Archive for March 2011

Modeling 1 Recap   2 comments

The main project for Modeling 1 was a corner scene with a polygon limit of 3000 and a max pixel size of 2048×2048 for all textures, combined. I decided to create a warehouse scene. The concept story was that a thief had broken into this old warehouse in search of valuable artifacts. He was frightened by what he found and left behind some of the tools of his trade in the process.

I began with the corner of the warehouse, some storage racks, a crate, and a wood pallet. The flashlight is just a placeholder at this point. I was playing around with some overhead lighting and shadows with this version.

Warehouse version 1

Warehouse Render - Version 01 - 14 August 2010

I then added the steel frame of the building and began creating the textures. I realized early on that the crate with the main artifact would need to be much closer to the camera if it was going to be an effective focal point. I intentionally kept the lighting dark, in an effort to hold a strong focus but the overall scene is almost unreadable this way.

Warehouse version 4

Warehouse Render - Version 04 - 28 August 2010

I brightened up the scene a bit in this version. I also added a pallet jack, a crow bar, and a mask. It took quite a while to decide on the mask as an artifact but it ended up being an effective choice, in my opinion. I used a segmented box and edited the vertices to match a photograph of a mask I found online. A mirrored instance allowed me to keep the mask symmetrical throughout the process. I think it turned out well for one of the first complex, semi-humanoid forms I’ve modeled.

Warehouse - version 7

Warehouse Render - Version 07 - 11 September 2010


The distance of the crate and mask still needed major adjustment in order to bring out the appropriate level of detail. It became a much more interesting composition with the mask and crate just off center. Illumination and volume fog from an emergency light was used to help balance the composition.

Warehouse - version 11

Warehouse Render - Version 11 - 01 October 2010


The rest of the textures were finished and applied. Lighting adjustments were made, both in 3D Studio and in Photoshop (for the sake of printing), to make the image more easy to read. The result is an early morning shot of the warehouse after the failed late-night burglary.

Warehouse - Final

Warehouse Render - Final with wires - 03 October 2010


I’m pretty happy with the results of this project. The final poly count was 2320 and the final tris were 4214. I don’t actually remember the final texture size but I know I had room to spare. Opacity, Specular, and Bump maps were not counted in addition to the matching diffuse maps involved.

There are a few things I might have changed or done differently, now that I’m more experienced, but I’m happy with it for what it was. For screen viewing, rather than printing purposes, I’d actually prefer a blend between the Final Render and version 11, as far as the brightness of the lighting.

I’ll end with a dough-boy render of the final with wireframes:

Warehouse - Final Doughboy

Warehouse Render - Final Dough-boy - 03 October 2010

This project has been added to my portfolio on the following page: Warehouse

Welcome!   2 comments

Welcome to my new and improved WordPress blog.

My name is Michael Derry. I received my Bachelor of Science Degree in Architecture in 2006 but after several years in the field I realized that video game design was a better outlet for my creative and professional passion. I went back to school and received a Bachelor of Fine Art Degree in Game Production in 2012. Construction budgets, building codes, and the very nature of the architecture industry too often make truly creative design the exception, rather than the rule. Without these kinds of limits, I will be able to help design entire worlds, rather than mere office buildings and strip malls. The promise of Architecture, while in school, didn’t live up to the realities of the profession. Even with the difficult economy, I might have simply learned to live with those realities and press on … if I hadn’t discovered the limitless potential of video game design.

I’m looking ahead with a more cautious and, hopefully, more realistic outlook on my new profession. I’ve never believed nor understood the idea that game designers are people who get to play games all day or who have an easy job. My introduction to the industry came through the challenging ‘hobby’ of making game modifications, specifically for TESIV: Oblivion. I found it fascinating and threw myself into all aspects of the mod making process. It was an amazing new creative outlet that reminded me what it was like to create again. Only after a year or two of modding every day after work, and through the encouragement of one of my project team members, did I realize that the hobby I was enjoying so much was also a viable career path. It was well worth considering and seems, now, like it should have been an obvious choice all along.

I have a broad academic foundation. Before beginning my Architecture degree, I took classes in subjects ranging from geology, geography, and weather to fine art and design. Of course, I’ve taken countless design courses, of various types, over the years. Having been exposed to so many seemingly disparate interests, I’ve come to develop a somewhat unique perspective on the world and how it all works together. My current focus in game design is on World Building and the creation of environmental assets. I really enjoy the process of imagining a new world and slowly adding ideas, layer by layer, until the complexity of the system begins to take on a life of its own. Perhaps the most recent updates will force me to go back and change something I thought was amazing but the entire world will be deeper because of it. When it all finally reaches a critical mass and all that’s left is to add detail and ‘flawed realism’, the results can be overwhelming. To look at my own creation as if it were a real place and wonder how it came to be, is a strange and exhilarating feeling. It is a feeling I hope to replicate many more times throughout my career as I enter the video game industry and join creative teams to bring new worlds to life for gamers everywhere to enjoy.

It won’t all be grandiose and exciting. I’ve still got a lot of work ahead of me and there will always be room for improvement. Now that you know a little bit about me and where I’m coming from, I need to get back to it. By the time anyone comes along to read this, there will hopefully be plenty of new projects to look at. I intend to update my works in progress on this blog or at least post a recap of most of them to show my process. Eventually, I’ll be able to come back to this page and laugh at myself and be glad about how far I’ve come. Until then, have a look around and enjoy.

Posted 15 March 2011 by Gameitect in General

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