Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Happy Halloween!

For the occasion I made a Halloween styled game enviroment and character. A forest and a warewolf. Again in the style of Scott C.
Image name:That one guy by Scott C

The main purpose of this test was to try to get the eyes of a 3d character track to the camera and display like the wolfs eyes in this image. ie both eyes on one side of the face.
And to test billboarding of real water-coloured textures.
Here are some final screen shots from the game, video at the bottom of the post.
Wolfman from front on

Eyes track to the camera
Started out by cutting out the trees from the image and applying them to planes.
This is the texture sheet for trees and rocks. These are on on planes which always face the camera. There is more room on the sheet in case I added more varied props.All these images are cut out from the original image.
Skybox texture

Outline HUD Paper texture

Ground Texture

Wolf Texture


The way i got the eyes to work but needs work.
Planes are pareneted to an empty which is parented the head bone. Both the empty and the plane have track to constraints to always face the camera. I need to find out how to get the orient constraint to work korectly in game enigine along with the track to , but i think they overight each other. I cols also change the angle by keypresses and just do the inverse of that the character is doin or something , it will require more thought if i do it that way.


this video shows the eye tracking thing in action, watch it break :P

this test is on its way to working but wanted to post as it was Halloween and ware wolfs are halloweenie. The bilboarding of wattercolor textures is good and i dont even notice they they are doing it most of the time.

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Meeting with Ken Fee

Had a meeting with Ken to day, for anyone that doesn't know he's big in industry working on thinks like lemons and silicon valley and many more.Was as a nice little talk. Showed him some stuff and he liked most of it. We ampere to have the same views on realism in games. And mentioned something about someone saying that in a few years we would have the power to do realism in games. And we both thought why, realism is everywhere around you.

I told him the way things were going on in regards to a research question, he didn't seem to think the story question had any real relevance which I agree with in some ways. The style of a game isn't always directly related to the story that is being told. eg why dose Zelda skyward sward look like an impressionist painting?

Zelda Skyward Sword

He suggested instead to simply focus on the production and implementation of traditional art to 3D rendering in games.(basically what I was thinking in the first place)

This may touch on story telling but should not be the main focus. 
Then he linked an Emotional response from the user to the art style but this means that I could have to conduct surveys and look into the psychology, which I haven't looked deeply into today.

He also talked about combining different styles in one scene to draw attention to certain elements or just as a surprise out of the norm factor. There was talks of the pen drawing meeting the cute night.

I could crate the same level in 2 or 3 styles and gage the users emotional response to events or simply the way characters are portrayed through the style.

After Group Talk

After Thursdays group showing of work I feel I'm still stuck in the same place with my question but I took Lynn's advice and wrote a case study of unfinished swan which I will post here as a word doc after iv went over it again so as not to spoil it acsidentaly for anyone. It got a bit out of hand as I talked about the entire game. 

This turned out to be more than 3000 words witch I think is good practice for the lit review due in 5 weeks :S. I thought everything was so worth talking about so not only does it talk about art but it may also serve as a semi walk through :P. Also the original demo for this game is soo amazing, it messes with the players head and contains the most memorable level in a game iv played in a long time even though its in almost complete darkness.

In doing this case study I have came across some key themes when talking about the style and how the style of the game reflects the story throughout. Back to the talk I am sure everyone liked what they seen and plan on making a lot more in the future. As far as practical work goes I'm sorted and I'm getting really comfortable using node editors and creating the models and textures to create the desired effect. That being said there is a few tests I have been thinking about and will try soon, one of witch is normal mapped oil paint. 

And the lit review I thought I hit gold the other day as
I found a series of lectures from Sigraph found here. 

There is a quite detailed section on how borderlands got its facelift to hand drawn style, and as many of the arty games v heard it was due to time or technical limitations along with trying to stick out from the crowd of overpopulated hyper real games out there. 
 Also gave in a downloaded the team fortress 2 illastritive rendering paper and found some terms which helped lead to some other links. Pdf here
^TF2 Color scheme^

Also found a paper talking about post modern approches to shaders for dead open source games.
This is a link but not the one il post the actual link whne i find it again.
 Stay on the look out for a Halloween surprise this week.

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Adorable Battles water-colour (Scott C) Knight [Happy Accident]

I randomly came accross this book that some one was reading. 
Its basicaly a colection of the artist Scott c's work. 

His style has so much charm and his work varies from children books to art director on video games. Most notably Psychonouts. 

Heres a video well worth the watch about him and his story:

Anyway back to the test:
I was working on using displacment maps to achave a techniqu called pologon painting. its a render time effect produced by rotating a greyscale image at a speedwhitch matches the framerateand applying motion blur. 
Video descibing the prosess:

only problem is this is render time not real time.

(Displacement map is a greyscale image whitch unlike normal maps whitch only change the reflectivness of an object, displacement  actualy deformes the mesh meaning that there needs to be more pologon detail there in the first place.)

Heres some render time tests i did on a simple cube with a wattercolor textured cube and a cube with inverted normals for the outline. I was realy liking these effects as still but in animation it didnt match the framerate and i couldnt figure it out.but didnt want to spend any m,ore time at render time tech.

I tried playing about with the displacement modifier in blender in the game engine but it didn't seem to react to the empty s movement I attached to the displacement handle.
The displacement modifier works in game engine just not animated in this method.
I thought i could just use the displacement to add a wobbly predefined outline in a test 

I love all the images in Scott Cs book but I thought I should start way something simple to recreate in 3d. I really liked this series he did called Adorable battles:

I modelled this knight and textured it using a water-cooled overlay in Photoshop, and did a quick idle animation.
Model(393 faces):

I duplicated the mesh and inverted the normals, then added the displacement modifier without the link to the empty and played in game engine. To my surprise and delight the displacement was animating on its own. I investigated further and realised that by not attaching the empty and the hook. The modifier was using normal direction and of course when a model is being animated the normal angle changes. There fore creating wobbly outlines :D. What a "happy accident " Peter Rustle, my skating and water colour class teacher at smith gallery Stirling. (how fitting it was a happy accident whilst working on a water colour 3d visualisation)

With outlines and background paper texture:

Video showing Wobbly lines:

This test shows that like in traditional painting even in 3d work there is  such a thing as a happy accident and the art creation process isn't that different in the unexpected department. 
The outline needs some shaders attached to it to create a more painterly texture but getting wobble in game engine using displacement was a success. There is also some posiblities opend up if this normal option allows data froma normal map to change effect the mesh in game but that seems like a long shot might try that later on.

Did some more work on the outline. First thing was add an alpha channel to it allowing the paper behind to show. 

one outline

This lone didn't give enough texture and the actual outline of the outline was obvious, so I added another duplicate , so and outline of the outline also with an alpha channel but with the black values turned up a lot more creating an outline falloff and softening the hard edge from before. This dose up the poly count by a lot but as technology is progressing the levels of polygons in these models seem like nothing. Also added a quick shadow, looks on in the still but is weird when it moves, needs some animation.
Base mesh 392 faces, outlines 1568 faces(the outline is a lot more dense to add outline variation when the displacement is applied)
2 outlines

I also made the monster from the picture which didn't work out too good as the outline keeps showing through where it shouldn't , need to try a different cloud map as the displacement of mabie just a lower level.

Video test update:

Unfinished Swan

Play this game!!!

I will do a proper case studdy of this game in a while but finished playing it a couple nights ago and it was just amazing. Its set in a chidrens book and is an exploration of art and peaseful exploration with  weird but understandable story. As far as i can see it dose almost everything right , dont listen to game spot (6 on gamespot :() 
I dont want to spoil anythign right now for people who havent played it but it is an experience that should be played to understand and appreciate its awesomness. This game is also a prime example that my honours is so relevant and current to industriy at the moment. 
I thnk it comes out for non playstation pluss members this week.
Its only £10 so go buy it and enjoy it.

Here is a link to the case stdy i did just after i played it. Its basicaly just a walkthrough with coments on style and story. its a docx file have a look if ur interested.

little more Edge

Iv done a little more work on the edge test just basic experimenting and trying out lighting with sketchy shadows and high contrast.
I had some problems with texture blurring when planes were at extreme angles from the camera or in the distance.
I tryed to fix this by increasing texture sizes and stuff but couldn't get it to work , i thought this might be the technical limitations which hold back some arty games. 
So i posted the question with a screenshot up on blender artist and they quickly pointed out a couple things it could be. First of all was to scale up the texture but i had already trued that. Someone suggested to up the 3d settings on my graphics card (Something iv never played with before) then it worked  :) still gets fuzzy sometimes but it works more now than before



Heres the wood texture:

And the shadows:

remember the enviroment is still verrry basic.

nodes for the back wall:


This is the test that iv been wanting to work on for years and so far progress is good. I will make a more detailed environment in future.

Abstract sketchy bunnies

Iv been meeting with a group to enter the unreal compitition. I dont wana give to much away about the project here and now but i did a test based on wills sketches.

I tryed applying what i had learned from other tests such as pop art and monkey and edge chronicles.
And quickly within a few of hours had a bunny and environment and a pencily sketchy texture. the first texture i tried didn't work so a made a quick squiggle in Photoshop.

Image sketchy textures:

I also added a paper texture on the environment.

Screen shots:

Video demo of test :

Atm this is the gameplay and moving pencil shadow test. collect green orbs so make ur rabbit grow.

might put up the game in a bit if i do a little more work on the actual gameplay. I feel it needs more of a goal.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Sketch on the edge

The next tes is still in progress but iIdon't relay know where to go with ti now. 
This test is almost an extention of the monkey sketch test in previous posts. 
Trying to replicate the style of a sketchy ink pen. 
I realy like the style of Chris Riddell in the Edge chronicles series and iv always wanted to make a 3d version of the main character twig. I had tryed many times in the past but they never worked out. This is the closest iv got at achiving the likenss to date but it still needs a little work.

Here is the old cover of one of the books in the series.

Here is the pictue of twig i was working form.

And heres what i got , i realise only now when i put them side by side that the proportions are still miles of , his body is stumpyer than i made it and his head and hair seem a lot bigger in the original.

close up, i thing this works well as a representation of the media in 3d

Even at a distence it seems to look good.

And of course its animated to look like a pen animation.

I used a 2 frame uv animation texture for both the main texture lines and shading . 

Main texture for the model:

Shading sheet , onld shows on areas of the model that shoudl be in darkness:

And used a 4 tile animation for the outline mesh.

might fix proportions and make a very simple environment to see if it looks to complicated and unreadable when in a scene context.