Monday, 30 November 2009

Showing off some art

So this is the first character for my incoming game. I've been quite busy lately  I didn't get a chance to make more progress with UDK but I did work on my game character Tachibana aka Duo. So there it is. I did a hair test in maya but it didn't work the way that I wanted so I may sculpt the whole hari cut into zbrush.




it's quite far from being finish but I will keep the update. So I need to sculpy his hair, retopo the whole mesh do a new uv map, then bake the hi mesh intothe low rez one and texture it.

I will rig it and animated it but it's another story. So there is a lot of work left but I'm pretty happy with my character right now.

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

screewing with the parking level

While improving with material editor in UDK, I start appllying new effect to my level. I might change the overall look of it in the final version but still a better image than in my previous post.

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

lightmass with bsp

I'm getting really great result with bsp and emissive static meshes. I'm quite happy with the result of my last tryout. The problem is my level won't use bsp or really a small amout so I need to get the same amout of detail with my custom models


lightmass testing and level testing

So while I'm not working on my showreel I'm  learning how to use UDK and it is not so easy to pick up. When I Say not so easy is that if you want to have a good level is not possible right away. I'm kind a learning the pipeline so your progress a pretty slow. but I'll try to get there and put my models into the game without any loss of quality

this my parking level for my future game. I keep the secret on the gameplay but it's something inspired by dynamite dekka.  So this is the lightmap. I still try out stuff since there is no lightmass tutorial so it's a bit vague what you can achieve.

the level with the texture. I still working on the ambiance.

My carbonmade Portfolio

Just wanted to add my Carbonmade portfolio. Some character level and Cars I've done. This is not new but I thought that it would be nice to have it on my blog too.

Playing with hair in Maya

Lately I haven't got the time to work n my showreel but I'm still doing some progress on photo realistic human characters. So today this the end on my experiment on hair using maya. I went pretty good though. I won't say it wasn't a hell to get there but I4m pretty happy to move forward.

Wednesday, 11 November 2009


Speed tree

So this is the second tutorial on how to create tree within the UDK pipeline.
After we create our tree in Speed tree program, we just need to save it and then launch the Speed Tree Compiler.

Once we launch it you’ll be facing a menu asking you to load some trees. Add the tree you’ve just created and click next.

Then you have to define your export settings. Be sure to pick an appropriate folder.

-          Settings
I chose to create only 2 billboards for my tree but the default settings are just fine.  For the sake of the tutorial I choose to create a billboard which will be replacing the tree in game when the camera is far away. Pretty neat feature but it doesn’t always work. OR maybe I haven’t found or to properly set it up.
You can create overhead billboard also if your character is flying over the trees. I leave you choose what suit best your needs.

Click next and then your see two your texture in two different folders. The fist one is the leaf and the second one the billboard. Don’t worry if nothing appears in the second one the billboard will be out put properly.

Be sure to change the prefix name if you have more than one tree in the folder.

Set the other parameters to fits your tree like the target size for instance. I did merge my billboard to the texture. But you can keep into another file.

Then my Tree is ready to compile.  Press F7 or the start button compilation in your compilation menu.

The open up your UDK editor and import the all components to the appropriate package.

You need to create the material first and then load them into the speed tree editor
So first pick the bark texture right click create a new material

Open it in the material editor in left clicking twice on the newly created material. For those familiar to this process just skip to the tree editor.
Connect the material to the diffuse channel

Select the normal map tree bark and with the texture highlighted right click in the material editor and select new texture sample.  I usually set the compression of my normal mapping to uncompressed. Then connect the normal mapping to the normal input.  Valid your change and close the material editor.

Repeat the process for the leaf and the leaf mesh, if you have one. The leaf mesh can be the collision model you add into the speed tree and export along. For this example I used a Rock I found in the apricot game made with the blender game engine. The assets are free of use so if you are looking for a grass or a rock  you might want to check this game.
Arrange your shader like in the picture and set your blend mode to BLEND_MASKED.

Valid and close the material editor.
Open the speed tree editor and the right just add the texture corresponding. The branches go with the bark material, the leaf mesh with the corresponding texture.  Assign the leaf card, the card and the billboard with the leaf material.
You should end up with something like that.

Then just drag and drop your tree onto the level.
If you want real-time shadows, just press F4 and under the speed tree panel look for lightning and uncheck use precomputed shadows.


Monday, 9 November 2009

Trouble with the pipeline

I managed to get my tree in the game engine but it look nothing like in the editor. It's kind of sad for a tool shipped with the editor.

Anyway I was trying to get some experiment to work and so far I try dynamic shadows, which is more fitted for outdoor game and guess what. this was terrible. Setting the shadow with the tree wasn't the hard task I was trying to push the system a little bit more but nothing really evolve. I think the reason most people use baked shadow is because it's was more stable than dynamics's. Unfortunately for me and people willing to do an outdoor based game we need more effort to get a decent result.

this is my first attempt to get something close to the result I got in Cryengine2

So yeah this is quite far from the realistic environment I had in mind but I have a lot to learn.

Crysis scenery

I was working on the cryengine for just a week but it was enough to taste the wonder of its tool. I try a lot of tool and I really think it's my favourite. Crtengine2 is one ( maybe the most) powerful engine with dynamic shadows and a lot of eye candy feature like dynamic sky scattering water caustics and such. Most of those shaders don't have to be set by and. Sadly the engine is just available for modders so even if you game is greate only the small crymod community will be able to play with it.

There is also few problem like the like of global illumination or lightbaking. But as far I know I never experimented so much ease in game developpement.


Theses are some experiments. I'll try to create such environment in the UDK. 

I did pick the cryEngine at the beginning because I was trying to create a dense forest for my game. The first part is set in a forest and the main character is pursed by enemy and unarmed.

So the cry engine was the best choice for my game. I even gave up the idea of selling this game in order to get a powerful engine ( tired to create my own tool) but the UDK came so I'm trying to port everything I had so far and learn how to do realistic outdoor.

progess and a little bit of deception

Even if I knew the UDK wasn't a terrain based editor I'm a bit disappointed with its terrain features. It's really buggy. One advice never edit the order of your texture layer or you'll find the end of it. The engine get really messy and even some layer you've erased while ago are painted instead of the one you just created.

But enough with whining, Epic games did a great job offering us the UDK.

So I'm posting some progress with the terrain editor.
I created my own textures and normal map. I use imagesynth which is a wonderful tool to tile your texture. So for the sake of my pseudo tutorial experiment, on creating realistic outdoor in UDK, I'll try to progress as fast I can.


it's barely nothing but just to show off my texture in game.

there is a lot of tutorial on how create a terrain so I was wondering some people wanted me to do a quick one.

I'm not really versed in tutorial on UDk atm bt I could give few trick to ease the process. I was also think of releasing few material in pack. I think except for cliff an rock ut3 material aren't really realistic, so maybe people need som good and tiled realistic textures.

Saturday, 7 November 2009

Outdoor- 01

Speedtree quick start.
I don’t know if people are facing problem using Speed tree but I’m going to start a sort of tutorial.
It’s going to be mainly outdoor oriented because there is sufficient indoor references. I’m in learning process so feel free to correct me if I’m doing anything wrong.
So the first part will be focused on creating speed tree and the basics features and functionality. I’m not going through all the details because there is a documentation accessible from the help menu.

So start of by creating a new document.  You should see a blank screen appear.

To start building your tree just start by right clicking on the tree icon on your generation window on your bottom right

From there you can select what type of part you want to add to your tree. The menu is self explanatory.

For this mini tutorial we will select the “standard RT” trunk. You’ll see the trunk appears in the main window.

In the top of that window you can toggle the display features.

You can switch on and off the light, the shadow, the tree, leaves and other features. You can also change the display mode in the generation tree.
In the asset/ material menu in the top right click on the [+] sign to add a texture.  Select a texture in your browser and load it

Click on the tree then, in your property menu roll down and select material/ branch, open it. Switch none to the texture you just created. (Takes time to load)  

You can tweak the tree using the property tool but I’ll let you try those setting. Just want to say you can use a curve and the curve presets to change the setting over the height

So after you tweak a bit just add a branch node on top of the trunk in your generation window. I pick the branch “standard RT “for this tutorial. As you can see the texture material from the branch is derived from the trunk.
I just tweaked few feature like length ( self explanatory) , the frequency ,the start and start angle.
The start is a sort of scale to represent where the branching start. So if 1 is the top of the tree and 0 the bottom so 0.5 is the middle. I set my start to 0.3 for example.
The star angle is self explanatory and you can tweak the curve to create variations in your branching.

I decided to add another set of branch to create a better look. So on top of the first branching I add another one. I had to resize it to ten to make it look realistic.

So that’s my favourite part. We need to add leaves. So on top of last branching just add leaves. I pick wild but you could pick just standard.

Then just add a new material like for the trunk. Asset-> material-> [+] -> select texture . Then in the property panel look for the leaves option, open it and the select the texture in the type setting. Change it just like for the trunk and you should have something like that.

I change the size a bit using the curve to create a sort falloff. You can multiple set of leaves  on top of branching.

So that’s it for a pseudo tutorial. I may post some other experiment small tutorial just to starters like terrain and such.
Next is to get those trees on the game engine.

Edit speed tree UDN is accessible now so maybe you can have a look to have a official paper explaining all the feature in it.

**credits for the textures. Dim arboretum on blender game engine forum and apricot game.