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Thursday, July 19, 2012

Monday, July 9, 2012

Sketchup renders with RenderIn


RenderIn is a great plugin for Sketchup. It's cheap, has a modo-like preview window and it works with the free version of Sketchup.

I was trying to create some light setups to render props. Because Sketchup shadow system is built around the sun as its light source, I needed to create a shadow-box environment to block out the sun. I literally created a big box with a lid on it and placed my model, lights and camera inside the box to render.

I was referencing Ben Procter's Avatar and Transformers work for my light setups. I love his stuff and I hope to meet him one day. These cylindar renders are a complete ripoff of a prop Ben created for Transformers. I wanted to copy his prop to see how close I could get to his work.





Monday, July 2, 2012

The Amazing Spider-Man Game - Props

Designing for Spider-Man games is a real challenge for everyone on the team. The mandate to handle his abilities is "If it looks like he could crawl on it -- he can crawl on it". There are other characters that have traversal abilities, Nathan Drake, the Assassins Creed protagonists, Cole from Infamous. But they have rules and limitations to what they can climb and the player believes in these limitations. For Spider-Man, he can crawl on everything. That's what makes him a challenge to design. He lives in a square 90 and 45 degree world.

Here's an example of an assignment I was given. To translate the movie version of OsCorp Tower into a version for the video game. The film version is really a beautiful modern design. I don't have any background in architecture but I can appreciate the flow and sweep of the curves and the points and angles to make it an intimidating structure. George Hull updated his site to include his OsCorp tower designs (http://www.ghull.com/#/131645)



Another interesting assignment was the Spider-Belt. The film version goes back to using the classic mechanical webshooters from the comics. So in the game version, Peter refills his webshooters by inserting a new cartridge from his belt. I had remembered the comic Spider-Man actually having a belt for his webshooters but it was hidden under his costume.

The game version was going to have his belt outside his costume. The new costume from the film is extremely streamlined. I think it really makes Spider-Man look slick and fast. So, I tried to hide the belt using the same color patterns from the suit. I think it works pretty good and the fact that no one has really complained about it makes me feel we did our job well.


I'm not sure if this made it into the game, it was for a cutscene I believe. I like designing mechanical props in 3D so I can fully understand how this thing is going to work. It allows me to try and solve problems that a 2D drawing can sometimes cheat at.