Well, after a good ol’ job search, I have found work and relocated to Nova Scotia. Very excited to be working in a studio, and also very excited to start a new side project.
I have been reading “An Architectural Approach to Level Design” by Christopher W. Totten – a game designer with a PhD. in Architecture. I will be spending the next few months playing a selection of games renowned for their design and writing an article/study for each. These will be focused on: mood, layout, and setting, and will allow me to apply some knowledge from the past few books I’ve been reading.
This will mostly be for furthering my understanding of environment art & design, but hey, maybe someone out there will enjoy a little read.
All done! You can check out my new Artstation page at: https://www.artstation.com/tetranome
Mostly optimization and tiny tweaks after getting back from a little vacation. But I’ve redone my volumetric fog, it’s really cool to see it roll over the landscape. This project will be done really soon and so I’ll have a video up upon completion!
Filling things out. Pretty much done with my asset creation – salt ‘n’ pepper time. Working on some atmospheric effects as well as clouds. Then on to lighting! Almost done 🙂
New landscape, dynamic rock moss, and a finished Augment. The wires really help to lead the eye, and I managed to get a sweet spline setup for them so I can alter their position and curvature in-editor.
Augment, ready for texturing!
Ahh. Much better.
Augment concept rolling out ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)
Sculpting my antler pieces! Definitely inspired by Warcraft/Darksiders, but I know the realistic materials will work out.
The base rocks are done and lookin’ fine – will post soon.
I decided to give the portal a redesign. The previous design just didn’t feel like it had burst out of the ground as I wanted it to.
I think this concept has a lot more going in composition, silhouette, and narrative… and has much more character.
Getting somewhere 🙂
Been busy designing my centerpiece! Finished the sculpt last week and have been texturing since. Most of the rock is done, and now it’s time to tackle the bones and antlers.
And then i’ll be – rather excitedly – making the augment!
I’ve been reading this book, ‘The War of Art’ by Steven Pressfield. In the book, the writer describes the force of ‘Resistance’ – of which procrastination is a small part.
The second half of the book introduces the differences between the amateur and the professional.
Almost halfway through the book, I decided to start doing more daily art exercises. I went out for a walk today – along with my camera – and gathered some reference shots as well as some flat shots. And now I have some new textures, thanks to Substance2Material!
Ran into a couple of difficulties with foliage this month. Trees are very time consuming, so I’ve tucked into SpeedTree once more – and it really does speed up the process. I’m starting to understand it’s workings, and so soon I’ll be making new trees.
Also, I’ve been following the Unreal Lighting Academy on the forums. So many awesome tips, it’s really helping my scene’s atmosphere.
Finally, today I sculpted some granite outcrops. Just needs a texture pass. 🙂
I figured that some fairy circles would be great for this piece, as they are said to have links to the fairy realm. Man, I’m loving the creation of organic models.
I’m trying to give each model a stylistic flare whilst keeping a realistic base. I feel that it’ll help push the exaggerated fantasy vibe I’m looking to present!
Lots of progress. Made the first spirit stone – in time I’ll be making a couple more. Also got some beautiful Blue-eyed Grass going, and a water shader which I’m not ready to show. 😉
New grass meshes.
Learning a lot about foliage optimization which is fun. Overdraw, distance fading/culling, LODs as well as optimizing shadow/AO functions over distance.
Sculpting trees, creating foliage materials!
Happy new year! I’ve been working two jobs the past few months, and finally saved up enough for some new hardware. New laptop, running with a GTX 1060! Wohoo. Let’s dance, 3d.
New scene concept! Ancient, overgrown magical portal built by a mysterious civilisation. A futuristic expedition team comes across it and spend months constructing a generator to reboot the broken portal, to jump to another world. Should be a fun clash of hard-surface tech vs. organic foliage and stone. I’m super keen. Here’s an early design.
Found a cool weapon concept last week, so I’ve been throwing something together.
I did up a promotional video for a nanotech company starting up in Dubai. I ended up doing all of the shooting, video production and 3D rendering – and I think it turned out alright! You can see it here:
This slipped by me! Here’s one of the Indie Speed Run 3.0 judges playing our game – the one nominated for ‘Best 3D Art’!
Well it’s been a while, but it’s finally done. I’ve spent the last two months living in my van on the road, working on my project in cafes (and hostels when I was lucky!). I got a lot done under the pressure and feel super humbled by the experience. There were some real characters on the road here in Canada that I hope to cross paths with again.
With that said, check out my demo reel on the front page! The job hunt… it begins.
One textured axe, coming up! I originally textured it with the same material as the statue (as it’s the statue’s weapon), however it looked lame. Glad I decided to go this route, especially when I had the opportunity for some cool contrasting lighting on metal with the fire and cooler colours of the general atmosphere.
That being said, I do want to relight and try some other colour schemes when I begin to polish.
Loads going on, but I want to wait to show it! Here’s a quick battle-axe I did up this afternoon to test my speed modelling. Yep, that’s the one from Skyrim 😀
Thar she blows. Probably my favorite asset yet, learned loads and came out with something pretty! Now I just have to transfer my materials from 3Do to Unreal 4.
Cracking down on my new portfolio piece. Here’s a door inside Unreal 4… texturing it when I awake! Found a sweet normal woodgrain workflow too, which I’ll implement through nDo tomorrow.
Lots of grey recently, those texture passes will have a warm welcome!
Two-sided statue, almost done with the high-poly. This is one of the main pieces of the scene. I just need to add a few touches and then go through and sculpt it to make it seem more stone-like!
Thank you, pixel depth offset. The sand mound is like 30 tris, but check out that sweet wavy blending!
Long time no post. Been hard at work on a bunch of projects, but this portfolio piece is getting there! Learning a lot about shader work in Unreal4.
Here’s that shirt design. Looking forward to seeing photos of the team at the championships!
I’m helping to design the sports kit for the Dubai Ultimate Frisbee team heading to the world championship this year. Here’s a little emblem I’ve been working on today.
Enough UVs to drown myself in… phew!
Here’s something more interesting:
Some nice reflections happening on the metal frames! Currently using Epic’s fire, but I’ll be crafting some originals once I finish up modelling.
Some stylized floor tiles. These have been really fun to make but it did take a while to balance optimization and aesthetics.
Here’s a little fountain I’m working on. I’m thinking of having a cool little statue sitting the in the center and some nice glowing liquid flowing around it.
Some intricate arch work. Hurrah for curve extrusions!
Created a mirror concept this week and went ahead with a build. It’s in a pretty good state – with functionality engineered by Luc Bednarek, one of the coders on our project. Needs a bit of tweaking, but hey, it’s pretty neat. (WARNING – Ragdoll nudity!)
Here’s a gem model & shader I’m working on. Subsurface shading is so exciting – I can’t wait to see where we are with game technology in ten years.
I also remade the spawn FX today since I lost the last one in my HDD crash.
Made a magic bridge thingy, and got a snow shader going for vertex painting the ice!
I saw a great photo of methane bubbles trapped under layers of ice in the arctic, and so I decided to have a shot at making a shader with the same effect. It’s on its way, I just need to mess with the colours now, and maybe make the bubbles pop (artistically) a little bit more. There’s a layer of water moving underneath, and a mist shader on the surface.
I’ve been mocking-up some ice cave scenes. Here’s a recent one. My perspective and linework are improving, but my painting has a long way to go.
On another note, we’re pretty much done with all of the tutorial puzzle and ice tomb puzzle designs – so now it’s time to art.
Adding that cave feel! Really interested in making the world feel big and real, rather than something like Skyrim dungeons which are just room after room. Can’t wait to get these blocks out the door and start putting in the ice!
Been filling things out, relighting and tweaking the ice cave blockout. Also made some nice placeholder models and fx rather than the logs (acting as spawn points) that you can see in the previous post, haha.
Blockout underway! The developers have been hard at work on the functionality of the puzzle pieces, so things are coming together. Hopefully we’ll be able to jump in and play through the first section of the level by the start of next month!
So here are some puzzle designs I’ve been working on, I know it’s probably a little hard to get much from the image… but once we have it built in Unreal 4 I will post some videos. Creating basic rules for a puzzle/adventure game has proved a fun challenge so far, and the more I work on it the more respect I gain for the designers behind games like Portal. I think we’re doing alright, but it won’t be until the blockout is finished that we find out if the game concept ticks the right boxes.
Little bit since the last update. Unfortunately my hard-drive crashed last week and I lost all of the ice work… shame. But a lesson has been learned and a backup drive has been bought! The great thing about art is that it is perishable, and so now as I go back to do it all again it will hopefully be a step above the previous level of quality!
I’ve been tackling a lot of concept and level design work recently, so I’ll be posting some of that shortly. Here’s a quick sketch I did for an area of our ice world.
On an unrelated note, our game jam project, ‘Defense of the Weasel God’ is now up, if anyone is interested, hit the link! If you have strong feelings towards it, be sure to vote… and check out the other great games that teams have produced.
Working on some respawn area fx. Yes it’s on water right now… yes I will eventually use it on solid ground! I promise!
Really enjoying GPU particles and figuring out how to pull off some basic fx.
Gamejam, 48h. Things went well – we finished haha! I’ll post a link to the game here once the jam finishes at the end of the month. I’m pretty happy with the art level I managed to hit in under two days.
Before getting into the meat of modelling I decided to get some fx work done for some atmosphere – literally! Northern lights and planet shader created over the past few days. All in-house (except the cloudmap currently on the planet), cheap on resources and fully customizable.
Icy waters, pretty basic shader structure.
Summer travels again, no updates in a while! Here’s a quick shot of some ice I’m working on for our frozen wastes in You Must Die. Credit to Epic for their ice cracks texture from the Elemental demo.
We’re going for a pretty stylized feel for the game, so we’re going to let the normal maps do the talking and go with less intense diffuse maps. This one is coming along alright! Caiden is going to have a shot at doing a paintover to see what that does for the prop – but we’re not too sure it needs it.
Here’s the minecart after a nDo2 pass.
Minecart sculpt! My style of planks varied a little too much throughout the creation, but I think the textures will pull it together. Having a set brush workflow, as well as a moodboard, could help prevent this in the future.
Art tests! Caiden and I are working on asset workflow and the game’s visual style, so we’re creating a couple test props. Here’s some wood I sculpted earlier today. We’re going for a mix of style & realism – different from the proof of concept work below.
Been pretty quiet recently, working on level design for our game as well as having thousands of meetings for the narrative & story. We’re getting somewhere!
Here’s an environment painting I was working on. I didn’t end up finishing it as we changed the theme of the environment – so it’ll be time to start something new soon!
Here’s another WIP scene – and I’m finally getting the hang of physics based rendering.
I can’t take credit for the skull used in the fountain, that was created by the other artist on the project, Caiden Curry – but the fountain itself was made by yours truly!
A WIP initial environment for YMD, created with four modular pieces. Gonna have some fun with emissive in this project!
Just some concepts for potential game assets for YMD!
Since death is progression, we have to figure out a way to make boss fights tough to die in. I had this idea for a space whale that is so great and powerful that you are of no concern to him, and so ‘The Whale of Cosmic Judgement’ was born.
Oh, and those shiny orbs are something the character collects throughout the game.
I guess I should start posting some ‘You Must Die’ stuff! I’ve got some recent concept art that I’ll put up here over the next few days, but for now I’ll focus on our 48h prototype. Here’s some treebark! I generated a heightmap from a photo and went from there. Yay photo editting!
Another WIP logo design. This is the title of a game project I’m working on with a small team of developers and artists.
Putting together a graphic art portfolio. Here’s a WIP…
It’s been an interesting workflow so far, and finally the 4k UVs are all layed out though there’s a bit of spacing to optimize. There’s certainly a downside to using such huge maps – any unoptimized space is a huge waste of pixels. Welp! Now I know.
Finishing up the church UVs and tweaking shaders. Here’s a 700tri rock I sculpted in Zbrush and textured purely in photoshop.
The roof tiles are getting some nice pop now, but the roughness map isn’t coming across too well, giving the slate a muddy look. Also it’s looking like it needs some more constrasting surface details – thinking more moss!
I’ve added a number of edge loops to work in tandem with the bump map and assist with MIP control at lower angles. There was also the option to add vertical edge loops to allow for vertex painting, but that would skyrocket the polygon count. Instead I’m going to give stacked floating moss meshes a try, which is also resource intensive because of overdraw – but it’s something new and pretty to experiment with!
After a solid 8h shader tweaking session I’m pretty pleased. Can’t wait to get the fully textured church integrated into this scene. But there’s still a long way to go!
Detailed and UV’d the blockout of the cross on the spire today. There’s a tiny bit of texture stretching where the arms meet but it’s almost fully covered by the circular decoration – and with the distance between the object and the player being so far, it was worth it to optimize seamlessness of the front side over tiny stretches towards the back. Fortunately there are a lot of hard edges too which makes having seams a bit more forgiving!
Been busy with some paid work for the past little bit, as well as tweaking foliage, but here’s how that church is coming along. Most of the UVs are laid out, but I still have some more building to do before I start sculpting!
Getting back into some hard surface structures, starting with a church. Can’t wait to get the trim all sorted. I’m thinking my wood texture needs some fixin’ and pushin’, but the slate roof has some nice shadows going!
Here’s a quick shot of a grass shader I’ve been working on and plan on continuing. Learning lots about foliage!
Finishing up a wood wall texture I started yesterday. Should look great in Unreal4 with some vertex painting.
Here’s a slate roof texture I just finished up (subject to future changes & additions of course), for an aged church scene I’m working on.
Since graduating I’ve had the awesome opportunity of travelling the globe, taking loads of pictures to stuff into my reference folder of course! I met so many great people and got to explore some amazing parts of the world. I didn’t make it to even half the places I wanted to go to, but I hope they wait for me to start lap two!
Now that I’m all set up it’s time to dive back into 3d and explore deeper into Unreal4 – an engine I’m beyond excited to experiment in. Let it begin!