April the something… that sure was a very long time of, well…nothing. I’m going to try and make more of an effort to keeping blogging so i have somewhere to pour all my “what i’m doing” in one place for people to see.
Let’s start of with Uni shall we? The last 2 months of Univeristy was very hectic, people were scrambling to get work done and i’m sure the sudden realization of “Oh Shit, i need to get all this done pronto!” was hovering over everyones head. I suddenly realized i needed to kick myself (and hard) to start my work and so, i hammered my work everyday until i completed the assignments. I had an animation assignment in which i had to create a trailer for a game which the animation being no longer than a minute. I spent a lot of time trying to make sure the animation part was good until i moved onto modelling, texturing and rendering my scene. It came out pretty well, a bit dark in areas… but i had to move onto my dissertation which was left in one very dusty corner.
Incubus Game Trailer
Quite a bit of time was spend in After effects, making sure the different render passes were working together nicely. The final editing which mainly included the titles and sound effects were added in Premiere Pro (Thank god for Adobe Dynamic!)
A long side my dissertation i also had to create some art pieces. As it had to relate to my dissertation in some way, i decided to create two weapons that would fit into the Skyrim universe. Yes…weapons for skyrim. I was initially going to do 3 pieces of weaponary which was then reduced to 1 but i managed to come out with 2 pieces (thankfully) It was just be sheer self butt kicking that i managed to complete this. The final items that i came out with, were okay. I got some feedback from the some people over at the Game-Artist.net form which is kind of silent most of the time. The feedback helped me improve the models and make it look as good as possible.
I created a turntable the a few days before i had to hand in the assignment so i had plenty of time to make sure it looked presentable and showed what i wanted it to show. You can see the video below
Sword and Shield of Raka
And some images to go along with the video which were rendered using Marmoset Toolbag.
Which also reminds me, I’ve also shifted my site away from WordPress (urgh) to HTML (yay). It was a ‘interesting’ learning experience. I managed to find a basic template that is perfect for any Games Artist and i edited the HTML quite a bit to make it unique for me.
You can check out my new website at www.AnsibNabi.co.uk It’s just so much easier to add new content easily now. The most important thing to take in mind when creating a website for potential employers is to show your work as quickly as possible, the quicker the better. The less clicks to find your work, the more the recruiter will thank you for it. You don’t want the recruiter to play a maze game when going on your website, they’ll just not bother to see any of your work. Keep it simple and clean.
So what am i doing now? I’ve applied to a few junior artist positions and i am waiting to hear back from them, so fingers crossed! In the mean time i’ve decided to create some Cosmetic Items for DOTA 2 characters. I am doing this alongside a high school buddy who took a 3D Course in college. I’ve learn’t a lot over the last couple of days. Valves use of shader masks is pretty efficient and remarkable, it took a few hours to understand it and implement it into my first model. The models must be rigged to the bones which can be daunting but it’s far from it, the steps needed to correctly rig and position your item to work in the game is quite easily done but that’ll have to be for another blog post! :)
We’ll be creating a chest collection so there will be a variety of items created for different chars. Here are 2 preview snips of what i’ve created from scratch by myself for TUSK who is a relatively new character in DOTA2.
I’ll post some more updates on the Dota 2 Workshop when i have more work to show off.
This is going to be fun, thanks for sticking with me till the end ;)
It has been a long time since i last made a post so here’s a quick summary of what i’ve done since the last post which was about, uhh…hold on a sec let me check.
Ahh yes, Visual libraries! That was the last post. I’ve been quite busy with assignments. The group ones which were very time consuming (and worth the least amount of marks) took chunks of my free time. I was very happy with the the train station assignment we were assigned to do. That was fun.
What? didn’t i tell you about THAT assignment? Better late than never i suppose?
The basic requirements for the level were, that it had to include a train (duh) and it had a generic ‘Virus has escaped, people are dying’ theme. In my group, we had 2 designers and 3 artists. We were off a good start and we generally had everything under control until the last week dawned upon us, we soon realised we were running out of time and still had a lot to do. The radio conversation between the player and the soldier was scrapped, it was time to think realistically dammit!
We did manage to get all the work handed in on time, the LAST day for that assignment was the worst day ever. We had lighting issues, no presentation video existed yet, and we have lots of technical problems. I probably got home around 1:30am in the morning and got a few hours sleep until i had to wake up the next day and face presentation day, the worst part was listening to my own voice in the video presentation, urgh. It did go well though!
Anyway enough of the chit-chat, i suppose you want to see videos and pictures. Well here you go then!
The youtube video where you can view the level and a flyby of all the assets that were created by the 3 artists (including me :D )
Lighting was one of the main issues that we had and due to time limitations, we had to get basic lighting in there. Here are some screenshots i took in my spare time to add into on my portfolio site
I’m on my easter ‘holidays’ or what i’d like to call, ‘work at homidays’ We’ve got another udk assignment which is the exact same! but the scenario is different. Instead we are to create an expansion pack for a game that we could pick from a few titles. And we decided to go with Bioshock, as we felt that since it was a first person shooter it was easy to replicate the feel as we could bypass any camera issues we would of had if we chose a game like Gears of war, which has an over-the-shoulder camera. The team remains the same-ish with the exception of one designer switching to another group. We’re still in the research phase and we’re looking at what type of DLC we are going for. I wont spill all the beans because i want to keep it a SURRRPRIISSSEE!!!!
And the latest stuff i’ve been working on is my Zbrush. I posted some concepts in an older post. So here are some screenshots of the progress of my character thus far. 3DSMAX and Zbrush are the two tools i’ll be using in this assignment (mainly Zbrush)
Oh wait, i forgot to show you the finished concept of the character i will be modelling. We had to come up with 2 concepts so i did a female warrior and a brute rogue guy. Here they are!
This was the first concept i made, this was the concept that i decided to take forward.
Leitha was created ‘on-the-fly’ but my main inspirations were Zena and the protagonist from Heavenly Sword.
The brief gave us a choice to either use Zspheres or make a base mesh in 3DSMAX. As you can see from the blue man i decided to go with making a base mesh first. I got the base mesh over and done with within a couple of days and as i was modelled my mind kept thinking about what things i can leave out and sort out in zbrush. One of those ‘things’ being the proportions of the arms. I’ve always had problems modelling characters in the past but after all the knowledge I’ve built up on other assignments that required 3DSMAX, building a character didn’t seem challenging any more. I’ve got A LOT to learn in terms of topology and proportion but i think i’m getting there.
Once my base mesh was complete the next part was to take it into Zbrush (THE FUN PART!) From here i was only adding more sub divisions once i was happy with the model in that current sub division. I did make a few major tweaks later on in the lower sub division but since Zbrush applies that change through all the divisions it wasn’t much of a problem. I’m currently at the stage where i feel like i’ve got the base sculpt done and i’m not working on the items for my character. I’ve already got the 4 required items i need for the brief (Shoulder armour, Pants, Knee thingys and boots) but if time permits i might add in the concept weapon.
I hope there was enough pictures to counter the wall of text you had to endure! Until next time.
The Visual Library
So i was watching Feng Zhus latest video on where he talks about visual libraries and how important it is to have when designing something that is half new and half seen so viewers get that “woah” feeling when they look at your design instead of a “Oh i’ve seen this before” if it’s generic or “What the hell is that?!?!” if you’ve created something they can’t relate it to or make a connection. It got really interesting as he was talking about how Person A would have better designs if they grew up while drawing from a very early age and if he/she absorbed all these visual images that they collected from cartoon shows, drawings, real life, games, comics and even books that this person could use later on it life. That kind of person would come up with very solid and realistic looking designs in their concepts. Person B on the other hand drew when he was small but stopped for some reason (it could be that he was starting to study his A Levels in finance instead of doing all that ‘useless’ stuff) You can easily see the advantage that Person A has, he has spent the first part of his 18-20 years just drawing and absorbing visual knowledge which he has built up over time in his brain. Person B however only has maybe 10-12 years of visual knowledge? Which puts him in an immediate disadvantage as his visual library is very small compared to Person A.
You can watch the episode here Episode 52 Visual Library
Where i fit in it all
So after watching the video i was thinking where i could fall and honestly, i would say i could be leaning towards Person B. In other words, my visual library is very little. I didn’t think of this before and its only when watching this video that it dawned on me how much my designs can be really bad. At high school i didn’t care much for art, i didn’t know what i wanted to do, it was just gaming or computer related things. I never doodled or drew. I usually messed about in the art lessons and didn’t take art for GCSES, and in fact i was going to take programming for my college education but that changed when i checked out the games development course they had to offer. Something ticked, i just had to enrol there and try it out. I immediately loved it, dabbling in 3DSMAX in the first few modules were very fun. I started to like art too, working with different mediums; charcoal, pastels, acrylics and markers, all these things were new to me and alien but i wanted to master them and make ‘something’ from these tools. Unfortunately there wasn’t much traditional art related assignments and it was even non existent in the second year! So i had very little understanding of anatomy, form, gestures, composition and especially design because my art experience and background was non existent. I realized after watching the video that i will have to make up for it and catch up if i wanted to get a job in the games industry so i’m constantly browsing art forms and art works of other people and i am observing and taking in the details, the designs, the composition and all that so it can store up there *points at brain*
I recommend you watch the video, it can provide a great insight into what happens to people with different levels of visual library. Yes, i know we don’t all come from an art background but some people are extra lucky as they have parents that love to draw and might even be artists and encourage their younglings to draw too while also giving them feedback and advice. This will eventually come to an advantage later on down the line for that person when it comes to drawing concept art or doing anything design related.
So that’s the visual library!
Digital Sculpting assignment
So now onto our digital sculpt assignment. We must create 2 designs both which including orthographic views too. So i’ve started by drawing some quick sketches of a few concepts that i came up with. I used a few references here and there but there were all changed to some extent.
Oh slap me silly! I totally forgot to link you to this amazing concept art site known as Concept Root. Its just one of the cool sites i’ve stumbled up from recommendations on forums. Forums are useful!
Oh and sorry for the wall of text and thank you to those of you who had the courage to read it all!
The first semester was very digital and i wanted to get back to do something traditional so bad. So as you can imagine i was quite happy when i heard life drawing was going to be back on. It was a 3 hour long session consisting of a variety of different time limits for each drawing, these ranged from 5mins,15mins and even 50 minutes. Which was quite long. I’ve gone very rough and seem to have problems getting proportions correct. Main problem i have seem to have is that i tend to realize a mistake after a while, when i ‘think’ i’ve nearly finished the drawing. Can’t wait to see what other interesting models we get to study! The drawings below were done with the following materials;
- Brush Pen
- 4B and HB pencil
- Willow Charcoal
- Big Charcoal :P
Today i recieved 2 new briefs which sound really interested. I’m going head on this semester and aim to concentrate very hard on getting work done and handed in on time and in great quality. The brief i recieved involves anatomy studies and zbrush both of which i’m very flaky at but i’ve started by purchasing a ‘Drawing Anatomy’ book by Barrington Barber.
I can’t wait to see what other assignments get thrown my way! And from here i’ll be updating this blog more often as well as improving my main site which you can visit at http://www.ansibnabi.co.uk