Sunday, December 2, 2012

Another quick scifi prop - Superspindle

Another Scifi Prop here...supposed to be a more beefy version of the powerspindle I posted recently.  I started this very early this morning and finished it up in the same night.  For the normal map, only large forms were baked, the rest was all done with nDo2.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

dDo beta test

soo....dDo beta is out in the wild!!!

I had to grab it and play with it right away.

I'm very impressed so far.

Here is a quick test that I did:

Coincidentally, this is the first prop I made while learning how to use nDo as well.

Basically, I input my low poly model (has to be .obj format) and an AO and Normal map.  Then, chose my presets, then dDo did its thing.  All I needed to do afterwards was tweak some of the grunge details with sliders.  This whole process only took me about 10 minutes.

I'll definitely be purchasing the freelancer license for this.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Another Unity Terrain - Lewis and Clark game


I've been working on several different projects lately.  This is one of them.

I'm helping out on an another indie game.  This one is called Meriwether..its a game that follows the path of Lewis and Clark on their journey to the Pacific Ocean.

There is a lot of ground to cover (literally) so I'm working on some terrains for this.
I was not responsible for any of the assets in these images.  The trees/grass/etc.. were packages purchased from the asset store.  I sculpted the shape of the terrain, painted splat maps for textures, and placed trees and vegetation   I also made a few of the terrain textures and modified some provided ones so the colors matched better.

All images are screengrabs from Unity.  This is an on-going project, so these images are not final.

(Ooops, left the little viewcube in there :P)

Monday, September 17, 2012

SciFi PowerSpindle/First nDo2 experience

Heyooo. Been a little while since my last update here. I've been pretty busy...but I have something new to post up now.

This is another prop for the SciFi Indie game that I've been providing some props for.  All renders are from UDK with the exception of the wireframe, which is displayed in the Maya viewport, and the textures from Photoshop.  The prop was based off of a provided concept.

With this prop, I decided to try out nDo2.  I know I'm a little late to the game, as its been out for quite a while..but I had to see what the fuss was about.

The image below shows my normal map before and after nDo2 treatment.  

I made a basic high poly model and baked that..then used NDo2 for all of the other details.

After figuring out how the tool works, I'm pretty certain that nDo2 is going to be a regular part of my workflow now.  Sculpting details in this is definitely faster than modeling/baking a bunch of smaller details, and from the little I've seen so get some really good results with photo-based normal generation.  I'm looking forward to using this more in my future projects and seeing what kind of results I can get.  

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Tutorial - UDK Dx11 Tessellation/Displacement Icicle Material

Even though I shared pictures of my icicle material, I had quite a few people ask if I could make a tutorial video, so I gave it a shot:

Friday, July 13, 2012

Unity Nature Environment

Here is another project that I did over the past week or so.

This was actually an environment for a game being designed for (and by) children with muscular dystrophy.  The team developing the project wanted a high quality environment that matched their specifications.  The team was using the Unity Game Engine.  They have a blog documenting the development here: 

A large chunk of the assets were provided for me.  All of the terrain assets (trees, rocks, textures, plant textures, etc) were provided for me.  I was responsible for creating layout out of the path and creating the terrain from scratch using their assets.  There were a handful of assets that did need to be created by me.

As previously mentioned, the project is being developed in the Unity Game Engine, which I'm quite comfortable with.  The company I work for uses the Unity Engine, and I've been working with it professionally for a few years now.

Here is one of the areas that players travel too.  I ended up modifying the waterfall assets fairly heavily, and I did the water at the base from scratch using my own materials.
An overview showing the terrain of the environment.  
A shot showing the path to the waterfall area.
The "fire area"  This is the first stop along the path.  I created the fire and smoke using Unity's Shuriken particle editor.
Part of the path I created.  The right side enters a more desert like section, while the left continues down the trail with a fork in the middle. The desert area is a sharp contrast to the nature design of the environment, so I did my best to create a smooth transition between both.  In this shot I created the sign.
The desert like "gravity area"  The rocks and the diamond were provided for me.  I made the columns and the circular stone pattern in the center.

City/Energy area.  I modeled the metal platform, but unwrapped it to work with provided textures.  Also I modified the shader to include cube mapped reflections.  I also created the cityscape in the background.

These are some of the assets that I needed to create for the environment.  All these assets were completed in a few hours or less.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Environment - Glacier Crash

Think I'm going to go say this one is finished.  

This is the first new environment I've added to my portfolio in over a year, and the beginning of a revamp of my work on there.  I definitely feel like I've improved since then.

This environment is based off a concept by Adam Brockbank.  

I had a lot of fun experimenting with DX11 features with this one, especially with the displaced Icicle deal.  Also made some nice looking displaced footprints in the snow.

I've already been spending the past few weeks thinking about what I want to work on next for a portfolio piece.  I'm going to jump right into another one today after work! 

Main Beauty Shot

Displaced Icicles on the 3 chains and steps in this shot.  Notice how none of the chains have the same icicle pattern.

I was really happy with how I got the snow to glimmer.  Bokeh DOF really pushes those specks as well.

Displaced Footprints.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

UV tiling Using Params for Material Instances in UDK

Nothing big here, but a guy on polycount was looking for a way to instance a material in UDK and adjust the TexCoord's U and V scaling independently.  I never really thought about doing that so I had some fun for a few minutes figuring it out.  I came up with a really easy solution, actually:

UV Tiling Using Params for Material Instances

Just figured I would throw this up there in case anybody else was curious about doing something like this.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

DX11 Displaced Icicle material

Showing off something that I'm doing with my current environment WIP.

When I started this environment, I was thinking a lot about tessellation and its starting to be used more commonly in UDK, and how I think its likely that well see more of this in the next generation of games.  Early into the environment I picked myself up a DX11 card and started toying around with the new features.

Ive seen displacement mostly used to add blobby details to rocks and things like that, so I wanted to try something a little different.  I had the idea in the back of my head from the beginning of the environment...I thought it would be pretty cool to create Icicles with displacement and be able to paint them wherever I wanted with vertex colors.

Here is what I came up with:
Displaced Icicles painted on a chain

Displacement happens in World Space, so the orientation of the object doesn't matter, Icicles always displace downwards towards the ground.  Also, I'm using the Up-Vector to only allow bottom facing geometry to displace, so the top of the object doesn't sink inwards.

Being able to us vertex painting is really nice.  It allows you to break up the repeating patterns that you would otherwise get with several instances of an object in close proximity.  

Here is an example of me painting icicles on the chain in UDK:

Vertex Painting Icicles onto a Mesh

Already had several people ask how I set this up.  Its actually pretty easy.  I painted a height map for the icicles by hand real quick...just made circles that got whiter towards the center.  I set up the min and max displacement using a Lerp node with  height map as the Alpha.  I Lerp between this and having no displacement based on the Up-Vector, then I Lerp between the Icicle Displacement and No Displacement using vertex color.

Here is the snipped from the shader network that deals with the displacement:
Icicle Displacement Material in UDK

I had a lot of fun setting this up.  I haven't seen any other examples of displacement being used to paint details onto objects maybe this will be of use to somebody who has a similar idea..or just wants to improve upon the idea.  I'm looking forward to seeing what kinds of things other people do with it.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Sci-Fi Surveillance Camera

Another little sci-fi prop here.

A surveillance camera.  Set up as a skeletal mesh.  First time I did anything with skeletal meshes in UDK..I had a lot of problems figuring out how I could pose this using bones in the editor.

Not certain, but this might be the last prop I do for the indie game for a while...  This gives me a good chance to jump straight into doing some portfolio work.

Sci-Fi surveillance camera.  My finished model on the left, and concept on the right (I did not make the concept)

Monday, May 7, 2012

Icicle Sculpts

Heres a few icicle sculpts I made over the weekend for the environment I'm currently making.  For the clusters of icicles, I gave dynamesh a try.  Definitely quicker to just sculpt the geo than to model it, felt very fluid.

Icicle Sculpts

Friday, April 27, 2012


I realize I haven't had an update in a little while. I wasn't exactly sure how much I would post here...I'm currently working on a new portfolio environment..but I don't want to keep posting iterative updates here, I think I'd rather just have final pieces or studies.  So I'm thinking that I'll have less updates with more substance.

Anyways, here is a forklift that I just completed for the SciFi indie game.
Finished Forklift

Provided Concept

Monday, April 2, 2012

SciFi Props

Just a few smaller props that I made for the same Indie project that I did the truck for.

Nothing special, but I did try something a little new.  I haven't done too much with parallax mapping, so I gave that a shot on the circular vents.  Basically, I made it appear that the vents recessed into the wall, even though it sits flush with it.  

The truck and 2 pillars use masks for the colored parts, so the colors can be changed.

SciFi Props

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Ice Wall Sculpt

Did this the other day for an environment I'm starting to work on in my free time:

Ice Wall Sculpt

Its meant to be melting wall of glacial ice mixed with some snow.

I haven't used zbrush in a while so this was a fun little sculpt to get back into it.  The wall is meant to be modular, so I had to find a way to make the sculpt tile.  I ended up just setting the wrapmode of any brush to 1, and turned off the z axis modifier, which worked out pretty well.

I'm bouncing between this environment, some props for an indie game, my day job, and trying to get some drawing I'm hoping to free up some time over the next few days to do more work with this scene.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Website Update

Got my portfolio website updated last week.

New Website
Old Website

Not too different looks-wise.  I realized that the vertical thumbnails were a terrible idea for showing vehicles/environments, so I changed that up.  The rest of the updates are all behind the curtains.  A good friend of mine completely rebuilt the site for me.  Much better than the previous "make a layout in photoshop, slice it up, throw it in dreamweaver, then upload it" method.  It loads much, much faster now, and my galleries all work off of a single text file, so its super easy to update and add new pieces.

If anybody is interested, the guy that set this up for me does freelance web design on the side.  You can contact him via his website:

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Jet Bike

Started working on this a while ago...finally decided to finish it up and move on.

This started out as a little group project I was doing with some of my coworkers.  We had toyed around with the idea of making a little game...or part of one at least.  We initially started out with the idea for a Jet Moto style game, but with customizable/upgradable bikes.  I came up with a unified template for the bikes and jet engines so that we could each swap them back and forth.  We could have the player pick a bike style, then select an engine...or start out with a base one and upgrade to better ones.

This fell through rather physics were a pain to set up, so once our coder quit..things fell apart.  I decided to follow through and at least finish a bike and jet.

I kept the theme of customization in mind.  Mainly, I kept in mind a way to pick your own bike colors/paint jobs and decals.  I ended up making a couple "paint job maps" that use the rgb channels as masks for the different colors of it:

Paint Job map

 I set up a master material in UDK that allowed instanced materials to pick a paint job map, then use a color picker for the different parts of it.  Also, If a matte paint is desired, dropping the reflection parameter down activates a few other parts of the material that helps the matte paint look nice.

Also added some different decals into the mix as well.

With all these things combined, I tested out the flexibility of the master material.  These were all made with material instances:

Sample Variations

This is what my Master Material looks like in UDK:

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Scifi Truck

Ok, so I guess that I should post something.  I'm currently finishing up this scifi styled pickup for someone for an indie game project.  I worked off of a concept that was provided to me, and I stayed pretty close to that.  There is a topper that can be placed on the back of the truck as well.  

Scifi Truck

Oh Hai!

Hello Internets!

So...I've been thinking about starting a blog for a while now.  This is primarily going to be a place for me to most some of the art that I do.  Not really sure how this is going to turn out, so we'll just see what happens.  Its almost 6am, I really need to get to sleep.  Hopefully tomorrow I can work on the layout of the blog and conjure up some work.