Everyone knows how boring it is to make an atlas texture out of a bunch of meshes. Because I have been doing it a lot lately, I thought that it would be interesting to make a tool that would help me do that.
So I have used some of my spare time to create this tool that I want to share with the game art community as soon as I get it tested by some friends. I named it Easy Atlas.
Easy Atlas uses Photoshop to merge several textures into one single atlas texture and Maya to rearrange mesh UVs.
The following video shows a quick demonstration of how it works.
The meshes used in this demo have been downloaded for free from TurboSquid.
Some more quick modeling practice. The left one is supposed to be Disney’s Scar :P.
A zbrush modeling study based on a fan art drawing of Lee Robinson.
Another character that resembles someone I know very well ;). Based on an illustration of Seth Macbeth.
Practicing some character development by making a naughty beech marten. Based on a concept of Jason Kraft.
This is a great little piece of animation exercise made by Will Eades using my rig, Alex. :)
I’ve been rigging a character in my spare time and I’d like to share it with the animation community.
Alex’s body has been rigged with Advanced Skeleton and you will find heaps of information and training videos in the Advanced Skeleton home page. The face was custom rigged and I tried to keep it simple and powerful. Lets see what comes out of it. I’ve built a synoptic – or character UI if you will – to make the control selection easier.
Donwloads on hold. New version to come soon.
The following Autodesk videos present the art pipeline used in the development of the London 2012 Olympics Video.
Sega Studios creates the London 2012 Olympics with Autodesk tools
An overview of the whole art pipeline presented by our studio leads.
GDC 2012 – Bringing Olympics to life
Complete presentation of the art pipeline at GDC 2012.
I am proud to say that I have been working in this project in the role of tech-artist. Coming in June 2012 for PS3, XBOX 360 and PC.
“London 2012™ – The Official Video Game of the Olympic Games
The Olympic Games are responsible for some of the most memorable scenes in sporting history. It’s the global stage where dreams are realised, heroes are made, and moments that will be remembered for years happen right before your eyes. Now you too can create your own moments with London 2012™ – The Official Video Game of the Olympic Games.
With new sports, new events and new gameplay modes, London 2012™ brings the worlds ultimate sporting event to life bigger and better than ever before. Take to the track, negotiate the Velodrome and dive into the deep end in stunning HD while you compete for the pride of your nation. Hone your skills in the Olympic Games mode, and play with or against your friends and family in a variety of multiplayer modes.
Create your own golden moments, only with the London 2012™ – The Official Video Game of the Olympic Games” *
As a technical artist, I have worked with Maxscript for a while now and it has been an awesome way to automate repetitive and complex tasks in order to increase the productivity of 3d artists by keeping them focused in the important things. Technical artists make huge effort to keep artists away from boring technical aspects of a production.
However, while Maxscript is quick to learn and to create tools, its use is not suitable for the kind of job that needs high performance and complex calculations. If something like real time mesh deformer is what you need, 3d Max provides you with its lower level software development kit (SDK).
And this is what I wanted to get into to expand my capabilities in the tech art field. Although I have been working with games for a while, the experiments I have been doing with 3d Max SDK are definitely more suitable for VFX on movies production.
Continuing with my first experiments with 3d Max SDK, in this post I will show some of my progress and publish some more details behind my plugin to be. Please have a look at the following video which contains a compilation of my progress.
Low performance with high poly meshes was one of the problems I faced when creating my CPU version of the plugin. At that point I thought of using fancier octree algorithms to reduce the plugin computation time or caching the mesh deformation but, very curious I am, I chose going another way instead. I decided to use the code I had at that point and try to adapt it to use the power of GPU processing.
For that I worked with OpenCL framework – ATI version of Nvidia Cuda – which demands you to know about video cards architecture. Basically, the advantage of using GPU against CPU is that GPUs have dozens of stream processors – 1120 in my video card case, an ATI 6870 – while CPUs’ standard is something around 1, 2, 4 or 8*. Using all these computing units is not so trivial. It is needed to manage the parallelization of jobs sent to the GPU.
The OpenCL framework only gives support for basic computations though and things like ‘ray intersect mesh’ functions given for free in the 3d Max SDK had to be written in OpenCL (C like) language**.
In the video above I present the result of my experiment where my plugin runs 10x faster in the GPU with higher poly meshes. The greater the number of computations to be made, the greater the difference becomes.
This is my first attempt creating a plugin with 3d Max SDK. The work is still in progress but I am pretty happy with the outcome so far. The main deal of this plugin is to create the effect that simulates muscles sliding underneath the skin. My plan now is to polish this plugin, add some more functionalities and post more illustrative examples here soon.
The following links are the references I used on this research.
Muscle system online research project
VorleX muscle system slide effect
Chad Vernon Reel 2010
Capturing and animating skin deformation in human motion
Lumonix – Skin FX
Penadinho and his friends are part of a famous Brazilian comic book created by Mauricio de Souza. Mauricio is now investing in new technologies and I had the pleasure to work in a Penadinho’s teaser video as modeler, rigger and animator.
In this post I’ll share with you a very simple tool I had to make for a personal project. Its function is to save/load the skin weights from/to a mesh. OK, I know 3d max has its own way to do this, but there’s one special thing here. It’s possible to load a saved skin to a couple of selected vertices. It can be useful when you have a mesh being skinned by 2 artists at the same time for example. The script is based on vertex position instead of vertex index, but I am willing to add this and some other functions soon. I hope it can be useful for you guys as well as it was for me. Please check the video below out to see how it works.
What it does:
- export weights for the whole mesh
- import the weights for the whole mesh or just for the selected points (selecting points inside the skin modifier)
How to use:
- after running the script a toolbox will be launched
- MAXScript -> Run Script -> skinTool.ms
- the rest should be straight forward
- WARNING: all the export/import operations must be done in the same pose (usually the T-pose for characters)
- the information is processed based on bones’ indexes – bone order in the skin modifier matters
Copyright: feel free to use and change it as you wish =D
In this post I am publishing a study of an auto-rigging script I have made a while ago. The goal of this study was to create a tool that could quicly set up a rig with my preference of features. This script sets up a rig with IK/FK arms (with blending based in Paul Neale setup), IK legs and reverse feet from a given reference. I didn’t go futher than that because the point was just to study some scripting at that moment.
If you want to try this script anyway, a reference of bones will be needed. Anything can be used as reference. In the following video you will see a very simple chain of bones, a Max Biped and a Max CAT being converted to my set up. Just for the record, the idea of converting an existing Biped reference into a custom rig was taken from Daniel Lara.
What it does:
- from a given reference, it sets up a rig with features of my choice
How to use:
- create your reference and run the script
- MAXScript -> Run Script -> rigMachine_v02.ms
- map the bones
- if you want to use a CAT reference, please create a dummy at the end of the toe and link it as child of the toe
Copyright: feel free to use and change it as you wish =D
Thanks for watching my personal demo reel. In this video you’ll see some pieces of work which I’ve worked on over the past years. More information can be found in my demo reel breakdown.