Frag Fest, Spring 2010

FragFest, (A 24 hour competition in the Digital Animation & Game Design program) had the theme "Goblinoid," and categories for level design and 3D modeling.  I was on a team with Wesley Mayle and Luke Garnsey to create a level and I also submitted the 3D assets that I created as an individual 3D modeling entry. This year went a lot better than last semester.  I was just "in the headspace" more, or something.  Everything seemed to go pretty smoothly (more or less.)  I had a blast working with Wesley and Luke, and it was really sweet to get to see my work running real time in the Unity engine. (We were allowed to use either Unity or Unreal III.)

Our level design team (click here to see our team's progress blog) didn't get placed in the top 3, however, I came in 1st place in the 3D modeling category with the assets I created for our map.

So, here's what I spent most of my time working on:

Basic Character

This is a basic character mesh I created using Softimage and simple box modeling. Here is my final product:

Here is the concept that I was working from (Provided by my professor):

Learning VFX

Yeah, I know it's been a while since I last posted.  I haven't forgotten, I've just been crazy busy working on ZBrush homework.  Oddly enough, I don't even plan on posting that work just yet since I'd like to do some more work to it before I make it public. Today I'm showing you my first visual effects project.  This project was... different.  It wasn't hard, once I understood what I was trying to do, but it was so unlike anything I've done before that I had trouble getting into it. Enough rambling about naught.  The objective was to get a 3D object into some live video footage.  Thankfully I didn't have to shoot the footage or do the tracking on it.  Most of what I had to do involved  matching lighting and tweaking colors to make the digital footage match the live footage.  Here's what I got:

Overall, I found this project to be gratifying.  It's really great to see something I've done pull together like this and actually see it in an actual environment.

Here's a sneak-peek at my next ZBrush project.  I've been trying my hand at designing a character from the ground up (the right way).  Here are some quick silhouettes.

Speck of an Animation

So, I finally got around to getting Speck animated. It's quick, rough, but it's an animation. Though I found this project rather frustrating when it came to the rigging and animation, it has been enormously satisfying to actually see Speck come to life.

On another note... My life has been incredibly busy recently, and yet somehow I haven't been finishing a ton of projects or anything. Unfortunately. I feel like I have a time leech attached to me somewhere and I can't figure out where.

Hopefully I'll find myself becoming more productive very soon, so keep checking back.

Without further ado, here is an animated Speck!

Well, not quite... Here's my beauty shot.

And here (because I spent like 2 weeks rigging him) is a pic of Speck's wireframe and the custom rig I created for him.

O.K. Now we get to the animation. Enjoy!

Week Two

First of all, I have to think of some more interesting titles for these updates. It's going to get boring really fast... actually, I think it already is boring. I just don't want to get to the 16th week of this semester and call it: Week 16. Boring!

Okay. Now that I've ranted about that, I can get on with the update. Where to begin? A lot has happened this week. I guess I can kick things off with my first finished homework assignment! (First one of interest, anyway.) I had to pick a character (any character) and create textures for a Mighty Muggs based on that character. Of course I went with Lord of the Rings and picked an Uruk-Hai. Because they're cool. Also, I thought that the shape of their helmets would work well with the shape of the Mighty Muggs.

My "beauty shot":

Other than my Mighty Muggs turn in, most of my school work has been pretty hum-drum so far. However, this week Ferris hosted "Frag Fest," which happens the second week of every Semester. The Frag Fest is a 24 hour game design competition, which (this time) was focused on 3D modeling.
This semester was the first time that I've attended/competed, even though I'm a sophomore. At first I wasn't sure if I wanted to go this time either, since it landed (rather inconveniently) on the evening of my birthday. However, I ended up going and teaming up with Wesley Mayle and Steve Reister.
The theme for this Frag Fest was "Alternate History." So, we had to model something that was somehow related to a short story that we wrote about a way that history could have been different. We thought it would be cool to go with the idea that dinosaurs didn't go extinct, and the Native American Indians used them to combat the European explorers.
We broke it down into three main parts: a utah raptor (that was used as a mount), a Mayan warrior, and a ruined temple. Steve modeled and textured the raptor, while I created the Mayan warrior, and Wesley did the scene/lighting. Toward the end we did things up a little, since I enjoy creating textures I painted the stone texture for the ruins while Wesley unwrapped everything in the scene and set up the materials.
All in all, the finished project turned out pretty well. Though the lighting and composition could have been a lot better. Also, I think a stronger initial concept could have made ours stand out a bit more. As it was, we took 5th place among 7 teams.
Personally, I'm really unhappy with how my character looked at the end of the night. I felt like I simply didn't have the time to refine him until I was happy. I think he looked really wooden and unlife-like. However, I still like the design and idea, and hope to return to him an do a better job. Anyhow, enough of my rambling. Here are some photos/renders:
Applied Technology Center, Lab 172:
And next door in Lab 174:
Also, durning the competition there was a Super Smash Brothers Brawl tourney going on in the auditorium:
The concept I did for the Mayan Warrior:
Some renders of what I worked on for my team's entry:
Our final product:
So, that was Frag Fest. Like I said, it was also my birthday... but obviously, I did't celebrate it on Friday night. That got postponed until the next evening, when I went out and got dinner with my family at Applebee's. The point being: I love mozzarella sticks.

That aside, I also spent considerable time this weekend installing Windows XP and Boot Camp on my iMac. I think I've finally got it running properly, though I'm still missing the two most crucial software packages (being Softimage and ZBrush.) With any luck I'll have both of those by this Saturday.

That concludes my weekly update. I hope you all have a great week! See you next time.