CTNX!

I went on a brief hiatus this past week because I flew to California to attend the CTN Expo! It was my first year attending the expo and my first time on the west coast, so even though I was still getting work done I stuck to Instagram and Facebook for my updates while traveling. I got to meet a bunch of fantastic artists and was lucky enough to get a few incredibly useful portfolio reviews. I saw the Pacific Ocean for the first time while waiting around the airport (got some fun sketches below), had some spare time to go see Griffith Observatory. And Thursday before the convention we visited Blizzard's Irvine campus!

The best part for me was getting to be around a lot of people who clearly love what they do. I didn't take many pictures of the actual convention because as it turns out, I'm terrible at taking pictures of events I go to. But it was bigger than I anticipated and I managed to come home with some pretty great prints that I may be doing some practice environments with. 

I tried to do some work in between being at the convention and boarding various planes. Most of it was some more wood sculpts and finally getting my normal maps working properly. I did a hi-res sculpt of my landscape and put it in Unreal just to see what it was looking like, here's the results: 

I won't be able to get into the labs to work on foliage until at least Monday night, so I'm also working on my cabin and getting all the details fixed up for that. Then I can start moving fully into Unreal and putting it all together. I'm excited for how it's coming along though, but deadlines are looming and I'm hoping to have some more filled out screenshots coming in the next few days. 

 

Reeling It In

So Inktober has gone on hiatus as I've been working the last few days to find time for my demo reel. Rendering in UE4 has been a bit of a challenge and I've spent a good amount of time with Google trying to figure out why something doesn't work. There are a couple of good shots I have from my renders, unfortunately I can't use them all in this reel and keep it under a minute. That's where the trouble comes. I'm not totally happy with what I have so far, but I still have a little bit of time to keep pushing and polish it up! 

I'll post some screencaps in the meantime: 

I've mostly been busy trying to round up models and get them into Unreal, render out a pass, and then get them together cohesively in After Effects. I made great progress tonight, and hopefully by tomorrow night I'll have a new video up on the home page with the renders I've just worked on. 

UE4 Marathon

I sat down this afternoon to start working on an environment to render my demo reel in. I worked on rendering bits and pieces from Project Sphincter in Unreal Engine 4 this week, and now that I've got the cinematics process down I figured I would just build a new environment to render all my game props in and put it all together. 

So I modeled this airplane hanger/warehouse type look and started playing with the lighting and materials in UE4. 

Screenshot from my setup. 

As I started putting the materials together and playing with lighting I got sucked into some of the finer aspects of UE4. Like building glass. I had never really gone too in-depth with the materials editor and I really wanted to see what was involved. I found this tutorial for creating glass HERE and started following it. The results still aren't quite what I'm looking for, but the refraction is at least looking pretty good. I'm hoping to play with it a little more once I've got more of my models in the scene. 

Screenshot of the materials editor after following the tutorial above. 

Screenshot of the materials editor after following the tutorial above. 

I'll be focusing on another environment project this week but I'll be posting updates from both on here, as well as Inktober! 

Working on Renders

It's demo reel time! I've been working pretty steadily this weekend to render different projects from this summer. Normally this wouldn't be such a huge challenge but since most of my models are game assets, I decided to render them in Unreal Engine 4. 

Working on cinematic renders of Project Sphincter. 

I'm still working out some of the quirks- I followed a tutorial that used Matinee only to find out that UE4 is using Sequencer now. A few hours and some tests later and I was ready to get into it. I'm also going to be building another environment and using it to create a more dynamic props reel. I like the idea of adding some interactivity instead of just staring at turnarounds and wireframes.

Still shot from one of the cinematic renders. 

Still shot from one of the cinematic renders. 

I found a few errors after the initial render but I've pretty much got the cinematics down for this part of the demo! Next up, building the demo room.