Wednesday, October 4, 2017

... How did I never think of hiding images within R/B/G channels themselves? Oh my god, what a terrific trick!

Basically, while doing a great tutorial for UE4 materials from (link below), they also happened to teach me a trick that I feel like I should have figured out ages ago - having specific images in your R, G, B and alpha channels for use in your blueprints.


"But what does it all mean, Chris?"

Well, basically it's an easy way to hide anything you don't need specific color information for within an individual texture node, and individual file. I'm not going to get into the meaning of all of that, but basically you can create much more efficient file and material structures this way.

So it's a much more efficient way to have clouds/grunge/scratch textures in a single source, in this case, for a landscape. It makes it really easy for me to copy/paste this commented area and apply/modify it for whatever source I like.

Well, this is my displacement-map landscape material that I made, with some textures I also made from scratch, just kind of randomly sprayed around. The variation in shading of all grass types makes for a lot of unique areas... and that's from me literally just spraying it around at 50% tool strength, not actually painting it nicely.

I wish file moving/restructuring and asset management was more efficient, but otherwise UE4 and I are proving to be very good friends... I daresay a love is forming between us.

Here's basically how you do it. I learned in a comments section I linked below, as well. tutorial:

Separating layers into channels:

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

The Latest! Building in Unreal for the Vive!

Some shots from my latest work, which is a horror-themed cabin in the woods, and more of my Unreal materials pack that I'll be submitting early next week for approval and selling on the marketplace.

I've been planning to work in conjunction with another company here in town, but for various reasons it's not looking like quite my environment. I've made a lot of progress in the Unreal engine and have been doing nothing but studying it, making environments and models, studying the world of VR, and looking very closely at statistics coming out of SteamSpy.

I intend to start my own company and produce my own VR experiences. I already have everything I need except licenses, so I'm shopping around for a good programmer or two, and possibly another animator, to make an experience I have in mind to sell for about $5 on the marketplace.

In the meantime I'm also selling assets I'm making, and trying to line things up! I've spent a lot of years in animation with things being very "wild wild west" and "we'll keep this and that off the books" or "we can't give you what we've been promising for months". No more. I want a small team, we're all going to work like slaves on our initial experiences, and I'm starting my own indie company.

(The table/chairs and ceiling lamps are placeholders)

The cabin is largely functional at this point, with the exception of an unfinished basement and no furnishings. Nav modifiers and VR teleportation works in the scene, so you can wander around the place to an extent. This is basically my scene to play with concepts and things - it's not really geared toward being anything but atmospheric and interesting to look at, at the moment. 

My latest work in it has been changing some of the materials to parallax materials to bring out some details, and I'll be moving in more of my grass materials from my 2nd project to spice it up. 

This materials pack just keeps getting more complex. In includes all of the below, with 2048/1024/512 variations, all seamless and with very little repeating even at long distances:

- Standard Diffuse/Specular/Roughness/Normal/Occlusion materials x4
- Distance scaled (decreases repetition by pixel depth blueprint) Standard materials x4
- Standard Materials with displacement maps included x4
- Distance-scaled Standard Materials with displacement maps included x4
- Parallax materials x4
- Landscape materials for all of the above
- All materials are instanced and have been tested in VR. 
- All materials have a very, very, very thorough commenting and naming system, making it very easy to reverse-engineer all of my materials and modify them with ease. 

I've also been working a bit with Halifax VR, including printing out a binder of experiences available for people to flip through, and their business cards!

... and also, just for fun, the other day I thought "what would it feel like to be in a room with the ceiling slowly coming down to crush you? Does that feel weird in VR?"

So I quickly put it together, gears lowering the stone roof and all. Yes, it's creepy as heck!

Sunday, September 24, 2017

I'm still alive!

I'm not dead! I'm working in the Unreal Engine. Currently making a landscape materials pack based around long grass, from scratch. I've taken all of the pics in neutral light, stitched them together into 2k maps, and am in the process of making them look right in UE4.16, which I'm fairly new to.

I'm working with Halifax VR right now, and we're priming to make some assets for the marketplace in preparation for putting our own game together when we have our hardware and licensing lined up. I'm basically doing the IT, having my A+ and Network+ certification at this point, as well as being the lead 3d artist, experience designer and graphic artist!

I'm looking at this portfolio blog... Boy, it's old! If you don't look at my timeline it's going to just look like some other, much better, artist just picked up from here.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

As you can see, the Split Crow Mysteries is also coming along, though incomplete. 

Working on another album cover, this time for my father, Greg Turner!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Men Will Be Boys Album Cover

Hey all,

I was commissioned by the band Men Will Be Boys to do their album cover! I've had a lot of fun with it. I was originally going to go with these wooden women-silhouettes because they had some in 2d format they really liked, and wanted one to have a sweater on. This was an early version:

... However, they decided this was a too "new" sort of look; they wanted something that was reminiscent of the 60s, with a bit of a country appeal. So this is the newer version (unfinished):

I love doing book and album covers! It's really fun, I get to work with my clients to find out what they really like, and then try to emulate what I think they'd enjoy the most while trying to make it as presentable as possible. Very fun! 

Friday, February 21, 2014

WIP Waterfront Book Cover Update

Hi all,

Still working on this book cover, while looking for more work. The scene is coming along nicely, and there will be a series of book covers in the future for all of the Split Crow mystery series. I love doing book covers!

This is an early image. The final result will have depth of field, fog, titles, and some more clutter. I also need to darken the colour on that ship.

While I have been given permission to post these images, they are not for use and reproduction. The final result belongs to my client.

Friday, January 31, 2014

Commission: Book Cover

I'm currently working on another book cover, this time for historical mysteries.

I just did a test render of the sign I'm making and liked how it worked out. The texture on the beams is just a placeholder, but I'm happy with the sign itself.

Update - Better Wood Beams:

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Current Project: Wasp

Hi all,

Just for fun I'm making a wasp in 3ds Max. Was just playing with it a little and rendered this out.

I also did up a better render of my Howard Regulator:

Friday, January 17, 2014

Female Model

Well, I'm back! It appears it's been a long time since I've posted anything here - I've worked at a lot of places since, but nothing I can really use for a demo reel - almost all of it was NDA or gov. security projects.

I'm back looking for work after another stint with Atlantis Systems Corp., and am working on a female model for some practice in 3ds Max. I'm also working on a wasp model.