What I do for school/future career...

Discussion in 'Art, Media & Photography' started by MFB, Mar 13, 2014.

  1. MFB

    MFB ExBendable

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    One week of using Maya and here's what I managed to model for an old west town square. Buildings are town hall, sheriff's office, saloon, general store, and hotel on the far end with the staircase all centered around the gallows; because who doesn't love watching a good hanging? Threw in some hitching posts as well. Wanted to add in a train platform/ticket booth and some train tracks but might not get time tomorrow before our final hand in but whatever, this'll do compared to what some people got done.

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  2. Alimination

    Alimination Space Adventurer

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    Hey Ben, have you had a class for concept art yet? Specifically dedicated to Matte paintings?

    I know you're getting into the environment art thing, So I figured that should be something you may want to look into before laying out large scale compositions. Saves us hours and hours worth of work.

    Anyways, keep at it mate
     
  3. Promit

    Promit SS.org Regular

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    Just going to warn you now, environment artists are a dime a dozen and the work is increasingly being outsourced. If that's really what you want to do, then okay. But if your heart isn't set there, I'd strongly encourage you to explore other areas as well.
     
  4. MFB

    MFB ExBendable

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    Really? I've heard there's lots of openings for environment but that character artists were dime a dozen?

    Ali, I've done some digital painting and its something Idnlike to explore in more detail - which is why I'm buying a Monoprice or Yiynova monitor later this year :D
     
  5. MFB

    MFB ExBendable

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    Question for you guys while this is bumped: for your portfolios, did your teachers have you do a specific focus piece? I know for my school, we do two demo reels: one general reel and one focus specific, and I was curious as to if your teachers let you do anything you wanted for that focus reel or if it had to be original.

    For mine, I was thinking of recreating a scene from a movie or older game and increasing the quality of it, but I've seen most people doing entirely original works. Is it because that's usually what's encouraged since most people have ideas they want to do, or because it just shows off you can take something from concept all the way to finish, etc...
     
  6. Alimination

    Alimination Space Adventurer

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    We had three portfolio reviews, one for every other year, and the last one was the final one that they helped show businesses to snag you a gig.

    The first two, were based off your early classes. So more life drawing, Concept art, environment, etc on the first. Second was more 3D based such as hard surface, and organic modeling, and level design.

    The last was whatever you wanted. I'd suggest showing off a tiny bit of everything, but have your main love on your full display. There is a whole debate on specialty artists vs jack of all trades artists that you could decide for yourself. If you do see a gig available that you really want to be apart of, I'd base my demo reel around that position and show off all it's requirements.

    As for the environment art being a dime in a dozen comment, I'd take it a step further and say being an artist in general is tough. Just got to find a way to stand out from the others and network. Sometimes it's just accidental luck.
     
  7. MFB

    MFB ExBendable

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    Man, I finally registered with Digital Tutors last week and I watched like, 3 hours on Modular Modeling for environments by one dude and just spent like another hour watching Gnomon workshop stuff with one of the guys from Blizzard. I'm more impressed with the speed than anything, but I imagine videos are also sped up a bit to make it less time consuming for viewers.

    I also REALLY want Vray now :(
     
  8. Alimination

    Alimination Space Adventurer

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    man, good for you dude. I took the same route. 80% of my knowledge comes from the gnomon / digital tutors video. Priceless information there. After working on projects for some time, you do develop an eye and thought process that results you in busting out projects real fast.

    haha I haven't messed with Vray first hand, but a lot of the settings do seem very similar to Mental Ray. I'm sure the transferring of your knowledge over won't be hard at all.

    Cheers
     
  9. MFB

    MFB ExBendable

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    Watched about ...45 minutes of Nate Stephen's "Environmental Design for Games" and his Maya work is just so god damn mind-blowing (to someone just starting in Maya). I should start learning to use Snaps more since that seems to be the common trend, and blocking out from concept art to 3D space is something I need to do more since you don't really get orthographics to work from like my teacher used to have us do, you mostly get concept stuff and have to stick to that while making it your own.

    I need more time in the day for all this shit, I just want to watch until my eyes fall out
     
  10. Vrollin

    Vrollin SS.org Regular

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    man I thought I was good because I was doing basic shit in sketchup..... Amazing work mate!
     
  11. mikernaut

    mikernaut pixel pusher

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    In response to the jack of all trades debate. In general your most likely just going to be doing 1 role. While it does help to have the knowledge and multiple skills it is rare (in my opinion) to excel at multiple disciplines.

    Personally, myself I have been trying to get into more character concepting but usually find I get pigeonholed into painting textures. I also took a zbrush class at the local college but modeling programs can be frustrating to get the feel/control. ( funny enough I hated photoshop when I 1st tried it and now that's my go to program vs drawing with pencil and paper like I used to do.) So maybe one day I'll get over that 3d hurdle.

    That being said a 3d generalist is not a bad choice. You can tackle props, environments etc. Characters are most likely going to be handled by senior modelers.

    But focus on what you really are passionate about and hopefully your hard work will pay off and shine through.

    The industry is very tough the last few years with the bad economy and studios shutting down left and right. There are also lots of schools pumping out more people looking to compete for very few jobs against others with work experience.

    If we wanted a easier career path we should have been programmers. LOL
     
  12. MFB

    MFB ExBendable

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    The more I can do to NOT model characters, the better off they'll look :lol: That's the biggest reason I want to learn Zbrush/Sculpting, because from what I've seen it's a lot nicer for characters, and then you bring it back into 3DS/Maya for re-topoligizing and voila - great characters (relative to the artist's ability)

    I wish coding were that easy, I've done two semesters of Unity now and I still can barely stumble my way through it
     
  13. MFB

    MFB ExBendable

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    We hit mid-terms for the quarter today, and uh, turns out I'm about to take my first portfolio class next quarter :ugh: This is the one point I was worried about since I don't feel any of my work is portfolio ready, especially for a focus reel. Not much of what we do is environment focused, and even the class that we do have for it (Game Environment Art) is more about quantity than quality (something I detest, nay, ABHOR).

    We also were just forced (yes, it was a homework assignment) to submit our work into our schools award ceremony, which also sucked big time. I have stuff I work on in my free-time but nothing that's award worthy. People spend YEARS developing stuff for judging and suddenly we're handing in stuff we've had one WEEK to work on? Talk about pressure.

    Hopefully I'll have some new stuff to post on here soon, at the moment it's just been all character models (which suck) but Team Production is getting into swing so I should have some concept art for shots/environments that some of y'all might dig
     
  14. MFB

    MFB ExBendable

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    :bump:

    So I've been kind of slouching on this since nothing I've done has been too interesting from a visual standpoint (mostly character rigging which is all the under the hood stuff and "ruined" how I see games now)

    BUT, one of my classes is now going full steam ahead with Team Production and I've got some fancy-schmancy MAPS!

    This is the first one I designed for our Junkyard game. A lot of this comes down to Modular Modeling so that while it might look like a lot of space to cover, a good chunk of it will be reusable models that repeat but not in a way that the level makes you feel like you aren't going anywhere and it's still easily navigable. The main concept throughout all of these is several main paths that allow you to go all throughout the map with smaller, narrower paths and some hidden ones through the junk piles.

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    While that one wasn't bad, it's simply a jumping off point for what worked and what didn't and it still felt kind of large and not detailed enough. I worked my way up to this one in which you can see the junkyard is built around an enemy campsite and there's the main building in the back which they protect. The centralized location of the guard center means they take the same time to find you regardless of where you are in the map since that's their spawn point.

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    I've come to like this last one the best and instead of doing a pathway tutorial before the game, you simple crash land in the middle of the junkyard and that's the reason that the enemies are hostile towards you; because you're technically an invader on their turf. There's still a jump/crouch "tutorial" as you walk through the junkyard but it's not as cut-n-dry as the previous maps.

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    At the moment I'm working on a fourth map taking some concepts from the rest of my team and integrating them into the newest map which'll blend some of my previous concepts as well; then Friday we'll be meeting up and choosing which one to go with for the final design.
     
  15. MFB

    MFB ExBendable

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    Update!

    This week's focus was on doing an interior/exterior and I think pagodas are really interesting from a design standpoint, so I figured, why not? They can be kind of tricky getting everything line up right and I definitely should've sized it differently because it's not to human scale at the moment but oh well, it looks pretty. Best part was, all I had to model was one of the following:

    Staircase
    Base walls (different from steeple walls)
    Base roof
    Base railing
    Steeple walls
    Steeple balcony
    Steeple railing
    Steeple roof
    Top roof

    It's modular modeling (modeling one element that repeats in the scene) at it's finest since :D That'll definitely cut down on unwrapping time for texturing in the next week so I'll get a jump on that Thursday night and make some magic happen.

    Threw in a daylight system to make it look pretty, and voila
    [​IMG]

    Oh right - the best part is, the polycount for this entire scene is about the same as a character model (19,177 to be exact)
     
  16. MFB

    MFB ExBendable

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    It. is. (almost). COMPLETE!

    Ended up dropping my Advanced 3D class as I just got overwhelmed to the point where I couldn't bounce back and started focusing on portfolio pieces, like the above pagoda. However, I didn't build that one to any sort of scale, just used what 3DS calls "generic units." This one here is built using real world scale in feet, and I busted out a skeletal system to measure how far to make the steps, and how high the walls would be in relation to top of their heads, how wide to make it, etc...

    Currently missing from exterior: base railing, base/spire railing posts, base roof posts, spire roof detail

    Interior status: 0%

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  17. MFB

    MFB ExBendable

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    Haven't gotten much time to finish up the Pagoda as we're in full-swing with our game production and we've only got 4 weeks left to finish the entire thing so now it's time to tighten our belts. Did some new renders of it to throw up on LinkedIn for the professionals and whatnot.

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    And here's two models I'm going to be using on business cards once they're completed with unwrapping and textures
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    You should all know this little ditty
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    When I get a chance I'll post up some of the sculpts I've been doing in Zbrush/Mudbox and hopefully have a link for you guys to download the fully playable game by the end of September
     
  18. MFB

    MFB ExBendable

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    Oh ho ho, made some progress on the Lightsaber. He's now unwrapped and ready for texturing. This was probably my fastest unwrap now that I'm getting used to using projection maps and then heading it from there; basically they immediately flatten out cylindrical areas instead of my having to break them apart and re-stitch back together, and then play around with spacing to make sure they're perfect.

    Edit: apparently I didn't post the finalized hilt either, so here's all of them at the moment to show it's progression

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  19. MFB

    MFB ExBendable

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    Big bada :bump:

    Graduation is 3 months away now and I have a decent amount to do for class work. Both are re-dos of classes I failed earlier, both basically at the final of the class since I didn't have time and because I had missed an assignment here or there and that already hurt me so I said ".... it" and moved on.

    For now, have a look at my focus reel that's like 99% complete.



    I'm working on some of the revisions right now actually and it's gonna take five-ever to render them out.
     
  20. MFB

    MFB ExBendable

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    Also, if anyone would be willing to check the site that's on my title card (exbendableart.com) and make sure it's working properly, I'll give you all the ghost rep you want. It's been 50/50 on my home PC, sometimes it does what it should (redirect you to my Wordpress) and other times not so much.
     

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