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Recent sketches

Been playing around with some looser styles and doing a few ’speed’ paintings. The image I like best is the swamp looking one mainly because it was a super quick 20 minute sketch before bed and I didn’t spend a moment second guessing what I was doing. Who knows, maybe I was just regurgitating something I’d seen somewhere else!

Sirens Graphin Novel

Here are a few panels from a graphic novel I’ve been working on in my spare time. The story started out at 60 pages and has now ballooned into 145 pages! If I don’t start editing the hell out of it I may never get it done! It’s also a good excuse to practice my digital painting skills.

Crytek engine exploration

The point of this project was to see what kind of fidelity was possible in the Crytek engine while shooting for a reasonable frame rate on a min spec machine of: 3.20 Ghz P4, 1G RAM, GeForce 6800.

The initial village took about a week to build then the tower in the last few shots took three days because once I’d finished it I decided that I wasn’t happy having all the UV’s be 1 to 1 as a walking player would never get close enough to the tower’s upper levels to see the lower fidelity maps. This way I could get a higher resolution down around the base of the tower where a player would be standing.

In this final shot you can see how I set up my occluders and audio volumes.

During the course of this project I delved into almost all aspects of level creation in the Crytek engine; modifying terrain and voxel volumes, adding terrain materials, creating VFX, adding SFX volumes, creating linked animations, playing with Cryteks wonderful (to me at least) system for defining which items show up at different system spec settings, visibility culling (occluders, cells, and portals), LOD’s (the tower has three), vegetation creation and painting, Time of Day, materials set-up, adding first and third person weapons (huge pain, but it always is), rivers and roads, editing some of the system spec cfg files, and lastly playing with the track view to set up in-game events.

All in all, this was pretty damn fun, and I’m now a big fan of this engine. I just wish lights weren’t such a big frame rate hit.

Stylized Medieval Village in a Week.

This started out as an exercise to re-familiarize myself with building modular terrain. I did a lot of this kind of work on the PS2 but the persistent problem was in trying to build urban landscapes that felt organic which is now fairly easy to do with modern engines where the level topology doesn’t all have to be welded.

Once I started building I wanted to also see how well I could achieve a cell shaded look with the Crytek engine. What you see here is about 32 hours of work. The cool thing (for me at least) is that with just a few parts (plus some landmarks to help navigation) I could quickly build a huge town.

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New Color Sketches

A random collection of my latest color sketches.

Gatehouse

This little project started out with me just wanting to create a single small structure that really pushed the use of normal and spec maps.

Here is what I ended up with after two days. This is a screen grab from Maya using the default lights.  Oh and the green channel on the normal has not been inverted here. The textures were fun to paint but man, creating texture maps this way can turn into a real time-sink.

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Next I wanted to get this into Unreal but I didn’t want it just floating in an empty space  so I had this idea of how I could take the assets from the Windmill and create a little scene. This gave me the idea that maybe this little structure was in fact some alternate reality French Air Bus stop. This led me to creating a ‘few’ other props to support the concept. The zeppelin in the background was a total rush job and it shows! I like the idea of the zeppelin, just not how the design came out. The obvious lesson here is to have a good design in place before you start painting textures and pushing poly’s.

Environment Explorations 4-6-2010

Just got back to working on some environment stuff in the last two days. Got a ways to go before I finish the new scene but wanted to show some of what I’ve got so far.

Played with the lighting here and added some of the props to see how well they would take the scene lighting.

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Doing some experiments with overlay textures. The red roots and the hole in the wall are both flat quads sitting flush to the wall. The hole really started working well once I hooked up the parallax offset node.

And here is the wall diffuse texture. I gotta dial down that spec map.

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A close up of one of the wall pieces. Again, spec map needs work.

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A few of the  props I constructed today.

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These two images show another overlay with some geo thrown in to give it more presence.

And here is the prop in the scene. I’m still trying to figure out how to get the overlay to work over any surface with any lighting.

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