Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Project Echoes - Optimized Ivy and Ninja Theory

As you've probably seen I've been posting some images of heavily ivy-ified props recently which I keep saying that I'll be optimizing soon. Which I have now got around to doing! I suppose a very important question might be why did I decide to do so much damned foliage considering it's known for being a pain in games? 

One of my main influences for this aspect of the environment has been playing Enslaved and getting to move around the environments in that, which I can honestly say despite very linear levels (infact, because they are so linear) are beautiful artistically speaking. Here's some shorts of the environments which I've found influenced me during this project -

I love Ninja Theory's use of colour and foilage in Enslaved, and I feel the broken down post-apocalyptic future covered in green plentiful grass has wonderful juxapostion and really adds to making the environment feel like a plausible place where the world doesn't end after it's apocalypse,  instead it grows anew. 

I've just started playing DmC (and have Heavenly Sword on my wishlist on LoveFILM), and I can see the same level of work and detail in this game as seen in Enslaved, which has been motivating while working on the levels for Echoes. DmC has the same wonderful use of colours seen in Enslaved in a completely different palette but still clearly the same style, and the concept art is gorgeous. This is the style in which I'm going to be trying to develop my art within the next year or so, as it always feels so fresh and engaging to an audience. Currently this is the vein I'm seeing my art develop in and in the future I would love to do some work for Ninja Theory.

So here's my first post of some optimized foliage covering my ruins for the game. Personally I'm loving the addition to my ruins, and feel like it's giving them a munch more personalized and overgrown and abandoned feeling than I was getting before, and I feel this is getting me closer to where I want to head with my work

However after optimizing this I do have a lot more understanding why some games have shyed away from ivy, especially before generators and in game tools. The first stages were especially time consuming, but it got a lot quicker afterwards. I'll be posting up a tutorial for how I did it in the next few weeks once I've got some more of it done with the other ruin pieces. So watch out!

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Fuel: Lemon and Ginger Tea

Put together two rough videos of the 2 art projects I'm going for my major project. We had 4 projects worth of time to fill, and each project is meant to take roughly 4 weeks. All of my project's were involved in the Echoes project.

I only have 2 art projects as my other two projects got consumed by directing and game engine stuff. 
As you can see from the videos, I need to quickly wrap up all the props I've made, while also wrapping up the games engine and directing. About 3 weeks left, so you can really feel the tension rising on the course, but the excitement is quite a good feeling to be around. Everyone is really motivated and positive atm, so let's just hope that continues ;)

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

3 and a half weeks left

Been quite quiet recently, as a lot of my work at the moment has been either directing for Project Echoes, or scripting for it. But as we had to submit a bunch of our work this week for '1st submittal' (I suppose a tester round of our final hand in) I had to do some renders anyway and thought I would share this one. 

I know, I know, I know. I need to optimize that ivy. It's on my do to list once I've got a bunch of the game-play straightened out!

In other news, I've applied for an erasmus program to Sardinia during the summer. It'll focus on doing live briefs creating informative animations. Had the interview and I'm really hoping that I'll be successful. I really want to get involved in projects outside of game to help widen my skill bases, and refresh my creativity. Also, it'd be a great opportunity to further my (possibly dreadful) communication skills. I should find out Friday, so wish me luck! (I suppose if I don't get on I can have Download Festival/Rezzed/WalesGameDevelopmentShow to keep me from sulking ;) )

Wednesday, 17 April 2013


I've spent a lot of time over the past day or two trying to source SFX for our game. I've picked out a whole bunch of sounds now, and am going to implement them/get the appropriate person to implement them over the next week.

I will hand these audio files alongside my directing stuff, some of which have been edited for better use in game.

Monday, 15 April 2013

Project Echoes - Our First Playtest!

We're holding a play-test this Friday to help us guide where to focus our efforts in the next month of developing Echoes. 

Friday, 12 April 2013

Hedge Maze

Just a quick update. Been working on some of the props for the Winter level in Echoes and wanted to share!

They're going pretty well at the moment, just need to get them texture now and into the engine to see how they're looking in there.  Enjoyed modelling the twirly ice cream shaped tree. I choose to do it in a mixture of 3dsmax, zbrush and topogun to get the shape I wanted within the smallest polycount. This is the second prop I've used topogun for and I feel like I'm getting a good feeling of how to apply topogun to props now and environment topology.Will post more up as I go!

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Business Studies - Promotional Image

For business studies we had to produce a promotional piece of artwork which we felt represented our skills and style.

Like many artists, I don't really feel like I have a 'style' yet, or a theme or anything quite as decisive. So I decided to create something based on what feelings I like people to feel when looking at my work, one of the things I love playing with is evoking feeling within people, and I feel this extends to my game work, my environments, all of my art. I want it to have a sense of atmosphere and self, one that feels almost tangible and can give the viewer a sense of emotion.

So that's what I focused on trying to do within my piece for this project.

I'm not entirely sure I succeeded, or that the project worked out the way I wanted to, but I feel that this piece does represent my skills and demonstrate the path I am travelling along within my work.#

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

10min Challange!

Very quick screen grab of a bathtub that I made in ten mins. We we're joking around that we should add a bathtub squeaky bath toy level in homage to Master Reboot (which after turning up to the last couple of playtests, I honestly can't recommend enough! Beautiful game and wonderfully fresh) so I decided to see if I could quickly model a bathtub. I've been told that my next stage of the challenge is unwrapping and texturing it in less than 50mins to make it a prop in an hour. The aim is going to be diffuse, normal and specular map within the time. Will post up when I get it done, but it's a fun challenge to free my modelling head up a bit.

Monday, 8 April 2013

Project Echoes - 'lil Screenshot

Been playing around with some shaders and lighting and just wanted to share this picture of the Winter Court in Project Echoes =)

Just over a month 'til the end of the project and it's wonderful seeing it all come together.

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Project Echoes - Further Ruins

Been working on the ruins for the summer environment, and been experimenting with different types of brick beneath the plaster of the ruins.