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digital art

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Animating a Corgi

Here are my animations for Tank, the Corgi. He was the main character in Intrepid. I animated the base locomotion, as well as a couple small actions.  I was never able to clean them up as much as I had wanted (especially the jump/bark) before the game was cut.  Check out the rigging post for some notes about animating the quadruped.

Rear and 3/4 playthrough of all of the animations

Idle animation

Walk, run, and sprint

Jump and bark (WIPs)

Sniff idle and sniff walk

Also, these kinds of mistakes make me love doing my job:

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Intrepid Lighting in vForge

I did all of the in-engine lighting for Intrepid. As the art lead, and without a dedicated art director, the job went to me. It was a bit of a struggle, since I did a lot of guessing and working from the heart, because I don't really have the background for lighting. It was cool working in vForge with the deferred lighting, since I could make changes, and see them instantly in-game. Here's a bunch of shots of the level we had made:


It's weird, because after a time, I really couldn't tell how it looked, and even today (a week later), I can't read if it looks good or not.  With an animation, I can come back to it in a day or two, and I'll know what needs fixing; but when it came to this kind of thing, it did not come as easily.  I suppose that's why I'm an animator first.

Intrepid Cave Models

For funsies, here are some of the cave wall models I did for Intrepid.  They are all multi-sided (two sides of each being shown), so they can create some pretty cool silhouettes from very few modular pieces.  Click on 'em to show a bigger picture.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Rigging a Corgi

While on Intrepid, one of the jobs I was tasked with (or really, tasked myself with) was to rig and animate our four-legged main character, Tank the corgi.  I wanted to challenge myself, never having worked with a quadruped before.  It's challenge of the rig and animation was also what kept me sane during the harder weeks, because really, I loved every minute of it.

It was interesting to say the least.  I didn't model the character, and we didn't have the time or manpower to iterate, so there were a lot of little things I had to roll with.  One of the hardest parts was the muscles of the leg, where it connects to the chest-area.  This probably won't come as a big surprise to any dog-lovers, or anyone who's animated dogs before.  But getting that to work in the rig took a lot of studying and tweaking before my corrective joints worked on what I had.

I've also included here several resources I used for animation reference, for the benefit of myself in a future project, or anyone else who might grace this page.  Not included is the Edward Muybridge book for animals (which actually was of only limited benefit, due to it's physical, not digital, nature) and any reference that I personally took.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Working on a Different Video Game

I am sad to say that the game I was working on, Intrepid, was cut.  Out of the five games, four were green-lit, and ours was cut.  It came as a surprise to us, as well as a number of our peers; but it's not like we would ever not count on passing through.

This isn't the first time I've had to deal with losing a project.  I've walked this path before, and in a successful career, it certainly won't be the only time.  It's funny, because I was saying, on the chance we might get cut, I'd take it on the chin, and move on.  But I was surprised to see how much I cared about it when the time came.  To be honest, it wasn't even the game I was sad about losing, it was the team.  We had one of the closest teams in the cohort, and a number of people put our game as the game they would want to be a part of, and I'd like to think that's largely because of our culture.

Perhaps a bittersweet ending to a project I poured so much of my time and heart into, but part of being an artist is developing a thick skin and staying flexible.

I don't want this all to sound sad, though.  As I said, I need to move on, and I'm already ready to do that.  The game I had worked on previously, Grapple, was green-lit, and I was put on that team as the Lead Animator, and with several more talented people that came from Intrepid.

Over the next few days, I'll upload the work I've done for Intrepid.  I had to wear quite a few hats during that project, including quite a few that didn't quite fit me, but as the lead, I had to pick up where others could not.  I will say it was definitely enlightening to be out of my element.  After all, as Randy Pausch has said, experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted.  And while I didn't get much out of the project as portfolio pieces, that was two grueling months (40 hour weeks, on top of classes) that I'd never give back.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Quick Concept for Intrepid Spider Cave

Quick concept I did for Intrepid.  Our project lead asked for some concepts based on some locations he wanted to present as possible areas to build.  I did a quick-painting of this spider cave, showing that the flood of tiny spiders that would surround the characters.  Jessie, with mild arachnophobia, could burn the spider webs, but she relied to Tank to bark them away from her long enough to do so.