© 2010 Dale. All rights reserved. Door center design render closeup

Current Project

I’ll be documenting my current work-in-progress on this page. At present, the idea is to make a small scene consisting of some terrain leading to a cliff wall. In the cliff wall will be the entrance to some sort of underground bunker/temple/ruins – I haven’t decided what will be in there yet – maybe nothing! I may not design much of the interior, instead spending most of my time with the outside area.

For now, here is a 4-second movie of the entrance area model I have been working on for around 8 hours or so. The frame immediately around the door has been unwrapped and a preliminary texture designed, but I have removed it for now because nothing else is textured at present. The door itself is comprised of a single triangular object rotated and copied 3 times. In this manner I will only have to design, unwrap, texture and do a high-poly of one object instead of four.

(click here to view movie)


To make the slideshow full-screen, hover your mouse over it. When your cursor turns into a click and it will expand. Hit ESC to return here. Moving your mouse into either left or right edges (and then clicking) will allow you to move forward or backward.

To make the slideshow full-screen, hover your mouse over it. When your cursor turns into a click and it will expand. Hit ESC to return here. Moving your mouse into either left or right edges (and then clicking) will allow you to move forward or backward.

July 8, 2010

I have been learning Zbrush the last couple weeks. It’s an exciting program that is pretty easy to use, though I have had trouble locating a cohesive collection of tutorials that are not out-of-date relative to the new interface of v3.5. So far, I’ve managed to use projection master to project a design onto the surface of the very center of the 4-leaf door model. Here are the two images – the first is the Photoshop “alpha” design and the second is what it looks like after being projected onto the model.

Celtic knot design for alpha image

Door center design

The alpha is simply a grayscale image whose colors determine how it is projected onto the model: Black doesn’t show up at all, and the closer to white the color is, the more “pushed out” that part will be.

July 20, 2010

Building a hotel in UDK

Building a hotel in UDK

I was faced with the difficult task of figuring out how big in the Unreal Development Kit to build a hotel. I mean, you can just draw a box and plop it in there and slap a hotel facade texture on it, but will it look like a hotel in-game? Will it seem the correct size and height? To solve this problem, I took a page out of Google’s playbook. In Google Earth, they build scale models of buildings right on top of the satellite image. So I took a screenshot of the Beau Rivage Hotel & Casino in Biloxi, MS, and projected it onto a 4096×2048 plane and imported that into UDK. I then took a scale model of the player character and positioned him on top of the plane. This showed me that the image was way too small, so I kept increasing its size until it was just right – it is 15 times the size of the original plane. To get an idea for the correct size, I positioned the scale player model on top of one of the crosswalks in the satellite image as I scaled it up (he is circled in yellow in the image). So I now have a correct floor plan for the hotel. The only thing I don’t have is height data. There’s not much I can do about that except to approximate it. I’ll build approximate-sized structures right on top of the satellite image and see how it goes…

July 27, 2010

Here is the blocked out version of the hotel, build on top of the satellite image. The height is approximate.

Hotel built on satellite image

Hotel built on satellite image