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    Technology/ Code / Visual Arts /

    Crafting Madness #1: Volufaketric Fog in Asylum

    If you've been following Asylum's development, you already know that the game's graphics are based on pre-rendered textures projected on top of a cube with inverted normals. Since gouraud shading is avoided in these faces, you have the illusion of a panoramic view. Using this technique instead of 3D rendering allows the game to have […]

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    Technology/ Code / Visual Arts /

    OpenGL dumb mistakes: the mysterious Perfect Circular Hole

    I've got a long-running project around rendering 3D Earth in interesting ways. It's being used in a game project, and some non-game stuff too. Here's a recent screenshot: I added a particle system that uses Vector Fields to move the particles based on arbitrary incoming data, and then wraps it round a globe. Yay!: (click […]

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    Advocacy / Technology/ Code / Visual Arts /

    How to become a Graphics Programmer in the games industry

    As we were recently hiring a new Graphics Programmer at work I had to identify what kind of technical knowledge and skills we would expect from a potential candidate. Although this definition will be somewhat specific to what we look for in a candidate, it might still be of interest to other coders trying to […]

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    Technology/ Code / Visual Arts /

    iOS Open GL ES 2: Multiple objects at once

    Recap: Part 1 - Overview of GLKit Part 2 - Drawcalls, and how OpenGL code is architected Part 3 - Vertices, Shaders and Geometry Part 4 - (additions to Part 3); preparing for Textures ...but looking back, I'm really unhappy with Part 4. Xcode5 invalidates almost 30% of it, and the remainder wasn't practical - […]

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    Technology/ Code / Visual Arts /

    OpenGL ES 2: debugging, and improvements to VAO, VBO

    UPDATE: This post sucks; it has some useful bits about setting up a breakpoint in the Xcode debugger - but apart from that: I recommend skipping it and going straight to Part 4b instead, which explains things much better. This is Part 4, and explains how to debug in OpenGL, as well as improving some […]

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    Technology/ Code / Visual Arts /

    OpenGL ES 2: Vertices, Shaders, and Geometry

    (this is Part 3; Part 1 has an index of all the posts) We finished Part 2 with the most basic drawing of all: we filled the screen with a background colour (pink/magenta), but no 3D objects. NB: if you're reading this on AltDevBlog, the code-formatter is currently broken on the server. Until the ADB […]

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    Technology/ Code / Visual Arts /

    Accurate Collision Zoom for Cameras

    Here's the takeaway of this whole post: For camera collision zoom, don't cast a ray. Don't cast a sphere. Cast the near face of the view frustum. Now, let's start from the beginning. Consider the typical third-person camera: a lookat target (often the player character) and an offset to the camera. We never want to […]

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    Technology/ Code / Visual Arts /

    OpenGL ES 2: How does it draw?

    UPDATED 24/09/13: Added some essential details to the class files at end of post, and corrected typos UPDATED 24/09/13: Added Github project with full source from this article December 2013: I've converted the sample code from these articles into a standalone library on GitHub, with the code from the articles as a Demo app. It […]

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    Technology/ Code / Visual Arts /

    GLKit to the max: OpenGL ES 2.0 for iOS - Part 1: GLKit Features

    Apple uses OpenGL extensively - their 2D desktop libraries (Quartz, CoreAnimation) are OpenGL-based, and iOS has inherited that link (along with some funky tricks you can pull). December 2013: I've converted the sample code from these articles into a standalone library on GitHub, with the code from the articles as a Demo app. It uses […]

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    Technology/ Code / Visual Arts /

    The main loop in Devil's Attorney on Android

    Abstract Android OS is filled with undocumented behavior and quirks that are taught the hard way; by discovery and by experience. Once you start playing around with the NDK, OpenGL and Android lifecycle events in multiple threads, things can become real hairy. In this post, I'm going to list a number of things that I […]

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    Technology/ Code / Visual Arts /

    Latency Mitigation Strategies

      Abstract Virtual reality (VR) is one of the most demanding human-in-the-loop applications from a latency standpoint.  The latency between the physical movement of a user’s head and updated photons from a head mounted display reaching their eyes is one of the most critical factors in providing a high quality experience. Human sensory systems can […]

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    Technology/ Code / Visual Arts /

    Implementing Voxel Cone Tracing

    [Updated on 25-2-2013: added a paragraph about lowering the voxel update frequency for faster dynamic update. The demo also added a combo box for choosing the update frequency] Introduction In last year SIGGRAPH, Epic games presented their real time GI solution which based on voxel cone tracing. They showed some nice results which attract me […]

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    Technology/ Code / Visual Arts /

    Angle based SSAO

    Introduction SSAO (Screen space ambient occlusion) is a common post processing effect that approximate how much light is occluded in a given surface by the surrounding objects. In this year SIGGRAPH, there are a few slides in "The Technology behind the Unreal Engine 4 Elemental Demo" about how they implement SSAO. Their technique can either […]

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    Advocacy / Visual Arts /

    Head Over Heels: Upper Body Movement In Gameplay

    For every gameplay feature that makes it in, ten were cut so that it could survive. In the epic battle (or collaboration, depending on your team/company) between Designers, Programmers, and Animators to see these features get shipped, some core fundamentals often fall by the wayside. In games animation, it is very common to approach quality […]

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    Technology/ Code / Visual Arts /

    Building an HTML5 Game? Don’t Shrug Off Atlases.

    HTML5 is an amazing technology for designing web sites. The general flexibility of HTML5 markup and JavaScript often leads web developers to create their content using individual image elements. This approach works well for small sites with low overhead, but for games or other high-load websites, using droves of single image elements leads to long […]

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    Advocacy / Audio / Business / Game Design / Marketing / Production / Technology/ Code / Visual Arts /

    Q-001: Where do you feel like you are being held back by the status quo in #gamedev?

    This was the question that started my twitter #gamedev Q&A series. As of right now we're just shy of having discussed 100 questions on twitter. Feel free to join in!

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    Advocacy / Visual Arts /

    How to get a job as an animator in games...

      The competition for jobs in the gaming industry is getting increasingly fierce (many companies receiving 100's of applicants for a single position), yet many applicants consistently make the same mistakes which hurt their chances of landing the gig. I'm going to cover some of the more common mistakes I come across, as well as […]

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    Technology/ Code / Visual Arts /

    Shader Generator

    Introduction In the last few weeks, I was busy with rewriting my iPhone engine so that it can also run on the Windows platform (so that I can use Visual Studio in stead of Xcode~) and most importantly, I can play around with D3D11. During the rewrite, I want to improve the process of writing […]

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    Technology/ Code / Visual Arts /

    Photon Mapping Part 2

    Introduction Continue with previous post, this post will describe how light map is calculated from the photon map. My light map stores incoming radiance of indirect lighting on a surface which are projected into Spherical Harmonics(SH) basis. 4 SH coefficients is used  for each color channels. So 3 textures are used for RGB channels (total […]

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    Technology/ Code / Visual Arts /

    Photon Mapping Part 1

    Introduction In this generation of computer graphics, global illumination (GI) is an important technique which calculate indirect lighting within a scene. Photon mapping is one of the GI technique using particle tracing to compute images in offline rendering. Photon mapping is an easy to implement technique, so I choose to learn it and my target is […]

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    #AltDevConf / #AltDevUpdates / Advocacy / Audio / Business / Game Design / Marketing / Production / Protected / Technology/ Code / Visual Arts /

    Why I went back into the studio......

    I LOVE working in the studio, I really do. I love the freedom it affords me. I love trying to create games that I want to play! I also really love having a cerabal cortex, so I left the studio life and learned biz magic. I make a really good living in biz, I LOVE […]

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    Technology/ Code / Visual Arts /

    Generating Uniformly Distributed Points on Sphere

    Recently, while I was working on a screen-space shader effect, I had to do some random sampling over the surface of a sphere. An effective sampling requires a uniform distribution of samples. After a quick googling, I found out a way to generate uniformly distributed samples([1]), and it showed a decent result for my application. […]

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    Technology/ Code / Visual Arts /

    Software Rasterizer Part 2

    Introduction Continue with the previous post, after filling the triangle with scan line or half-space algorithm, we also need to interpolate the vertex attributes across the triangle so that we can have texture coordinates or depth on every pixel. However we cannot directly interpolate those attributes in screen space because projection transform after perspective division is not […]

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    Technology/ Code / Visual Arts /

    Software Rasterizer Part 1

    Introduction Software rasterizer can be used for occlusion culling, some games such as Killzone 3 use this to cull objects.  So I decided to write one by myself. The steps are first to transform vertices to homogenous coordinates, clip the triangles to the viewport and then fill the triangles with interpolated parameters.  Note that the clipping process […]

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    Technology/ Code / Visual Arts /

    Oxel: A Tool for Occluder Generation

    Its been awhile since I’ve done an update to my research into occluder generation.  If you need a refresher, take a look at: Hierarchical Z-Buffer Occlusion Culling – Generating Occlusion Volumes Robust Inside and Outside Solid Voxelization Lets start with the newest and most important information... Update 4/13/2012 The project is now hosted on BitBucket, […]

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    Advocacy / Game Design / Marketing / Visual Arts /

    Show, Don't Tell

    Anyone who has worked with storytelling in some shape or form has probably heard the phrase "Show, don't tell" a million times. It's such a simple concept, and yet it is one of the hardest to pull off effectively. In our everyday lives we generally tend to not go into too much detail when describing […]

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    Advocacy / Game Design / Visual Arts /

    You Should Be Drawing

    Artists know this phrase all to well. They hear it from peers. From mentors and idols. From themselves. I am thinking it over and over now as I type this. It is a mantra that is always haunting me. Guilting me. You should be drawing Why does that phrase hold so much power? Does it do […]

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    Technology/ Code / Visual Arts /

    Seamless Cube Map Filtering

    Modern GPUs filter seamlessly across cube map faces. This feature is enabled automatically when using Direct3D 10 and 11 and in OpenGL when using the ARB_seamless_cube_map extension. However, it's not exposed through Direct3D 9 and it's just not available in any of the current generation consoles. There are several solutions for this problem. Texture borders […]

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    Technology/ Code / Visual Arts /

    Light Pre Pass Renderer on iPhone

    Introduction About a month ago, I bought an iPhone 4s, so I write some code on my new toy. Although this device does not support multiple render target(MRT), it do support rendering to a floating point render target (only available on iPhone 4s and iPad2). So I test it with a light pre pass renderer: […]

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    Technology/ Code / Visual Arts /

    Getting the Projected Extent of a Sphere to the Near Plane

    Recently I had a chance to implement a toy ray-tracer for a scene with spheres only. Once a brute-force approach had been coded, I tried to optimize it by pre-sorting spheres into screen tiles(i.e. a uniform grid on the near view plane) so that only spheres binned to the tile can be considered when tracing […]

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    Technology/ Code / Visual Arts /

    Extracting dominant light from Spherical Harmonics

    Introduction
    Spherical Harmonics(SH) functions can represent low frequency data such as diffuse lighting, where those high frequency details are lost after projected to SH. Luckily we can extract a dominant directional light from SH coefficients to fake specular lighting. We can also extract more than 1 directional light from SH coefficients, but this post will only focus on extracting 1 dominant light, those interested can read Stupid Spherical Harmonics (SH) Tricks for the details. A webGL demo is provided at the last section which will only extract 1 directional light.

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    Advocacy / Audio / Game Design / Visual Arts /

    The Novelty vs Familiarity Paradox

    Hi everyone n_n This post is the continuation of my last one: A functional definition of Beauty Today on the menu: Beauty is identified in novel things which resemble familiar things, and not in familiar things: we know the things we know aren't perfect. We don't know how perfect this new awesome thing might be. […]

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    Technology/ Code / Visual Arts /

    3ds Max & Unity - the Good & the Bad (and some potential Solutions!)

    To begin, I definitely want to mention that I'm far from a 'Unity expert' at this point - I'm still learning and doing alot of trial and error at this point, but am at the point where I'm at least comfortable enough that I feel like throwing this out there for the community. But first, […]

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    Advocacy / Audio / Game Design / Visual Arts /

    A functional definition of Beauty

    [Edit: check the comments] I've been holding off posting for about two months because I either didn't have time to post, or I didn't feel my posts were solid enough. Now that both those problems have been fixed, here's my new post about beauty. In my last post about open-mindedness I hinted at the importance […]

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    Game Design / Visual Arts /

    Growing Game Animation - State Changes and Pathing

    Character animation in games can not rely solely on the methods used in film. Creating emotionally engaging and empathetic characters in a video game doesn't stop when you finalize the animation. If you want to fully apply the 12 principles of animation into your game, you need to be aware of how and when your animations […]

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    Game Design / Visual Arts /

    The Symbolism of Simple Actions

    Climbing a ladder. Looking out of a window. Opening a door. In the literary world, more than just simple actions, these are often moments that the writer uses to give insight into the psyche of a character. These actions can be layered into a story to subtly hint at or subconsciously influence the perceptions of the reader. They […]

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    Technology/ Code / Visual Arts /

    Skin Shading in Unity3d

    I've been away from AltDev for a while, a bit longer than I originally expected because after a period of crunch before IGF submission in late October, I went back to the comforts of getting a normal nights sleep, something that working a normal game development job this past summer spoiled me into enjoying. Now […]

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    Advocacy / Game Design / Visual Arts /

    Improv Acting and Game Development

    When I was a first-year student at Carnegie Mellon's Entertainment Technology Center, I was required along with the other first-years to take an improvisational acting class.  At first glance it may seem like a weird requirement for a graduate level non-theatre program, but man, improv can teach you SO MUCH about working on teams in […]

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    Technology/ Code / Visual Arts /

    Microfacet BRDF

    Introduction In recent years, there are more and more papers talking about applying physically based BRDF in games. So I decided to spend some time to investigate it. For a BRDF to be physically plausible, it should satisfy 2 conditions: Reciprocity: The incident light direction(l) and reflected light direction(r) for a BRDF(f) is the same after the […]

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    Technology/ Code / Visual Arts /

    Spherical Harmonic Lighting

    Introduction Spherical Harmonics(SH) functions are a set of orthogonal basis functions defined in spherical coordinates using imaginary numbers. In this post, we use the following conversion between spherical and cartesian coordinates: Since we are dealing with real value functions, we only need to deal with real spherical harmonics functions which in the form of: The […]

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    Advocacy / Visual Arts /

    So You Wanna Be In Charge?

    "It is a well known fact that those people who most want to rule people are, ipso facto, those least suited to do it." - Douglas Adams, Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy This blog was cross-posted here. OK, animators. I know the deal. You guys want to be the next Brad Bird, the next John Lasseter, the […]

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    Advocacy / Visual Arts /

    Get feedback dammit!

    This is a post from a series of articles I'm writing on job hunting for 3D artists over at http://artandanimationwork.com/ Are you a art or design student who is reluctant to show your work? Maybe "it's not finished", and you're "just a student", perhaps the "class wasn't long enough". Those are excuses, we know your […]

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    Advocacy / Technology/ Code / Visual Arts /

    The Beauty of Software Development

    I wrote this article in 2009 for my blog, palgorithm.co.uk. I still like it and thought it would be worth cross-posting to altdev.   This is all about how amazing software development really is. Taking "X" to be a geeky subject: The belief that "X" is truly a thing of beauty but scorned, unloved and […]

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    Game Design / Visual Arts /

    Who Designs Animation?

    This blog was also posted here. Designers, do you work with animators or an animation lead who think they can design better than you with regards to animation? Animators, do you work with designers who don’t care how the animation looks as long as the gameplay feels right? Well stop that and play nice! My stance […]

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    Game Design / Visual Arts /

    Collectible Intent

    Collectibles are everywhere. Be it coins, ammo, orbs or pegasus feathers, it's hard to find a game that doesn't have them littered throughout. They can serve as currency, health, or points towards a high score. They can be hard to find, or generously scattered everywhere the player looks. They can add a lot to a […]

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    Advocacy / Game Design / Visual Arts /

    My design method: how do we actually design ?

    --- Part 1: interweaving and perimeters Hello there dear reader. In my last post on AltDevBlogADay, I talked about "Perimeters" and "Interweaving". In this one I'm going to talk about "Exploitation". You might want to check my last post to get the whole picture if you haven't read it yet. One question I ask myself […]

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    Advocacy / Technology/ Code / Visual Arts /

    Hit me with your Raytracing/Rasterizer stick

    With my apologies to the late great Ian Dury for the title, today I'm getting violent and hitting innocent triangles for fun :O The Raytracer versus Rasterizer debate often portrays the two systems as radically different ideas, with one fundamentally better than the other. However to a large degree they do exactly the same job, […]

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    Advocacy / Audio / Business / Visual Arts /

    The Making of a Trailer

    Today I released a trailer for my iPhone app Alcohology. This is the first trailer I've ever worked on1 and I documented the process. This post is a behind the scenes / making of / evolution / post-mortem rolled into one. It's got a little bit of everything. Here's the final edit. If you'd like […]

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    Advocacy / Game Design / Visual Arts /

    Do The Way We Use Pronouns Relate to Camera Perspective?

    The Secret Life Of Pronouns is a rather fantastic book I came across after hearing the author give a radio interview on my commute into work one day. In it, James Pennebaker displays how the words we view as filler in a sentence, such as pronouns, articles and prepositions, actually work as mirrors of our […]

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    Advocacy / Technology/ Code / Visual Arts /

    Managing Culture Changes

    This blog was cross-posted here. Ah, culture change. It happens at many studios- as they grow, as they bring in new management teams, or as they shift in genre focus. In the age of tech art, there are times that culture change can occur in art content creation and management pipelines. From world editors, to […]

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    Advocacy / Game Design / Visual Arts /

    My design method: Interweaving

    Warning:  there might be a couple of light spoilers, but everything is in the trailers anyway so... nevermind that. I hope what I'm going to say won't sound too stupid, agreeing with everybody and not making a fool of myself is really hard. n_n That being said: TL;DR: DON'T duct-tape features together to make Frankenstein-style […]

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    Technology/ Code / Visual Arts /

    Robust Inside and Outside Solid Voxelization

    While wrapping up my post for generating simplified occluders for Hierarchical Z-Buffer Occlusion Culling, I was pointed to a paper called Complete Polygonal Scene Voxelization. Afterwards I found time to read it thoroughly and implement it as a replacement for my existing ray casting based solid voxelization method. The problem with the solid voxelization technique […]

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    Game Design / Visual Arts /

    Technically, It's Creative!

    This blog was cross-posted here. While waiting for a reply to my open letter from a few weeks ago (I still haven’t heard back from you, Andy!), I gave a talk at PAXDev regarding how to animate quickly for design, which contained both creative and technical approaches to game animation. After the talk, I received […]

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    Technology/ Code / Visual Arts /

    The content conundrum

    There are plenty of problems with game development as a business. But one of the biggest ones is the problem of the cost of "content". Content is basically the assets used in the game, be it sound, character models, animation, textures, images or whatever. Essentially, this is the "stuff" that makes it possible to realize […]

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    Technology/ Code / Visual Arts /

    Animations Without an Animator

    We needed to author around 70 animation sequences for 4 characters without an animator. I watched a bunch of character key frame animation video tutorials and found out quickly that manually authoring human motion is a lot of work. So we looked into motion capture to help generate the base foundation of our animations. We […]

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    Advocacy / Technology/ Code / Visual Arts /

    The Tech Artist's Creed

    Last month we started a thread on tech-artists.org about creating a tech artist's creed.  After several weeks of back and forth, we finally came up with something we could all agree upon.  Here it is: I am a Tech Artist, Every day I will teach, learn, and assist, And build bridges between teams, people, and […]

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    Game Design / Visual Arts /

    Map-Making with Vector Editors - 3 1/2 Tips for Beginners

    Vector editors, like Adobe Illustrator, can be handy tools for designers to make communication documents - overhead maps, diagrams, etc. If you're a designer like me, though, you may not exactly be an expert in Illustrator, and maybe you only use it just often enough to forget all the tricks you learned last time.  Or […]

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    Technology/ Code / Visual Arts /

    A brain dump on shader compilers

    This week I would like to give a brain dump about shader compilers. The word shader is quite ambiguous, and can refer to either an algorithm that implements a BRDF/BSDF, or to a program that's executed by a graphics API (OpenGL/DirectX) on graphics hardware. The article title refers to the former, even though the latter […]

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    Game Design / Technology/ Code / Visual Arts /

    Playing in the next dimension

    Dear Readers, I recently got distracted and created my first solar system! Anyway, I'm so excited and shocked at how easy it was, that I feel the need to share - so read on to find out about Cocos3D and how you can enjoy the act of creation yourself. [Yes, yes I should be focusing […]

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    Game Design / Visual Arts /

    Motion Controlled Emotions

    I’ve been thinking about motion controls quite a bit lately as a control scheme that I may have written off too quickly. I’ve also been obsessed with acting, body language and expression. And then it dawned on me. The two may be a perfect couple. Games are made of verbs. Run, jump, punch, crouch. Hand held […]

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    Business / Visual Arts /

    Getting Started

    With this being my first post I figured that I’d talk a little about what I do and how I’ve gotten where I am, an extended introduction I guess.  I’m relatively new to the industry, fresh out of university and straight into work as a contract animator at Rare, making me one of the (very) […]

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    Game Design / Visual Arts /

    Designing Animation For Speed

    (This was cross-posted to my blog. Look for a powerlifting corollary there soon!) Everything I ever needed to know about animation, I learned from watching Looney Tunes. Seriously. Sure, I went to school. I learned HOW to animate there and from other sources, but none of that taught me what I needed to know about […]

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    Technology/ Code / Visual Arts /

    Backface culling 101

    This post is for artists, designers, and anyone else who has had backface culling shoddily explained to them. Perhaps I should have checked the Venn Diagram of AltDev readership before writing about a rendering technique specifically with non-programmers in mind. I know I've gotten embarrassingly confused by forgetting what's important as little as 2 months […]

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    Game Design / Technology/ Code / Visual Arts /

    The Importance of Vision

    Every ambitious creative endeavor has at its helm a single individual who is responsible for providing the vision for its development. In games, we have Art Directors in charge of the aesthetic, Technical Directors in charge of the technology decisions, and Creative Directors in charge of the overall game. Their chief responsibility is to guide […]

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    Advocacy / Visual Arts /

    Power Animator

    “There are two ways of exerting one's strength: one is pushing down, the other is pulling up.” – Booker T.Washington If there was ever a quote that equally embodies my life as an animator and as a powerlifter, this is it. Aside from the literal translation regarding weightlifting, I feel that this quote also demonstrates how […]

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    Advocacy / Technology/ Code / Visual Arts /

    High voltage retro: CRT emulation for pixel art

    [This article can also be read on my development blog]. A good way to get an authentic look for retro-pixel art is to simulate the distortion caused by encoding the image into an NTSC signal, decoding it again (as a TV would), and projecting it onto a virtual CRT. This gives you natural-looking artifacts, like […]

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    Technology/ Code / Visual Arts /

    Cloud based pipelines?

    The rest of software is moving into The Cloud, how come we aren't doing the same with our tools and pipeline? I love the cloud.  Yes, I know it's a buzz word for not quite revolutionary concepts, but I love it anyway.  I love it for the practical benefit I get, and I love it […]

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    Advocacy / Visual Arts /

    VFX and U, Part 2

    In the first part of this post, we learned a little bit about what particle systems are and what they can do for you. Now let's apply some of our theory into practice :D

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    Advocacy / Game Design / Visual Arts /

    The Artist: Learning from Ray Davies

    I got back from a 2 week vacation on Tuesday. I should have been jetlagged I’d been up for more than 24 hours, I’d arrived home, I should have felt like napping. But I happened to flick on the TV and was transfixed by a documentary that I think was on BBC 3. It was […]

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    Game Design / Visual Arts /

    Unlock Your Inner Actor

    Games are often compared to film in any number of ways. Be it in search of our Citizen Kane, which studio is the equivalent of Pixar, how to deliver a narrative, or the fidelity of the graphics, many use film as where we want to aspire our productions to be. The roles and best practices […]

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    Game Design / Visual Arts /

    Evaluating Artists - One Approach

    For the past few months I have been coding a new game for the Android platform. Like most Indie Game Developers I've been using placeholder art (programmer art, borrowed art, call it what you will) but I'm at the point where I need to start adding real, licensed, and highly polished professional artwork. Trolling free/low […]

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    Technology/ Code / Visual Arts /

    PixelJunk Shooter 2 lighting : My one (so far) regret

    Disclaimer: I am not on the PixelJunk team, so if you liked the game I probably had zero to do with it! Conversely, if there were parts you disliked, I'm probably not the person to talk to :) By now, everyone on the planet should have played PixelJunk Shooter 2, but in case the PSN […]

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    Technology/ Code / Visual Arts /

    SSAO using Line Integrals

    Hi everyone, this is my first post in #AltDevBlogADay. Let me introduce myself first, I am Simon Yeung, currently working as a game programmer. I like graphics programming and sometimes write iPhone apps. This time, I would like to talk about the SSAO implemented in my little demo program. I write this demo because I spent […]

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    Visual Arts /

    Anaglyph & Stereoscopic Thoughts

    With the steady increase in the number of consoles being connecting to 3D televisions it was only a matter of time before we would implement support for them in our games. For the purposes of this blog I’m not going to talk about the actual implementation of Anaglyph / Stereoscopic, there are plenty of other […]

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    Game Design / Visual Arts /

    Going Off On A Tangent

    One of the best ways I have begun to understand and communicate with game designers is by adapting the best practices I’ve learned from 2d art into the realm of games. The most useful art techniques aren’t so much rigid laws as they are new ways to get you to honestly look at what it […]

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    Advocacy / Game Design / Visual Arts /

    What Does Your Game Believe In?

    What you believe in is what makes you who you are. It is what informs you of your opinions and dictates much of what you perceive as real. The games we make are no different. From the characters that we control, the world they live in, and how the player interacts with each, if the […]

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    Advocacy / Visual Arts /

    Has Undo Removed the Tortured Artist?

    Does wanting a maya tool that counts how many times I use undo throughout the day make me a tortured artist? If so, is that such a bad thing? The tortured artist is as popular a stereotype as that of a starving one. Behind the eyes or voice of many great and influential creators you […]

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    Game Design / Visual Arts /

    Action Figure Fun

    Before I had video games, I had action figures. G.I.Joe and He-Man toys were with me wherever I went growing up. The insane battles and adventures I had with them seemed endless. They were the epitome of play. While checking out some antique stores with my wife, I came across a cache of He-Man toys. […]

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    Technology/ Code / Visual Arts /

    Simplifying My Workflow

    I had to do this post quickly since we are busy preparing for our beta. Friends don’t let friends use BS workflows. I put together a video of the bare essentials to a descent workflow for my fellow rendering engineers and to share some details on our IBL lighting technique used in game. Personally, I […]

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    Visual Arts /

    Growing Game Animation - Transitions & Player Input

    When you are an animator for games, the one thing that you will always be confronted with is, “Why aren’t you working in movies?” Be it from people you meet or the people you work with, there seems to be an unspoken rule that if you work in games as an animator, secretly you would […]

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    Technology/ Code / Visual Arts /

    Rendering Technology, What's Next?

    Courtesy of Pixar Typically, the more cutting edge rendering features we add to our games, the more complex the workflow for the engineers, artists and content creators that deal with them. There are many brilliant technology advancements that are in development or near release: real-time ray-tracing, real-time global illumination, major DirectX API changes, CPU - […]

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    Visual Arts /

    Play With Purpose or "Saturday Morning Science"

    We all know the drill by now. When you tell someone you make games, they always say something along the lines of, “So you get to play games all day?!” We then have our token response that we scale appropriately based on whom we are talking to as to what it is we do exactly. […]

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    Advocacy / Visual Arts /

    Know Don't Tell

    A couple days ago, an article was linked in my twitter feed. While the headline, Show Don’t Tell, is a core mantra I and many animators live by, it was quickly apparent within a couple paragraphs that it was a mocap fluff piece. Now, as my first post on #AltDev shows, I am not against […]

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    Advocacy / Visual Arts /

    My Cat Is Better Than Your Dog

    Ever got into a heated discussion with another dev in your discipline about which software package or toolset was better than another? This is certainly so among animators, but I know I’ve heard the same discussion from other disciplines. I myself have many times been locked in battle as to which is better, Maya or […]

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    Advocacy / Visual Arts /

    How I fell in love with mocap…

    This week marks my fifth year as a game developer.And like any anniversary, I can’t help but reminisce about times gone by.Add to that the fact I only started animating with the computer a little time before, and I am the definition of sentimental at this moment.But with this being my first post, I figured […]

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    Visual Arts /

    Forward vs. Deferred Rendering: why/when forward rendering still matters

    If you are familiar with the rendering pipeline you probably already heard the terms forward and deferred rendering. They basically mean different ways to shade - calculate the final surface color - of the objects in your three-dimensional scene. Forward rendering was the main (and probably unique) algorithm used in games for shading even after […]

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    #AltDevUpdates / Advocacy / Audio / Business / Game Design / Marketing / Production / Technology/ Code / Visual Arts /

    It begins.

    Hello, World (CNC toaster / 2D thermal printer) Starting Saturday, 15 January (that's now in some places) we will begin posting on #AltDevBlogADay. Learn more about what we're doing on the #readme (for Readers) and the #readme (for Writers) pages. We have a great lineup of seasoned developers, indie up-and-comers and even some non-gamedev folk […]

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