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  1. #121
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    Sketchup is fantastic, I didn't realize they had a free version out


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  3. #122
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    There hasn't a been a thread this informative in a long time!

    Chirp: Thanks for taking the time to make those posts. I especially liked how you mentioned the art history classes. Next year I am going to an arts college (OCAD) which has a great reference library and hopefully alot of good courses.

    Seedling: Your advice on how to make the best use of classwork is gold!


    There was quite a bit of interest in the pixel art a few pots up. If anyone is up for it, I'm currently creating a pixel based game for cell phones. It's just a project between my brother and I but if you want to learn by doing then send me a msg.
    [][][][] DRAW EVERYDAY [][][][]>

  4. #123
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    Schmoozing

    About that old worn-out saying: “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” It’s 90% baloney. Knowing someone in the industry isn’t going to help you get a job unless you also have the skills to do the job. And if you can demonstrate that you have the skills to do the job, then knowing somebody isn’t necessarily, er, necessary.

    For example, I had a friend who applied to Turbine as a tech artist. First of all, I wasn’t allowed to be a part of the interview process specifically because we were friends. Everyone, including myself, wanted to make sure that we were hiring her on the basis of her abilities. We really really needed a good tech artist! But at some point I was asked for comments, and what I was able to say was this: “I don’t know enough about tech art to say if she would or would not make a good tech artist. However, she did ask for my feedback on some of her animation a couple of months ago. I critiqued her work, and she made every single change that I suggested.”

    If someone on the team knows you in advance, it basically means they’ve got a little more information to consider.

    If that isn’t enough reassurance for those of you who aren’t friends with someone who is in the industry, then consider this. Anyone who recommends you to be hired at their own workplace is staking their own job on you. Nobody with two brain cells to rub together is going to blithely start hiring their unqualified buddies, in any industry. That’s a practice that would result in bankruptcy.

    So getting to know people in the industry isn’t an automatic foot-in-the-door, but it does have its uses. People on the inside are a source of information. Most everything that I have covered in this thread I have mentioned a dozen times to students or to people who have sought me out via e-mail. (And my ulterior motive for posting it here is so that I don’t have to write it all up yet again. . .)

    I do recommend that you sniff around for people in the industry to talk with. Send an e-mail to the general address of your favorite company to ask if any artist there would be interested in critiquing your work or giving advice. Just remember – above all things, be polite. If they don’t show in interest in talking to you, then leave them be. I don’t want my inbox to be full of angry mail tomorrow from developers who said you were told by me to harass them.

    More about making professional contacts. . . also known as schmoozing. . . there is an organization called the International Games Developers Association. They have local chapters around the world which have real meetings between actual people. I advise you to do some searching. Find out if you have a chapter that meets up in your area. Drop by with a copy of your portfolio or a business card with the address of your online portfolio. And strike up a conversation. Or just show up to listen to a lecture.

    If you do this, please keep a few things in mind. These are real people. Some of them (like me) are amazingly shy. (I usually avoid these gatherings because rooms full of strangers scare my socks off.) It can also be a bit off-putting for the developers if they are outnumbered by newcomers, because they aren’t necessarily there to scout for new employees. They might be there for the lecture, or the board games, or the beer, in which case you are going to be a stressful addition to their evening. So follow the cardinal rule: be polite. (And if you can be a source of entertaining conversation for the folks you talk to, that will help, too.)

    Knowing someone who already works at a game company can be a way to find out about job openings. That’s how I found out that Turbine was hiring – a former classmate of mine sent an e-mail saying “my company is hiring artists. Are you still looking for this kind of work?” Talking privately with folks in the industry is also a way to pick up on industry gossip. As much as I would like to say that all companies are a pleasure to work for, there are bad eggs out there in every industry. This is a chance for you to find out in advance what you would be getting into.

    A word on those private conversations: use discretion when repeating rumors. If Joe Blow says that Blabla games is a terrible company to work for, don’t go quoting or misquoting what he said all over the internet. If you get him in trouble by publicizing what was said in a private conversation, he won’t be recommending you to his team any time soon.

    My apologies if I’ve scared you a bit with some of my warnings. Please know that it is worth your while to get in touch with people in the industry. They have information that you won’t be able to get anywhere else. So don’t be as shy as I am. Go forth and schmooze, at least a little.

  5. #124
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    WOW Thanks so much, been looking for something like this for a long time
    Should be applying for a Illustration course in Uni next year, do u think this would be apropriate in becoming a computer games concept artist?
    Btw i will doing some of your assignments soon
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  6. #125
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seedling
    About that old worn-out saying: “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” It’s 90% baloney.
    Actually, about half of the full time and freelance gigs I've gotten, I've gotten through Good Old American Know-Who. So in my experience, it's only about 50% baloney.

    The other 50% is up to your mad skillz. Then there's a third 50% which is how well your mad skillz coincide with what they're looking for.

    A word on those private conversations: use discretion when repeating rumors. If Joe Blow says that Blabla games is a terrible company to work for, don’t go quoting or misquoting what he said all over the internet. If you get him in trouble by publicizing what was said in a private conversation, he won’t be recommending you to his team any time soon.
    True dat. However, it's good to be familiar with the fact that every company on Earth both sucks and is pretty cool in its own special way.

  7. #126
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    Finished asignment 1

    Game Art – Advice From Someone In the Industry

    Any comments?
    Favourite Art Software: Photoshop CS2
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  8. #127
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Mack
    Seedling: Your advice on how to make the best use of classwork is gold!
    Aww, thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Mack
    There was quite a bit of interest in the pixel art a few pots up. If anyone is up for it, I'm currently creating a pixel based game for cell phones. It's just a project between my brother and I but if you want to learn by doing then send me a msg.
    Networking? Eeeeggselent!

    Quote Originally Posted by Sprigner
    Should be applying for a Illustration course in Uni next year, do u think this would be apropriate in becoming a computer games concept artist?
    Btw i will doing some of your assignments soon
    Concept art is a subset of illustration, so an illustration course is perfect! Though maybe I’m biased, since I studied illustration in college. ;-) I look forward to seeing what you make!

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Memory
    Actually, about half of the full time and freelance gigs I've gotten, I've gotten through Good Old American Know-Who. So in my experience, it's only about 50% baloney.
    And this is exactly why I like it when other folks from the industry add their own information here. I don’t know everything. ;-) Thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Memory
    . . .it's good to be familiar with the fact that every company on Earth both sucks and is pretty cool in its own special way.
    Wise words!

    Springer, good for you for getting in on the assignments! :-) Some quick observations – a ruler would help you to turn these sketches into stronger drawings. Make sure lines that need to be parallel stay parallel. Also, what game is this for; and do the pieces have function, or are they just decoration?

    You asked me in PM about what program to use to color these. Use whatever you have on hand – Photoshop, acrylic paints, anything. :-) Use whatever medium you wish to improve at.

    Cheers!
    I think you are awesome, and I wish you the best in your endeavors, but I am tired of repeating myself, I am very busy with my new baby, and I am no longer a regular participant here, so please do not contact me to ask for advice on your career or education. All of the advice that I have to offer can already be found in the following links. Thank you.

    Perspective 101, Concept Art 101, Games Industry info,Oil Paint info, Acrylic Paint info, my sketchbook.

  9. #128
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    Has anybody here played the game Okami? I'll give a cookie to the first person who can tell me how they put those dark lines around the rocks, and other round objects. ;-)

    Hint: unless you've worked with 3D, you probably won't be able to figure this out.

  10. #129
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    That's a cell renderer most likely. If you want to see a really sweet cell renderer on an MMO, check out Seed the Game. There's some irony for you

  11. #130
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thaelys
    That's a cell renderer most likely.
    Nope. Try again. ;-)

    Hint: it's low-tech, as 3D goes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Thaelys
    If you want to see a really sweet cell renderer on an MMO, check out Seed the Game. There's some irony for you
    Oh no, another dead MMO? That always makes me sad.

  12. #131
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    Yep, Seed is dead. Never really saw it go anywhere despite the beautiful screenshots.

    About Okami. Hmmmm...could it be a camera projection onto the geometry?

  13. #132
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thaelys
    About Okami. Hmmmm...could it be a camera projection onto the geometry?
    Nope again. ;-) It's so simple, I was giddy when I figured it out.

  14. #133
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    Duh! Here's my rough take on one of the faces of geometry texture.

    Game Art – Advice From Someone In the Industry

    BTW I'm still working on your environment assignment, painted in photoshop. Hopefully posting on wendsday. It's fun :-)

  15. #134
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thaelys
    Duh! Here's my rough take on one of the faces of geometry texture.
    . . . .wha?

    Quote Originally Posted by Thaelys
    BTW I'm still working on your environment assignment, painted in photoshop. Hopefully posting on wendsday. It's fun :-)
    Awesome! I look forward to seeing what you make!

  16. #135
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    OK, let me try to explain it. One side of the texture map looks like that, so you have 6 or more faces to make up that fence post. Basically all the black detail is in the map.

    Another way to get that effect would be to have 2 sets of geometry. One would be the model itself, the other could have backface culling turned on, so that depending on the camera's angle, it renders the corners to look black. That observation was made by a friend who works on Max daily.

    Other than that, I'm out of ideas

  17. #136
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thaelys
    Another way to get that effect would be to have 2 sets of geometry. One would be the model itself, the other could have backface culling turned on, so that depending on the camera's angle, it renders the corners to look black. That observation was made by a friend who works on Max daily.
    Ding ding ding! That's how they did it. The inner object has a texture as usual. The outer object is all black, and flipped inside-out. I had never seen anything like that before. :-)

    On square objects, the black outlines are painted right into the texture, but that technique doesn't work on round forms. Okami also uses very large sprites surprisingly well, mostly for trees, that are just flat images which rotate to face the camera.

  18. #137
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    Yeah that's something one WOULDN'T know about unless that person worked in 3D regularly. Once my buddy "The Goat" explained it, it made sense. I would have never guessed myself. According to him, it's an older brute force solution but it works.

    Okami can get away with those big sprites, but not many others can. That's to the dev's team credit, because they chose to work in a style that lends itself to that effect. I bet it runs fast as hell, not much geometry to crunch at all.

    Ah well, you learn something every day :-) Now back to, er, work.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chirp Chirp
    I’ll dig up some links and books related to game design that I recommend and post them later.
    Game Designer Oriented Web Links...

    Seedling: I am posting this stuff in here because I said I would, but if you want me to put this someplace else let me know. I don’t want to crowd in on your show. Also a book oriented post will follow in a bit.

    Disclaimer:
    This not a definitive list, but represents some good sites to know from “my perspective” as a working game designer. This list is a starting point and includes some sites I frequent and some others I make a point to keep an eye on. For the most part each section is listed in a hierarchical order based on personal preference from most the frequented to the least. (A good rule of thumb especially in game design is to always prioritize your lists in some way.) Finally, it’s not all game designer specific stuff but I hope everyone finds these links useful.

    Game Design: Note these sites tend to fall under a blogish category and don’t necessarily reflect the best or only way to do game design. Regardless, they tend to give variety of perspectives and insight from experienced game designers that take the time to write their thoughts and ideas down.

    • http://www.gamasutra.com – An obvious site but I have to include it for good measure.
    • http://www.sloperama.com/advice.html - Game Design advice. I always recommend this one to classes I speak at because it just answers so many of the standard questions.
    • http://www.lostgarden.com/ - I like this site as there’s been some good designer vs. designer debates in the forums. Also includes good essays on game design ideas, language, and process. Danc the site owner, also works at Anark who created a UI tool I hear good things about but never find the time to incorporate into my process.
    • http://www.experimentalgameplay.com/ - A great site to keep up with the odd ball rapid prototyping projects. You never know where inspiration might come from. Also this illustrates how difficult game design is if you limit your self to a paper only process.
    • http://www.sirlin.net/ - Started off as mostly a fighter genre perspective on game design but has branched out a lot since its inception.
    • http://raphkoster.com/ - Raph has collected many excellent quotes/rules with regards to making MMO games. He also has a book out Theory of Fun which isn’t too bad and he often speaks at GDC. Although at GDC roundtables of the past, I haven’t always agreed with his game designs decisions, but if you are into making MMO games he has written the most on the topic. Additionally, he has played an influential role in the development and history of the genre. http://www.theoryoffun.com/grammar/gdc2005.htm - Raph’s take on the language of games.
    • http://www.theinspiracy.com/ - Noah Falstein’s site. He writes a lot for various game oriented publishers, speaks often at GDC, and has had this 400 project going on for a long time. The 400 project goal being, the accumulation and documentation for the rules of game design. There is a saying that goes something like… only when you know the rules of music can you break them and play jazz. Apply the saying to this site, and you can see why it’s good even if it’s not a 100% perfected. Besides, we to have to start somewhere.


    Game Design with a Serious Games Spin:


    Reference: Because when speaking about games you need to be familiar with medium
    • www.gamerankings.com - A must include link because any game pitch is going to include references or competitive analysis to other games and this is a good spot to start. The site consists mostly modern games within the last decade or so.
    • http://www.gametunnel.com/ - Good site that keeps track of the Indy game movement.
    • http://www.womengamers.com – A shameless plug but also the oldest and probably the most reputable websites with a women and girl friendly perspective. (I have to include this site for good measure but also because if my wife found out I didn’t, I would be in the dog house.)


    Art: Some addition art links for the texture artists and pixel pushers that I haven’t seen mentioned before. Also included because there have been several posts on pixel art in this thread.


    Some Software
    • www.sketchup.com - Many people in the game industry and movie industry are using sketchup now because it’s simple and fast. For example, I was flipping through a Serenity/Firefly art book and noticed they used Sketchup for mocking up all the sets before they built them. Keep in mind Sketchup is not a replacement modeler but really nice for getting ideas out quickly in 3d. And they have a free version!
    • http://pixologic.com/home/home.shtml - Zbrush is what Epic and id software have been using to make high poly models which they derive normal maps from.
    • www.maxwellrender.com – This isn’t really a game focused piece of software, but it is a really nice realistic light renderer and plugs-in with Sketchup seamlessly. There are probably other renders like this but particularly I like Maxwell because it simulates a real camera and real lights. So with regards to my previous post about lighting in game development and because this is a Light Simulator, I think a pretty good tool for learning and experimenting with. For instance, I had to read up camera fstop and depth of field to use this software effectively. In the end, I not only learned a lot about cameras but also real lighting and the pains professional photographers go through.
    Last edited by Chirp Chirp; October 10th, 2006 at 09:36 PM.
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  21. #139
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    Good game design oriented books. I think I got lucky because I am going to start this list off with posting a recent article link. 50 Books For Everyone In The Game Industry. It came today in an IM from an old colleague and is going to save me some time! Earnest Adamn's Strikes again....He put the link together and also wrote one of the books I mention later.
    http://www.next-gen.biz/index2.php?o...2&pop=1&page=0

    I can’t say that I have read all the books on this list but I have read a fair amount of them. The ones I always recommend to anyone interested in the game industry are as follows:
    • Fundamentals of Game Design, by Earnest Adamns and Andrew Rollings. – Out of the game design books I have read this one is my choice for teaching by. It covers all the basics and the new addition apparently expanded on two areas I felt were seriously lacking in the previous version; level design and story. I unfortunately haven’t read the new version but I am glad they specifically addressed my problems with the first version.
    • What Video Games Have to Teach Us About Learning and Literacy by James Gee – A good book on thinking about the purpose of games for reasons other than entertainment. Yes believe it, there is more to games than most of us ever think about.
    • Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud – Must have book for any artist and game designer. Yah, it’s about comics but it’s directly applicable to games. Very well written and illustrated a must, MUST, have for every game designer.


    Sadly missing from the list but I still recommend are:
    • The Writer’s Journey:Mythic Structure for Writers by Christopher Vogler – I can’t say enough good things about this book. I read it in college years ago and picked it up again recently. To write any sort of story you at least need to be aware of this structure. It isn’t the definitive book for writers but once you read it most of the movies you watch become rather unimpressive and terribly predictable. Also, many game design books when discussing story allude to this one or the book it’s based on The Hero with a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell. Might as well save some time and just read the source material!
    • The Illusions of Life: Disney Animation by Ollie Johnston and Frank Thomas. It’s more for animators or artists but I think it is important for designers to understand as much of the respective fields related to games as they can. Still, a great book I’ve had since college and I often reference it when I need to explain to an animator why something isn’t exactly right.
    • Gameplay and Design by Kevin Oxland – Originally my first pick for books to teach by. Also a good example of how you can’t judge a book by its cover. It has this terribly goofy robot character on the front; I almost dismissed it entirely because of it. I understand it’s not in print anymore but it has a good section on the importance of feedback in game design.


    All I can think of at the moment but luckily the 50 books link plus the extra ones I mentioned will keep everyone busy for awhile.
    Last edited by Chirp Chirp; October 10th, 2006 at 10:00 PM.
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  23. #140
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    Wow that second sloperama link is mindblowing, that should be read by everyone on this site. Seriously, thanks for these resources chirp chirp.

  24. #141
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chirp Chirp
    (still more wonderful information)
    OMG wow! Thank you for sharing all of that!

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    Gamasutra's archive are also a great resource for the monetary challenged artists.

    I just noticed it was already mentioned, that's what I get for skipping lines in poeple's posts.
    Last edited by Qitsune; October 13th, 2006 at 03:25 PM.

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    Smile

    Wow, that was a wonderful read, thank you so much for posting all that.

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    Woah, just finished reading all that - it was good.
    Im 18 and looking to go into the gaming industry as a 3d modeler/concept artist dude guy ...
    But first I need to finish my finals - 8 exams left! - then its off to LONDON where I'll look for a job and ill start weekend courses in the traditional drawing skills and all that good stuff maybe some evening courses for basic MAX learning tools and stuff.
    So now that you know what I want my future to be like, I want to say thank you to all the peeps who have posted here in this thread reading all this is making me so excited to just draw and be involved in the gaming entertainment industry, I cant wait. Natrually a dream of mine is to work for companies like Blizzard or Flagship studios and the like.
    Thank you for hyping me up so much making me look forward to my future.

    One thing that I think is weird is that South Africa dosnt really have Universitys here that offer courses in game design or anything like that.. thus my movement to a first world country!
    Thx again to all the peeps posting.
    "Keep on keepin on" - Bob Dylan , i think or was it Joe Dirt ?

  28. #145
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    Thanks, Quitsune and beckerda and TeDD! :-)

    TeDD, good luck with those examns and your move overseas!
    I think you are awesome, and I wish you the best in your endeavors, but I am tired of repeating myself, I am very busy with my new baby, and I am no longer a regular participant here, so please do not contact me to ask for advice on your career or education. All of the advice that I have to offer can already be found in the following links. Thank you.

    Perspective 101, Concept Art 101, Games Industry info,Oil Paint info, Acrylic Paint info, my sketchbook.

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    Trees

    There are some objects that are common to almost every possible game – rocks, crates, and trees. Of these, trees are vastly more difficult to make. Additionally, almost nobody thinks to include a tree in their portfolio. This should make a lightbulb go off over your head: if your portfolio includes a well-made tree, your chances of getting hired are going to be greater.


    ******Assignment #15 – Trees*******

    Before you rush to the drawing board, try going through the games in your collection and looking at the trees. Ignore “landmark” trees – trees that are complex objects used only once. The trees that you should be looking at are the ones that are used everywhere. Try to figure out how they are made. Chances are if it’s a 3D game, the trunk and main branches are cylindrical, and the twigs and foliage and small branches are flat planes with transparent sections.

    The thing that makes trees hard to make is that they are always limited in vert count. Trees are not the star of the show, and trees are typically used in multiple, particularly if they are used to make an entire forest. That means the bulk of the resources spent on that scene are going to go to other things, such as the player character or the boss monster. So, each tree has to be as efficiently made as possible – just like that milk carton from a previous exercise.

    A hint about trees: as backwards as this may sound, in most cases, you won’t want your trees to have so much character that they are recognizable as individuals. They should be just bland enough so that you can use the same tree a dozen times in proximity to itself without causing the player to think “wait, I’ve seen that same tree before”. What should be going through the player’s mind is “I’m in a forest looking for baddies to smite” or “I am going to hit the golf ball all the way down there on this beautiful golf course”.

    About forests in particular: a tree designed to be a part of a forest may not function well on its own – and that’s just fine. For instance, consider the tall trees in the Night Elf region of World of Warcraft. They are, essentially, big umbrellas, meant to be used in multiple to create a canopy of foliage.

    Sometimes a tree is a wall. Consider Perez Park in City of Heroes. The trees there are solid walls of trunks overhung with foliage. In such a situation, the trees are far more than a decorative element – they have a direct role in the game-play. For the time being, however, don’t worry about making walls of trees. Start at the beginning, with a standard tree.

    *******#15 A – Concepting for Trees*****

    I want you to draw three possible trees. For each, pick an art style, tree location, time of year, and tree species. For example: photo-realistic forest autumn oak. Or Chinese ink-painting open field spring dogwood. Or, Impressionistic windswept-cliff winter holly. Draw all three. There should be no question that each of the three trees belongs to a different game.

    Be sure to sketch a human into each drawing to show scale. She doesn’t have to be much more than a stick figure.

    No cheating – don’t make stumps!

    ********#15 B – Modeling and Texturing a Tree*******

    Take one of those three trees and build it in 3D! Don’t be afraid to totally mess up. Not every approach will work. Try some different approaches and see what works best. See if you can come up with a method of working that allows for quick iteration.

    Hint: do not build a model completely and then texture it. That approach works for characters, but for environmental art, it’ll often get in your way. Instead, try scribbling out a very quick dummy texture first. One possible layout is to use half of the texture space for the tree’s trunk (this portion can even potentially tile), and the other half for the alpha channel foliage. Then take that temporary texture and try building your tree with it. Then finish the texture after you have built your tree.

    As far as vert-count goes, that’s a number that will differ from game to game. Arbitrarily, I’ll say stay under 400 verts.

    *******#15 C – Expanding on What You Have Built******

    Once you have created a single tree, the hard part is over, and it’s time for some fun. So, now you have an approach to making trees that works, AND you have a completed texture. Take that finished texture and use it to build two more trees. Your set of trees could be small, medium, and large; or it could be bare-trunk, trunk-with-multiple-branches, multi-trunk; or you could have three trees all in different bonsai configurations.

    Then, once these are made, you can throw together a quick landscape and decorate away! Try your trees in multiples. Do they work in groups? Do they make a decent forest? How have you made the bottom of the tree, and is it difficult to place well on a sloped surface? Would the trees impede game-play with their branches in certain situations? Would your trees be able to fill the screen in an artistic manner without the addition of other decorative objects? If you could combine your trees with only two other objects to make a complete landscape, what two objects would you pick?

    ******extra credit******

    For more of a learning experience, do this assignment with a buddy. Swap concept art and build each other’s trees.

    OR

    When you have completed building a set of trees, give them to someone else to use in a landscape of their own making.

  30. #147
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    Thank. You.

    I haven't even read my way through page one yet, but I'm looking forward to. Thank you for doing this!
    Quote Originally Posted by Shakespeare
    I think he'll be to Rome
    As is the osprey to the fish, who takes it
    By sovereignty of nature.
    SSG
    Anthis Dizon Angel Intheuk Zou Crane Hai

  31. #148
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hai!^^
    Thank. You.

    I haven't even read my way through page one yet, but I'm looking forward to. Thank you for doing this!
    My pleasure!

    By the way, I'm running out of stuff to write. :-) If anybody has suggestions, or questions, or I dunno, random comments about kittens, please do share!

  32. #149
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    I have a question: What is the, for lack of better word, process of getting hired? By this I mean do you just contact a company that is hired via email asking them to look at your website/portfolio? I am sure people can’t just move to the west coast and start callin’ folks and knocking on doors can they?

  33. #150
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    Hi Nyx!

    The process of getting hired as an artist at a game company is just about like getting hired at any company: you submit a resume and cover letter (and portfolio), and follow up with a phone call a couple of weeks later. And either you hear about a job opening in advance of that, or you just go ahead and send in your stuff in the hopes that there will be an opening.

    If you have a portfolio online, then you can send the address of the website in place of a printed portfolio. I guess it’s possible to apply entirely by e-mail, too; but my gut feeling is that a snail-mail approach is less likely to vanish into the ether or get garbled up with gobltygook symbols.

    Many companies have a specific way that they would like application information submitted, so be sure to look for such instructions on their website first. Their instructions will obviously trump any instructions I could tell you.

    I don’t recommend that you move first, and apply second. What if you move to L.A. only to miss out on an opportunity in Austin? Or get to San Fran and find yourself with no job living in one of the most expensive places in the state. . . ick. I don’t know. . . your chances of getting a very entry-level job (like an internship or temp position or game tester – the sort of jobs that companies would not be willing to fly a in prospective candidates for) may improve if you are already physically near, but that would be taking a very large gamble for a temp position or an income that is going to be difficult to live off of. It’s probably better to continue living wherever you are and developing your skills to the point that you can apply for the sort of staff-artist position where the companies are going to be willing to fly you out for an interview.

    Don’t show up in person – it would only be a hassle for the people working at the companies you are applying for. They would rather deal with your application on their own time, then try and deal fairly with you in between previously scheduled meetings and other tasks. This isn’t the illustration industry of the 50’s, in which the thing to do was physically visit publishers in New York City. The front doors of many business have signs that say “no solicitors”, and by that they could mean you.

    Good luck to you!

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