Tire Bake Exercise

I did this high to low poly tire bake exercise over the last week.  Once I started I realized I'd never done high poly hard surface modeling like this before, so I ended up learning a lot more than I expected.  It isn't exactly game ready, (being 800 tris) but it was a great exercise to go through.

Dominance War vs. Polycount Challenge

This week has been a long series of disappointments as Dominance War V was repeatedly delayed until it finally entered it's now indefinite "coming soon" phase.  At first I wasn't too surprised, seeing as delays are something of a tradition for this notorious competition, but after a week of delays and my spring break rapidly disappearing, I became more and more frustrated.  This morning I discovered that Polycount will be breaking away from the Dominance War V competition and will be hosting their own character and environment modeling challenge!  I am excited by the idea, though I am somewhat disappointed that DWV fell through as it did.  There was something special about the multi-formboard relationship of DW that I will miss.  However, I've had enough of the ambiguious start date and simply want to COMPETE! If Polycount indeed gets their challenge together in a timely fashion (as I hope they will) I will eagerly join with a passion. Whatever happens with either competition, I hope that both get kicked off soon, because I've been psyching myself up for this for a long time and want to get started!

On another note, while I've been waiting I've been working on getting some of my old projects wrapped up/improved.  I started work on Iris's textures and have made pretty good progress, though I'm having some trouble with hair planes.  Anyhoo, here's a WIP shot for your viewing pleasure:

Back to Characters

I've finally been able to put some of my time toward my passion of creating characters; so here's an update on Iris. I'm currently trying to polish up everything I have on my website/portfolio to a more professional level. When I look at what is up there right now, I cringe at how much it looks like student work. I know that I can reach much higher levels, it is simply a matter of finding the time. I should be updating my website/portfolio in the next couple weeks, so be sure to check back!

Here are the base skin tones for Iris's face. I still need to add in the imperfections and desaturate it a bit, but it's a start.

Battle Scars

So, I mentioned that I've been working at YETi all summer on a Unity game project called Battle Scars. The game is a sci-fi tower defense combined with a rail shooter... which should be really cool to see when coders get a full fledged demo working. Unfortunately for the game, our programmers have been uber busy with other projects and haven't been able to put much time into Battle Scars. Anyhow, enough jabbering. Here are the units that I created over the summer:

Kodiak Platform This huge vehicle was created at 1434 tris. The design is one of my original concepts. Textures originally created at 2048, but would be crushed to probably 512 for the final game. We'd like to animate the turret since it will be so big, but depending on how many extra draw calls we end up with, we may not be able to. :(

Kodiak Heavy Truck Created with 886 tris and 2048 textures. The design is one of my original concepts. These bad boys will have a couple different types of weapons available to be mounted on back, but all will have grenade launchers (the cylindrical things on the side.)

F.L.A.K. Command Truck Created with 923 tris and 2048 textures. The concept was inspired by an old WW2 truck, though ours is considerably larger than the original would have been. The base model was created by Wesley Mayle (another intern at YETi). I tweaked the model, added the details/accessories, and painted the textures.

F.L.A.K. Knat Created in 806 tris an with 2048 textures. As far as gameplay goes, the Knat is pretty much cannon fodder for the player to destroy. There will be about a billion of them and they'll be about 3 pixels each...

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.