Update: Project Whitewash

Started to detail the frames. I'm happy with how it's progressing as I was trying to solve how the large  pipes would feed across through the other side. For the smaller one's, I'm thinking some sort of attachments to the frame would work as I don't want to have too many of these pipes looping out and back in.

 The monitors however are now tucked away behind. I think some sort of retractable arm would be nice. Kinda like one of those Ergotron arms. Also, I've added a little culvert of sorts to the ground. The idea initially was to add a grate but I've decided I'll add those on either ends instead.

This little piece could act as a sort of platform for accessing a hidden power source or backup power cells. Though I'm noticing now that the emissive piece is a bit difficult to see. I'll probably either extend it or change the design a little.

Next thing I'll probably work on is the little skirting's on either side and designing the hull a little bit more.

Perspective Madness

Week one of Introduction to Perspective is coming to a close. I love perspective! This is a little different to how I learnt perspective in the past in that we're taught how to plot an ellipse in order to get the perfect square/cube. In the past, I had mainly just winged it and hope for the best but these new set of tools will definitely help improve my accuracy and relying less on free-forming.  

 

We were also asked to gather reference material for architecture that we'd like to draw for a 1-pt or 2-pt perspective scene. This was quite challenging for me as I love all different kinds of architecture. So I decided to add a few different schools, including Japanese, Roman and Scandinavian. I'm sure they won't mind though. I'm guessing however that we'll only be tasked to design 1 scene but I'm keeping my options open for now. There'll be time to change the reference if they request it of me.

Project Whitewash Revisit

I've been trying to figure out a suitable pipeline for this project, one that I hope to utilize in future works as well. The fact is, I hadn't planned enough how I was going to light the scene and that affected some of the decision I made with the architecture as a whole. Looking back on it now, those shapes are just flat and boring with only the door and a some texture work to add a couple of interest. And though I could litter the place with props, containers and wires and stuff, the core design has just lost its steam

As a result, the whole scene ended up looking dull because the base form itself is dull. I comprised design for the sake of trying to maintain a modular workflow with less geo and that hurt the project as a whole.

Coming to terms with this, I have decided to revise the entire design but keep some of the existing assets such as decals, materials and a couple of textures for use. One good thing that has come out of it so far is that I've been able to establish a base project structure and material setup which I can incorporate into future projects. So at least, a lot of the material work and figuring that stuff out is done.

Part of this new workflow is using BSP Brushes and while I have some major gripes with it, there is the benefit of being able to block out lots of really large shapes and getting a feel of what it will look like in the world. It's slow and clunky but I think I'll be able to use these meshes as templates for future projects.

Aside from that is figuring out the lighting of the scene as I've realised, this will heavily inform where a lot of cool shapes can go. A lesson I should've learned by now from past environment projects. There's a lot of stuff that still needs figuring out but I have a rough general idea on what some of those shapes might look like and what function they serve.

Conceptually, Project Whitewash was always meant to be about being caught in a "safe zone" between two dark places. It's like, you know there's danger ahead and the only way to go is forward because the alternate is much worse.

I think I've figured out the lighting for now. The next step will be to define some of those shapes a little more and figuring how stuff works. But that said, I'm feeling much more optimistic about this new direction. 

Sketching sketching sketching

Spring term has just started at CGMA and I've picked up the Introduction to Perspective with Robert St.Pierre and Dynamic Sketching 1 with Eugene Huang. First week in and I'm having a blast! Looking to improve my fundamentals in the weeks to come! Here's the first batch of drills that we were tasked with doing for Dynamic Sketching. Also, ellipses are haaaarrrdd! But like it's been said, just gotta keep pushing through. All about the mileage.

 


Project Whitewash

Here's a little side project I'm currently working on called Project Whitewash. The goal of this is to see how much I can make out of using only 2 maps. There's a thread on Polycount by Tor Frick  where he used only a single grey packed atlas and a normal map to create a modular sci-fi building: link.  

I thought it'd be a fun experiment to try. So here we are. This was the initialy colour scheme and theme that I was going for. But something didn't feel quite right with the tone and mood. It was starting to look a bit grim.

Hence I decided to change it up quite a bit.

I'm happier with this color scheme and I think I'm going to stick with it. Currently I'm sticking in decals all over the place while I concept up some props and stuff to fill in the empty space. I'm hoping to wrap this project up soon however a I need to get started on the Polycount Throne Room contest. 

Happy 2015!

Happy new year! Can't believe another year has already come and gone. 2014's been one of the most exciting and thrilling years. I finally got an industry job, completed my degree at AIE and made a bunch of stuff that I'm pleased with. Here's to another great year of improving and making cool stuff.

So it seems I've got quite an itchy finger when settling into larger scope projects. In the last post, I outlined a plan to produce one small asset per week. I've been aching to get back into some sci-fi stuff and rather than working on that poor little drone who's left all by himself, I've pulled out a much earlier concept for a sci-fi-esque corridor.

Early last year, I was flicking through the pages of polycount and I came across a nice long post by Snefer 'Tor' Frick who was experimenting with a modular sci-fi environment using only a single 512 x 256 texture. You can find the thread in the link below although I believe the link to the project file there is still broken.

http://www.polycount.com/forum/showthread.php?t=89682

I considered trying to replicate a similar process as I thought it would have been a good exercise. Sad to say, that never saw the light of day. I took some some notes of what I wanted to created and now I'm back at it again.

That said, I am still planning to work on that weekly asset thing although I may change the criteria on that a bit. A few days ago. I found a thread called the Weekly Hard Surface challenge. I believe they're up to week 50 but it seems like a good chance for me to flex some modelling muscles. On the other hand, there's also the Ryan Kinglien Zbrush Anatomy course that I'd love to get through. So a bit of time management is in need I think. With work starting again next week, I'll be relinquished to only a couple of hours each night and the weekends for personal stuff.

For now though, I've finally got some textures and  lighting going within the environment. There's still a lot to be done and some redesign might happen over the next week or so but for now I'm relatively happy with how it's coming along. Though I'm getting a strong Deus Ex vibe here which was not the original intention but hey, happy accidents!


Weekly Asset #1

I'm considering trying something that I think will be very beneficial for me. Right now I'm currently halfway through writing up a tutorial for a class assignment. I decided to showcase my own workflow of creating an asset from scratch. I have just finished sculpting in the details and ready to start prepping the various maps. Right now I'm considering whether or not to use polypaint and bake out a basic color map that way or to just proceed with a more traditional approach. 

To get back onto the main topic, creating this asset has been rather beneficial for me so far. I'm slowly working through a very specific workflow and really nailing down, some of the key issues with my pipeline at the moment.

I'm considering turning this into a weekly thing where instead of just working on one large project, I'll work on one small individual asset per week and try to get it as polished and refined as I possibly can. Currently I have a rather long backlog of side projects to return to but I think just being able to see a polished asset come to fruition will be a strong motivator. I will still work on those larger to medium sizes projects but they will simply take a little longer to complete.

Working on one small asset at a time will give me the opportunity to increase my speed by limiting myself to a certain timeframe. This way, it will force me to find new ways and methods of working efficiently yet try to maintain a high quality of standard. The trick will be determining how much of a timeframe to allow so that other activities and projects get an equal amount of attention. Once I work that out, I'll post an update though I feel like it should be no more than 2 days.

Here's the result of the sculpt from tonight. Onwards and upwards to baking!


Sketch sketch sketch

Some new sketches to get back into the groove of traditional media. Feels great to be able to pick up a pen again and go nuts. These originally started with the intention of being concepts for the Riot Art contest but it ended up as something else.

I've finally ordered a pair of smudgeguard gloves which should arrive in the next couple of days. 

I'm also trying out some new pens. So far I'm loving these new Unipin fine liners. For some reason my 0.05 seems to have dried out already. I'll have to take a look at it. I wasn't aware of just how phalic that top left column looked until I took a step back

Asset Pack Update

- Assembled demo scene 1 & 2.

- Cleaned up folder structure.

- Tweaked & refined rock textures.

- Removed certain grass textures to be replaced by color tint function in shader.

- Ran a test package.

- Added gui elements to demo scene 2.

- Added camera movement to demo scenes.

- Used fraps to create flythrough.

- Established a publishers account with Unity

Asset Pack Update

 - Painted skybox.

- Re-modeled rocks to push silhouette slightly.

- Removed certain coloured rock textures to replace with a color tint function in shader.

- Re-modeled terrain.

- Created a terrain blend shader with vert offset.

-  Tweaked grass shader. Now includes transmission and wind effect through vert colours.

- Acquired ABN number through the registrar.

 

Asset Pack Update

- Added grass shader.

- Tweaked rock models.

- Revised rock textures.

- Made a rock wall texture.

- Modeled terrain for demo scene.

- Imported & created prefabs for existing rocks.

- Established Unity folder structure.

Work in Progress, Projects, Personal

Much Wood

First wood texture is almost done! I still have to make it tileable but I'm really happy with it so far. Learnt a lot from this process and got some great advice from Polycount. One thing I might change though is the perspective. I like the idea of the slanted wood but it might be a weird option to provide that in pack as it will limit its use. 

Here are some breakdowns:

Lots of problems with this one. Too dark and the colors quite dull.

Much better but still needs a bit more work.

Where its at now. Punched up the highlights and defined the edges a little bit more. Just need to make it tileable now and test it on a model!

News, Work in Progress, Projects, Personal

Exciting new project!

Production has started on the major game assignment at class. I've chosen to pursue my own project alongside assisting several other teams on creating assets for their respective games. The project I decided to work on is a small business venture, developing and creating resources and delivering them onto various platforms such as the Unity Asset Store and Unreal Marketplace. 

The first stage involves testing the waters and getting a feel for the pipeline. Most of the legal side of things have already been established. That part of the plan though is pretty much complete. However, there are some matters for which I am still waiting confirmation for.

The ultimate goal is to create a bundle of assets comprising of models, textures, shaders and particle systems based around a fantasy environment. Upon advice, the pack will be released in stages, consisting of several smaller individual packs. 

To that end, the first pack will be a small texture pack with 3 tileable textures. Once that's done, the next stage will be a rock pack. Though relatively small (roughly 10-15 models), the project will still be significantly larger that the texture pack and will take more time.

Currently though I'm a little bit behind so this week I'm playing catch up. The worst case scenario is that I've over scoped and I won't release the entire bundle in time. That said, I still aim to have a few packs up by mid October.

Here's some of the early rock concepts

And some color swatches for style exploration

Studies

Material study - wood

Lately I've working on trying to improve on my understanding of materials. There are quite a few amazing resources out the showing different processes. Arthur Gimaldinov has a great tutorial on painting wood and Alex Grishin has a nice assortment of videos which you can find on his Youtube channel.

They're a great start if your just starting out and looking for  place to begin. But the best way to study is from reference. To that end, here's a piece of wood.

News, Updates

Fresh start and temporary change.

The new website is now up and running. It's a lot easier to manage and puts more focus on the works themselves. Now I can spend more time with creating content and less time modifying templates. Unfortunately I've lost all the blog posts from the previous site. A rookie mistake on my part as I did not back it up first. New beginnings I guess.

The domain name however is still linked with my previous provider. I considered transferring it but sadly it seem Squarespace is not able to do a direct transfer. I have considered linking the domain but I'd rather keep everything consistent and easy to manage. There's still approximately 3-4 months until it expires. I'll make the switch then.

For now, I get to return to making textures