Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Recent work

This is a Harry Potter pitch that a small art team and I put together at FLS. It's a mixture of 2d and 3d elements. The environments were 3d originally, but heavily painted over. (I recommend you click on the embedded "YouTube" link, over there you can make the movies larger - I'm quite proud of this work.)

We created a chibi-style version first, but the publisher was concerned that it skewed too young.

Here is a prototype we created for our Amazing Tales MMO idea. We made several levels that were used in pitch meetings. This is an example of a boss fight:

I've spent the past couple of days exploring Maya's fluid dynamics. Here are a couple of planets I've created (Earth and something like Tatooine). The atmosphere is where the fluid dynamics come in.

Here I've combined some of the elements from Maya into a session in After Effects. It's far from perfect, but it's been fun rediscovering AE.

As a test, I took a clip from an old 50s movie called "Project Moonbase" and did a "George Lucas" to the effects:

Here's the original clip:
Here are a couple of images from "The Company", a Facebook game we created at FLS. Characters aren't really my strong suit, but I enjoyed creating these.
Below is a sketch I'm working on for a 50s style "gee whiz sci fi" movie idea. The image isn't done yet, but I had a vision for a city with rocketships blended in with the buildings and wanted to get the main thrust of the visual down for now. Obviously all the details aren't yet worked out.
The project, called The Gates of Janus, is a concept I've wanted to do for a long time and I'm excited to finally be developing it. The story is being written by a talented novelist and friend, Barry Varela, who's worked in publishing for years.
Below is a project created about 6 years ago from my production class at the Art Institute of Seattle (where I have been an instructor for 20 years). The idea behind the class is to create a professional production environment where everyone plays a role on a single project. As frequently happens with classes of this nature, only about 6 or 7 of us (myself including) ended up contributing to the final product in any kind of meaningful way. My part was lighting, texturing, color balancing, creating most of the background buildings, engine effects, camera animation, rendering, and animating the traffic.
These are images from the levels of an internal MMO project called Caspian. The team used the agile production philosophy and everyone played a part in production, including leads. My part was texturing, lighting, color balancing, and atmosphere/sky file creation for envioronments. I also worked on character textures and models.

This is our female occultist character. The model and concept were created by Alison Burkley. I worked on her textures.

This is a beauty shot I posed, lit, and textured for the promotional material we use when we talk to publishers, etc.
Here is our occultist demonstrating 3 of her attacks (particle effects by Kevin Loza):

We ported a level from Pirates of the Burning Sea into our awesome new engine and it looks rather good considering how low tech the source art is (again, no fancy shaders, just polygons and textures):

These are paintings I created for another internal project:

From a life drawing session:
Years ago I had a career as an illustrator. Below are some examples from those days:

Sketches for a haunted house:

Pirates of the Burning Sea
I was the 15th hire when I joined FLS, so we were a pretty small team. The art department consisted of two artists who'd been working on the project from the beginning (roughly a year before I'd joined).

Here's what the team had come up with (this is from  my first day at FLS):
I kept this video as a record (OMG, the horror...)

And here's what the game looked like about a month and half later:
Here are some beauty shots from the game. In them, I tuned the ocean shader (developed by our lead dev, graphics dev, and myself), lighting, color, atmospheric settings, and did painting and color work on the skies - also, the ship textures are mine. I tried always to acheive a mood mapped to a recognizable time of day:

I wrote up a PowerPoint presentation for SOE's Fan Faire that goes over my vision for Pirates, my process, and why I made the choices that were made. Basically, my vision centered around sunshine; I wanted players to feel like they were on vacation with a sense of having the sun on their shoulders every time they went into the game.

Because it is an MMO, we made a lot of customizable pirate pieces. Below are the avatar heads whose textures I created (along with modeling tweaks to vary likenesses). Also, MMOs tend to be behind the curve of next gen features, so we had no normal maps or fancy shaders - just diffuse maps, really.

And here's what a fully assembled pirate model looks like (the textures are colorless because the clothes are colorized by the players through a multiply layer):

Three years ago FLS created a casual games division. Our charter was to create smaller MMOs for the casual market. One of my projects was Bakugan Dimensions, a browser-based game created for the Bakugan IP (a Japanese TV show, card game, and toy line). BD is a tile-based Flash game build in FLS’s Unicorn engine, a proprietary technology that supports 3D objects in a Flash environment.

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