Friday, December 23, 2011
Anyway thanks for checking us out,
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
Monday, December 12, 2011
Monday, December 5, 2011
Finished "in-game" model...
For this particular character we wanted to create an interesting, unique unit while at the same time creating him efficiently. Given this we decided to have him share the same body type as the OMD! Ogre. Sharing the Ogre's form would save a great deal of animation and early stage modeling time.
Now that we knew the starting point one of Robot's talented concept artists, Nate Stefan, worked up a concept based on the design needs and the Ogre's form. On the modeling side I decided to begin this mission by using the in-game Ogre model created by fellow character artist extraordinaire Chris Moffitt.
Using the Ogre model provided a great starting point to begin the Zbrush phase. Once I have the Zbrush model completed I export the lowest subD mesh from Zbrush and import it into Max. Within Max I will create the in-game model using the lowest Zbrush subD (after some cleanup and optimizing) and then lay out the UV's. Now that I have my low and high poly models complete the normal map baking stage begins. I usually make about 2~3 projections within xNormal set at different influence or distance radiuses... for instance... .05, 5, 20. This enables me to get the best projection for various aspects of the model (between fingers, straps, and large areas such as the torso). Once baked I'll combine the normal maps within photoshop for the cleanest, highest quality map possible. Now that I have my normal map set the way I want it I will create an occlusion map from it within Crazybump. Once my normal and occlusion maps look clean and ready to roll I will go into max and assign the Direct X RTTNormalmap.fx shader to my Cyclops model. Doing this enables me to actively view the model with the normals active to check for any artifacts, unclean areas, or trouble spots in general before fully exporting it to the game. Once I am happy with every thing thus far I will texture the character within photoshop using the occlusion as my guide. This Cyclops uses a diffuse, spec, normal, gloss, and emissive texture map. For final texture tweaks I view the charcter within the game's engine. Once the Art Director is happy with the character it goes off to our animation and FX gurus to be brought to life!
The below image displays the concept, starting point Ogre mesh, Cyclops model as seen within max using the RTTNNormalmap.fx shader applied, and the final Cyclops wireframe.
The Zbrush model of the Cyclops Shaman.
Thanks for stopping by! Hope you enjoyed this post. Stop back soon and often for more tidbits from the Robot Art Staff!
Friday, December 2, 2011
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
One of the art directors at Robot Entertainment asked me to storyboard some Orcs Must Die! (OMD) logo ideas. The requirements and direction was essentially keep it short; keep it simple; comedy via orc violence; get the OMD logo on the screen. Some other logo animations were already complete, but he wanted to look at different options, perhaps a different direction. Six seconds was the maximum length established from the completed logos. Because some artist time had already been spent creating a usable (and great!) logo the time frame for the one I would create was short: Not including storyboard time, this would be done (animation, render, sound, etc...) in a week with minimal effort from the art team; 3d animation and reused assets.
Of course, my mind started blowing up with ideas that didn't fit within that requirement. (Thanks brain, you're awesome.) So, I storyboarded those ideas over the next three working days. Unfortunately, I saw these as short animations rather than just a straight up logo, which is probably why we didn't move forward with any of my ideas. As such, I was trying to tell a small story with some (2), and others do exactly what the art director wanted (3). I finished a total of five. As I said, none of them were chosen and we went with the already completed logo. One animatic/idea, for me, stood out above the rest (above). I wanted to see it to completion. Below are the other animatics I did that aren't going to see any further work.
Here is a video showcasing the multiple stages I went through to get Gauntlet completed. Starting with the animatic and rough animation moving all the way to final animation, color, and effects.
This is the final Orcs Must Die! Gauntlet animation. The animation was created using ToonBoom Animate Pro 2, and backgrounds in Photoshop.
I broke out some of my smear/multiple drawings and squash and stretch drawings from my Orcs Must Die! Gauntlet animation. Smear and multiple drawings are typically used when your character needs to cover a really large distance over a really short amount of time. Much like what motion blur does in live action video footage. The camera stretches, smears and blurs the action if something is moving really quickly.
I use multiple drawings usually if only the limbs are moving big distances but the body isn't. Multiple drawings are also a great way to convey, in one or two frames, the spacing and arc of the limb; allowing for a more accurate interpretation of the movement. I'll use smear drawings more if the entire character is moving very quickly; if I want the sense of a fast motion without the actual direct understanding of how the character got there (which means for me that the movement and distance traveled is so unrealistic, I'll use a smear drawing to convey the character's movement from the start and stop spots.) Of course, none of this means you can't use smear drawings instead of multiple whenever you want or vice versa; use the method that gives you the desired effect that you're looking for in your animation, or whatever appeals to you more. Anything or everything I've said could be completely wrong, this is just how I understand it, and utilized it in my own work.
I must say, smear and multiple drawings are really fun to draw!
Click on the images to see the sequence of smear/multiple drawings.
And finally, I made this nifty little gif animation of the looping portion. Right click the image to save. If you want a higher resolution version, download it here.
Friday, November 18, 2011
The artists of Robot Entertainment previously had a blog on the Robot Entertainment site, ‘Art Bot Central’. But we wanted a space that specifically revolved art. That art will include the great stuff that we pull in a salary to create, as well as the stuff we do that no one in their right mind would pay us for J
In other words, this site will be used as a creative dump for the artists at Robot Entertainment to showcase their wide range of thoughts. We’ll use this site to talk about and showcase a wide variety of artwork. We will cover some of the art and the processes that we have followed to create the awesome visuals that go into various Robot Entertainment games, such as the recently released Orcs Must Die! Additionally we will post current artwork that we are working on outside of the Robot Factory, and since a lot of us don’t seem to have much free time… we’ll have ‘themes’ from time to time to give us a little extra motivation to post some new artwork out here. We’ll start that up in January of 2012!
A lot of us have a lot of history with one another and have worked together dating back to the early days of Ensemble Studios. It’s a great group of really talented guys that I love working with and get inspired by every day, and I look forward to us sharing some of that creativity with you. We will be showcasing everything from concepts, models, environments, characters, to animations, so we hope you guys enjoy the site!