Project Iso

Published by tomas on mars 22nd, 2015 - in Uncategorized

I thought I’d share some images from a project I worked on in my spare time a few years back. It was a solo project, and most of my time was spent just playing around with art styles and researching Kismet. I did quite a bit of scripting tests; getting controls and camera up and running and designing levels. It was all done in Unreal Engine 3.

The idea was a third-person adventure/platform game. The player, this little Astronaut, crashes on an unknown planet that serves as something of a graveyard for ancient spaceships. That bit was heavily inspired by Na’Pali from the original Unreal; ships would maulfunction when close to the planet. Down on the planet, the player needed to find whatever it was that was making equipment malfunction and undo it, while looking for parts to repair the ship.

Other inspirations were Another World and Journey. It was quite the project of passion and sheer will and I worked on it whenever I could during 1½-2 years time.

Anyway, I have not worked on this project for close to two years now and if I ever return to it will be completely redone from scratch.

So here it is, Project Isolation. Pictures are presented in a chronological order and they are just the work-in-progress pictures I took while working on it.
So starting with the oldest:

Post processing.

Published by tomas on mars 28th, 2012 - in Uncategorized

Every morning before I head off to work I drink a cup of tea. This is rather boring, so this morning I played around with different posts for the maintence corridor scene.

They are all very 5-minute first pass and I will probably not implement anything in UDK but I got a few favorites.

 

Development pictures from Maintenance Corridor

Published by tomas on mars 20th, 2012 - in Uncategorized

A few weeks ago I wanted to make a new portfolio piece. I had a deadline, and I needed to get reacquainted with modelling and texturing again, as I have put all my energy into leveling up my lighting skills.
The scene was built over three weeks, with the majority of the modelling being made during the first weekend.  Below are a series of pictures I grabbed during development. Some were to show peers and gather feedback, others were simply for myself to show I made progress. I’ve made small comments below the pictures on ideas and reasoning behind my decision but as time has passed and as it was a hectic period I doubt I will remember it all.


First thing I did was to throw together some base geometry and textures and just tried out the shapes. I was working of the base of the corridor from the movie Solaris. I borrowed a character from The Haunted to use as a scale reference in this is a quick Mentalray render.

 


Next I brought the assets into UDK.

 


I continued making textures and meshes. Many of the assets, such as the boxy computer panels on the left were only added in as placeholders but I never got around to making the actual assets for them.
I did not spend much time on texturing at this stage. The diffuse was just a simple color with ambient occlusion and curvature map.

Spent a few hours on the textures, lighting and shaders, along with just churning out assets.

 

 


More assets made and added, and I continued with texturing in a very quick and rough way. I found that the hand railing gave the scene a good sense of scale. I struggled with where I wanted to take the scene, as I did not have a visual target or theme in mind.

 

 


Further updates to lighting. I got side tracked, really. I intended never to care that much about lighting until later in development but…  whoops.

 

 


Further texture and meshing work.  This is where I left off after those two initial 2-3 days and all the further updates were made either in the morning before I went to work or in the evening when I got home from work.

 

 


I removed all the lights from the scene and started playing again from scratch, trying to find something I liked. This wasnt it… Come to think of it, I think this is just a base pass lit up entirely by meshes.

 

 


I plugged up most of the holes in the ceiling, leaving only one open. I quite liked this idea, even though the execution at this point was severely lacking. I tried to get this really soft light leaking in through the open gap, supported with key lights from ceiling lamps. But I didn’t like it.

 

 


I tried different color hues, levels of brightness, looking at it from different angles. It was difficult because what I had in my head was an idea, rather than an image but I spent hours just playing around with a bunch of different light set ups.

 

 


I dont know… An aquatic theme? Which I kind of liked, but the color in lighting were fighting too much with the overall color of the scene.

 

 


I was getting closer to… something. It was a horrible workflow though. I should have gone hunting for reference and inspiration, but I just kept at it. Because sometimes, I am an incredible tool.
I think I ended up trying maybe 5-6 different light set ups with different colors and composition.  This lighting experimentation lasted for a few hours untill…

 

 


I stumbled over this and I instantly got a clear image in my head. I wanted the open panel be the main light source for the entire scene. Burning, overexposed sunlight pouring all over the space, with slight hints of light from the sky bouncing around all over the place in the lower spectrum. I toyed around with different colored supporting key lights on the arches.

 

 


Test for the adding in blue lights again. I don’t know why I kept returning to cold colors but as far as lighting went for this round, I think this is just about where I left it to return to texturing. I had received valuable feedback from various people about the scene and I wanted to hit it all in as short amount of time as possible.

 

First order of buisness was to make the floor less noisy. I also got some feedback about the overall color of the scene being a bit messy. I am prone to use alot of color, and I did not feel it was a problem untill somebody pointed it out to me.  After looking at it again after a good nights sleep I saw how messy the entire scene was. Besides getting a bit depressed and unmotivated, I was closing in on what I wanted to do with the scene. In the process of fixing all these things I also remeshed the floor to further support the idea of the arches going in under the floor tiles. I also added a bunch of random pipes off in the distance. Today, I don’t really know why… I think I was trying to create a point of interest off in the distance but it really didn’t work.

 

More work with lighting, assets and… everything. I was trying to hit feedback and whatever other things I stumbled over that I thought not good enough. I changed the color of the railing back to yellow. I found it a pleasing setup with the red arches, orange pipes and yellow hand rails.

I finally killed the idea of blue light from the sky sneaking in with the sun. FINALLY. I decided that whatever gain I would get from a wider range of wasnt worth the time taken away from other areas that needed attention. In the end, I think was a really good decision in the nick of time. It all got very dark but in the grand scheme of things I felt I was making good progress on lighting and the warm, pissy feeling settled over the entire scene. Ahh yes..

 

 


I decided that I needed a better overall composition. I remade the area on the right and added an elevator. This was a real late night, sleep deprived decision I made. I was running out of time, I was running out of stamina but I felt the scene needed it.

 

I estimated it would take longer than it ended up doing. I spent an evening on getting the elevator in there. In retrospect, it looks kind of poor but at the time I was quite pleased.

 

I made some quick effects of steam and floaty dust particles. I also removed the ugly placeholder computer panels as I realized I wouldn’t have time to make any new assets.

 

 


View from the other side of the corridor. This place was a thorn in my eye… It had some good elemnts going for it but the overall impression is just a mess. It had fallen behind in progress when I decided to add the elevator in the other end, but I had other things I needed to fix. Further fixes and tweaks to shaders, textures and lighting. In the end I nuked this entire intersection idea.

 

I made a cable from the floor. Don’t ask me why I thought it was high on the priority list. I was sleep deprived after a few late nights working on the scene.

 

 


I was still struggling with lighting. I liked the direction it was going, but I needed to push it further to get it across the finish line. In this particular image I was balancing visibility versus contrast.  A fine line to walk…

 

After more tweaks to lighting, post, effects, shaders and just giving everything a bit of spit and shine the scene ended up like this, which is the final. All in all I think I spent about 45-60 hours on it and in retrospect I am moderately pleased with it. I am pleased to be working modelling and texturing again and I will keep doing that because I feel the harsh truth is that my lighting skills compensated my lacking modelling and texturing skills.  Something for me to remember for my next project, along with further working out what I want to make before I start making it. And last, but not least, that I just need to get a hell of a lot better at modelling.

Maintenance Corridor.

Published by tomas on februari 17th, 2012 - in Uncategorized

Been trying to brush up on my modelling and texturing skills lately. The scene displayed in the image below was made over about three weekends and some evening sittings. I still have to make smaller props, spray some additional love on the lighting and post as well as a general texturing/shader pass but I think its coming along fairly well so wanted to post some progress.  Click image to expand.

 

Gears of War 3, Downloadable content. Anvil flythrough on gametrailers.com

Published by tomas on januari 18th, 2012 - in Uncategorized

Anvil flythrough

DLC Gameplay.

Gears Of War 3 images added to portfolio.

Published by tomas on januari 17th, 2012 - in Uncategorized

Quick update: Added some  images of my work from Gears Of War 3 DLC pack Fenix Rising. Click here to view it.

New portfolio and dev blog, work in progress….

Published by tomas on juli 18th, 2011 - in Uncategorized

First post, nothing exciting really as this is just a test post that will probably be deleted at some point. If you still see this post a year after it was posted I probably screwed up. Feel free to make fun of me at that point.

People Can Fly Blog

Published by tomas on november 14th, 2010 - in Uncategorized

So, posts at this place are once again few and far between. But I am keeping myself busy, spending most of my waken hours at the studio working on Bulletstorm. Like with most things in the games industry there is a need for secrecy. We are all very much cloak and daggers… so I can not really write anything about the development of Bulletstorm on this blog. 

Luckily, PCF just launched a blog of their own and guess what: I am one of the guys that will keep it up to date with various rants and in-depth looks into the development of Bulletstorm.
Go and check it out, and be sure to comment.

http://www.peoplecanfly.com/blog/

Its that time again…

Published by tomas on september 13th, 2010 - in Uncategorized

That time of boxes, suit cases, air planes and sleep deprivation. Its moving to a new country-time!
The last few pieces of UDK related stuff I have posted in this blog has been art tests for People Can fly, (AKA Epic games Poland). I went down there for an onsite art test and interview a few weeks ago and word finally came through: I got it.
As of the 20th of this month I will be joining the ranks of my polish peers in the making of Bulletstorm, which looks pretty fucking awesome.
My duties will mostly involve Lighting but my environment art skills will come to good use as well.

I am leaving Rebellion on the 17th (This friday) and between tending a massive hangover from Fridays going-away-party I will spend the weekend moving to Poland and hope I have enough strength to come in full strength the following Monday.

Everything is quite hectic and just as when I left for the UK I am expecting not to make many updates to this blog until I am a bit settled in to my new place.

Until then, stay cool and keep an eye out for Bulletstorm!

Deck relit.

Published by tomas on augusti 30th, 2010 - in Uncategorized

I recently spent some time relighting parts of DM-Deck in UDK. The goal was not to have a relit Deck to run around and shoot people in but to just show off a couple of screens with fancy lighting, so I chose four specific scenes fairly early that I concentrated on. I made some new particle effects, tweaked all the lighting values I could get my hands on to come up with this and reworked the composition of the entire level. I tried to keep the contrast between colours rather than brightness levels to avoid too-dark areas in the gameplay area. As for the general setting, I went with this sewer-like setting Below are shots of the ”finished” thing, after having spent roughly… 15-20 hours on it? Im not sure, really. I have just been working eavnings and nights, not to mention that during recalcs I have done other stuff so its hard to say. I might update this post later on with some work-in-progress shots but for now, heres the final shots.

© Tomas Lidström's Portfolio