December 2, 2009

Bob's Pizzeria

Was organizing my schoolwork and bumped into this one. This was a scene I did last year for an intro to Maya assignment. I remember wanting to make it a Pizza-bar for Air Pirates. Not sure that entirely came through but it was a lot of fun.

We were asked to take this room and turn it into something with a theme. I kept the stairs and entry way, and added a window peaking into the restaurant.

The rest of the room was populated with several tables and lamps as if it were an outside eating area.

In the end we were asked to create proxies out of all the low polys, and convert them into detailed high poly models. Then we were supposed to bake them into normal maps. It was a little confusing because this was our first experience in Maya, and normal mapping at the same time. I think in the end I only did normal maps on the chairs and tables. The bump on the walls was created with Nvidia Tools in Photoshop.

November 22, 2009

Unreal 3 Engine - Trees

I was messing around in the Unreal Development Kit today, and I noticed it comes packaged with a program called Speed Tree. I was curious to see how this works because lately in our game, we've been having a tough time figuring out how to model lowpoly trees. Well it looks like Epic billboards their leaves, and uses 8-bit alpha channels to blend the leaves together.

November 3, 2009

Skitzo Dancer

This is a simple animation I did for Justice's Remix of Skitzo Dancer. It was my first animation in After Effects and now I have all sorts of ideas for crazy music video ideas. I've received some nice compliments on this one but I gotta say, it only looks decent because of the motion blur, and my knack for timing due to all those hours spent playing japanese Music/Rhythm games XD

HMS Terror Project

This is a painting I did for concept art class. I spent about 2 hours on thumbnails, 2 hours on research, 6 hours on a failed attempt to model several ships and paint over the turn arounds, about 10 hours for 3 colored compositions.

The project lasted 5 weeks and the total time spent on the above image was about 15 hours. The final image was based on two classes of feedback, and the engine was a photo that I modified and paint-over to save time (something we were encouraged to do).

Above are just a couple images of the process. I end up going with the purple color scheme, but changed the composition to highlight the details of the ship.

November 1, 2009

Modeling Process

So after several creature models, I think I've finally came up with a sound pipeline for getting them done quickly. I'm posting this here because I think a lot of student character modelers who may (or may not) be reading this, have no idea about the alternatives to polygon modeling, and albeit, I think it's a much quicker one.

(Low Poly with Normal, Diffuse, and Specular)

Here's my process:

1. 3ds Max - Block the model in using simple box extrusions
- It can look like crap here. Just make sure that it's entirely quads
- Note: A better way to do this is using Zbrush's Zspheres. But since I'm working in Mudbox, I believe this to be the best way

2. Mudbox - Import and subdivide the model for high-detail sculpting
- Sculpt to 90% completion
- Avoid texture detailing so you can start working on the lowpoly (for the animator)

*3. Topogun - Create a low poly mesh on top of the high-detail sculpt
- Consider your poly-count
- Use this opportunity to focus on clean edgeloops
- Topogun does all the modeling work for you :) Just focus on the topology
- Before exporting to Max, make sure the silhouette reads

(Above: Creature being retopologized in Topogun)

4. 3ds Max - Unwrap and Rig
- Create a quick simple rig to test your edgeloops
- Hand this file to the rigger or animator

5. 3ds Max - Bake Normals and Ambient Occlusion maps

6. Photoshop - Use maps to aid your texturing
This stage can go sort of two ways. You can either go back to your mudbox file and sculpt


Pros: Intuitive. Removes the constraint of working within a polycount, and allows the artist to focus on sculpting rather than topology.

Cons: Animator does not have a test rig/model to work with until the Hi-Poly sculpt is 90% complete.

Links to the tools I use:
*Topogun -
Xoliul Viewport Shader -

October 1, 2009

Study of Kjartan from Sigur Ros. 15 min. Going to try and start a trend of speed painting every day, because I'm SUPER slow. I'm starting to use my swatch color wheel more like an actual color palette. So more blending and less hunting for colors. This went surprisingly faster than normal. Also I just realized I didn't draw a single line. . why can't i draw anymore V_V

September 14, 2009

Building Ava

Listening to: Ugly Casanova - Diamonds on the Face of Evil

September 10, 2009

Building Ava

Ok so for my Digipen Senior project, I'm working with 5 programmers and 4 other artist to produce a 3rd person shooter. It's going to be a mix between Metroid Prime, Silent Hill, and Mega Man. Sort of sci-fi exploration meets Mega-man power ups, with a bit of a creepy vibe. I'm the Character Artist for the project, so I'm in charge of the 3d character models and textures, which I hope to start documenting on this blog.

So I've been working on the main character Ava for about 4 weeks now. I started box modeling, using our concept artist's sketch as a template. My budget was 5000 polys and I landed a little under that. The detail was used to carefully shape the edgeflow around the armpits and shoulders, something I wanted to improve from the last model I did. I wasn't worried about suit detail at this stage because most of that would be covered in a normal map via sculpting in Mudbox (as seen below).

I decided to use Mudbox because the computers at school have them, and Zbrush is a little trickier when it comes to baking normal maps. Right now I've got a basic diffuse map to help visualize the key areas of the model, and I've began sculpting her suit on a new layer, that way I'm able to alter anatomy and suit detail independent of one another.

April 24, 2009

Wide Rider (it's finished!)

This isn't the true director's cut with awesome music that I'm not allowed to use, but it's otherwise my finished product. It was done over the course of 8 months during the projects classes at Digipen.

April 23, 2009

Happy Cake Oven

This will probably go down as the last animation I did at Digipen. Fun times, not sure it's my thing though (and the audio seems a little off on the vimeo version).

April 1, 2009

Ratatat/Animation Stuff

Can't believe it's been 3 days since I was in the thick of crowd getting down to some sick Ratatat riffs. Those guys put on an excellent show... truly original. Their new material's sounding pretty sweet and I have to say it was one of the best concerts I've ever been to (minus the copious amounts of Marijuana smoke and occasional douchebag).


It's really not my thing but at Digipen we do a lot of it. The first two are from a character animation class that I'm currently taking. We started with a simple character to communicate with body language, then advanced towards a complicated rig for lip sync. The class itself is pretty sweet, she covers a lot of stuff outside the realms of just animation, but I wish it wasn't so time consuming. (The third vid is from last semester)

March 20, 2009


Been trying to learn this awesome program over the last few days!

This is just a test guy I'm doing for my Dominance War pipleline process (starting with a basic quad mesh that simply represents the boney proportions, then doing all muscle and sculpture in Zbrush! Topology/Edgeflow last) Hoping to start on my actual DW entry soon!

Will probably spend another day detailing the cloth (needs work)


January 5, 2009

Older Work

Some characters I did for U.S. Allegience, a company I worked at last year.

Did this a while back. It was based off of a thumbnail I did when I first started digital painting.

Big sword dude.

These are little armor designs I crafted with Zbrush and Photoshop. Used Anroid Jones' process for abstract thumbnailing.

Colors DS

Quick little study of an apple from life. This program rocks. Check it out at