Calendar February 26, 2013 19:44

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Final Diffuse Texture for Shield

Here is my final diffuse texture for my shield:

I think over all it looks really good, and it certainly turned out better than I thought it would when I first started to work on this project. I've been putting it all together, but I've been trying to find a better way to render my models than just using the production setting on mental ray. I will make sure to post a render of my model in the next few days, thanks for reading!

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Calendar February 25, 2013 23:30

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First Thoughts on Metal Gear Rising

So I picked up Metal Gear during the week, and I've spent a big part of the weekend playing through the new Metal Gear game, and I have to say that I'm really impressed with the game. Its a huge difference from other Metal Gear games where you have to sneak around and be stealthy in your kills.

I was always a fan of Raiden, and it was a shame that he didn't get more screen time in MGS 3. But to make him the center piece of a game was the best thing that anyone could've done for Raiden. When I first saw the demo for this game a few years ago, it was really cool how they could split a water melon into precises pieces, which even now it still baffles me how they do that. Then there were no news from the project until I finally found out that it had been canceled, which was a real shame since it had so much potential.

A while later, I heard that Platinum Games had taken over the project, and it was amazing since I loved what Platinum Games did with Bayonetta and Anarchy Reigns. And they didn't disappoint, PG has a way of making their games with an over-the-top style that makes them kind of ridiculous, but not in a bad way. They make things really epic and they took that and applied it to Metal Gear Rising!

The beat'em-up style for this game works really well, and the core mechanic of slowing down time never gets old. It can be a little challenging at times to slice the enemy in the right place, but its a matter skill and practice.

I think that I'm probably a quarter of the way done with the game, but I don't know how many bosses or areas are in the game so there is no way of telling. All I know is that I've made it to Mexico and the cinematic for this area was really funny (see below for video). Hopefully I'll be able to finish the game soon, and keep writing more about the game. Thanks for reading!

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Calendar February 24, 2013 16:28

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Specular Map for Shield

Here is the finished specular map for my shield:

I've reworked this specular map a few times by now, I belief this is the 5th version, but I think it will look ok on the final render. At first I started to work on it in Mudbox, but after a while I realized that it would be faster to do it in Photoshop.

I'm so happy that its all finally coming together, I just couldn't help but feel like I would never finish this project when I first started a month ago. I was afraid that this would become one of those project that I started but never finished. That's all for now, thanks for reading!

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Calendar February 21, 2013 19:43

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Normal Map for Shield

So I'm almost done with the diffuse texture, but I got thinking that I should also start messing with normals for  my shield. Here is my normal map that I will be using:

Its very simple, but I wanted to make the tribals pop. Basically what I did is that I took the layer from my photoshop file where my tribals were, and exported them out into a separate file. Then took that into Crazy Bump, and messed with the setting a bit until I got something I liked. The one thing I don't like is that there seems to be some dips at the edge of the tribals and I don't know why that is.

I also tried to make a high poly version of the shield, but for some reason my normals won't export correctly. I'll have to ask my art professor how to do it correctly. For now that is all until I can finish the diffuse and work on the specular map, thanks for reading!

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Calendar February 19, 2013 21:39

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Progress on Shield Texture

Here is what I've got so far on my diffuse texture for my shield:

I added some color variation on the silver "wing" part of the shield, as well as some scrapes on the main shield. Overall, its coming along nicely and I can't wait for this thing to be finished. I'm hoping to be able to finish it by the 24th since the art challenge was to do it in a month or less, and I want to see how much I've improved over my time in the EAE MGS program. That's all for now, thanks for reading!

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Calendar February 17, 2013 16:52

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Shield Center

So I finally figured out what I'm going to put in the center of the shield, I've decided to go with a dragon crest in the middle. I found a few reference images for a dragon head tribal and I decided to make one of my own with a few of the tribals that I used for the shield. Here is what it looks like so far in Photoshop:

I will clean it up a bit before putting it into the texture, but I really like the way it turned out even for a first pass at the dragon tribal. That's all for now, thanks for reading!

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Calendar February 12, 2013 15:59

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Base Colors

Here is a render of what the shield looks like at the moment, I also had to make a few changes to the model so I had to tweak the UVs.

If you notice, there is some pixelation in the render since I was forced to use "Maya Software" render since I'm using a psd file for the texture. A psd file makes it easier for me to make changes to the texture and then refreshing the file in maya without having to export the texture into a something other than a psd. If I try to use a psd with mental ray, it only renders the specularity from the blinn material.

I still need to find something to put on the shield on the center since its a little empty at the moment. I think I might stick to the tribal design that I've got going so far. There is still a lot to do with the texture, but I feel that its a solid foundation for now. I think that I will also try to make it paint instead of sticking to making it a certain type of metal.

That's all for now, thanks for reading!

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Calendar February 9, 2013 21:06

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Shield UVs

So I've been working on layout the UVs, and now I'm done:

Now its time to start working on the texture for the shield. I've used Mudbox in the past to make my textures, but I have not gotten good results in the past. I like Mudbox because I can see exactly where stuff will be placed. But the tools are not as good as those in Photoshop for 2D.

I'm planning to use the following metals/materials in my model: gold, silver/steel, copper, & leather. I'm not sure If I want to make them actual metal or paint. I will post progress on my texture as I go along, thanks for reading!

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Calendar February 6, 2013 23:57

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Bottom Part of Shield Redone

So after I showed my model to a few people, they really liked it, but someone gave me the idea to remove the bottom "crest" on shield to make a different shapes. Here is a render of the new model with an AO bake on it:

The back is the same, so I didn't bother to put another render of the back. I'm really glad that I asked for critique on my work, since I think my model looks much better now. Also, I had another classmate tell me that I should add some buckle to the strap to make it look like its adjustable. I will work on that, but I don't think I will post a render for such a small bit. That's all for now, thanks for reading!

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Calendar February 4, 2013 20:09

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First Pass on 3D Model Done

So after I finished the handle and the strap, I decided to put it together and see how it looks specially with the AO bake I did for this post.

I'm really happy with the way it turned out, but I feel like there needs to be different shapes on the model. I'm going to ask some of my class mates and teachers for a critique and see what I can improve on this model before I move on the UV layout. That's all for now, thanks for reading!

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Calendar February 3, 2013 23:50

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Handles for Shield Done

This is a really small update, I just wanted to post a render of the handle and strap that I made for the shield.

I made these seperate from the model, now I can take them into the other file and merge them into the other file and make render. I will try to work on the main shield a little more over the next few days. Thanks for reading!

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Calendar January 31, 2013 20:41

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Main Part Done on Shield

So I've kept working on my shield, even though today is the last day to submit the entry for the art challenge. There is obviously no way that I'm going to get done in time, but I will continue to work on this piece since I think it can make a great portfolio piece.

Here is the render of what I have so far:

I looked at some images from League of Legends, specifically the shield of Leona in her different skins with her many interesting shapes that make up her shields. I think I may use the gems in the bottom part and use them on the middle part.

I also decided to add a little "ring" around the end of the shield, and I also need to start thinking of what handle and will go on the back. I think that I'm almost done with the model, so I will start asking around my cohort for some critique and see what they say. That's all for now, thanks for reading!

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Calendar January 24, 2013 23:00

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The Gnomon Workshop January Art Challenge

So a few days ago a classmate told me about this site called The Gnomon Workshop and about the month art challenges that they run. Unfortunately for me, I found about this months challenge too late specially since the theme is really interesting...

A shield, thats what we had to create a 3D model of along with any texture maps that we need. There is no tri-count limit, and we don't have to bake the model down to a low res model. The only constraint, is that it has to be in the same visual style or fit into the world of a game like: World of Warcraft, Guild Wars, Oblivion, etc. But I've been thinking about it, and I think that I'm going to do this challenge anyways even if I don't submit it to the site. I think that pushing myself to doing something on the side will really let me see how much my skills have improved.

So to start, tonight while I was in my hard surface modeling class I started to look at reference image of games like League of Legends and Tera, since these are two games that I've come to love. Here is a very simple front view of a concept image for the shield I want to make that I drew using Sketchbook Pro and Photoshop.

I still don't know what going to be on the middle of the shield, but I will keep working on it and I'm sure something cool will pop into my brain. I will post progress on my model as I mode forward, thanks for reading!

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Calendar January 22, 2013 14:24

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Splat Patterns

So for today, I had to create a few different splat patterns that the engineers could use in out game. They have been using only one for the longest time, and it was really noticeable that they were all the same. Here they are:

I found a lot of reference images from google and I think they turned out really well. Granted this wasn't a hard task, I'm still happy that I'm getting comfortable to work in 2D. Thanks for reading!

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Calendar January 10, 2013 23:30

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Hard Surface Modeling Class

So its the start of a new and my last semester as a graduate student at the University of Utah. I can't belief that its been 1 1/2 years since I started the MGS program, and I'm kind of sad that its coming to a close.

Anyways, there isn't much left for us to do besides polishing our thesis games and having them published before the end of the semester. So I decided to enroll in one class that would benefit me and help me with my goal of becoming a 3D environmental artist. There is a new class being offered this semester by a really talented professor and I'm excited to see what we will do in that class.

So today was the first day of class, but because we got a really big snow storm the professor wasn't able to make it. So the TA's for the class showed the people that have never used Maya so of the basics, while they gave an assignment to everyone else to do a speed model of Portal's companion cube. Here is the render of my speed model with a quick AO bake on it:

Its not the first time that this assignment has been given to me, but it is the first time that I was able to finish it. I think some of the pieces are suppose to be thicker, but the overall idea of the model is there. I think that I will attempt to do it one more time, and get it textured properly. Thanks for reading!

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