I’m really not a fan of the games industry. I’m not a fan of its fans.
I don’t like how explosive everyone is. How judgmental. How critical. How everyone has such strong, vocal feelings and no matter what you do it’s always going to be wrong or offensive or not good enough. How quick everyone is to assume the worst, or jump down other people’s throats. How people never give anyone credit for at least trying, or having faith that maybe they have good intentions. How if it’s not flawless it’s an abomination. How mean people are to each other. How everything is an issue, and one wrong step and you’re basically crucified.
Yeah, the industry’s also not so nice to ladies. Quality of work is second to looks. But better be grateful for getting cat called or hit on because at least you *are* attractive and actually notice you, right? Beats being ignored, doesn’t it?
I’m pretty much done with it, honestly. I’ve done that thing where I have to fight every single day for every single shred of happiness I ever had, and I didn’t always succeed. It wears you down. Tires you out. I promised myself that when I was free I’d never put myself in a place where I had to do it again. I have more respect for myself than that. I don’t deserve that kind of treatment, and I won’t stand for it.
Really tears me in half because that’s what I feel like I’m walking into. My chosen career path is gonna be this, all day every day. And I want none of it.
But on the other hand there’s a lot of people and things and studios and ideas and games in this place worth fighting for. Sometimes I just don’t know what to do.
If all we ever experience is games, we’ll never make anything new.
My favorite event of the year.
4th year lets gogogogogo
Was having some problems with my bakes, and I came across this video that has some good information on UVs, vert-counts, smoothing groups, and normals.
Metro Last Light
The first time you’re up on the surface, just wow. Really pretty environment for, you know… an apocalypse…
If all we ever experience is games, then our products will become narrower, more incestuous.
Anna Marsh in her rant for GDC13’s Hothead Rants panel.
Read the full rant here.
A Mini-Guide to Maps For Modeling
When you’re making an asset for a game, it’s important to know all of the different kinds of maps one can use to make an asset look better. I’ve compiled a little quick reference guide to just a few of the different maps and what they do, so you too can understand the technical jargon used by artists in the game industry!
[EDIT: There are SO many different kinds of maps, so I’m just going to cover the most basic of maps, the very first ones I learned. If you’re looking to find out more about these or other kinds of maps and their uses, a great guide can be found here on Polycount.]
UV Map - Before trying to create any of the other maps, you first must create a UV. This is a good example of what a UV would look like for a box. If you were to cut this image out of paper and fold it up, you would get a box! This is exactly what a UV does for your model. The UV acts as a blueprint for the other maps. You can color in between the lines, and when you apply it to your model (aka cut-it-out-and-fold-it-up), the pretty picture you created will show up on the model.
ALL of the following maps use the UV map as a blueprint:
Diffuse Map - This is what most people refer to when they say “texture” map. This map is used to place the color on the model.
Normal Map - This map is extra-special. You can use a normal map to add extra detail to a model without using geometry. This is a pretty good example of what a normal map can do. See how the squid on the right has much more detail than the squid on the left? Well, all of that detail is fake! It has not been modeled at all. This map uses RGB information to tell light “hey, this is how you’re going to bounce off this flat polygon ‘cause we’re gonna pretend that this surface is totally bumpy”.
Specular Map - This map is used to convey “shine”. If you have ever walked down a street in Call of Duty and noticed how everything is super shiny, that is what a specular map does. It is a great tool for helping to convey materials. For example, chrome will be super shiny, while suede fabric will not be shiny. It doesn’t have to be black and white, but the lighter the value the shinier that portion of the model will be. The darker the value, the less shiny it’ll be. You can get creative with specular maps by adding dark areas/light areas to subtly convey scuffs and scratches on a surface. It gives your piece and extra level of dimension and really pushes the detail.
Glow Map - A glow map can be used to make a part of your model glow. (You don’t say!) The same rules from the specular map apply to the glow map: lighter values make things glow, while darker values make sure they don’t glow.
Great tutorial on how to make spot-on alphas. It even shows how to turn the whole process into an action in Photoshop so you’ll never waste time again.
Courtesy of Bill Kladis from imbueFX