by beetrootChan

tatteredprincestick_zps756616fe

If you have read previous guide, you’ll know that first thing you have to do, is to import the reference model. This will help you with the planning and sizing.

Not yet bacon

First of all we’ll create a primitive cylinder.

Still not bacon

We’ll position it just where our reference staff lies.

staff03

Now we need to create the handle and some connection to the lantern part of the staff. For that we’ll move our vertexes a bit.

First group of vertexes will turn into connection details, second group of vertexes will turn into handle and the third one will be mixing up the staff shape.

i smell bacon

Now switch into polygon editing mode and select all the polygons that will turn into handle.

staff05

Now extrude them! This will create a nice section.

staff06

Scale it down and position it in the middle. We have nice, depressed handle now.

staff07

Now let’s repeat that for the top, and scale down the last group.

staff08

Now we need to delete some unnecessary faces. Just select them and press “Delete”. They will never be seen ingame and we need every triangle we could get.

staff09

Now onto the top part!

We need to create a primitive box at the top of our cylinder.

staff10

Note the this is just the half of the “lantern”, we’ll mirror the rest.

By scaling the vertex we need to create kind of a curved surface.

staff11

Now we’ll use this box as a guideline to build a carcass of our lantern.

We’ll need to place a couple of boxes for the bottom and the side

staff12

We’ll leave the bottom untouched, but will shape the side to fit in our starting box.

staff13

staff14

Now we’re going to delete our big box and will start to clone everything!

staff15

Just hold shift and drag with move or rotate tool.

staff16

Now we need to clone everything again. Just attach the sides to the bottom and  shift+drag.

staff17

Now we need to weld top and bottom together. Just select the vertexes and press Weld.

staff18

Now we’ll need to connect the sides. Just select the polygons and extrude them.

staff19

staff20

Now we need to weld the seams. Just select the vertexes and press Weld again. Because we just clone everything symmetrically it’ll all just fit right in!

staff21

Now it looks like we won’t need the middle part of the middle part, so we’ll just move it and weld it.

staff22

staff23

Now we’ll shrink it down a bit

staff24

Now we’ll hide the top and the bottom so we could delete invisible polygons.

staff25

Just select them and press Delete

staff26

We’re doing this because we’ll never see them, but they add to the polycount.

Thinking back, we have to get back to our middle connecting part, select some faces…

staff27

and hide them…

staff28

You’ll see that our welding left some unwanted hidden results. Be wary of those when welding and extruding, this adds to polycount, but you can find stuff like this easily when mapping if you missed it.

Just select all this needless stuff and delete it

staff29

Unhide all and now we’re going to add some details on top.Select, extrude, scale, extrude and scale again.

staff33 staff34

Now you can weld the corners together.

staff35

Now we’ll create hooky parts. First we need the box.

staff36

Then we’ll move the vertexes around and shape it as we need.

staff37

Now we need to curve it from the side

staff38

Now we’re going to weld the end a bit

staff40 staff41

Now we’re going to clone it around

staff42

And once again, and we’re done!

staff43

Now, who will remember what we forgot? That’s right, we didn’t deleted hidden faces on the hook parts

staff_bonus

While this is the one of the most basic meshing, with some tweaking and polishing it can look great!

lantern lantern2 lantern3

Check out the submission to see how it looks ingame!

Also, i did a little video with everything above.

  • Zikk

    Great guide! Can you make in-depth guide for making items in Zbrush? I wonder if i can create whole item in Zbrush (modeling, mapping, exporting).

    • Vladimir_the_implyer

      I’ll get to it.
      You actually can create while item in Zbrush, it will take some learning first.

      • Zikk

        Nice, thanks!

  • Hotshot

    Hope someday you will teach us newbies how to render those fancy preview pictures! Great guide!