Thursday, 31 March 2011

Motion Blur Render Tutorial

Here are the different way to capture motion blur whilst rendering in both Maya and Mental Ray

Maya/2D - Blur by frame, Blur Length, Smooth Values


Mental Ray - No Deformation, Motion Steps, Time Samples

Mental Ray - Rasterise, Visiblity Samples, Shading Quality

Maya Dynamics 1: Emitting Surface/Particles

Here's week 3 of my Dynamic Tutorials focusing on Emitting from Surfaces and Particles

Igor Games Body Model

So, it's been a long day, but I've pushed through and completed the whole tutorial on Games Modelling with Igor. I learnt a fair bit in terms of how the spend geometry wisely, and making the most out of what is available.

Next stop will be UV Mapping this badboy character :)

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Igor Games Head Model

Here's an update of the progress I've been making with the games modelling tutorial. I've been taking the time out to get all my tutorials done and dusted this time round in comparison to other projects, I've just grown tired of last minute worries about submits, and this acts as a good refresher for modelling my Transcription character TEZCATLIPOCA, and how to spend geometry wisely

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Maya Dynamics 1: Collisions & Bodies

Here's my tutorials for week 4 of the exercises, this week focusing on using Particle Collisions and Active Passive Rigid Bodies

Maya Dynamics 2: Instancing

Last night I felt like a took a huge crash course in this area of Dynamics, as I managed to go through all 12 :). I found that after these specific tutorials, I began to understand the use of expressions and scripts alot more clearer, which was quite interesting and useful.

Instancing Part 1-5

Instancing Part 6-8

Instancing Part 9-12

During the arrow and rockets tutorials, I couldnt quite see the file which was opened to begin with, so I accidently applied the Dynamics onto the opposite object, and wasnt sure how I would have gone about changing this, however they are quite simmilar in shape, so the effects barely lost :)

Monday, 28 March 2011

Maya Normal Mapping Tutorials

Here are the tutorials which explained the relevance and importance of normal mapping, and the ways in which to do so, through Maya and Photoshop. I really found these interesting in regards to improving the looks of textures.

From Geometery

Top - Normals Bump
Bottom - Original Texture

Top - Original Texture

Bottom -Normals Bump

TEZCATLIPOCA - Turnaround's and Orthographs Update

I've spent a considerable amount of time trying to perfect and flesh out the armour from the silhouette, perhaps too long, aware of my own style creep and still trying to adhere to the Aztec style, and the gaming audience, a delicate balance. I've made some subtle changes to the figure that I felt wasn't working properly, such as the hands and feet. Trying to find references and proportions  that matched the side profile was a nightmare, so I gathered a variety of different muscle structures, mostly bodybuildres to gain the sense of strength and power, and spliced them together in a montage/matte painitng effect to gain the desired proportions. There are some sections of the design that I couldn't quite get to match perfectly in the orthographs, but I can more than easily read between the lines, I feel I know this character like the back of my hand now.

I wanted to at least make something of this project that I have improved on and feel proud of, and I really honestly think I've took this character to the next level in terms of my own character designs, and digital painting.

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

TEZCATLIPOCA - Dual Mask/Evil Design

In regards to my final modelled piece, I wanted to portray TEZCALIPOCA in his Negative Karma state, so I began designing this piece first. In his neutral state, he will remain mask less, and in the positive, attain another styled mask. In terms of development and theorising how my 'game' will play out, I will put together some initial designs for the 'Positive' mask, however will not follow the design through into finished stage, leaving it as a more 'suggestive' theme.

Here is the design pipeline for the 'Negative' Karma Mask.

I wanted the elongate points of the the face and sharpened the edges to represent the bad element, as well as deteriorate the edges to give the shape a more 'organic' feel. The centre slit will be where the character will be given sight, which added a sinister touch. Finally to combine both the 'stripe' across the face in the characters bio, and the depictions from Aztec art of TEZCATLIPOCA, I added Mosaic squares textures across the face.

Monday, 14 March 2011

TEZCATLIPOCA - Fill Figure Re-Work

After taking on some advice from Jon Stewart about some anatomy issues, in regards to the legs, waist and hands, I came to a comprimise by adjusting and adding more muscle definition in places that were lacking support, as well as taking away from places that became over bulked.

It does feel recently that with one step foward it's two steps back, but I guess this is part of learning, however it's putting be behind greatly, so I need to step up my pace more from now on.


After taking some time out to catch up on tutorials, and tidbits involving TEZCATLIPOCA'S Accessory design, I felt it was time to get back into gear and crack on with this character as quick as possible. In order the break the silhouette up and understand my figure properly, instead of cutting into the silhouette directly, I drew an outline of the character's body, and painted within the lines I felt if I was to go in straight away with detail, I would make the same mistake as my previous character design brief, where the form didn't work as well.

I left the hand and feet un-painted, as these well contain high amounts of detail, as well as shape adjustments. This has made the process of adding armour much easier, and allows me to place it appropriately

Wednesday, 9 March 2011


After a quick discussion with Alan about my characters form, there seemed to be something not quite working about the proportion of the leg/foot area. Before hand I was happy/ready to go full steam into finishing the design, however this will be the last time I re-visit the figure of the character, I can't afford any more time in this area.

Original Version

New Version

Monday, 7 March 2011

TEZCATLIPOCA - Texture Development

As I press the character forward into the detailing stage, here's a technique I wanted to try out, by layering some of the textures I had created inbetween work, and simply selecting the Orignal Silhouette with the Magic Wand Tool, Inversing the selection, Swaping back to the Texure Layer and Deleting the area around the texture, leaving the new Textured Silhouette.

I find this quite effective when thinking about how my Textures will not only look on my character, but also how to perhaps go about detailing it. To take this technique to the next stage, I could possibly combining certain elements of these textures into a single silhouette, in a Collage Technique :)

TEZCATLIPOCA - Final Figure Development

After some serious trial and error, tenious amounts of tweaking, and doubling back to the research stages, I finally reached a happy stage with my character. I feel this form carries the best parts of my development and conveys the nature/narrative/context of TEZCATLIPOCA in my transcription.

I focused primarily on the upeer body strength, emphasising the 'creation/warrior' attribute,as well as detailing the head area to show 'high status' conveying the 'Aztec/God' aspect. Proportioning the head to the size of the arms was an important element, making sure the character didnt appear brutish in contrast to intelligence.

Reaching this position and creating a more dynamic character in terms of shapes was possible by intergrating the 'Aztec' style of art through different techniques, that were overall infused into the figure grounding the character into it's original context. Adapting the original source into a game, whilst considering the audience and creating narrative/ dynamics from this, I took the intial feel of shapes, and adhered to how my character would be conveyed through these, amounting at this time as a neutral character.

To ground my character further into the aztec world, I will need to develop not only the detail/texures of his look, but also accessories which will also enhance the 'game' element. I feel these will be my finalizing steps in the Pre-Production.

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Game Audience Research - Influence Map

Before I move on to fully develop TEZCATLIPOCA, I revised the research I carried out into the different gaming audiences, and the ratings that came with them. I decided to settle with ESRB Everyone 10+

Titles rated E10+ (Everyone 10 and older) have content that may be suitable for ages 10 and older. Titles in this category may contain more cartoon, fantasy or mild violence, mild language and/or minimal suggestive themes

I feel this gave me the most scope to work with, as well as keeping the tonality at a certain level. I put together an influence map of games that fall into this category so I can create a feel of what would be expected from this grouping

As you can see, there are some cartoonish elements, but all some serious undertones in a few. There doesn't seem to be any complexities in the character's themselves, and feels overall very light hearted. These are elements which will obviously effect my characters look and feel.

TEZCATLIPOCA - Epilogue & Synopsis

Transcribing TEZCATLIPOCA from legends was a tricky subject to begin with, as there were many that had subtle differences between them. However, in order to avoid missing any vital information, I managed to combine them fluently. Keeping the context of my transcription in mind, I needed to allow a certain amount of artistic direction so I could adapt the subject into a game narrative. Putting an Epilogue together describing 'Pre-Game' events, allowed me to not only gain an overall knowledge of where my game is heading theoretical speaking, but also help me build more of a context for my character.

Beginning Epilogue

  • From the sky, Tezcatlpoca & Quetzalcoatl looked down on the earth and from the realm of the gods saw only water.
  • The twins, in line of the high throne, were tasked with creation (once enemies) and so joined forces to create the world, to appease their kin in the Aztec Pantheon
  • Ascending to the Earths watery surface, they found an Earth Monster, which consumed everything they created. Tezacatlipoca using his foot as bait captured the beast and began distorting her limbs to create the world.
  • Her head & shoulders the mountains of Earth, her hair the grass, trees and flowers, her eyes the caves, fountains and wells, hills and valleys from her nose, and the rivers from her mouth.
  • Creating the Human Race was the missing link, and with their powers combined, this was possible, so they did so.
  • Pleased, their kin rewarded the twins with higher power, however to succeed the throne, the twins were tasked further to allow 52 god years to pass in order for their creations to grow and last.
  • On earth, civilisations blossomed, grew and evolved, however they did not recognise who created them. This angered the twin gods and caused a rift between the two.
  • Challenging their kin in outrage, the twins fought for their throne. Disappointed in the twins, the Pantheon banished the two to the earths surface, on the condition that only the successor of the throne could break the seal and ascend to the throne.
  • One the Earths surface, the twins fought trying to defeat one another, until the last words of the pantheon spoke to the pair, stating that their resolved would be found in human worship.
  • Parting ways, the twins went on a journey to acquire new power through the gift of human worship, and prepare for the battle of the pantheon.


Build.Create.Worship.Destroy. Carve your way through history as you take up the gauntlet of the gods against your twin brother Quetzalcoatl, returning to the Earths surface and manipulating it as your battleground.Win the human race as your pawns, expand and evolve your existence. Your path, your choice. Craft the road you wish to take, and the sacrifices you wish to make, strike fear into your followers, or adhere to their needs, in the race to prove yourself and ascend to the throne as high-god in the battle for the Aztec Pantheon.

I wanted to keep the synopsis short and sweet, without giving too much away and over clogging the text in comparison the the back story. I did imagine this as a piece that would be located on the back of a Game Case, however I'm not sure if this is too little in regards to plot and game play...

Suggestions welcome :)

Mood Board Template - Tezcatlipoca V.2

Just some preparation textures I've created/farmed from the research stage of my project. I've been working on and adapting these in between work for use later to save time in production, whilst also considering tone and colour.

Saturday, 5 March 2011

TEZCATLIPOCA Development Stage 2

Ok, so Im starting to run a little short on time in terms of Pre-production, but whilst juggling the rest of the 'nitty gritty' context, here is the final 3 development stages of my TEZCATLIPOCA Characters, and a development progress sheet

Development Progress

Final 3 Silhouette's

As you can see, I clearly decided to settle on the exaggerated hands/strength, but tried to also relate to a human form in a sense, whilst giving space to clearly show that the figure is not 'enitrely human'. I wanted the sense of height to exaggerated also, however perhaps a through a scaling technique I could convey this further. The rule of three has played a big part in taking these to the next level, and I've particularly felt conscious about portraying the 'regalness' and 'intelligence' of the character to be quite high, by developing more sophisticated headdresses.

My next steps will be to quickly merge successful aspects of all three silhouettes into one final figure, to push out the rest of the pre-production stage. Time is of the esscence here.

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Re-Maya Tutorials Narrattive Project