Monday, November 26, 2012

Preview Eterium Indie game

This is the indie game my friend Andrew and I have been working on for the past year in our spare time.

Background:. Andrew's a programmer who was working on his game for 3 years and I was working on my game in UDK. I got to the point of programming and realized that its too slow to do both art and programming. Writing code wasn't the hard part, polish and bug fixing was. So I looked at Andrews game... God awful visuals b/c he had the opposite problem. I decided to support his project and get things up to a point in quality. My goal was 60-70% of my standards for visual quality on everything. Reason is time, and I can't make all these things w/o an engine. Oh thats right he's written the code from scratch in XNA so there is no GUI for me to work in. Next games are in Unity, and so that will be quite different. He had already bought  DAZ3D models for the main characters and I didn't redo them. I designed and built all the ships, planets and star maps. That doesn't seem like a lot of work, 20+/- ships, 3 cockpits, but it was. I learned a lot. There are 1001 things I'd like to add and change in this game but I am insisting that all major changes from here on out go into planning phase for Eterium 2 in Unity (after the next game "First Contact" working title for mobile). We'd never finish a game if we kept adding wishlist ideas and improvements. The game is pretty fun, and big goals for the next. Anyway take a look, we're going to try to get the demo ready in the next few weeks.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

DOTA2: Baby Disruptor Mount

Those Disruptor Mounts are horrible! ...but they sure are cute when they're little! I had some time to test some things and got the idea of a baby Disruptor Mount. I know I should be making items/kits for DOTA2 but I keep having fun with other ideas.

For those who don't know this is what the original Disruptor & Mount looks like.

First Contact: Hero Face WIP 5

Ok I've been tweaking for ages. I saw other people make characters with separate eyeballs so I did the same, and its much harder but I think it makes it look much more defined and better formed. Just took a while to get there. There's still has something wrong something alien... maybe one more round of critiques will help... Its not as bad if you look at the image full size.
Edit smaller eyeballs (per C86G's critique on polycount)

Sunday, November 18, 2012

3D Coat Speed Sculpts

A few years ago I saw this concept art, or image I can't remember exactly but it looked something like this and I modeled it in Maya just for fun. I wanted to up-rez and sculpt something so I went back and played with this fun character again. If anyone remembers that original image I'd love to know who made it.

Another test. All again testing workflow and the new Live Clay tools.

3D Coat Live Clay testing

Did a "speed sculpt" sketch testing out the live clay features on the 3D Coat. Really fun to work with, and I feel like I'm getting better at sculpting. I want to be much better and I know that takes practice...
I didn't spend enough time on the hair.

Friday, November 16, 2012

First Contact: Hero Face WIP 4

Ok back to basics I just posted that update, and sort of took time to reflect on what's wrong. To get there I used reference then tweaked fixes off it b/c just using reference it didn't look good. Well I went back to reference and saw a few huge areas I've drifted far from. Forehead was much too small and the front of the face got wider as I kept sculpting. Here's the update from reference fixes. Better.

First Contact: Hero Face WIP 2 & 3

2) Ok so I've gotten more feedback and think I'm just about ready to move on to the rest of the body. The face is close. The upper eyelid shape needs some tweaking and the area around the mouth might need a little more fullness but now I need to move on to the rest of the character.
I thought I was far off until I checked by mapping a model's face on the character to see how my proportions were doing, some minor tweaking and its there.

3) Saw a bunch of things I already knew I wanted to fix so I didn't post just that 2 days ago. Went on to more tweaking. Fixed the not bridge height, and soften the cheek bones. Also obviously worked on the outfit body.
The body proportions are off from what I want, but I think I will tweak those on the game model... or not I guess we'll see. Its annoying to make big tweaks to the body b/c I'll lose details I painted in. 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

First Contact: Hero WIP2

Got some great notes on polycount, "The nose bridge is to wide between the eyes, maybe that's what gives you an off spacing feeling. And the eyes-to-ears distance is a bit too big imo" -Texelion. A friend at work pointed out the jaw was forward by comparison to the forehead. 
So here is the result of that and some more tweaking on my own of course. Also stepped up a level in face detail. 

The jacket is just me sketching and messing around with ideas. I'll basically completely re-do it.
Right now I feel like she looks good front view but there is definitely something going on not quite right yet on the 3/4 view on the left.

Monday, November 12, 2012

First Contact: Hero WIP1

This is the hi poly version of a game character I'm working on. Star trek like world. I want her to be beautiful while not cliche game character sexy/sex symbol. I know that means a lot of fine tuning on the face(and lots of undoing hah) esp on the eyes.
Hi rez for promotion and for other images of her in game not obviously so much for the super low rez in game version she will eventually mostly be. Still learning a ton and tons more to learn. Everything still needs work as this is still early, but face and hair are getting there.

Friday, November 2, 2012

DOTA2: Chen update

I've being going back and forth on a lot of elements. Reading through the art guide again helped a lot. I actually removed some of the details, b/c the design was getting too noisy, the silhouette too messy, things were not working.
The lion/beast ears turned into horns. I took out the spikes I had in the gauntlets even tho those for a long time were the only thing I liked. They didn't work with the horns. The helmet face guard is now cleaner.
This is the first look at the staff. Its not there yet, but the idea is close to fleshed out. Trying to figure out how to end or connect the bottom of the horns.
 added a pad under the mount armor, otherwise pretty close to good to go.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

DOTA2: Simple rigging/importing tutorial

A lot of people are having issues exporting clean models to the source engine. There are many got-cha's that can happen that I know from Unreal and can guess and prevent before we go into Source and hopefully save many hours of headaches.

First and easiest check that your model does not exceed the Triangle Limit

1) Freeze Transforms
2) Delete History
3) Select the joints that you want to influence the object. *I would suggest to err on the side of less joints.
4) Skin>bind skin> smooth bind option box,
here are my smooth bind settings

5) Bind Skin
6) Paint Weights (caution a lot of model rigs get messed up b/c of this. Its both maya's fault and the engines. I'll do another tutorial for painting weights game safe later)

Select Object export selection, FBX.
here are my FBX settings
click image to enlarge

Each object needs all 4 texture passes (masks link to mask guide)
I like to put them all in a folder w/ nothing else in there
         e.g. maya/textures/hero_name/arm/

The upload should be self explanatory
The only got-cha I found here is to change the name of the OUTPUT FILENAME everytime you make a change. I'm sure this will get fixed but for now, do it. 
A little more info, every time you run the IMPORT it builds a new folder here:

~.\Steam\steamapps\common\dota 2 beta\content\dota

every time you change the name it makes a new folder. Other people like to delete these folders every time you have to do a rebuild and you can keep the name. Either works I think. 

Lastly I want to say after all that, there are many got-cha's left hidden. And that's why there's a job called, some variation of, a Technical Artist (or sometimes just a Rigger) who's spends all their time learning and figuring out all the problems that can go wrong.