Art Blog 22 – Polish. Cut. Pour.

Great leader Adam is away today, so ‘The Arts’ are here to take over for him, carry the torch, take the flag, lead the charge, you know?

First and foremost, merry Christmas + check out this long giraffe I got from Peter. It’s pretty good, has a solid whip-like motion to it so it’s kind of his own fault when I annoy him with it.

 

Right then, lets get down to business. Interior of the helicopter now has its texture pretty far along, didn’t take long – I used that ‘Frankenstein’ method (mentioned in the last art blog) a bit. Here are some shots:

 

I’ve also been tasked by the glorious leader to bring some older assets up to scratch, improve consistency and so forth. Here is a little presentation scene I threw together to show you all, take a step inside my darlings!

The sofa (left) was ancient history, but now it’s not. Well, the style is still old but I mean the textures, can you diggit? I remade the textures from scratch. I made a dif/spec texture for the cushions, then used a generic fabric normal map to give them an impression of cloth/fabric. The wood is literally just slapped on with a wood material I made a while ago. It’s also a little more desaturated to fit in with the environments better. Summary: looks better and the textures are smaller overall!

The mess table and bench (left) are now improved. Colours are consistent now, the support bars are thinner and the table has been raised to fit better with the hiding system. The bench also uses that fabric normal map, multiple uses!

The items on the left had a pass made. More polys to round areas out whilst reductions were made in others, so poly count is near enough identical. Textures are smaller too, whilst retaining detail: just not an unnecessary level of detail like individual DUST particles – which it was almost like beforehand. The fan and tape recorder share the same texture too, simply to save on memory.

The storage shelf is less boring now. I made it a little lighter and used the normal map to give its metal frame a more interesting visual dynamic. It now literally frames the contents it holds, showing to the player, through an almost ‘visual metaphor’, that even the most interesting looking exteriors (like people) can just be full of dull, lifeless (soulless) material. Just kidding, but it does look cool! And check out those sweet cloned lamps it’s got stacked!

OK, I am tired, I can’t carry the torch any more! It’s time to wheel out the next generic ‘art':

Hello everyone, animator here to talk about what I’ve been doing the past few months.

So recently I’ve been doing lots of monster animations which unfortunately I can’t show you. However, I can show you and talk about some of the player item use animations.

I’ve been working with Andrew Bean to redo the system used for the player use item animations. Originally I would animate both the player’s hands, move the actual item around and key the position in the scene to sync up the animations. Then I would export both of them separately and the programmers would place them in the scene. This was a bad system as it meant I had the problem of trying to keep the floating items in the hand positions when they moved. It also meant that it was even more difficult for the programmers to sync up the animations in the game.

The new system involves parenting the item to the player’s right hand. This means the item locks onto the hand and moves smoothly with the hand animation. All I need to do is animate the player normally using the item and only export the item’s rotation, so that it is positioned in the hand. This especially helped for items like the bolt cutters and fuel tank which required both hands needing to be used.

But because of this the whole item holding system needs to be redone. This means more work has to fix things like the wrist rotations, but it means we’ll have a better looking result in the end.

That’s it for this update, hope the insight was good

 

Adam and The Arts.