Jigabachi Unwrap

Thanks to a helpful walkthrough by Matthew Kean and some elbow grease, I learned UVLayout throughout the process of this unwrap. Being able to manage UVs in a new way has been exciting and I’m eager to make more use of it.

As become my regular workflow, I packed the UV sets using IPackThat and set up SGs in Max with the Smoothing-Groups-From-UV-Islands script by Martin Palko.

The unwrap is complete, using two and a half 4k maps. Largest texture project I’ve attempted. Should be fun!

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Jarvis Standing Desk

After having my Jarvis Standing Desk for 2 months, I’d like to share my thoughts in case anyone out there was shopping for one. There’s a lot of similar models so an account from a dev seems necessary.

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I bought the 48 x 30″ desk with the contour edge and programmable memory handset for $550. That price is a little less than most competitors but the 7 year standard warranty is what seals the deal. Reviews encourage a lot of confidence in these motors as well.

With whisper quiet motors, the surface is rock solid and switches to programmed heights quickly and gently. Monitors barely wobble when adjusting. The finish on the bamboo is incredible but is already beginning to wear off in the area of my Maya claw. However, the wood is fairly easy to remove from the frame so refinishing later is a viable option.

In summary, it’s a great practical option for someone looking to rotate-in standing periods during work. The warranty offers peace of mind without spending a fortune for another high quality model.

Inktober: Week 2

Continuing on, feeling a little better about posting art that I’m not very happy with. Motivated by glimpses of improvement. Frustrated that I still have so far to go before getting to where I want to be. C’est la vie…

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“Screech” Was happy at how quickly and easily I was able to reconstruct the shapes. Linework looked good before I messed everything up trying to add depth
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Depth studies – Using simple details to create a foreground, middle ground, and background
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“Run” Practicing depth by creating a hostile crowd at the boiling point. Poses are readable but weak. Clear that a better understanding of the human figure is something to address in future studies. It was too ambitious but knew I could hone the scope later a few ways. 

One of those decisions to keep “Run” manageable was to color everyone in a flat wash to separate figures. However, friends who spoke to me about this drawing ALL perceived this as a statement on race, seeing a black man in front of an angry white crowd. I wanted to keep the situation vague but I never intended that specifically.

Those who know me well know I’m not scared to make such a statement. In essence, I failed at representing the theme since this is all about deliberate practice. Yet it’s fascinating how a seemingly unrelated design decision to manage scope defined the apparent theme of the piece. Good reminder that images are powerful and every choice needs to be weighed thoroughly.

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“Teeming” Wanted to do something a little more fun to boost morale. Practiced earlier lessons and tried to point maggots as arrows to lead the eye. Realized later that this piece would never look as gross as I wanted without adding slimy highlights. 
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Hand studies – Figure if I get better at hands first, it’ll give me an edge in other anatomy practice. This drove me nuts but I’m determined to suck less at drawing them. 

Decided that I’ll draw the line (heh) concerning anatomy studies at the face. Faces are really damn hard and it seems too far away from my specialty to be worthy in a translated-knowledge-to-effort ratio. Have to stay mindful of what I’m really trying to do here. In the future, of course, but I won’t be working faces this Inktober.

Inktober: Week 1

Inktober is an annual event about using ink to create art every day of October, started in 2009 by Jake Parker. There are some official rules now but generally it’s about committing to your choices without the aid of “undo” and improving as an artist.

I like drawing but regrettably haven’t put much real practice in so this year I’d like to participate. My focus is making more efficient design decisions and communicating ideas better with improved 2d skills. Keeping the scope of each drawing achievable and trying to aim for drawings/studies that’ll improve various fundamentals.

Week 1-

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“Poison” Getting my bearings, trying a few new tricks like shading dark surfaces with an xacto knife. That didn’t work well, messed up a lot of perspective and butchered the knurling
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“Underwater” Reduced the scope and focused on shading, distortion, and clean lines. Actually quite happy with this one but I forgot the underwater part of the fishing line
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“Long” Wanted to create a design and practice foreshortening. Was happy at how I established a nice composition early. Improved perspective but weak shading and poof
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“Sword” Focus on shading and texturing while trying to accurately convey a spin on the theme
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“Shy” Practicing subtlety in shading and communicating the theme. Felt good about preventing a disaster by taping down the paper still-life model 

Jigabachi Retopo Complete

I’ve not abandoned my GITS helicopter model. Not in the slightest. Between work, the constant job-hunt that is freelance, a three year old, and a moving process that’s just been finished thankfully, I’ve had to chip away at this. A few hours every week has been arduous but consistent. Not much to show off at any rate.

However retopo is finished. Now begins unwrap and baking. Which sounds like another drag but I’ll take UVs over retopo any day.

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I’ll do periodic bake tests as I go to get a handle on the ideal way to break up the maps. Should be more to share that way too.

War of the Chosen Launch

It’s launch day for XCOM 2: War of the Chosen and I couldn’t be more proud of the XCOM team at Firaxis! Among glowing reviews/scores, it’s a joy to have been a part of such a talented group to create something that many fans are already calling ‘special’. My contribution was seven vehicles that help to set the tone in the derelict Abandoned Cities.

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The art dump will be coordinated for sharing in the near future!

 

Lost and Abandoned Reveal

This week Garth DeAngelis and Jake Solomon livestreamed Lost and Abandoned, a reveal of a narrative mission that is part of the XCOM2: War of the Chosen expansion. I modeled and textured a few vehicles that appear in the lost cities which made this event all the more special for me.

 

Besides having worked w Firaxis before, I’m also a longtime XCOM fan. Excited to try out new tactics and the bonding system!

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Compact, Police car, and Ambulance

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Flatbed truck and a poster from the new Photobooth feature
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tfw a pod of 8 enemies spawns in your work
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no contributions of mine, but [37:37] shows a cool overwatch scene w foggy flashlights

X2 Expansion Announcement!

I’ve had the pleasure to work on another project with Firaxis, the War of the Chosen expansion. An entry to the franchise designed to mix up gameplay strategies once again! I was honored to create a few vehicles for it. Can’t say enough about how kind and talented that team is, and I believe fans will appreciate the upgrades to XCOM 2.

 

Irucan: MegaMan V

I wanted to try an enemy that’s softer with lots of curvature. And attitude. curvature and attitude.

I really enjoy making these little toons and working with these classic designs that I grew up with is a uniquely rewarding process. I use to dump countless nights into MegaMan dreaming of being able to work on games. And now here I am, farting around recreating baddies in my free time. Life is good.

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Another MegaMan Baddie

Freelance and family life keeps me busy these days, but I’ve made some time to try out new features in the Hard Mesh 2.07 beta, which the guys at Pux 3D were kind enough to pass along. Having fun working a new enemy! A few choice updates have made a huge difference in how I use the plugin and I’m excited about the possibilities.

Anywho, evil robot dolphin wip.

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