Posts Tagged ‘ video ’

The Epic Music Makes It Awesome

After I was done recording the charr drawing I posted on Wednesday, Peter took it, sped it up, and put some epic music in the background.  If you’d like to see a quick and dirty making of then take a look!  Personally the music is my favorite part.

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Oh, Hello Ambassadors

Congratulations to all the winners.

For the rest of us might I suggest a trip through my archives?

And now for my next trick:

Model this in 3D. Goal: Be as awesome as possible

Not listed in my above (and very old) article, I also recommend art therapy.  To that end, Autodesk Sketchbook is a neat little program. (I’m running the trial)  It reminds me of Artrage if you’ve ever messed around with that.

My mother always told me I wore my heart on my sleeve.

Into The Ether

Well, after 10 days, many slaughtered tutorials, one crash and innumerable re-renderings, my Guild Wars 2 Ambassador video is finished.  I submitted it to ArenaNet last night.

At first I wasn’t sure about posting it on my blog.  It’s set to private (the only way you can find it is with the url), and I have comments disabled.  When in a creative cycle you go through a phase of elation, that you’ve made the best thing ever.  This quickly degenerates into hating your work with the fury of a thousand burning suns.  Eventually that feeling cools to mild dislike followed simply by the will to do better next time.

I’ve reached that final stage.  If my video is good enough to send to ArenaNet, then it’s good enough to share with all of you, the people who supported me and cheered me on through the whole process.  Thank you all.

I hope you enjoy it, but even more, I hope ArenaNet likes it as much as I did at the height of my creative cycle.  Even if I get no recognition, however, it was a fantastic experience, a whirlwind adventure into a new program, and a return to my greatest love: 3D art.

Coming Up For Air

It’s been an exciting week.  If you ever want to learn a piece of software from scratch, taking on an ambitious project with a tight deadline is a VERY good way to do so.  When in college, I was trained in 3D Studio Max.  For this project I only had access to Maya.  I can only compare the experience to a trial by fire.  I used every cheat I knew of to get the job done quickly, and I’m still not entirely done.

I have been pretty lucky, however.  The program has only crashed on me once, and only one of my Grand Plans has gone awry.  As we speak I’m rendering out my 3D scenes.  All I have left to do is assemble everything and upload!

I have to admit to being scared stiff, however.  This community has artistic talent in spades and more passion than you could shake a stick at.  I’ve stayed away from the other submissions; partly out of fear and partly out of a desire to not be tempted to copy anybody.  Some of my friends have kept me abreast of some of the stand-out submissions though.  I hear Elixabeth Claire has something nice, and there was something about guinea pigs.  (those guinea pigs have me nervous about my chances!)

But I’m in the home stretch, and very excited to see this video completed (not to mention to get to work on my next project!).  So for all my readers, thank you all so much for your support.  If it wasn’t for you I don’t know if I would have had the courage to go for this.

Here’s a sneak peak 🙂

Piggie loves you!

Wash Your Paws Before Dinner

Hunter, you were spot on. I am RIDICULOUSLY EXCITED that charr run on all fours (At least until they pull out weapons, then it’s back paws only). I don’t think I can over-state how excited I am about that. It scratches my bestial itch. I’m not a furry, but I do enjoy the primal nature inherent in beast-like classes and races. The charr give me the same satisfaction that I had from playing a feral druid in WoW. And now I can feel bestial and cast spells if I want to! (instead of being an overweight moon chicken) It kind of puts the kibosh on skirts though. My mattress is on the floor and if I try to wear a nightgown to bed (sometimes I feel like being ye olde Tiger) I just end up tripping all over it and eventually breaking either the nightgown, nightstand, or myself.

I’m clumsy. Shut up.

Where was I? Charr on all fours. Excellent.

Also special thanks to Guild Mag for posting the unofficial gameplay video of the charr on their itunes stream. I can see that at work. More please!

The first videos I saw, however, were of the human starting areas.

Here’s some of my initial reactions:

• I’m not a fan of the glowing halo around monsters and allies. After watching the charr video though I think I’ll be able to get used to it. It will certainly make selecting monsters and allies easier. In GWC I rely heavily on tab-targeting and my party window. Every time I try to select from models on the screen I fail miserably and give up in disgust.

• I’m pretty underwhelmed with the User Interface, but that’s not a big deal. Remember what the GWC beta interface looked like? (I actually liked the beta interface btw)

Yeah. I’m sure it’ll get a nice coat of “ooh shiny” before the game goes live. As far as the layout of the interface goes I like it just fine, actually I like it a lot. If there’s clickable things on the left I wish they were on the right where the energy bar is (e.g., swapped) but that’s just because that when playing I usually keep my mouse in the right half of my screen. GWC offers a stupid amount of built-in customization options for the interface. I have no reason to doubt it’ll be any different for GW2.

I’m getting a strong WAR vibe from it. I think it has to do with the objectives being in an itemized list in the upper-right hand corner. That’s not a bad thing, I really enjoyed WAR. I think that vibe comes from just seeing the human areas however. Once I saw the charr video that vibe wasn’t there, but once again, I’d like to stress that I don’t consider the WAR vibe to be a bad thing at all.

Also, hunter you have my eternal gratitude for posting a screenshot using photobucket! It’s hanging out in an extra tab, not pulling bandwidth (like a video would) and not getting me in trouble. You’re awesome man.

(notice how I just gave up using bullet points? Yeah what happened there?)

In the video that GuildMag posted, Martin seems to be playing a warrior and I’m excited to see that the character still feels very lithe. I’m not a fan of big and bulky which is why I usually shy away from heavily-armored professions. If I can get the lean jungle cat feeling from the charr I just might be sold on playing a warrior.

My thoughts on the charr video:

• Martin doesn’t do a very good job of “don’t stand in the bad” but I guess if you’re a developer playing a tricked out character it doesn’t matter all that much.

• Gender lines for the charr are feeling a little blurred. It’s probably just because of the video quality but I really have to squint at those tails.

• That dual-mace spin-attack skill looks really cool. I want ten.

• I like the brush-stroke activation bars. More of their painterly aesthetic.

• Turrets! Turrets are always fun.

• Steeleye Span can be overrun. I’m thinking it probably won’t be mobile. Ah well.

• I like the map functionality. The zoom and fade effects when pulling it up and down are very nice. It looks big. I mean really big.

• Also moas. /cheer.

• The sounds in the NPC communication ‘windows’ (they’re not exactly windows) reminds me of Kingdom Hearts. I’m not too crazy about it. (I didn’t care for Kingdom Hearts and I don’t feel its cartoony aesthetic fits with GW2.) That’s just my opinion though, and the sound could have been distorted.

• Who let those harpies out of Elona? Bad harpy, no biscuit! I haaaaaated Elonian harpies. Heket too.

I was really excited to finally hear from some animators on ArenaNet’s blog. I love working in 3D in general, but animation is my passion. Heron Prior mentioned that the dragon wasn’t mocapped and I’m curious to know who asked about that. How do you mocap a dragon, really? Toss a cat on the ground? It would just be easier to animate by hand.

All in all, it’s still a game I really want to play. I can’t wait to see some higher-quality in-game footage. That’s going to be fantastic.

Portrait Of The Artist As A Young Charr

Sorry to everyone who is more well-read than I, but I just couldn’t resist.

As a side note, I took this one quiz online and it says I write like whoever that guy is that I was spoofing in the title.

Specific Tiger is…. not that specific.

ANY-hoo. I don’t have an internal monologue. I have an internal picture-show, and this is what I do inside when I see how much ArenaNet likes to tease us all!

Squee!

Of course, the teasing ended today with the release of the Manifesto Video. I’m sure you’ve already seen it, but here, let’s watch it again

OH
MY
GOD

oh my GOD!

ArenaNet, GUYS! You’re giving me shivers! I’m not going to tell you that the graphics are awesome (they are) and I’m not going to tell you that the events look supermasivelyawesome (they do). What I am going to tell you is GREAT job with the editing. I know video production and I want to say that the editing is fantastic. So are the motion graphics and the little tease at the end with Bubbles. Update: apparently that wasn’t bubbles at the end. Boo.

I don’t know, I think I’ll just… I’m at a loss for words, honestly. I feel tacky when I gush all over something but MAN am I excited! I REALLY want to play this game. I also don’t want it to come out before I get my new computer though, so I’ve got some weird internal battles going on.

But yeah.

Let’s just watch it one more time.

Odd fact: I have a growing collection of Guild Wars 2 portraits doing nothing more interesting than making funny faces. Mostly charr and asura.

Also, I think I’ll need to update PeltWatch™ (I need a snazzy logo for that or something) after I go over this video with a fine-toothed comb. All I remember is a blur of stripes and spots and smoke and bridges and sylvari and asura-tron and crystal dragons and dragonbrand and bridges and what was that astral planty place was that the grove holy crap guys!

Link Love and the Picking of Nits

Guild Wars (2) bloggers, are you out there? I finally meandered my way over to a Guild Wars 2 forum and started to settle in. I was also able to root out some other like-minded bloggers, and yes, you can be assured that I squealed in glee like a sow turning over a plump truffle.

Check those guys out, the first two I like especially.

Now, I’m going to do what I do best. Namely, extrapolate obscene amounts of speculation from a single image.

Behold, my victim!

Feel free to click it to see it full-sized.

What are we looking at?

An elementalist, human, casting churning earth on a marauding band of handsomely-dappled centaurs. (ok, I lied, they’re not dapple centaurs, they’re paint centaurs. I still think they look nice.)

The really interesting thing, however, is that shockwave around our intrepid little elementalist. I’m curious about how the graphics for that shockwave work.

Back in college, when I was first learning my way around computer graphics software, a classmate and I merrily engaged in a game we called ‘crash the computer’. His favorite tactic was obscene use of the extrude and mesh smooth functions, while I preferred to make everything reflective and refractive with interesting lighting set-ups. (we were both frequently successful).

Needless to say, real-time effects like reflection and refraction (what’s happening above with the shockwave) are expensive in terms of computing power.

The rock debris, however, looks to be economically produced. I think the spikey bits shooting up beneath the elementalst are almost certainly textures mapped onto flat planes (a frequently used tactic for grass and foliage, see the trees in the background). The flying spears of rock, however, are more difficult for me to pin down.

You can tell they’re not lit dynamically which argues for the texture to plane technique. But then again, I wouldn’t expect a spell effect to take lighting cues off of the ambient light due to processing restrictions. They do, however, cast shadows which, while likely to give an aging machine an aneurysm, looks really nice.

Granted, I could just go look at the video which provides a different perspective to the same skill, but even with an animated aide, I can’t really tell. What do you think?

Notice the ring of bouncing rocks and dust. This is an example of what Arenanet was talking about when they said they wanted to make it easier to see where area of affect skills were going to land. I still wonder how obvious something like that is going to be with all the game’s settings turned down though.