Thursday, January 31, 2008

Metaplace Live Developer Chat - Impressions

If you didn't get to take a look at the dev chat event help by the Metaplace devs, you can still read the transcript soon at the official site. I actually had to leave early because I was finishing my "lunch break", :P , but here's a basic rundown of what I saw.

Logged in and saw an irc-style chat room, and I got to type in my name.
The devs introduced themselves.
Some Q&A, general questions about various things, the whole team was answering questions.

Raph (President) and John (VP Production) demonstrated how you can call some web services from the client, including a live stock quote, a word definition, and even a live translation from babblefish. But that wasn't the coolest part, the best bit was a youtube search that we were all able to do right there. I'll insert a screencap when I get back to my home computer, but it didn't break or anything, seemed pretty fluid, even with 80+ people in the room. We searched for funny cat movies, and you know what THAT"S like, right?

But THAT wasn't even the coolest bit. The whole chat interface resized to about a third of the screen and we all found ourselves in what looked like a Town Square, a fully rendered environment. (It looked like a prerendered background image, looked great.) We all had avatars too, and were able to walk around and chat. When you chat a little bubble comes up like a comic book. I have to say it did get confusing trying to read all those bubbles, so I had to look at the chat log section of the screen, but that was half transparent, so it was a little hard to make out. But other than that it was relatively smooth. The motion was a tad jerky but that might have been from the Alpha state of the platform and the fact that there were something like 84 people there.
Also there was only one avatar look, that of the little girl with the red backpack from the press pack and the demo movie.

Oops, lunch hour is over, had to leave the demo, but I think they were going to do a bit more Q&A and that's it, so I'll just read the transcript.

I'll post some screenshots in a few hours, including the environment we were walking around, but i'd say it was a pretty good way for us to get an idea of what's possible with the platform. Stay tuned!
Forum member "rboehme" comments here also.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Business and Pleasure

Decided to start up a personal blog to put the personal stuff. This one will just be work and art related, entertainment news, tutorials, etc. What disappeared from here will appear in a new location, after I come up with a name. Stay tuned!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Where did the Modding Scene go? Next Gen, that's where.

So I'm looking at the Google Analytics page for this blog and it turns out that a good number of people who come to this site are looking for Unreal Tournament 3 mods. Ok, that's fine, I used to mod a lot for UT2k4, and I've expressed interest in doing some stuff for UT3. But that's it, just talked about it a little bit and put up some pics of old mods I've done.

But here's the thing. If you search 'Unreal 3 artist' this blog comes up on page 2. What??? A search for "Unreal Tournament 3 art" has me on page 3. Now this is great for me, it tells me that I really need to start creating more stuff for the game since there's obviously a demand, but where the hell is everyone else?

Put it this way, the old UT2k4 scene used to have a lot of big name modders that would create amazing models and maps, and legions of people that would post on their heroes sites and discuss things. Big scene. Now a passing mention of the game can put your blog on Page 3, what is this? Where are the youtube tutorials? the facebook groups? How did a vibrant mod scene just go poof?

Well it's a lot of things, but I think I know one of the reasons. The move to Next Gen normal mapped art looks amazing, but now there's a big gap between the enthusiast modder and the pro dev. The tools are out there, but the skills aren't. This has happened before, every time a moddable game comes out there's a lag while the fans learn new tools and get their skills up to date, so UT3 probably isn't any exception, people still need to learn how to do that high quality art. But I wonder if the casual modder looks at those awesome characters and goes "pfft, it'll take forever to get that good, nevermind."

It probably doesn't help that the hardcore gamer market is so splintered, i mean look at all the other games and online virtual worlds available, people are everywhere. Nowadays it seems like the moddy types are either using the Half Life 2 steam tech, or they're on Second Life. I'll write more as I explore this very odd topic.

This post gives a bit of hope, but i do think it's uncool to only provide a tutorial DVD with a collector's edition, you know, the one that sold out and I couldn't get a copy of?

I wonder if I'm even that kind of gamer anymore, I haven't even had time to purchase the game yet, lol.

But maybe that's another part of it too, there are other options for fun out there, and maybe UT3 just appeals to a certain type of core gamer that I just am not anymore, well I'll buy the game anyway.

Still need to try out the Orange Box too and do a bit of HL2 modding, busybusybusy guy i am...

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

4 Fresh & Free Animated Gifs

Half of the people who visit this site are looking for animated gifs, so this is for you, a regular feed of animated gif love.

I'm creating these in Maya and aftereffects.

Looking for more? See them all.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

New Blog Post at Transmutable

Trevor from Transmutable had some nice comments about my work on the company blog. Check out the live demos of the 3D spaces, pretty cool stuff, and you don't even have to download anything.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

New Metaplace Information

Here are links to a couple of good interviews about the upcoming Metaplace platform. Could it be that we're closer to seeing this in action?

Could be, judging by the end of this interview by Rock, Paper, Shotgun:

MMOGamer has a two part piece here:
Part 1
Part 2

Baby Offset

Here's the first sonogram at 11 weeks, which was done way back in December but I'm just showing you now. We're about to do another sonogram, and we want to find out the sex of the little one.

Is this not the cutest child you've ever seen? I know, must be genetic.

Tomorrow_Space Avatar update

Now that I'm back from vacation it's time to go back to work. Here's some progress on the Male model I'm creating for Transmutable. This, and a female version, will be released by Transmutable under the Creative Commons license, so keep an eye out and maybe you can get a copy for yourself!

I'm happy with the way the texture is coming out, since that's always been the process i felt least comfortable with. Glad to see it progressing.

Do you need 3D models and characters created for your projects? If so, feel free to contact me at . I've worked in all facets of digital content creation on multiple platforms.

I'm using some free refrence art from:

I'm using some free refrence art from: