Saturday, August 16, 2014

BioBoss Update

BioBoss Cannon
I'm revisiting the 'BioBoss' character again and develop/refine the cannon part some more.
This time I'm approaching a different workflow by starting with modeling a High-Resolution & detailed mesh in Maya. When done I'll import the mesh in ZBrush to add finer details & imperfections.
When finished; my plan is to build a new Low-Resolution mesh and bake the high details into normal & texture maps.
(Screenshot taken in Maya viewport).

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Building an 'in-game' character post: 4

Post C
Done another iteration in the workflow process; worked on the arms and added some mockup colors to different materials in Maya to get a better feel for the visual look of the character. Still a long way to go though...

Post B
Finally had some spare time to work on this character again after a long period.
I carried on in prepping the model for sculpting in ZBrush.
This time I'm focusing on the shoulder patches/armor.

Prepping mock-up geometry in Maya
Post A
In the process of prepping the mock-up geometry of the suit and hair; basic shapes which I can import in ZBrush to sculpt.
I've also added the re-topologized head (from previous blog-post 2) in Maya, to get a better feel of where its going.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Building a 'game' character post: 3

Hair concept done in Photoshop
To get a better idea of how the hair might look like; I've made a screenshot of the head model in ZBrush and quickly painted some hair strokes and teeth on top in Photoshop. From this I can start construct a mesh in ZBrush or Maya to match the above picture. Its starting to look quite promising already.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Building a 'game' character post: 2

Re-topology trace done in Maya
I've spent 2 hours on tracing the topology in Maya 2009 at home.
In Maya 2014 the process has become much easier and faster thanks to the great 'Modeling Toolkit'
Unfortunately I had to do it the old way.

Workflow in ZBrush:
  • Duplicated the head model subtool and reduced the poly-count to around 100.000
  • Applied automatic UV texture coordinates
  • Projected the painted topology lines from the base head model into the texture map of the duplicate model
  • Exported the model (with texture applied) to Maya
Workflow in Maya (2009):
  • Made the imported ZBrush model 'Live' (which crudely means sticky)
  • Created a polygon with a transparent shader on top of the imported model (when moving the vertices; the vertices automatically stick to the imported model surface because of the 'Live' function
  • From there on I extrude edges and match the vertices according to the painted topology texture on the imported model until I get something like you see in above picture
I hope above explanation makes sense :) since its more advanced.
This mesh is now a good base to continue from; since it already has nice edge flow topology.
The above head model mesh now counts around 2000 triangles.

Building a 'game' character post:1

Re-topology sketch done in ZBrush
Busy building a game character for research / tutorial purpose and personal portfolio. For that I've decided to try make my own interpretation of 'Dingo Egret' (a character from the PS2 game: Zone of Enders 2nd Runner).

  • Started with a mockup of the whole character in Maya by building separate basic generic shapes
  • From this I've imported the head in ZBrush and started sculpting the face up to a point its far enough to be converted to a low-poly mesh (I can refine the final sculpt later)
  • For this I'm now painting / sketching polygon lines on the ZBrush model to define the low-poly topology
  • When that's done I will trace the lines in Maya to construct the low-poly model
All in all I've spend 3 day's of work so far
(1 day for reference research, 1 day for mockup, 1 day for sculpting the head and defining the topology).

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Engine Room Update

GI research project 'Moodbot'
I'm busy finishing a 1st pass polish on the Engine Room.
Intern Tim Nelemans did a great job providing and laying out some nice tile-able textures for the engine.
At the moment I'm working on the walkways surrounding the engine; applying UV layouts and textures.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

BioBoss Head Armor

GI research project 'BioBot'
Head Armor W.I.P
Started working on the head of the 'Boss' character.
More info soon.
(Screenshot taken from Maya viewport).

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Tentacle Arm Units

progress of the cannon head
5. I've finished modeling and generating a UV layout for the Cannon head; now I'm making a first draft of the 'Diffuse' (color) and 'Normal' (bump) texture maps.
(Screenshot taken from Maya viewport).

total progress so far
4. Above picture shows the progress of the total character so far...; up next is to start on the final model of the head be continued.
(Screenshot taken from Maya viewport).

progress on the hammer head
3. I've finished modeling and generating a UV layout for the hammer head; now I'm making a first draft of the 'Diffuse' (color) and 'Normal' (bump) texture maps.
(Screenshot taken from Maya viewport).

G&I research project 'BioBot'
2. Doing a first draft making a base texture layout of color and normal detailing; next step in texturing is to make it dirty and scratchy which will be done after all modeling of the 'Boss' creature is done. I'm also working on the final model of the head piece of the tentacle arm (hammer).
(Screenshot taken from Maya viewport).

G&I research project 'BioBot'
1. Working on a final model of the tentacle arm units of the 'Boss' creature.
Trying to come up with smart ways of making a unit that is flexible in translation & rotation.
In total the 'Boss' arm will have 2 units that will make up the whole arm; to enhance efficiency in re-use of mesh and textures.
See previous post for more info on the 'Biobot' project.
(Screenshot taken from Maya viewport).

Friday, April 19, 2013

New G&I project entry: BioBot

G&I project 'BioBot'
Within a day I made a quick 3D mockup model of a 'Boss' creature for a fairly new project, within our G&I research center, named 'BioBot'. Which is targeted at using biofeedback to 'train' attention span of people with severe concentration disorders and such.
For the project we setup a team of three 3rd year students at the HKU to develop this game under guidance & supervision by colleague Micah Hrevocsik and myself.
The art & design vision of the game is tailored within the realm of the 'Moodbot' universe as you can see in the great concept design in above picture done by art intern Mariette Jacobs.

Engine Room Update

G&I research project 'Moodbot'
The Engine Room went through major polish iterations.
Under my supervision, art intern students: Marissa Engels (2D concept) and Tim Nelemans (3D modeling) are providing great support in realizing the steam engine.
Marissa did a great job in translating the 3D mockup into a visually appealing concept design which Tim is currently realizing in 3D as you can see in above picture. As a 3D art student Tim wanted to improve his modeling skills so I gave him this tricky and quite difficult task which he is doing very well.
Except the most difficult & daunting part is yet to come; making the UV layout and texturing.
To be continued.
(Screenshot taken from Maya viewport).

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Topology Study

Trying to level up my skills in trying to improve topology layout on character faces.
The LowRes mesh on the left has around 3000 triangles (1500 pologon faces).
(Screenshots taken from Maya viewport).

Saturday, February 2, 2013


Doing a wall-painting for my little 2 year old nephew on his bedroom wall.
He's crazy about anything with wheels or wings, so I'm painting a character from Pixar's animated film 'Cars'.
Maybe I'll do some little touch ups here and there but it is quite finished I think.
Its been years since I did some painting; it took me a while to get into the flow of mixing colors and the technique of painting with acrylics again.
The painting itself is quite straightforward; trying to get close to the original rendering.
(materials used: acrylic paint, 3 different sizes of brushes and water).

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Community HUB

G&I research project 'Moodbot'
Crunching away to get this section of the 'fishship' finished before christmas holidays.
It's meant as a sort of community HUB where the player can visit other player rooms.
The other rooms will be represented by doors which will be located on the branches.
Once the player clicks on one of them; he/she will go to another screen to scroll through the rooms and be able to visit them.
Opposed to other areas in earlier posts; the modeling of this section is quite advanced/polished already. All the extra vertices around the branches is meant for blending the textures to black by use of vertex colors as seen in example.
With this now done; I'm finished with mocking up the entire ship which was the goal before the ending of this year.
So next year januari; I can start fresh with polishing and adding detail to all the rooms.
Hopefully by then I can post some more pictures of lighting tests done in Unity.
(picture taken in Maya viewport).

Friday, October 12, 2012

Mood Journal Mockup

G&I research project 'Moodbot'
This week I've been working on a mock-up of an in-game 3D user interface (UI) called the 'Mood Journal' in which the players (patients) can give input on how they are feeling during the day. The meters are meant as the input devices and they eventually will each be attached to a robot arm coming from the central HUB (treetrunk).
The screen will display a graph of all the input during a defined period.
This device will be placed in all the player rooms.
(Screenshot taken from Maya viewport).

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Ingame MoodJournal design

G&I research project 'Moodbot'
Brainstorming about the visual and functional look of the 'Mood Journal'; an in-game input device to capture players (patients) moods and feelings

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

'Player Room' lighting test

AGD research project 'Moodbot'
Together with Collegue Wiebe Giebels, I've made a quick lighting test in Unity of the 'Player Room' 3d sketch. I've applied some quick textures on the model to get a general idea of the intended materials.
I must say it looks very promising already! In a way its kind of producing a concept in 3d.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

'Player Room' Mockup

AGD research project 'Moodbot'
During production of the Bridge, I've started with building a quick and dirty mock-up (3d sketch) of the generic 'Player Room'. Idea is to generate an inside tree feeling.
(Screenshot taken from Maya viewport).

Monday, September 24, 2012

Building the captain's bridge

AGD research project 'Moodbot'
Still working on the 'Bridge' room; 3d modeling, applying UV's & putting textures on the model.
Textures are being developed by our art intern Denise Blaauwkamer (HKU student).
Again we make in between lighting tests in Unity to see how things work out visually.
For now I'm focusing on a 'first pass' polish since our aim is to build a fully working prototype by the end of oktober. If green-lighted by the outcome of crucial play-tests, hopefully we'll be working on a 'second-pass' polish of this room from begin januari 2013.
(screenshot taken from Maya viewport).

Friday, September 14, 2012

Mocking the Bridge

AGD research project 'Moodbot'
Busy this week with the 3D mock-up of the first room (Captain's bridge) of the airship in Maya by blocking out the main shapes and elements. From this colleague Wiebe Giebels already could start to make some light-bake tests in the Unity engine...which I have to say looks very promising...can't wait to see the final end result.
Talking of which; after the mock-up now being done...I can start on the final model.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Develop a style

Zbrush sketch
Trying to come up with a stylized art-style for a character model which I want to use for a personal project.
Maybe I'll work this one out at a later stage.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Color picking

AGD research project 'Moodbot'
Trying out some colors to get an idea of how it could look when players choose their preferences.
(Screenshots taken from Maya viewport)

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Texturing the 'Moodbot'

AGD research project 'Moodbot'
Almost done with finishing up the texturing!
After this....the model will be skinned to a 'rig' (skeleton system), animated and exported to the in-game engine (Unity 3D).
For the torso + head I'm using 1 diffuse texture map with a specular texture saved in the alpha channel (512 x 512 ) + 1 normal texture map (512 x512). The face (TV screen) is using a separate texture (128 x 128) which will be swapped ingame by different 'emotions' and 'TV' effects like jitters and such.
The wire of the lamp is also using a separate texture map; a 'stencil' map (64 x 64).
In the game, the color of the bot (blue in picture) can be customized by the player. Therefor I'm using 1 black and white mask texture (256 x 256) to mask of the areas which can not be affected (the grey metal).
The areas which can be colored is left white in the diffuse texture file so that it can be easily multiplied with a color in the Unity shader. It is way cheaper this way opposed to storing various color diffuse textures.
In total the character will have 6 shaders applied in the Unity engine:
A base metal (torso + head), a base glass (portal window), an illuminated glass (lamp), an illuminated skin (heart + heartchamber), an illuminated glass (TV screen) and an illuminated metal (lamp-wire).
(Screenshots taken from Maya viewport)

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Modeling the 'MoodBot'

AGD research project 'Moodbot'
Busy creating a final in-game (low-poly) 3d model of the little 'Moodbot' from the 3d sketch I've posted earlier (June 19th). I'm now in the process of creating coloring, texturing & detail. The model currently has around 2700 triangles (1600 faces). BTW, first time I'm using 'NDO2' plugin for Photoshop to create normal & specular maps for the detailing of the character...I have to say I'm quite pleased with the results!
We've decided to replace the battery with a make it stand out a bit more and to give the character something 'human'. In the game certain areas of the bot can be customized by the player to a number of preset colors.
Extra subdivisions to arms and legs will be applied later by animator Wiebe Giebels to make sure they bend sufficient when skinned to the skeleton.
(Screenshots taken from Maya viewport)

Monday, August 13, 2012


AGD research project 'Moodbot'
Defining the main chambers of the Airship with colleague Wiebe Giebels by doing brainstorm sessions on the white board. From this we can generate an asset list which will provide us a general idea of what the scope will be concerning art production.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Master of Disaster

AGD research project 'Ramp Meester '
Finalizing the last bits and pieces for this applied game prototype:
Busy in Photoshop with creating a title screen for a crisis management game-app prototype.
btw found a great tutorial which aided me in creating the 3d text effect if anyone want to know how I did it:

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Choose wisely

AGD research project 'Ramp Meester'
Ingame screenshot of the applied game prototype 'Ramp Meester'.
Currently finalizing art for it.
It is meant for Iphone or Ipad.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Styrofoam mayhem
I've put together a picasa album of the charity decor building work I've been doing for 'Stichting Musicalgroep Urk' (christian musical foundation)

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Back in the days at Lost Boys Games

My first entry in the games industry more then 11 years ago; working my ass of at Lost Boys Games (now Guerrilla Games)
Until this day one of the most fun and educational game projects I've worked on.
To bad this project was canceled half way. Still looks good though; would not be a bad match for a handheld like PSP or Vita....

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Zbrushing Hexapus

AGD research project 'Project Dream'

Fiddling around with colors in Zbrush

Wet & jelly

Octopus WaterDrop UV Animation Test (WIP)
This video shows a work in progress example of a simple UV texture animated waterdrop effect for 'next-gen' video(in)game purpose (prototype apllied game for Healthcare).
This to show how some simple use of UV scrolling tileable textures can have great results.
The video is a realtime capture from the 'maya' viewport.
Technical info
For the waterdrop effect:
- I've used 2 basic (tileable) textures in separate shaders of which both use a diffuse-map, normal-map and a specular map
- The Octopus has 2 UV sets; one for the base texturing and the other for the waterdrop effect.
- The Octopus is a low res ingame 3d model (around 5000 triangles)
- At end of development this will be implemented in a 'Unity' game environment.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Sumo Rolling

Helped-out good friend and colleague Timo Visser by creating a 3D version of a game character he designed for his game-concept named 'Sumo Roll'. Which is a funny little top down wrestling game made in 'GameMaker'.
The 3D character was meant as a testcase for an action adventure version of the game, which hopefully someday Timo will manage to actually build and release.
The test objective was to see if we could translate the crisp and stylized look of the 2d style into 3D.
The character has around 4400 triangles and currently using 2 basic materials; 1 for the generic texture (512 x 512) and 1 for the face (128 x 128) which will swap various 'expression' textures during the game.
(Screenshots taken from Maya viewport)