Friday, June 13, 2014

Skullgirls- Eliza Bathhouse stage

Bath of Tefnut stage
Finished 2d painting

This is the bath house that is attached to Eliza's home, or maybe one of Eliza's many homes. I believe it's mainly used to impress guests and throw parties/host functions?
The monoliths say something on them, but I didn't have that much time to check whether I got it right so I scrubbed most of it out. It pretty much says "Eliza rules and everybody else drools" or something like that.

Thumbnails provided by art director


Prelim thumbs, sketches, and final color sketch.

Some versions I tried were more museum-like, and some were based off of modern styles of baths. The pools are underlit because that is a thing that some pools do and also for future plans.

Modeling the stage
I tried to model out this stage with more detail than had been done in previous levels. I admire the details that were put into the backgrounds of games like BlazBlue and wanted to capture some of that. (This bit me in the ass since the level ended up not running not well on PS3.)

This was the first time I modeled a stage, so I guess I should document the amateurish way I constructed the stage model, ~10 year old modeling techniques (mostly!) and all.


I can't believe this didn't end up a smoldering wreckage.
This is generally how I went about modeling things:
Lay out all my objects on a texture sheet and apply as material to a plane. 
Ended up with three textures for the room objects (sorted by depth) and one texture for the backdrop. Far objects end up smaller than they do in the painting and I wanted to be able to shrink the textures for them down more easily.

Cut out the shapes I want to work on and hide the rest for later.

Trim, split, and move verts until things end up like this, and then push and pull vertices around until the form kinda looks like what it's supposed to be. 
I have a preview camera that kinda approximates how it'll look like in the game and that helps. 

To start, I kludged up this mockup and tried to figure out how the composition would work in the 3d space and to help place the final models. I don't know if it helped much, actually..

This is a timelapse of the build and setting up some of the animations.

The caustics (light shining up through the water and on to objects like pillars and statues) was done by duplicating the geometry of the object, moving it out a little bit, and then replacing the texture with a translucent caustics texture. The texture scrolls to simulate the water moving, and vertex alpha was used to fade the edges.
Not very elegant or performance-wise, but the engine doesn't support multi-texture materials. Still, it's kind of fun 

I think maybe this is the only part that actually turned out well.

The aesthetic requirement of having fuzzy edges on objects meant that things could not be modeled out as fully as in other video games which use geometry for edges (texture alpha is expensive, to boot)(also, there is no AA)

Monday, June 9, 2014

Skullgirls- Big Band cutscene backgrounds

Was between projects so was contracted to paint the backgrounds for the Big Band storymode cutscenes.

 Establishing shot pan 
(where I completely ignore the established topology of the city 
and make the Medici Office stage impossible)

 Flashback 1

 Flashback 2
Tried to include Robocop imagery everywhere.
This room is similar to the one in which Murphy dies.

 Generic city backdrop

Wrecked ASG Labs
I think this stuff was done during the original production back in 2011 but was never implemented for whatever reason. The elements were pasted into the texture map for ASG Labs in order to make a more unique ASG Labs Empty stage.
Mike didn't like the corpses here so I tried to make some funnier corpses but they got vetoed by not-Mike so we just darkened the old ones.

Back to 2011, there's also this dead shark and anvil head that was a result of miscommunication. Whoops!

ASG labs closeup

 Street lit by rampaging Skullgirl. 

 Big Band punch




Ending panning shot

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Happy 2nd birthday, Skullgirls.

Apparently it's the 2nd year anniversary of Skullgirls' release, and my co-workers are showing off the first things they did for the game, so I guess I will too.

 This is a fan art from 2004. Maybe it was a birthday gift?

Canopolis upper and lower regions, 2005.

Unused stage painting from 2006, Alex provided the original drawing. 
(I put the red car into Under the Bridge)

In some ways these are better than the art I'm doing now, which is really embarrassing. It probably marks my transition from a wannabe concept-artist to more of a production artist role. It included a lot more reliance on layers (particularly blending modes for lighting) and a lot more self-doubt.