Thursday, August 30, 2012

Random stuff

Stupid Photoshop tricks: Have a lot of layers and hate trying to track down which is which? Go to the move tool (v) , hold ctrl (or command on mac...?) and click on your layer, and it will be selected.

Better yet, go to the move tool's options and check "Auto-Select:" on and make sure it's set to "Layer". Now you can use this feature from other tools like the brush tool. Hold ctrl and click select the layer while using most tools. (not the shape tool, for some reason)

(note that it will select whatever layer is on top at the point you click, and that includes soft overlay layers and whatever) (also, careful that you don't swipe your mouse at the same time, because you will just select a bunch of layers instead. This can be done on purpose but the logic is kinda particular about what it will select, so you might have to play with it a while to see how it ticks) (also, text layers can be selected by their bounding box, which means you do not have to aim specifically at the letters in order to select it)

 SCP013- Holy ball thing (WIP)
Shows you visions related to your religion of choice. Also tunnels through things.
The first thing I'm going to do to this once I have time to work on it again is to lighten that guy's belt.
I guess I kinda like the colors...

I joined this online study group to try to get better at characters, and first assignment was to redesign a character from FF7. So I went with the catdog.

I don't know how this happened. I'm sorry.

So I've been spending the majority of the past few weeks on this 3d stuff.
Desk and props...still have a lot of props to make.

The chair is a little heavy, but I feel it is comparable in polycount to some of the stuff in the UDK. Also, it's got all those pieces. I wanted to make it dynamic, but either there was a problem with the shadows, or the player would pass through it, or something like that, so I'll let it be for now. Maybe someday, and maybe I'll get the base and seat to be two separate rotating physics objects, and maybe also gold will fall out of my butt.
The keyboard is using bumpoffset to try to get the keys to stick out more. Neat trick, UDK.
The mug...I wonder if I should have added more verts for the silhouette. Xnormal was giving me funny results with the rim. It may be best if the rim of the low poly fits entirely within the rim of the high poly so it doesn't bake empty space where the low poly is outside the high poly...
Monitor screen material uses fresnel to have the image fade when looking from the side, just like a cheap TN panel. If I knew what I was doing, I could have it go inverted when viewed from underneath.

None of these items have any cables hooked up, everything's wireless with induction charging or something. I'm just not knowledgeable enough to figure out how to add wires and things without making a bunch of new models for different cable arrangements.. I should go through some of the big stack of unplayed games I've got here and see how other games treat this kind of thing.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Environment and etc

Stupid Photoshop tricks: I'm sure everyone knows this, but you can do a copy-transform with Ctrl+Alt+T. If you immediately afterwards hit Ctrl+Shift+Alt+T then it will repeat the same transformation on a new copy. You can make an array of whatever with this, and it takes position as well as scaling and rotation. If you don't want to make a ton of new layers, select the thing you want to transform with one of the selection tools before doing the first copy-transform.I guess this is for anyone who doesn't watch Photoshop User TV since this tip was on there in the last episode. Environment of the Week contest
"Escaping the Sandstorm"

I haven't won any of these yet but I manage to place respectably, like 5th or 6th place out of 15. But at the same time it's kind of a signal that I need to throw out most of my art-ing habits. Wish I had more time...

Daily sketch group- "Beast's teeth have become an array of horny tusk"
(I wasn't getting anywhere so I went with my old standby, cows)

My god, I have so far yet to go.

So yeah, I spent 60-80 hrs learning UDK and making these. And having to remake them because the doorknob didn't stay aligned with the door. (attachments in prefabs) Or because udk up axis is Z, and maya's is Y, so my animations import sideways even though the models import just fine. Also, material instances to swap out a pattern for wood or brushed metal, and what possibly was a huge waste in making master materials to make that happen. But you know what? 25 working doors and 10 prop doors. With triggers and sound effects.

(Apparently I need to add physics materials (@#^$*!!)

SCP-035 - mask that possesses the wearer, and also makes the walls bleed

One of the first things I got started on for SCP_Game was this mask model in Mudbox. Finally got around to finishing it. When you get close to it, you hear spooky noises.

You can see the ripples are not very good. They're the same shape as the edge. If I were going to do this again I'd use that radar ping tutorial that I found afterwards. Also, thicker streams. Creepy like Siren and various other horror medias. Also, the sealed-in-a-glass-sphere thing felt logical given the specs (the liquid is super-corrosive and glass is the most resistant), but it's kinda not very fitting, so maybe I'd try a cube or something with reinforcement.

Anyway, next batch of stuff. I made the desk, just finished the keyboard and now working on the monitor. I'm hoping that after finishing all these forking props I'll be at least a little faster at making models...

Friday, August 10, 2012

random doodles and studies

Stupid Photoshop tricks: If you're click-dragging out a rectangular/oval marquee or a crop area with the crop tool or a shape with the shape tool but you don't like where you started the click-drag, you can, without releasing the mouse button, hold spacebar to move the shape around. Then release spacebar to continue dragging out the whatever. (perhaps this trick works on more tools than those three, but that's all I know)

DSG- giant brute vs fast small imp
I skipped the "fast small imp" part, maybe because I decided to be all daring and full of myself and try for an alternate interpretation. Come to think of it, I do that a lot. I should stop that.

Take 2: storyboard animatic. I think it was a 5 hours well spent. Maybe. I wish I'd made the imp look at the sharp thing in the first scene because it seems kinda hard to notice.
Not pictured: how the imp's face and body changed from children's book illustration-style in the first panel to almost pseudo anime non-super-deformed in the last one. Didn't quite fix that...should have kept the first panel on the side for reference.

scp012- musical score that makes you insane
welp, these were the specs given in the description. I kinda like how the box and the box's shadow are silhouetted, light against dark and dark against light. I think it's making it more creepy but I'm not sure...


view from my window

10 min random-thing sketches

I'm finally putting a use to that old convertible tablet-laptop I got! The batteries are so old on this thing!

 I have a lot to learn about texture brushes.

I assume that someday I will only post the good stuff and stop posting EVERYTHING. (making assumptions about me ever making good stuff.)

Illustration Friday- "Bounce"

Illustration Friday- "Bounce"
is this how I'm supposed to publish to Illustration Friday I don't know
edit: well I guess not, Illustration Friday doesn't like animated gifs : (

Friday, August 3, 2012

Misc and a door

Dumb Photoshop tricks: When you're doing a transform, you can hold Alt (on PC)(probably the same with the equivalent key on Mac) and click to place your anchor instead of having to zoom out and hunt for the thing.

Scp011- living civil war statue
(original is memorial to the soldiers of Woodstock, Vermont)
I can't see the perspective issues any more so I sent it off to the art director.
I like pigeons. They look goofy. Too bad they're pooping all over my neighbor's shiny new black car.

DSG- giant emerges from haze and heat, rainforest
Kind of a failure. I think depth is getting lost. Went back and tried to fix it, including darkening the foreground and adding vines, but I think if I were doing it for something more than a sketch I'd consider the composition way more carefully.

The only good thing about this picture is that I'm trying a camera angle that isn't straight ahead.

Take 2 on the same subject. I like....the brushes I used for the foreground vines. The ground is sloppy and not in a good way. Need to start doing master studies.

(Ugh, what an ugly son of a bitch.)
After getting my ego crushed by watching the video portfolio reviews (and I didn't even get reviewed!) I came to and decided to try to do more drawing from life. It was the most common piece of advice that they gave, whether to beginners or professionals. I remember that Daarken (?) did a self-portrait every day for a while so I'm starting with that.

I might get back to walking around the city and sketching again, but at some point I think I've got to start painting.

Fooling around with a multicolor pen

Illustration Friday- "Lonely"
(Yeah, yeah, emo angst and all that.)
I think a clearer read might have been to make it a handcrank-powered lift instead of a machine.

UDK continues to be a bear. I don't know what I'm doing wrong. Working as fast as I can, I produced a simple functioning door in 10 hours. TEN HOURS. I'm really going to have to start keeping track of where my time is going.

 Doors doors doors doors

edit: 10 hours to rig up a new door with door closer, research what udk accepts in terms of animations and how to bake inverse kinematics to keyframes, import a skeletal mesh + animations to udk without making it crash, learn the basics of animsets and physics assets for collision, in addition to just modeling and texturing. Gads, what a hassle. No wonder the environment artist on Gears of War developed a library of reuse assets. I just wish I knew how long working professionals take to make similar things.

Door closer arm was attached to frame with IK and then the keys were baked in. I have no idea if this is a good door set-up for UDK. I traded off all the extra geometry for less smoothing groups but it's still at around 800 verts.