Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Whats Left

With the year almost over i thought id kind of look back and catalogue what ive learnt over the year and what needs to be learned still in order to be a good game artist. This is more of a list of what needs to be done to help me more than anything.

Most of what ive been doin over this year hasnt really involved fine tuning my skill in max and photoshop etc etc. But more in some shape or form learning new programs that are used within the industry. As people know there are shit loads of them from z brush to mudbox to mesh baking programs to shaders. And i thought if you want to get good you need more than one tool at your disposal, because even if your amazing at max if thats all you know how to do your still gonna have a lot of gaps in your ability to work.

So firstly the program ive been learning an using the most is Headus UV, a UV unwrapping program, and ill tell you now, that thing is a dream. For me there is 3 things to modelling any asset, the modelling, the unwrapping and the texturing. Modelling comes first, extruding, welding, combining objects to create the silluoette and shape of the object you want to make, seeing you have nothing and have it turn into someting on the screen. Texturing, taking the dull grey model and putting colour onto it, bringing it to life, seeing it become something that looks alive, completing it to see it become a complete finished model. But unwrapping is teadious, its the boring bridge between the 2 fun things about modelling, matching UV's, making them fit, organizing them, its just so dull, And the problem is it always has to be done. This is where Headus UV has been helping, firstly its by no means a program that 'does it for you' its a program that helps you and reduces the time it takes to unwrap something dramatically, less time on the boring stuf, more time on the fun stuff, and tweaks the issues that any game artist can make. I bloody love how much that program has helped and i shall be continuing to use it for quite some time now.

Xnormal is next on the list, Mesh baking, well....this has been one fuck up to the next for me, but in the end i think i got there, i must admit i havent learnt how to do it as well as i had hoped but the principle is there, i can do besic bakes so with practice over the summer i should get there.

As for overall work this year i do feel i fell into the infamous second year stoop. i havent produced as much work or learnt as much as i had hoped, and i only have myself to blame for that. But one good thing has came out of this, and that would be quite a difference in 2d work. Last year i will completely admit i was totally scared of 2s work, id never drawn anything properlly before so the thoughbt of picking up a pencil or using a graphics tablet bewildered me, and as a result i avoided it like the plague. But this year i decided that no matter how crap my work would be i would stick through it and get some 2d digital painting done, and im glad i did. After all the crap i finally started producing some hald decent digital painting, my only regret is that i did all this sooner.
So with this ill leave you with a comparison of how my 2d has improved over the past year

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