Guitar Hero Van Helen

Someone recently sent me this link and I was reminded of the gratifying experience of trying to figure out a style for our UI. It had to both feel like a Guitar Hero game and have a visual identity that was pure Van Halen. The tricky part was that VH doesn’t have much in the way of ‘brand’.  Me and two UI artists had a day of just floundering, throwing sketches at a wall with nothing really sticking. So we grabbed a bunch of VH swag, sat in a room, and started identifying elements that could be used for various UI roles. We chose iconography for moving bits, menu backgrounds, selection highlights, transition elements…it was a blast. Once we had these pieces we mocked up some screens to see if our thinking was sound, made a few tweaks to the plan, and bam! After maybe three days we had it. It was a good thing too because it was a very crunchy project.

Protected: Recent AD work

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Just a few models I sculpted in Zbrush for a Graphic Novel I’m working on. Not the most detailed models but enough for the intended purpose.

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The Sims 4

A little game that some people might have heard of. Art Directing on this was something I was definitely not prepared for. Too much to say on that topic. Here’s a few screens of the game when I was acting AD.

Probably the thing I’m most proud of is how far the Sims came from when I started to when we shipped:

And finally, just one of the many things I had to do in absence of a lead willing to do the job (another long story); a graphic that illustrated how I wanted our pants vs boot layering to work:

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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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