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Dev blog is on Hold

Wow that was quite the break, wasn’t it? Posts on here stopped in May for a few reasons; I finished up my masters, got married ,and also got a job! As you can guess May was a very busy month. I got brought on as a technical artist at Sphero! for the past few months i have been working on the BB-8 project. So sadly this wont be updated for a while! But ill be back one day!



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A new face for a new path.

Well not a new path but i like the drama of the statement. If you follow my carrier or my blog at all you know that one big things that i have been working on for a long time have been working on shaders, tools, and other such fun things. And its something that i really do enjoy so I’ve decided that going to start focusing on being a Technical Artist rather than an Environment Artist. The change really isn’t that big of a thing, other than changing what i do for my side projects and in my free time. I already did this roll for a little over  year, between work projects and my thesis team being a tech artist is something that I’ve already grown quite accustomed to, and love.


Nothing like a good regeneration metaphor to make ya smile

With that being said, the blog has changed. And so will the posts. These will now more focus on the technical side of what i do. Breaking down shaders and tools talking about how each effect was done. Will be getting these up in the next week or so, preparing for GDC and applying for jobs! so check back soon, they’re going to be some pretty cool things!

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Disco Fire Wall of Doom – Shader

I never really do what i think i will each week, but this is super cool. I made a new shader! shocking at this point yes? This one was made to be a “fire wall” shield that hides our main boss. Here is a quick vine in of it in action:

Besides the weirdest UV of a ball i have ever this effect is really neat. Its achieved threw many of the same methods of the Blue scan line post process we use in out game. But this one is a surface shader, which brings its own challenges! Lets look at the shader

discoA dandy little piece of work! As you can see some big differences in this one is that it dosn’t take any scene data, like the post process shaders in the past. This made getting this effect a little hard. But what i did was take my texture, tell it to pan and how to title, then mask out all but the red adn the green channels. I then passed this off to be mixed with the next chunks. In between the wholes you can see a sparkle and noise effect. That’s handled at the top i use two different ones so i can tile them different and pan them different so there’s a better amount of verity in the effect, even though its small. I then mixed these two effects together adding in the panning stripe to make them pop when it goes over them. Then i averaged everything in together mixed back int he red channel from the original texture and sent the finished values out to the Diffuse and Emissive color nodes.

After that just feed in another panning stripe with different panning rate and uv tiling into opacity and we have our effect!


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IGF Submissions

It has been crazy busy over here! About two weeks ago we had our IGF submission, we of course killed it.  The team worked hard to prep a ton of things that we needed to get done such as a trailer, level dressings (and design for that matter), and kits of stuff to be turned in. Ill Be linking to all this stuff at the bottom of this post.


The major things i worked on for the submissions was of course my shaders, you can call me shader man… except for that being exceptionally lame. I also worked to get the premonition effect we had in the game in and working. and dressed levels.


Ill be doing a more in depth post on the shader but ill just go over it a little bit here. The effect this uses is like the Promethean vision ability from halo reach, sans the screen distortion ripples. This effect is achieved in 4 parts. First is the Sobel edge, this is just like any sobel effect I’ve done in the past (check older posts) but this time the edge is white. This was really easy to pull off, to get the original line i ran edge detection threw a power, using the edge detection as the base, and feed in a parameter in as the exponent. this gave us the black like. Higher the exponent the thicker the line. To get it white i just feed the Exponent into a OneMinus node reversing the coloring, Tada white!

The next part was adding the color overlay to the world. This was done by taking the Scene color, masking it with a color, lerping that color back together with a desaturated scene color, and feeding a parameter to help control the alpha. This made the screen blue, the whole screen. The challenge here was to make it ignore things like the sky box… or anything else we wanted didn’t want to be blue. Here we come to the third part, an exclusion. Things get a little technical here but this allowed me to be able to check a box to tell the shader to ignore or apply its self to different materials.

The forth and final part is adding if the feint scan lines that are seen in the blue. The cool part about this one is the texture used to make those lines is only about 5 by 5 pixels, but by using texture coordinate controls was able to make them fit in prefect. The motion you see is made by panning the texture up pretty slowly, when it was faster is made you feel sick.

As long as all that took level dressing for this games feel like it takes much longer. Each level i dressed took about 2 days to dress. Over all this sint too bad. Our art style lends its sellt to very big buildings and opens spaces so there’s not too much tweaking or decorating major areas that need to be done. With the pace that out game moves at levels have to be actually quite large.

The team worked very hard to reach this point and we all took a much needed break! next time well take a closer look at the shader… for real this time though.

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