Archive for year 2006

3D Self Portrait

Self portrait made in 3dsmax from photo reference and rendered with Mental Ray.  Hair is done using the standard plugin that ships with 3dsmax.

This was just a quick weekend project.  I think I spent about 8 hours on it start to finish. Never did get around to the glasses or a shirt. Still, it was a fun little test.

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RFG road tools R&D

One of the many challenges that we faced on RFG was that of making roads in the rocky Martian terrain.  The videos below demonstrate two techniques we explored.

Technique #1 – Spline borders with edge softening

This demonstration is rather drawn out and shows what is happening under the hood.  The basic idea was that a level artist or designer could drop down road outlines and use the lines to control the width, bank, and slope of roads projected into height map terrain.

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Technique #2 – Spline w/knot controls

This technique is similar to what we went with for our world editor on RFG.  One spline with knot controls defines the road direction, width, banking, and slope…augmenting the height map terrain to fit.  We actually took this a step further and leverage stitch piece geometry that would literally conform and carve into the terrain.

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RFG World Editor R&D workflow mockup

I created this video early in pre-production on Red Faction Guerilla to help communicate some ideas that I had at the time for building terrain and placing structures in a rapid, non-linear manner.  Some of these ideas were incorporated into the proprietary editor used on RFG.

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The tool was mocked-up inside of 3dsmax using a combination of maxscript, modifiers, and wired parameters.  Even though it appears to be a functional tool in the video, it is really just a demo turning on/off parameters and moving them around to show how such a tool set might be designed and used.

**FWIW, I never recommend building world editors inside of DCC apps.  We’ve gone down this road and it works, but it doesn’t scale well and becomes very slow and hard to work with in fully loaded production settings.

Building Placement R&D

As SR2 approached, I was concerned about the time it took to construct the city for Saints Row and conducted several tests to explore possible tools or workflows to improve this.  The following video is one of them…

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This video illustrates a concept of “pedestals” that would accompany every building that would be placed into the world.  The pedestals could add or subtract from the terrain as appropiate, carving out a level foundation or building one.  Not shown in the video is the idea of a distinction between hard and soft edges.  Additionally, it doesn’t show the concept of clutter or accessories objects or integration with adjacent objects or streets.

Road Maker R&D

As SR2 approached, I was concerned about the time it took to construct the city for Saints Row and conducted several tests to explore possible tools or workflows to improve this.  The following video is one of them…

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This video illustrates a concept of building up a city by, essentially, connecting nodes together to create roads and boundaries.  This video only scrapes the surface on how far this concept could extend and allow for rapid building of cities and levels for game environments.

Female Character Concept & Model

Female character concept Female Model wipThis is a concept & model that I created for a character that I was going to use in an animation study.  I wonder if I’ll ever get back to it and finish it.