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About scotths

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  1. scotths

    Blender UV Unwrapping

    Here's a couple of quick and useful tips: Select more than one vertex in the UV and hit the W key, then choose one of the options. Using option(alt)-RMB in t he uv window will allow you to select a whole edge loop at once. This is especially useful if you have edge loops that are straight edges in the model. Keep a 3D window open when you are working on the uv and have it in face select mode. Then you can select an island (up to the extents of the seam) by putting your mouse over one face in the model and hitting the L key. Those are just some quick tips. UV unwrapping is a bit of art, logic, and voodoo all at once. But Blender beats hands down any other unwrapping tool I've used. Scott
  2. scotths

    Low Poly Game Models

    Awesome! Glad to see more people making some great content. Scott
  3. scotths

    Where to find art assets

    ach, duplicate. Now I have to think of something else to say. Um, most of these models are from our group project, the Low Poly Coop. It's all the same models there, but the blog has a lot of history there which might be educational if you are learning. Scott
  4. scotths

    Where to find art assets

    Here you go. A lot of it is my stuff, all of it is free to use. I'm also ramping up to start doing new work soon. Thanks, Scott
  5. scotths


    For me personally, during the times that I have volunteered my services as an artist, the single most inspirational thing that would motivate me to join a team is seeing a game that looks like it will actually get done. Making a nearly complete game with programmer art (even if it is "D" level art) means that the programmer or team of programmers has their act together enough that any I work I put in will not go to waste. I can't tell you how many times I have watched the "which engine should we use" discussion go on for months while I wait to start working on art. This is the main reason why I only rarely consider dedicating my team to a single team -- these days I prefer to make utility models and give them away for free to as many people as possible. That way I know my art will be put to some good use, if nothing else as placeholders or deconstructed for educational purposes. I think your plan of producing your own art to make a workable game is a great plan. If you end up not liking the art, you will have at least produced something that will inspire an artist to contribute AND you will be able to give them a solid design and solid technical specs. Scott
  6. scotths

    Castle walls etc

    Here's how the artist working on Gears of War does it -- start at post #56 in the thread for the explanation: Brick walls Scott
  7. scotths

    How to make textures from scratch?

    Here you go -- here's something I did a couple years ago. It's less of a tutorial and more of an over-the-shoulder type of thing: Polyglog 0.1 -- A Trial Run And here are 555 Blender tutorials -- enough to keep you busy for a few months: 555 Blender Tutorials Enjoy! Scott
  8. scotths

    Blender UV Unwrapping

    The quick answer to your last question is both and more. unwrapping in Blender can be a bit of voodoo and it will fill you with a warm thrill of accomplishment once you get it. Here are some pointers for improving. - Work in all quads when modeling. Build as much of your model in the orthographic views as you can. Try to keep your edges continuous and clean. This will help in the uwrap and in you modifications of the unwrap later. - Start with good seams -- nothing that will stretch the uv mesh too far out of place. Choose edges that are hidden, are natural seams (like between two different surfaces), or are on the most extreme angle. - Experiment with good starting points. With good seams, the basic unwrap (U 1) often works well enough. Sometimes you might be better off going to each ortho view and using project from view (U 5) if you have something mostly box shaped. The point here is you are shooting for a starting point that you will be modifying, not trying for a perfect automatic unwrap. - Modify the uv points. Many of the same transformations you know from the 3D modeling workflow are here also. Moving, rotating, scaling, selecting a connected island with L, constraining transforms with the x or y key, etc. The most important to learn is option-RMB, this will select a continuous edge. Then hit W for the weld menu and align those vertices. Do this over and over again. I like to call it "Walking across the island". Yes, it takes time. - Sometimes you can pin a few verts in an island (P) and re-unwrap just that island (in the uv window only, I think it is the E key). - If you are working with something organic, don't sweat it too much. If you worked in all quads when modeling and made smart seams, and you can tell where things are ("this is an arm, here's where the eye is") then you are probably ok. Blender is actually pretty good at stuff that max and maya only added within the last few years. One word of warning overall. There are things in the menus that masquerade as being shortcuts, but don't be fooled. These shortcuts are just helpers and there really is no magic button -- you will need to do a good bit of manual work to get a really nice unwrap. It takes time to learn the skills and it takes time to perform the steps need to implement those skills. When you go to create your texture maps, you will be thanking yourself for all the work you did. Scott
  9. scotths

    commissioning 3D art for games

    Here are a couple of good bets for concise portfolios from people looking for work: indiegamer polycount (as mentioned before) Scott
  10. scotths

    Exporting tangent normals(blender)

    Here are three great starting points for understanding normal mapping with Blender: http://blenderartists.org/forum/showthread.php?t=138194 http://feeblemind.tuxfamily.org/dotclear/index.php/2005/08/23/43-tutorial-blender-and-normal-maps http://vi-wer.de.tl/Normalmap-Tutorial.htm?PHPSESSID=21505d275ea4b17e7c94a51c8ff43dcb Don't worry if it takes a while to understand it and then successfully create a good map. It's not easy stuff. If I am to understand your question, the normal map is not part of a 3D file -- it is an image that is created from a 3D file (usually a high poly one) and then applied back onto a 3D file (usually a low poly one) as part of a material. Scott
  11. scotths

    Checking the Number of Polygons in Blender

    Keep in mind that the number listed in the info bar (at least in the version of Blender I have) is the face count, which can be either quads or tris, whereas most game engines define their polycounts by way of triangles. If you work in mostly quads like I do, you can double this number and get close to your actual (game art) polycount, since quads are made up of two triangles. The way to get the tri count for certain is in object mode, select your object. Then apply a decimate modifier. The number next to "Face Count" is your tri count. Then delete your modifier before continuing -- using it is not actually as useful as it might seem, I just using it for getting the triangle count. Thanks, Scott
  12. scotths

    Blender vs traditional commercial solutions

    Having used both Max and Blender for a while now, I still find myself coming back to Blender again and again as my own preference of tools. All of our models at the lowpolycoop went through Blender at one point or another and is also the main modeling tool for about 80% of what we've done. The one thing I love about this thread compared to similar threads 3, 4, 5 years ago is that Blender is now being spoken of as a serious contender to Max instead of as a toy. Going back to the OP and trying to read into your message, it looks like as your project grows it will be a spread out virtual team. Here are the reasons we chose Blender as our main tool for our own loose-knit team. 1. Blender is great at importing, exporting and translating files. There are also many well-supported exporters for existing game or rendering engines (torque and ogre being the two that people use our models for the most). This allowed us to easily have Blender serve as the main hub for all things technical and export-y, and then allow each modeler to work in his or her favorite app. We always used the philosophy that an artist should be able to do their artistic work in whichever tool makes them comfortable and having a solid tool like Blender as the technical hub allowed us to work with a larger community of artists. 2. Blender is free, updated regularly, and always has the most recent version available. This enabled everyone on the team to be up to date with the most recent version -- no fuss, no expensive upgrades, no subscription plan, no cracked versions of max to mess with. I've even done freelance projects for clients who use Max who had no problem with obj files I exported from Blender. 3. I use both Blender and Max a lot, but I can still do anything in Blender significantly faster. The part about Blender that I love he most is the "sticky" or "live" hotkeys (I'm not sure what else to call them). In most programs, max included, you hit a hotkey to select a tool, then you have another step to actually do something with that tool -- setting constraints is another button click or hotkey setting before doing any sort of translation, rotation or scale. In Blender, hit the hotkey, the selection starts doing it's thing, hit another and you set the constraint. It was really confusing at first, but now that I have had a year of direct comparison with Max I find it saving me a good 10-20% of time when doing vertex level modeling. Of course, someone with 6 years experience might say the opposite. [edit] 4. Oh, and with Blender, I can model one handed, standing up, on a moving train. Take this all with a grain of salt -- I am an unrepentant fan of Blender :) Also, check out, as another poster suggested, the yo frankie link. They've done a lot of great work on making Blender more game-friendly. Thanks, Scott
  13. PM Sent. In short: 1. We make open content models for developers to use. 2. We use Blender at almost every level of content creation. 3. The largest number of developers who use our material are from the OGRE community. Low Poly Cooperative Thanks, Scott
  14. scotths

    photoshop mask

    Here are couple of other ways -- as always in Photoshop there are at least 6 ways to do anything. 1. With Layer 2 selected, click on the lock button at the top of the layers pallete. It will look different in different versions of PS. For me on CS2 it says "lock" with four icons next to it, the one you want is the one that looks like a checkerboard. Click it. Now, every spot on your layer that contains a live pixel (including semi-transparent ones) will only be affected by whatever you do to the layer. If it is a solid color you are looking for, now go ahead and just fill the layer and only the spots that have a color already will have the new color. 2. Another option is to add a layer style to layer 2. In the layers pallette, double click on the layer. Select the "Color Overlay" style and then adjust the settings. Only areas that have a live pixel will be affected. The other three ways listed above are cool, too. Scott
  15. scotths

    Rendering 3d models into 2d isometric

    Here is a great reference on how to make iso tiles with Blender. It also includes a link to a Blender file with nice camera and lighting setup. Scott
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