Tuesday, December 31, 2013

December 30/31

Introduction Post

No painting to show today.  I started on a very small scene but didn't make any notable progress so I'll just post tomorrow.  The majority of my day was spent on the Caster.

I'm calling this weapon done!  I'm sure it can be improved, but I'm more concerned with pushing forward.  The next piece I make will most certainly be better in every way, so there's no use spending excessive time on this one.

Gun - 8810 Tris
Bullet - 502 Tris

Polycount is generally a bit high, especially for the bullets, but according to the show on which this weapon is based, these shells turn into energy when expended; so these would be part of the first-person animation if I decided to take this project that far.

See more shots on my Website

Monday, December 30, 2013

December 29

Introduction Post

Metal plates study

Toying with Toolbag 2.  I haven't really used an IBL system before so getting all the textures working properly is a bit tricky for me, but I think I'm getting the hang of it.

Albedo, Spec, Gloss, Occlusion, Cavity, Tangent Normals.  Next I'll be adding wear and tear along with the appropriate spec/gloss tweaks.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

December 28

Introduction Post

Another metal study.  I forgot to add smaller details like stains and dents.  Whoops, maybe next time.

After a few hours of UV mapping and tweaking, the Caster is finally fit for texturing!  Here is a shot of AO with flat lighting:

Friday, December 27, 2013

December 27

Introduction Post

Getting back into the swing of things after Christmas. I tried painting metal but I don't think it turned out very well. Looks like I know what to practice more of.

I finished retopologizing the Caster. It clocks in high at 9402 triangles due to a lot of 90 degree edges caused by using clip curve in ZBrush and not smoothing out the edges. Too late to go back, but I'm just going to finish this up and move on. I've got a whole year to make better stuff; no use wasting time trying to salvage what I know is riddled with mistakes.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Merry Christmas!

I know I said I would post daily, but obviously Christmas counts as a special occasion!  I'm taking a couple days off to enjoy the festivities, then I'll be back with my regular regimen.  I feel my sleep schedule flipping around back to night activity, so my posts might be a bit offset again.

Happy holidays everyone!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Monday, December 23, 2013

December 23

Introduction Post

Had to run some errands today, being close to Christmas and all that.  Here's what I managed to do:

Getting close to finished with retopologizing this weapon.  I'm kind of not looking forward to the bakes; there are a lot of sharp corners that I expect to give me trouble.

Wood; I hope you can tell.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

December 22

Introduction Post

Today was kind of a slow, distracted day.  I didn't get as much done as I would have liked, however it is supposed to be my day off so I don't mind all that much.  

Here's the progress on the Caster.  There probably doesn't appear to be a whole lot of extra content added since yesterday; the majority of detail was added to the inside of the shell chamber.  The gun overall could certainly be more detailed but I'm getting tired of looking at it, and having to fight with ZBrush isn't helping much so I'm going to move on.  I'll have plenty more opportunities to make more, and expectedly better portfolio pieces over the next year.  Spending forever on this won't do me any favors in the grand scheme of things.

I have started retopologizing in Maya which I will finish up tomorrow, then get started with some test bakes.

I don't feel like I'm improving with my hand paintings, but I know that's probably false.  Any time spent is surely improving my abilities.  It's just frustrating that it's not really a tangible progress like it is with, say, learning how to use software.  I have to wait weeks or even months to notice any major improvements.  Anyway, here is some vertical shale-like stone I painted today.  It's kind of unfinished.  I'm still struggling with overall contrast despite there being even more that I need to work on adding to my paintings, like color variation and other micro-details.  Not to mention doing this for all the common material types (wood, metal, concrete, etc.).

Saturday, December 21, 2013

December 21

Introduction Post

Progress on the Caster.  I refined the grip, the piston, and the trigger guard.  I also tweaked the proportions quite a bit.

Photoshop work.  Boring wood

Friday, December 20, 2013

December 20

Introduction Post

I worked on the Caster for the majority of the day.  Managed to squeeze in some hand painting, though I don't think it came out very well.  I used a metal texture by Jessica Dinh as reference and admittedly I tried to replicate her same texture.  I did use some elements however I only cherry-picked them to keep things simple enough to where it was still challenging yet enjoyable.

I think I did a better job at color variation, but I think I still am not pushing contrast enough.

Caster progress: refined the shell loader lever mechanism, the aft sight, piston, and rotating exhaust ports (the things with the diagonal slats in them)

Thursday, December 19, 2013

December 19

Introduction Post

I felt inexplicably tired last night so I turned in early.  This led to me waking up early and subsequently getting tired early.  Looks like my sleep schedule is about to flip around again... See you on the dark side.

Digital painting was a bit light today, but I still got some in, as I have promised myself.  I painted over a material study of realistic wood.  It didn't turn out very well because I didn't really use any reference material.  Kind of an off day.

I decided to jump into a portfolio piece.  I didn't expect to start working on portfolio pieces for another month or so, as there is a lot of other stuff on my list to learn.  However, I've been receiving a lot of positive feedback on the stuff I have been churning out already, so I figured I may as well go for it.

It's Gene Starwind's Caster from the anime series Outlaw Star.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

December 18

Introduction Post

Another quick ZBrush sculpt.  This time I started off in Maya for the base shape.  Not too much "cheating" considering the majority of detail was on the bottom.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

December 17

Introduction Post

Finished up some work from yesterday.  TA DA

Open the fan images in a new tab to see the high res versions.

Monday, December 16, 2013

December 16

Introduction Post

I took a day off at some point over the weekend.  Not sure which day because as I said before, my days sort of blend together.  Oh well!  I'm back now.  For my digital painting today I've decided to polypaint the saw made a couple days ago.

I feel much more comfortable painting a 3D model instead of on a flat canvas, regardless of whether it's a seamless texture or a UV sheet.  I think that might be because the form of the object is already provided for me before I even paint.  I'm pretty terribad at sketching out a form.  Good thing I'm not trying to be an illustrator when I grow up.

This polypaint is not quite finished yet.  I still have the screws in the grip as well as the entire blade to paint.  That'll be tomorrow probably.  Also I'm aware the type of wood I painted doesn't match the type of wood that would belong to a saw of this kind.

I haven't gotten around to making a ZBrush sculpt yet today, so I will be updating this blog when that happens.

EDIT:  Here's what I got done in ZBrush.  It kept crashing on me; about 20 times in a row.  I was trying to do a super complex dynamesh subtract and it just didn't want to take.  I'll have to figure out another way of easily creating a mesh with tons of holes in it.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Business Card Mockup

I'm considering making the back of the card black as well.  I would have put a white border around the card like a lot of the elements on my Website, but borders on business cards may bring notice to crooked cuts.  Lesson learned from my last card design.

New Portfolio Design

Well, I've certainly made strides in my Web design proficiency.  This is the third iteration of my portfolio Website.  My first ever site took me an entire semester to do (and I wasn't even in school at the time!) and it was pretty awful.  The second iteration took me just a couple weeks with the assistance of my good friend Andrew Maul.  And finally, this version took just three days!

As you can see, it's pretty minimalistic.  I feel like a lot of big companies have been going in that direction (look at Apple/Microsoft).  I'm not trying to follow the crowd or anything, but I've discovered it's a style that I find pleasing.

You can check it out here.
You can see the old version here to compare designs, but it won't be up forever.

There is no new content just yet.  Soon.

December 15

Introduction Post

I'm on just about the strangest sleep schedule so my days overlap each other on the calendar.  One of these weekend days is a "day off," rather, a day of light work and a little bit of fun.  Here is what I've done today.  Took forever; I really need to work on my speed.

This one was the base that I painted.

This is the result of overlaying a high-pass filtered stone texture.  A bit of cheating, however it does look better I think.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

December 13

Yeah, the saw teeth are probably crap.  I didn't want to use an alpha from Photoshop.  I just moved some verts up from a ton of edge loops.




Friday, December 13, 2013

December 12

Calling the mailbox done and moving on to different shapes.  That front bit was pretty tough.  It'll probably be super easy a month from now.

I took some liberties with the mounts.  They are supposed to be bolted in but I wanted to try making a welded joint instead.

Photoshop, ~3 distracted hours of painting and Futurama.  I realize that's probably an absurd amount of time for the detail.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

December 11

Introduction Post

I've waited a couple days to get some content since it's my first post.

Dec 11

Value Study

Value Study

Dec 10

ZBrush Study WIP

Dec 09

Spiderbot tutorial from BadKing


Welcome to my game art blog!  Here are some bits about me that I will keep short and sweet so you can get on with your life.

  • Born
  • Enlisted in the Air Force in 2004, deployed to Iraq in 2007, separated in 2010
  • Enrolled at the University of Advancing Technology in 2010 and graduated in 2012 with a BA in Game Art & Animation
  • Continued my education for a couple semesters before I was hired onto a small team at Retora Games
  • Got an iOS release under my belt
  • Present day
Now that you're all caught up: as of a couple weeks ago I have started a sabbatical for personal development!  It's slated to last to the end of 2014.  I will be doing digital painting and digital sculpting studies on a daily basis (at least six days per week), as well as various other studies in order to catch up on much of the current and next-gen content which unfortunately was not entirely taught during my time in college.

Some topics of study include IBL, PBR, dDo, nDo, advanced game engine application, hand-painted textures, hard-surface ZBrush modelling, and style mimicry, all building toward a vastly improved portfolio.

I will be posting shots of all my work here and on Polycount, both completed and WIP.

Please feel free to follow or comment!  I would welcome any critiques, suggestions, advice or otherwise during my trek through the next year.