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Texture style development

Last year I’ve been working on a nice little browser game, which was released some time ago. It’s called “The Big Catch”. I played it for a few hours, and have to say that it’s nice light entertainment, and can be real fun if you are into fishing and familiar with the routine. For this purpose I created various low-poly 3D-game assets and environments, which you can see in the game. I modeled the objects and, with directions and help from the studio I did the freelancing for (http://www.polygonfabrik.de) I developed a comic-like, easy-on-the-eyes texture style for the environment. Creating a distinct texture/shader style for a game, a short movie or just a still rendering is one of the most interesting and exciting processes for an artist. I decided to write about it because that’s part of what I do on my current job. There have been written countless books about the technical aspects of applying textures to objects, about shader programming and brush painting, and making photographs tileable. But before all that, there are various other steps to take until you can really get down to work. It always helpful to ask yourself the following questions during the creative process: How […]
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“The steady advancement of computer graphics, and par ticularly of real-time rendering technology, is the reason for major improvements in 3D-graphics used in interactive entertainment. The visual representation of a game is an important part of the “gameplay-gestalt” – which means a player’s complete gaming experience. Digital lights and shadows contribute significantly to the expressive value of graphics in a game. The lighting-process of a level for a next-gen game can take up to a few months because the interactive nature of a game creates very different conditions for lighting than other media. Nevertheless, a well-lit environment can considerably improve a game’s immersive quality, which is crucial for the player’s “aesthetic experience”. In a state of complete immersion, that involves concentration and mental undistractedness, a game will evoke the player’s emotions, which is a very high objective for game development. Entrancing the viewer has also been a goal of painters for hundreds of years. Light in painting has been used to create the most stunning masterpieces in history, so this thesis makes an approach of exploring the phenomena of light and shadow in painting and applying them to today’s ar tistic challenges in simulated illumination for games. A thorough knowledge of historical and technical backgrounds of painting and game-lighting creates the foundation for a differentiated […]
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Portfolio Do’s and Don’ts

Today I read a gamasutra article by Rachel Nador that has so many good and valid points, I just have to post it in here. Rachel is a freelance 3D artist with tons of experience, and has reviewed many portfolios. Some of the information she gives is common sense, some of it really can’t be internalized without some application experience. Here are 15 points that should be like a pattern to go by for your portfolio. I have added some personal comments beneath each point: 1. No Focus/ “Generalist” Reel. If you can actually be a generalist, that’s great. But that means you have to prove you are good at multiple things. Most student reels I see that are “generalist” in reality contain an unfocused body of work and just prove that they are bad at multiple things. Have a focus to your portfolio. Make that clear– if you want to do game environments, have a portfolio full of game environments. State this on your resume, on your web site, whatever– and then follow through. You have to understand that for the development of a game, there are many specialized people working together in a team to create the best product […]
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Persist

It’s not always easy. We all know that feeling: Everything you do seems to be exceptionally hard. You animate a sequence again and again, you do that rendering over and over and can’t get to make it look right. You stay up until 3 a.m., trying to make the perspective in that drawing look acceptable and go to bed frustrated and exhausted. That’s also the time when everything slows down: minutes turn into hours and after what seems like a fifteen hour day, you just didn’t get ANYTHING done. It’s the time when you check your email every few minutes, when you go through all those art galleries and designer blogs and tutorial websites that you bookmarked, seeking for inspiration. Which, of course, frustrates you even more, because all you accomplish is losing time and getting even less work done. Those phases come, and all creatives know them. I wanted to share with you a special letter. I found this blogpost by Austin Madison, an animator working at Pixar, where he shows a hand-written document (and how rare is that, anyway!) that he did for “The Animator Letters Project“. (Please check it out, it’s fantastic.) He writes about exactly this […]
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Creative Blog

This is the new version of the former Lightrayblog, where you will find not only sketches, work-in-progress art, dribbles and doodles that cannot be found in the portfolio section, but also tipps, tricks and info about art, the creative business and especially the games industry. All old posts will be migrated in english only, but all new posts will be in german and english.
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