Pillar Systems started!

After trying to relax today and not work, and failing.. I opened up the project and refactored a lot of the “hacky” systems, to test player movement. With the intent of getting more than one skater on the ice, and the ability to switch between them, I needed to setup proper pillars of what’s going to be handling what.

This resulted in skater spawners, pseudo ref spawning puck in center and tracking for out of bound pucks, new camera detection of spawned items, formal start of a game_mode tracking all skaters, auto possession of center for faceoffs, nearest to puck detection, skater swapping based on distance, and rough home/away logic started.

Bugs known, input ticks driving player movement, so un-possessing a pawn causes it to stop moving, will move these over to a proper tick for resolution before moving onto really simple AI implementation for non-possess skaters.. Then onto passing!

Spyro Reignited Lighting

Finally found time to do a write up about the non-technical experience for me of Lighting Spyro Reignited Trilogy with the team at Toys for Bob.

Personal Project: Ue4 Hockey

Getting a template player asset rigged, and ready to be animated.  Exploring two handed floating pivot rigging for stick deformation.

Using a handy slack feature originally taught to me by J. Stewart in my first few years in the industry, where the goal constraints for the hands, are actually aiming back at the elbow positions to allow them to auto rotation around the position of the stick for a lot less wrist animation.

Taking the original slack idea further by nesting the final output post the deformation of the hockey stick via an internal ribbon spline with hair rivet outputs, and continuing to work with auto-clav deformation helper.

Spyro Remake

January 2018 – September 2018

I took a roll as their Senior Technical Artist at Toy’s for Bob, primarily working on Lighting and Materials in Ue4.

Its a very intense production that’s taught me even more about the UE4 Engine.  I hope to expand upon this post with details on large team wide scaling of parallel asset production, material and asset organization pro’s and con’s, and a lighting Post mortem at some point in the near future.

Morgue Setup Article Added!

At the end of the Digitigrade IK setup it left a few people going “well, that’s great, but its a pain to do this setup for a bind pose.”

To answer that, my next article! Morgue Setup practices and Assembly methods.  Hopefully this bit of explaining will aid in adaptation of my rigging solutions to your own rigs.

Digitigrade Inverse Leg Setup

In attempts to start putting some substance down from what I’ve learned from rigging over the years, I’ve started with a write up of my IK Inverse leg setup to see if others out there can reflect upon it and help make it stronger, or if it will provide a solutions for others.

Digitigrade Preferred Angle Inverse Leg Setup

Juro in Cat Form from Shardbound, with a preferred angle inverse leg setup in use.


Shardbound Production

What an amazing two years its been!  Its hard to believe that much time passed on this project already.

Shardbound is a UE4 Tactics CCG PC game, under development by Spiritwalk Games.   I started as their Lead Tech Artist when the game looked like this:

And we took it to look like this:

Some of the units up close in our Barracks view:

My first week I started making this outline of the data flow of the art asset pipeline, and the last I checked, its turned into a 36 page Technical Art Design Document.

Mistakes were made, things were learned, what a fantastic production!

Shardbound Eagle Primal Rigging

This is a sped up capture of my base process for creature rigging on the game Shardbound.

Its a different approach from autorigging, that’s been production friendlier for me as often the only tech artist on a team. There’s still a fair amount of custom script support happening in the background.

In a nutshell, its a morgue of body parts pre-rigged, that have their proportions exposed through interface nodes throughout the rig that allow them to be adapted on the fly to fit a character, instead of tearing down and rebuilding an entire rig via an auto rigger. This workflow allows for manhandling control logic, or splicing in custom solutions on the fly without the overhead of converting the logic into a script.  As new control surfaces evolve, they get ripped out of a rig, polished and dropped into the morgue for later reuse.

Similarly structured characters can also quickly be adapted from previous rigs, as demonstrated by this video of a biped rig core with inverse knee being bent into the structure of a bird.