One of the very first tests involved creating a basic, scope-like 3D model. I wanted to achieve the small details through Normal Maps. Areas which are completely flat physically will look like they have small extrusions and details. In these details, you can see light shining in and interacting as you rotate the camera. The surface is flat physically, but the Normal Map tells those surfaces how to look and how to react to light. This saves on resources as you do not need to use high polygon counts. That is why computer games can have models in them which look super-detailed.
|WITH NORMAL MAP|
|WITHOUT NORMAL MAP|
The upcomming posts will showcase work that puts me in a "real-life" position to test these theories out. I will look for reference images to create assets to see what issues I bump into and how I can resolve them.