I came on in the middle of Project Redwood, but I’d call it the beginning for the Art. We were in 3dsMax at the time, and I had a massive list of rigs and content ahead of me, and there was zero infrastructure in place. There was a game, a server, a look, but within a few months the entire art team reorganized under a new AD, and we rebooted the art look.
I can’t really say I had much to do with the look shy of the squash and stretch functionality in the rigs. The new AD got a strike force together and started over in environments to get the new look, and slowly worked their way over into characters. This was great because it gave me a chance to work ahead on the pipeline tools and procedures.
BigWorld was tough to work with to put it nicely. To its defense we were trying to get it to do stuff it wasn’t intended to do. By the time the project was put on hold, we had one hell of an art pipe cranking though. Thanks to the BlueShift guys that came in and re-wrote the exporter under the hood.
I was a senior tech artist working with the lead character modeler to create a visual language and system for the character outfit customization. I was in charge of the two avatar rig level pipelines from animation systems to visual systems. One was the main player avatars, 3 races, and 2 genders each. All with 8 or more weapon systems, including musical instruments, full facial animation, squash and stretch, in Maya skin browser, in Maya weapon switching, holster logic, and 16 art slots for armor and clothing along with the logic to hook it up in game. Another avatar level rig for the pet class, also with armor customization, squash and stretch and full facial systems. I did some of the mobs when they could use an existing pet rig class, but I was also writing animation tools and automating the export pipeline for environments, props, mobs, avatars, pets, and avatar customization. I also rigged up the loot drop so that it squashed and stretched when it popped into the world.
Below is some more game play footage: