3D Pipeline Process: Tips & Tricks

Often-times students ask me what the process is of creating art and getting it in-game. The plethora of tools available for artists to use these days means that there is really no one true answer to that question. Through research of my own and working closely with others, I’ve continually iterated and built on my own workflow and pipeline process to a point at which I’m happy with the results. Below I’ll be sharing with you a quick overview of the process that I use in creating art.

Concept Creation:

Whether you work in Zbrush or in Maya, the early block out stage is extremely important. At this stage in the game art-creation is all about working fast and agile to suss out the overall theme and tone of the character or art-piece.

Iteration:

Through time and continually building up your model you will eventually have a high resolution mesh you are happy with. This process can be time consuming and consists of continually adding-to and taking away from the design and concept of your project. Having good reference separates good art from great art at this stage.

Read More

Level Design, Game Programming, or Game Art?

It’s about time to choose streams now.

The time flies so fast. 4 months passed, since I have studied here.
Term 2 is going end. Term 3 with more specialized courses is coming.
To become more specialized in each game development’s field, VFS let us choose 2 major streams in term 3.
We still have other Game Design courses, but these ones allow us to go deeper in areas we are interested in.

We have to choose 2 from the following available 3 streams

1. Level Design: More level design on UDK and also game environment design in Unity. We are going to get our hands on these tools and level design tips!

   

 2. Game Programming: Advance programming in c# with more complex topics such as AI, network, etc. And a course for HTML5.

       

3. Game Art: More on 3D modelling and lighting techniques. The most artistic courses!

 

In Team management class, teacher Rick Davidson (GD02) reminded everyone about “specializing”. This course really clicks everyone’s passion and also motivates us.

He told us to think about and write down what we really want to do, and what we want to be, and MAKE THIS STICK! DO IT! GO FOR IT!

For me, I choose level design and Game Art, because they are the top two things I love to do. I have found out that I enjoy doing the assignments of both Level Design and Game Art courses.

In conclusion,

“Choose what you are passionate about”

You have to work hard on the assignments in your chosen stream. You are going to make your portfolio and go to work in these fields.

May the passion be with you! :D


Nicha Jaijadesuk is Game Design student at VFS, and a winner of the Women in Games Scholarship

The Game Design Summer Intensive Experience 2013

During the week of July 8 to 12, 2013, the Game Design program at Vancouver Film School, located in Vancouver’s Chinatown district, welcomed 15 brave explorers to its Game Design Summer Intensive experience. These explorers may have come from different lands and backgrounds, but they had one thing in common – a passion for creating video games. It is thanks to this passion that they found themselves enrolled in a week-long intensive experience of All Things Video Game Design.

DAY I

The students’ initiation began with a welcome from the Head of the Game Design program Dave Warfield, after which they were off to their first class of Game Theory taught by Instructor Chris Mitchell and Senior Instructor Andrew Laing. During the course of the day students became immersed in the roles of the game designer and analyzed the basic rules and mechanics of gaming.

One of the hardest things to do is to come up with an idea… and by idea, I mean a ‘good’ idea.  There is a fine art to making a game challenging yet entertaining – the motto: if a segment of the game or level is not fun to play, then it needs to be cut, no matter how much you love it. Chris and Andrew shared useful advice, suggestions, techniques and approaches on how to keep the creative process fresh and flourishing, as well where to find inspiration.

Right off the bat, students were divided into teams and asked to brainstorm unique game ideas, keeping in mind 5 essential questions:
1. What is the game?
2. What is the core mechanic?
3. What is the core challenge?
4. Why make the game?
5. Why would you enjoy making the game?

Read More

Ambient Occlusion part 2

Ambient Occlusion pt 2

Ambient Occlusion (AO): Why it’s needed.

Last time we talked about Ambient Occlusion in Game Art (Part 1), let’s delve a little deeper.

When we first look at objects, for a fraction of a second, we evaluate shapes and contours, and determine the silhouette of things around us. That allows us to mentally compartmentalize things into, say, “That area is a car” and “that bunch of stuff is a tree” and so on.

Once we identify individual objects’ boundaries, we then see the inner details within the boundaries, like “That’s a car mirror” or “That’s a hubcap” and so on.

In both cases contrast is what we are seeing. Or “where one thing ends, and another begins.” Contrast defines boundaries. That’s why the pictures in this very blogpost have a black stroke, or boundary, around the text; to aid in readability. Strokes work very well for 2D elements, which is why virtually all game interface elements have them, game company logos have them, and important text like game titles have them.

Read More

Game Art : A History

As a game artist, I’ve worked on many games in many genre’s over the last 20 years. I started with life drawing and portraits, and went onto Computer Aided Design (CAD) and technical drawing. Then I landed in the games industry in the earlier 90’s.

There have been staggering leaps in technology, especially for the game artists who produce the wonderful visuals, environments and characters that we have come to know and love. One area in particular is 2D art.

In 1994, I was creating textures for games on a Commodore Amiga, which was at the time, a very powerful 32bit computer. It had all of 8 megabytes of memory. That was a lot !!! The real win at the time was using an art program called Deluxe Paint created by Electronic Arts.
Read More