Showreel

Well I finally got round to putting together a showreel, perhaps 2 months later than I should have. It only took a few hours, once I had the rendered material! I used Premiere and After Effects, which were slow and buggy with 720p video, with which I’ve not worked before.

Projects in order of appearance (more info on each should be available on this blog, at least, shortly!):

1. BeatSprint
In second year, we have to do a group project. This is the first year they have allowed games. I pitched the game idea (which evolved over the first few weeks), and thus led the team. I also did most of the programming, in C++ and OpenGL (with a bit of Lua and Python). My team were: Tom Beaufoy – Programmer, Jack Bzowski – Art Director and Tongqi Ou – Artist. The user chooses a song and has to press only one button, to jump over the oncoming obstacles, which are generated to the beat of the music. The sun sets over the alien city, and foreground landscape is procedurally generated over the length of the song.

2. Charlotte the Necromancer
A character I created in a couple of weeks for a competition, using 3ds Max, Zbrush, Photoshop and Xnormal.

3. Billybob hits the Gym
Animation assignment, entitled “I Wasn’t Expecting That” and lasting 15 seconds. The Maya character/ rig was provided by my lecturer, Jahirul Amin. The environment I did to learn Maya’s lighting and procedural texturing (having come from 3ds Max).

4. Iron Man/ Audi
Modelling Assignment. This was mostly to learn Maya. 2000 quads each, for the Iron Man, and Audi R8.

5. Countryside generator
Scripting assignment. Done with Maya and Python. My first programming, so there are no classes or any more advanced concepts (maybe a lambda function or two but Python’s good at that!), and it’s very buggy. I’m quite proud of some of the procedures!

6. Billybob fall loop
Done for the same assignment as 3.

The music was pROgraM_vs._Us3R by morgantj, and is distributable under creative commons. The full song is available here: ccmixter.org/files/morgantj/30328.

Please get in touch if you like my work or would be interested in employing me.
Thanks for watching!

Charlotte the Necromancer – Game Character Competition

I had been sculpting a character in Zbrush when I came across Mixamo’s Fantasy Game Art Character competition on the Polycount forums. With a swift change in design, I gathered reference and began anew. For some reason I retopologised her manually about 3 times in 3ds Max. The competition’s limit was 4000 polys I believe, including props. The original character was a few million polys, started from a sphere for the head and used dynamesh to pull out her body. I manually polypainted her and her props onto a reasonable UV layout. Initially she was sculpted in a T-pose to allow symmetry.

I never expected extracting normal, occlusion and diffuse maps onto the low poly character to take so long. Using the Xoliul shader in Max, I combined the correct 2K maps for a current-gen representation. The ground was done quickly in Max, as well as rigging using CAT and a bit of animation. I used a linear workflow, which I think was worth the time to set up. I had to finish well before the deadline because I was going on holiday to South Africa. I managed to check the results while there on my phone, but other people’s entries were far better than mine!

Here’s the final pic I sent: blog.mixamo.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/FinalRender.jpg
Here’s the forum thread I regularly updated for an in-depth behind the scenes: polycount.com/forum/showthread.php?t=103171
And the other entries are available here: blog.mixamo.com/mixamo/mixamo-fantasy-3d-character-creation-contest-winners-revealed/