Once that process was done (smoothing groups) with every piece, I proceeded to sculpt all the details. It is very important to mention that I worked on each piece separately for a better handle of the sculpture.
Since I made the base mesh in Max, I didn't sculpt any shape from scratch. I divided each piece eight times to have between at least seven and nine millions polygons, enough for very well-made details.
Now, I will show you one piece as an example and the alphas and brushes I used for it. Remember to always use Store Morph Target before making the details so you will always be able to come back to your flat model if you are not happy with a particular detail:
1. I made all lines and cuts with the Slash3 brush (Fig.11)
2. I used Masks and Inflat in positive or negative value for everything I wanted to take up or down and finally different alphas were used in the desired parts (Fig.12). I also used some Planar brushes here and there.
3. The last step was adding some damage. I made them with Mallet Fast brush for knocks and the Slash1 brush for scratches (Fig.13).
This was basically what I did piece by piece and with everything put together, VT-61 now looked like the following images (Fig.14 – 15). Once I finished that, I used Decimation Master and brought the new mesh into Max where I made better topology for each piece. Then, I imported the new topology meshes into UV Layout for unwrapping. Next, I came back into Max to project the Normal and AO maps from the Decimated meshes. I got the AO map by applying into the Decimated mesh a V-Ray light material with a Dirt map and baking down the texture. I then projected that texture into the topology mesh. Here is the topo mesh with AO and Normal maps (Fig.16).