31 December 2012

Surviving the Apocolypse ...

It's been a busy month of apartment hunting and building stuff in maya, but not so much for my internship. A little problem came up where I was informed I had been working in the wrong scene this whole time ... I guess that was something that should have come up when I asked what file I should be working in and I was told to use that one. Oops? So while waiting to be told what to do about all of that, I worked on a little something for the game ... but before I could complete it I was started back up on the movie project. So here's what I have so far:

It might not make much sense without seeing it in context to what it is or how big it is .. or what it's made of ... you'll see more of it when I get another pause from the film project. :)

No new public news from the film project, but it's always exciting to see things coming together and coming to life piece by piece .. or frame by frame ... and I can only hope some of the behind the scenes stuff will eventually see the light of day.

Stay tuned and I'll keep you posted!

30 November 2012

The Tease ....

I've been working with this group developing the textures and uv's of some of their scenes, as I can't share anything that hasn't been blessed by the lead I really don't have much to show .. aside from a teaser trailer:

Lucy CTN Teaser on Vimeo

Other than that I'm just doing and redoing stuff to fit what fits the environments of the film, hopefully the next trailer will actually show some of my stuff and we'll be able to be a little less mysterious about what exactly it is we're trying to show everyone. :)

31 October 2012

The Art Test and the Silent Treatment

This month I received an art test from a local simulation/training company, they gave me a week to model/uv/texture a mining scoopy .. vehicle .. thingy. Those are technical terms there if you're wondering. Here is a slightly edited photo of the reference I was given:

Here is the time log I turned in to show how much time I spent on everything, I couldn't complete the test because I spent too much time keeping things straight with my day job. 

1700 - 1801
Downloaded CTS Art Test, and verified file content, then emailed office about missing texture file.
Studied reference images to try and make sense of what kind of vehicle I am supposed to model/texture.
Blocked out a few parts for the front half of the vehicle/scoop area.

1730 - 1800
Read email from office about missing texture file, then started daily log to record time spent on art test.
Finished the block out for the front half of the vehicle/scoop area.

1920 - 2256
Began block out for the back half of the vehicle/generator area, had a hard time getting exact shapes based on reference photographs.

1015 - 1325
Modeled the rear bumper and a fire extinguisher.
1426 - 1621
Modeled lights and reflectors for the rear bumper.

1520 - 2030
Modeled fuel cover latch looking thing, wheel well covers, changed the main body of the back piece to match the reference better, began block out of what appears to be an air intake/filter canister.

1630 - 2113
Modeled air intake and filter canister looking thing, and red button thing near it.

1702 - 1810
Modeled air hose and cables, then prepped the rear geometry to look like the reference.
1830 - 2210
Modeled rear, top panels, handles, hinges, and the entire connection to middle area.

1725 - 1856
Cleaned up geometry/history/naming conventions.
1856 - 1903
Rendered shots from maya, since I don’t have any textures to show.
1905 - 1926
Wrote up “completion” letter.
Total time about 32 hours!

Then finally the work as viewed from all four sides, you'll notice the middle part of the vehicle is missing because that part was already given to me modeled and textured by the company. My job was to match the other artists' skill level/style as much as possible.

The end result? I received an email telling me what I did right and wrong, and that they'd call me back in the following week.

I'm still working the internship for which I can not show any work. If my stuff ever gets approved and posted somewhere I'll be sure to grab a pic of it and post it here. Stay tuned and I'll ... not give up

07 October 2012

The Internship Begins, the Sharing Ends

Pretty much everything went on hold this month when I agreed to help out a small group by working on their project with them. I had to sign an NDA to work on the project .. so that means pretty much no sharing. :(
I didn't give up .. I'll probably never give it up now that I know I can do it .. but until I'm allowed to post what I'm working on the monthly updates will be a little missing.
Thank you for understanding, and I can only hope to see my work out for public viewing  soon so that my time on this project wasn't wasted.

31 August 2012

HFIL textures and FB shield updates

As I settled into my site supervisor position for the security company I work for, a pattern of time began to emerge that I was able to use to get some real work done ... well .. at least when I wasn't sleeping at the keyboard again. :)

HFIL - terrain:
After finally having a teamspeak chat with one of the members, I was able to use their 3ds max blender material that allowed me to paint out the terrain textures in an rgb format. This is how it turned out.
All my textures on a single blendmap for the terrain.

It turned out I'll need to make some more terrain textures to make everyone happy, I guess they had assumed I had made more. So I set off to make at least one more dirt and grass texture. It was also brought to my attention that the blood in the bloody pond wasn't bloody water as I had assumed, so I got rid of the alpha channel I was using.

I started the dirt texture with the two dirt colors I had set up with the previous dirt texture, and I used a noise filter. Then I used the oil paint filter and played with the until it started to look remotely like rough dirt or something ... vaguely. Then I made another layer with the noise filter again, this time with black and white, and used a crystalize filter to give myself some smaller chunky bits to help break up the oil painting pattern. I set the crystalized layer over the oil painting layer and this is how it turned out! Later I offset it so that it would repeat nicely.

I created a new grass blades texture for the cards I had in my grass baking maya scene, I made it a bit lighter around the edges than the other two blade textures. Once it rendered out [about 4 hours] this is how it turned out. I haven't yet offset it for repeating, so if you're taking my textures for your own personal use be advised that this one isn't repeatable yet! :) I'm also not sure if I'm happy with how bright it turned out, we'll see how it works blended next to the other two grass textures.

FB - shield:
I started getting impatient to get back to working on my shield update I posted for last month, so while the car was in the shop I sat down in maya and started deleting edges. The model went from a high poly count of 19626 to a low poly count of 3733 with basically no change in silhouette and minor changes to the textures.

high poly

low poly

Then I noticed that the marmoset toolbag was on sale for $25, and so decided to do the final render in there as I had never used it before .. but I have heard a lot of good things about it. This is my first time using the program, and was able to come up with a pretty nice render.
Low poly mesh render in marmoset toolbag.

It might be a bit before I get to plunge into my own projects again, as I received a request for help on another unlisted project. I accepted the unpaid offer, and unfortunately will be unable to post my work from that project until it's completed and posted by the actual owner of the project. I only hope I can keep up with the demands of the project and maintain the technical level they require for it.
Thanks for staying tuned, and I'll keep you posted.

31 July 2012

Shields Online!

For this month I spent a lot of hours for AlliedBarton, and then several hours for Minecraft Tekkit and Arma DayZ. I mostly wasted time this month because of the amount of time it's been since graduation and the amount of success I've had with my career application process [316 applications sent and counting]. But you aren't here to read about that! Let's get to the interesting stuff!

I've wanted to remodel a high poly mechanical object for a while, and I ended up deciding to do some sketches while at work for the shield I designed for Fender Bender. Here's a blockout I made with the original to the left of it.

Once I did that I moved on to uv's and making tweaks to everything. Here's where I am right now with the texture, and below that I've got the diffuse texture itself to show you the uv layout.

The next thing I want to focus on for this diffuse is the dual screens and the center circle power button thingy. We'll see how things go with my day job and figuring out my new work responsibilities at the site I've been assigned to. I didn't get anything done for the DBZ - HFIL environment this month, I think everyone lost interest in seeing it be completed or whatever. Life goes on ....

01 July 2012

HFIL - Texture Time 3

This month came and went fast, but I managed to find time to really look at some textures as well as add some variety textures for blend mapping in the environment once it makes it to the game engine .. though as I don't have the game engine I don't really know how all of this will look until the group I'm with can get me started in the engine.

First though, let me show you what I did while waiting for critiques. This is a "little" side project I have been working on in my free time. I made one of the vehicles already as posted a few months ago, so this is vehicle two. Don't have official names or anything yet, but I like the look of it.
Here's a quick sample of the new grass and a little area of fallen rocks/blood water for the HFIL environment.
I wasn't happy with the grass, so I looked around and found a new technique .. let's render some grass cards! I simply made some blades of grass as shown below.

 Then I duplicated the cards out across a plane and rendered it at high quality and even lighting, took that to photoshop to make it repeatable and ended up with this:
 Once I had the cards in place, I could replace the grass blades texture and simply re-render and get an entirely different section of grass.
 Then I wanted to break up the dirt texture with some pebble .. rock .. things, so I found a photo of some nice pebbles and made it repeatable. Then I selected by color all the pebbles and masked them out, keeping the dirt stuff in between them. Then I made my own painted rocky pebble texture and that's what you see here:
Moving along with rocks, I wanted to try my hand at another rock texture for the large cliff surface. I'm not happy with how different the colors turned out from the other rock texture, but I think the rough heavy grooves will go good with the other texture.
Still working with rocks, but now back to the grassy areas, I wanted to add some rocks kind of poking out of the grass. So I found a nice photo of some rocks doing exactly that, and used their shapes and then filled it in with my own rocks. The flat color you see is just to help get rid of the white line in the transparency.

In other news, my one year anniversary for graduating from Full Sail University was the 1st of July ... it's been a year and 311 applications and still I can't get anyone to pay any attention to me long enough to hire me. The pay off never came, and now I'm stuck footing the bill on a paycheck that isn't adequate to pay it. Fun times ....
Stay tuned and I'll consider not giving up completely.

31 May 2012

HFIL - Texture Time 2

This month went by quickly with the flurry of work at different security sites and game art taking up my free time. Career status is still on hold, but I managed to get a couple of [negative]replies .. so at least someone out there is seeing my applications. As of today, I have 296 applications out since graduation last year. On a side note I saved up and spent my entire 2 weeks' pay check on Photoshop CS6 pro-license so I'm having fun trying to learn the new stuff in it.[and I can finally try to sell some stuff on turbosquid] Enough of all that, on to the work!

To start where I left off last month, here's the light post:

Then I made a repeating concrete texture for the fountain, using the colors I had used while making the base pillar for the lamp post. In hindsight it might have been better to just use this material for the base pole as well, but I guess that's what happens when you can't just sit down and focus on your environments as a whole. :)

The water texture was something I wasn't sure how to tackle, but since the ESF crew seemed determined to make it look as real as possible with hand painted textures I knew this had to be my goal. I ended up finding an old tutorial from another blogspot user: James. Though because of the age of the tutorial I've noticed some of the images/info seems to be missing. Below this image I'll outline the steps used just in case his tutorial dies.

Step 1: Create a blank canvas, I used 512x512px
Step 2: Choose your highlight and shadow colors as your 2 colors for your brush pallet.
Step 3: goto: filter - render - clouds
Step 4: goto: filter - distort - ripple [setting: 999, large]
Step 5: goto: filter - distort - ripple [setting: 999, medium]
Step 6: paint out your alpha channel as necessary for realism.
Some tips that helped me was to use as big a cloud as possible when using the cloud filter, and for the bloody water I used a dark red and a white/almost red color.

The metal was pretty simple, I wanted it to be black paint with a lot of simple scratches that would be highly repeatable. So I went with a smaller texture and went through lightly applying some of my grunge brushes. I think it turned out pretty decent.

I needed a repeatable wood texture for the benches and the park sign, so I used a technique I picked up while at full sail. I used the fibers filter [filter - render - fibers. settings: 16, 4], and some bevel/emboss while tracing the fibers at a low opacity and a dark brush. Going back to add some cracks in the wood and then playing with the highlights go a long way.

Then I took that texture and added some basic text for the park signage, I ended up liking the way the "bulkyRefuse Type" turned out, though I tried to add some small cracks and a slight bevel/emboss to the letters.

Here's how they turned out in the scene in maya, later on I worked on making normal and specular maps using photoshop and crazybump, and then moving all my files over to 3ds max so that I could work alongside the methods of the ESF crew.

Lastly I came up with a theme for the sky dome, but after I finished it and showed it off to the ESF crew they promptly informed me of the dynamic sky technology they have for their game engine .. and that my texture wasn't necessary. So .. oh well .. here it is anyways :p

I was able to play with the slate material editor in max as well as trying to figure out how max handles two materials on the same mesh. Not a big fan of the extra steps, but in the end I was able to get the same results maya gave me. I'm really glad this is all coming together as I have a few "weekend" personal projects just begging for me to get to them. Speaking of work though .. I need to head to my "day job".
Stay tuned!

30 April 2012

HFIL - Texture Time 1

This month was mainly a UV and texture month, so here is where I was able to get.

First I started with some grass brushes I have collected over the course of my Full Sail studies, I'd love to give credit where credit is due, but I honestly don't know where I got which brushes as they're all mixed into these grass card textures. Texture size: 256x256

Then came the part I was unsure about, how do I make the ground look like it's covered in grass? After digging around I found several references to popular MMO's that had used this style .. we'll see if I did it right once I get this and the cards working together. Texture size: 512x512

Dirt is easy right? I mean it's everywhere! Once again I looked up some online game references to see what they used that works, and this is my attempt at their mastered techniques. Texture size: 512x512

 Attempting to cover those giant rock walls with a repeating texture was my quest, and this was my answer to that, I'm also using this as the smaller stone/boulder texture. Texture size 512x512

The stone tree-things always depicted in the far distance, they showed more of a smooth stone with hard edges .. this is what I envisioned they might look like up close. Texture size 512x512

Stepping away from the fully repeating textures, I began working on the light poles which needed some small details to identify the materials. It's just a WIP, but I feel the need to show where I am at the end of the month. Texture size 512x512

 Then, just so you're not completely confused by wth I'm talking about, here's a quick screen grab in the default render view of maya .. nothing fancy yet. :)

Stay tuned, and I'll keep you posted.

18 March 2012

How is it March Already?

February kept me busy, and March is turning out the same way, so this is going to be my update for those two months. :)
I had a pretty sweet interview with LSI in Jacksonville, though we both went our separate ways due to conflicting art styles. Other than that I've been clocking in mega hours for AlliedBarton to try to pay the student loans and keep the other bills at bay for daily living.
I started working on the Home For Infinite Losers [HFIL or Hell] for the group that is working on a Dragon Ball Z game, I'm not really a fan of the series but I figured it would help me stay motivated if I had people pushing me in an art direction ... when I'd simply rather be sleeping before I go back to work. :p
I decided the most interesting part of HFIL was the blood fountain scene, these are the some of the pieces I put together for the environment and an overall shot:

There are these rock tower things all through HFIL in the animation.
A couple of basic park furniture pieces.

I sculpted up the side cliff wall in zbrush, then decimated it.
This is the hi-poly mesh, we'll see how the detail bakes onto the low.

A side view of the environment [the camera height makes it all look small]

I'll upload more next month, I hopefully want to get started on textures this coming week but that'll all depend on how my move to the new apartment goes and whether or not I have jury duty. Till next time!

30 January 2012

The Year of the Dragon

Working at AlliedBarton is okay, though it leaves a lot to be desired as far as pursuing my chosen career path. Pretty much everyone I interact with doesn't even know how to spell it, but I have a feeling it'll be like that until I can get work at a game studio.
So here's this month's projects! I received another art test from Gameloft, this time in Canada, I got some work done on my first Fender Bender style vehicle, and I did a 2D background image for a friend working on a side scrolling game.

I was surprised when Gameloft in Canada contacted me with the same art test as their sister studio in New Orleans. But I gave it a shot anyways, and learned a whole bunch more stuff about 3ds Max. I used the same assets I'd already created, only tweaking them to fit more along the lines of mobile gaming. Then I even added a few simple bits here and there to help the scene close up a bit better. I never did manage to find time to show convincing rain like I am able to do in UDK, and I'm guessing that's one of the bigger things they take points off for. But it's all good, I didn't really want to move to Canada anyways. :)
Here's the render shot and video I submitted:

This is what 3300 triangles will buy you.

I tried to keep it around the same poly count and texture limits as our game, and to just have fun with it. I've labeled this one as the low-tech light plane, hopefully I'll get together a high-tech light plane before the end of February.

I was able to keep it down to the poly count limit we had for Fender Bender.

Since the game is still in concept phasing a lot could change, but I was really happy with the way the sky/background turned out.

I liked the way the heavy atmosphere looks, but it's still just a concept.

Stay tuned, and I'll keep working.