Until such time, “Words” will have to suffice.
It has been my first week of working with the members of Forsaken Studios, mostly with Lee Perkins, the Art Director.
I was a tad nervous at first, totally convinced my humble 2D texture skills would not fill much of a gap in todays game development but it seems my belief that 2D texture artists are a dying trade was incorrect.
I have very limited knowledge of working in 3D and I was correct in thinking my weakness may set me back a little.
A good example of this would be the inability to map/skin creature meshes with the texture maps I have been working with.
Ideally, a 3D artist would edit his 2D map, apply it, render it and then continue to make the necessary changes. I have to guess and wait for Lee to give me his feedback.
I was asked to play with an existing skin map of some ugly evil creature mesh.
Having not done this before and wasn’t too convinced I would be able to add too much to but I tried to use my imagination and just edited areas and added some depth and realism, a few veins, some bumpy wet looking skin and made the claws as realistic as I could.
I spent no more than 30 minutes.
Because I was unable to “try it on” and see the finished result, I just had to send it back to Lee via Skype and wait for a screenshot of how it looked on the mesh.
Much to my surprise, the screenshot displayed a massive improvement on the original skin and in Lees words “It’s epic” I must confess, I was pleased with my sad self lol
So now, I have opened up another avenue of my “usefulness" which goes beyond environment and architecture textures.
Today, I was sent the texture map for a Saber Tooth Tiger mesh and asked to add more fur to the skin and generally enhance the realism.
Again, it’s like working with a blindfold on as I can only guess how each edit in Photoshop will translate into a 3D game engine.
But then I had an after thought.
I own Poser 8 and have worked on editing and creating texture maps for plants with moderate success so I asked to be sent the mesh itself in a.obj file format.
This now allows me to open the mesh and apply the texture maps thus allowing me to see directly how the post editing looks.
It’s a totally new area for me and whilst I am doing OK with it, I am only working on existing maps, editing and enhancing.
I would not have a clue (At this stage) where to begin when starting with nothing but a wireframe guide.
I need to see how each part relates in relation to the mesh itself.
Anyway, it’s all very exciting and it’s given me a new found sense of purpose.
I have also been asked to create a “Texture Palette’ (A collection of textures that will be used through out a game or region within a game such as a village or specific location) based on Rob’s concept article (For want of a better word)
So Lee is sending me URLs to reference photos which is how I am used to working anyway.
I like to think, in time, I will come to develop an intuition on texture style and theme of the graphics when asked to make them, but in the meantime, I am just happy when I manage to create something that will be used in the game when it goes live.