Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Mudbox: Day 2

A second attempt at modelling /sculpting in Mudbox,this time a bit planet of the apes style with a little more detail,spent an hour on this one.

Hopefully will get more detail into my next attempt,
I was focusing on the area around the eyes mostly.Click to enlarge.
Unintentionally ended up sculpting an ape type bust,I could easily
spend hours on it but decided to keep the first few sculpts quick.

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Mudbox: Day 1

I decided to give Mudbox a try,a lot less complicated than Zbrush is my first thought!.Spent about an hour playing around,these are the results..

A little bit Freddy Kruger looking but a start.

Friday, 26 August 2011

Amnesia: Making of the Game

Amnesia: the dark descent is best known for it YouTube reaction videos of players letting out yelps and screams while playing the game, its pretty good at mixing point and click,survival horror and physics to create something original.After finishing the game I noticed that among the install files was one called "super secret Rar ",so I went straight to google.It turns out the multiple endings of the game give sections of a password that opens the file and inside there's a fairly expansive making of,over 200mb worth of videos,images and production booklets.

Behind the scene images show Maya modelling for game details.

PDF,PowerPoint's and word files breakdown  production,
selling points and pitch the story's unique elements

The majority of making of books tend to gloss over a lot but here you get to see development of the game engine itself and a host of pdf and even PowerPoint pitching the game (presumably to investors) and its features,they show initial ideas and breakdowns of story and basically try to sell the game at its earliest stage.It's an interesting look into behind the scenes of a game and worth checking out even if you aren't a gamer.

Monday, 15 August 2011

Work in Progress- Game assets

Work in progress (untextured) game asset model,created in Maya.Low poly,built in 30 Min's.

Steam Power machine,Colin kasyznski 2011.

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Review: Lumion Realtime Rendering

Real time rendering programs..they have a habit of hiding a button called play,record or movie that's actual purpose render.Lumion is no different but the program itself manages to get away with it because for the most part it does produce some really good real time images.The first thing that hits you opening the program is the design,Lumion looks like the 'sims',everything is ultra easy to navigate and you can explore the entire program in about 5mins.The program itself has a ton of props,materials,animated characters as well as terrain and water.It all has the bright and cheery Sims look.

A Pre-set examples scenes in realtime,the quality settings
are graded by 1-4 stars with this being the highest.

A quick .obj import of my model in realtime the weather
can be instantly updated with lightbeams and fog.
The main purpose of the program seems to be architectural rendering,fly-throughs of streets and concepts which it does do well.On my laptop the program ran with some drop in frame rates and other issues but on a good system I'm sure it wouldn't be much of an issue.Its a good program but limited,the renders have a definite "look" that feels game-ish and it feels more like a fun program than a professional one.When i do upgrade my computer I will probably come back to Lumion and see how far it can be pushed,its definitely one of the best I've tried so far.
For review's of more realtime render software click program or review tags below.

Saturday, 6 August 2011

Review: Daylight Visualizer

Another day another program,VELUX Daylight Visualizer is basically a program for render interiors with natural lighting,it also builds custom rooms and features presets of objects and materials as well as settings to calculate light based on country,day of the year and time.In a matter of minutes you can learn almost every setting and setup and rendering a fairly high quality image or animation,the rendering takes no time.

A basic scene i created in just 2 mins and lowest quality render setting which took about 2 mins
The program claims to support importing .obj files and others but i wasn't able to get it working sadly,its pretty much the only fault i found in the program as it delivers nice renders fast.Its currently on version 2 and free for downloading at less than 50mb (it does watermark renders but only at bottom) and later versions would be well worth checking out.Available here -

Another low setting / ultra quick render using material and object presets.There's some artifacts on render but given the low settings is understandable.

Friday, 5 August 2011

Review: ShiVa Game Editor

Today I tried out Stonetrip's ShiVa editor,a game building engine and authoring tool similar to Unity.Opening up the program the first thing that hit me was the layout which seems to waste as much space as possible,putting all the major an important tools in a panel half way down the screen rather than up top.Once I got past that all the usual features are there (creating lights and shapes etc).Whenever you create object they are added to a library where they can be dragged and dropped into scene,seems pretty simple but with all the menus condensed into one area it quickly gets complicated.

ShiVa 3D Available as a free PLE edition

The demo levels show off some nice lighting and soft shadows and there's a library of free materials and objects to play around with,Maya importing is also fairly simple though the polygon limit seems low.In the short amount of time I played with shiVa I got the feeling Unity's probably got the upper hand with interface and community forums.

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Unity 3D 3

I decided to give Unity3d 3 another go,the last time i used it i thought the quality of lighting and rendering was disappointing but after seeing the program version had updated and there are now lots of add-ons,scripts i wanted to check out if anything had changed.The first time I tried Unity my goal was importing Maya models in the hope that the game engine could be used for real time renders,this time i decided to look at it as a game engine and how complex scenes could be as well as how well the lighting would work.
I managed to import a pretty large scale model i built a while back in Maya with minimal fuss (the vertex limit is somewhere around 65,000) and set about lighting it.The main lighting was directional light and a couple of point lights to add some glow,Unity Pro also features image effects which you drag onto the camera,so i set up an anti-aliasing effect and some bloom.The results are pretty decent actually,it took around 20mins to put the scene together and although theres some slow down external lighting works fine.

Bloom image effects applied to camera
In-game render after 20 mins work.
The next scene I tried was  internal lighting and this is where the limitations of the engine showed again,there are 2 lighting options,deferred and forward.Deferred lighting means you can have soft real time shadows on point lights and forward means you cant,clearly you need shadows so its got to be deferred.Until you see the quality of the shadows.By turning on deferred every edge,shadow and line flickers and pixelates,you can spend hours tweaking settings,adding image effects and blurs but the quality just doesn't cut it.

Deffered lighting causes pixelated shadows in Unity

From a distance the scene looks fine,but edges become choppy

Forward lighting of the same scene is more clear but shadows are gone.
Unity is a great program and I'm sure a few version's down the line it will be even better but right now its still limited to certain projects,outdoors scenes and casual games for mobile wont notice the problems but for bigger projects theres better programs.Next up I try Shiva3D...