I know I said in my last post that I’d be back soon, but clearly that didn’t work out. The truth is, I often find it tough to write long-form content such as this about my life. It’s simply not the best medium to represent my workflow at this time. I’m in a period of discovery, and with that comes instability. The things I create and do change rapidly, often with little explanation beyond, “I had an idea and decided to try it.”
So, for now, this blog will be officially inactive. I’ll keep it live, both to preserve the existing content and in the hopes that I can one day return to it. But in the meantime, the best way to keep up with my work is to follow me on Instagram. I’ve also opened up a new Etsy shop for some of my random creations.
This weekend was Imagine RIT. We had our game shown in Webb Auditorium, a large venue that gave us a lot of freedom. But it also put a lot of pressure on us to have a compelling exhibit. And after no small amount of setbacks, I think we succeeded.
The night before we were set to present, tragedy struck. Our entire map failed to load, lighting failed to build, and packaging the game resulted in errors. Additionally, the computers we were given didn’t have the correct version of the Unreal engine and the only internet source available to update them stopped working. Basically, everything that could go wrong did go wrong.
But thanks to the collective fortitude of our team, especially our dedicated programmer Kyler, and the technical insight of RIT’s CIAS Tech office, we were able to pull it off.
In the end, we had hundreds of visitors. We have away all 320 of the fliers we printed and had a bunch of people sign up for our mailing list.
I want to thank everyone who worked so hard to make that event a success. Being our first-ever public demo, it was completely terrifying and the numerous setbacks didn’t help. But we made it, somehow, and we are ready to start looking towards the future.
Here’s this week’s breakdown. I worked 39 hours to help bring the exhibit together. At least, I think so. It could very well be more. But it’s a bit hard to keep track of time when you stay awake for 35 hours straight.
4 character renders
1 neutrino catapult textures
1 logo render
I am feeling quite relieved as of late. For most of this project I had an expected workflow down for creating textures. Even way back in September I was working on solidifying a way of easily and accurately creating high-quality textures for all of our assets (of which there are a million, give or take 999,990 or so). But now that I actually have the process tested, I’m ready for the production pass to begin on asset textures.
Using the newest version of dDo (my old posts were made using the freely-available, slightly older version) I have created a workflow that allows me to build textures for all of the assets procedurally. The best part of this, however, is that once I create a texture I can save it as a preset. In this way I can build a library of every material found in the game and quickly apply them to new assets without much fuss. Continue reading “A Load off my Mind”→
You may remember my post from a few months ago about the difficulty behind designing a new “save” icon. But that’s not the only icon that has issues. A designer by the name of Min Ming Lo has a fantastic article comparing the different “share” icons, including the difficulty of describing such a vague and general event using a single symbol.
Yes it’s true, I’ve started a business! My new shop, Illogical, has just launched on Shapeways. The shop features intriguing and beautiful designs that take inspiration from math, science, and nature. Pretty cool, huh? Check out the shop here.
This past week I had the opportunity to do something I’ve always wanted to do. I flew to Los Angeles to take part in the 2012 SIGGRAPH conference. Not only that, but through the Student Volunteer program I got to help run the convention and attend special programs.
I arrived at the convention hall two days early to begin my duties as a Student Volunteer. I also got to meet my fellow SVs and discovered just how easy it is to make friends with people who share the dane interests as you. In fact, everyone at the convention was happy and easy to get along with. That made sales support and gatekeeping jobs much more enjoyable. Of course, some jobs were downright fun anyway, such as when I got to help run a Panasonic booth showcasing an experimental holographic touchless-input display.
The exhibition hall was the main attraction at the conference. There, major companies, studios, schools, and shops had booths showcasing their wares. They also held workshops and discussions in the exhibition hall along with plenty of raffles and free giveaways, including the fabled Pixar Renderman teapot. At the back of the exhibition hall was a job fair featuring studios such as Disney Animation, Naughty Dog, and Sony Productions.
My personal favorite part of the convention was the Computer Animation Festival. It’s a film festival dedicated solely to digital graphics. Not only were tons of really creative shorts shown (Disney, of course, wowed the crowd with their Paper Man video) but also vfx reels for major films such as The Avengers and The Amazing Spiderman.
There were too many incredible events and experiences for me to write about in this short little post (even moreso because this is my first-ever post written from my phone) but I hope the message is clear. If you’re an artist or an enthusiast or maybe just somewhat interested in graphics SIGGRAPH is the place to be. I only hope I can go back next year!
Cem Yuksel and his colleagues at Cornell University have recently unveiled their new method for generating 3d stitched meshes. Once the user imports their base mesh, they can define the pattern, tiling, and direction of the fabric using surprisingly intuitive tools. Once that’s complete the software smooths the base mesh and slides the stitch tiles around to create a more uniform pattern. Once this is all completed the software builds the actual stitch mesh based on the pattern. A final yarn-level relaxation is performed to enhance the realism of the strands. The process results in extremely realistic-looking knit fabric, as is evident when compared to actual fabric samples (the top row is the real fabric, the bottom is the simulation).
I always like seeing big innovation towards little details. Sometimes just adding a tiny bit more realism to a scene can make all the difference. And the realism of these stitch meshes is unprecedented. Looking at the team’s video about the technology it’s clear the meshes even look great when in motion. I only hope that this technology will be commercially available soon so that eager artists like me can play with it.