Saturday, September 20, 2014

The crushing loneliness of a blog neglected.

So, its been a awesome/terrible summer. I am now working at HBO and thinking about moving somewhere else in the city. The family tragically got a little smaller this summer. There is more art in my house than ever and that helps! My wife has grown her art business significantly and I have settled into this crazy job at HBO enough to where I am now able to spend more time working on my personal art. I am currently working on some personal art for a couple upcoming theme/halloween shows and will post them up here as soon as i am legally allowed to! That was what reminded me of this dusty old, neglected blog.
Im trying to decide whether to keep using my blogspot blog or switch to something like tumblr. Kristina (wife-a-saur!) and a lot of artists form work use it for their artwork. I dont know. We will see! I will have some more stuff up soon and maybe some professional work from my last couple projects before I started at HBO.

As always, you can find all my old work at Tanner Ellison Professional Game Art I will posting some more stuff  from there to this sweet little blog soon.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Forza 5 - 2013 Raceday Objects Pt. 2 with wires!

A friend asked me about the wireframes on some of the many props I created for the raceday objects on Forza Motorsport 5. I sadly dont have images with wires from any of the levels out of the game engine. Below are renders from the same scene as the previous post (Forza 5 - 2013 Raceday Objects), and then the same render with the wireframes. All of the props had 3-4 LODs (level of detail models). Shown is the highest level of detail or "LOD0" which still had VERY strict triangle budgets. As I mentioned before, each asset had half to a full day to be modeled, UVd, textured, have LODs made, get imported into the engine and hen have materials made. Crazy! I will try and post wires when they are available.

Friday, January 31, 2014

Portfolio website is live!

My 2014 portfolio website is now live! Its totally complete except I haven't populated the personal art section. I think that is kind of bad because I want to show my artistic interests (spaceships and monsters duh!), but I also didn't want to stall my sites launch. It took FOREVER to comb through the hundreds (maybe thousands???) of images from all my professional work and then get them looking nice enough for my site. Eventually all the work at will probably be posted here (with bonus content even!), but for now, please check it out and feel free to email me with any questions, critiques or sweet job leads! Im looking for full time work in the NW area mostly, but I am always excited to do freelance work on a cool project!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Sculpt - 2013 One Hour Sketch

This is a speed sculpt I made and rendered in Zbrush. I realized that I have not really placed a lot of my personal work on here yet and will remedy that as soon as I get my portfolio site up and live. I do a lot of speed sculpts, but picked this one because its my wifes favorite and shes MY favorite!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Batman Arkham Origins - Nov 2012 GPCD, Pioneer Bridge, and Bat Computer

I think working on the multi-platform title, Batman Arkham Origins, was one of the highlights of my work at Valkyrie. Not only was it diverse and fun work, but I learned a lot and it turned out to be an AMAZING game. I did asset creation, environment art, world building, lighting and some material work. I created several assets for the Gotham City Police Station area and helped create various chunks of the Pioneer Bridge and do revisions on other sections of the bridge. I also did a bunch of work on the Bat-Computer. This asset was started by somebody else at another company but was unacceptable and wouldnt work at all in the Arkham build of Unreal Engine 3. I remodeled almost the entire asset, reUVed most of the asset, baked out and retextured all he monitors/screens and cables, built all the lightmap UVs and built all the materials for it (with the exception of the in-game FX). Its always tough to follow somebody else' work and this particular asset was extremely difficult to salvage. In the end, it looks super tight in the game! Thanks to Mitchel for helping with bakes! I imported all my assets into the engine and set up their materials.

My 2 favorite assets I made for the whole game! Donuts and coffee!!!!!! I also made a bunch of other little things for the Gotham City PD

My cop car!

We had to build about 7 vehicles with various skins on some of them. One of my tasks was to build and bake down 2D undercarriages and texture them for all of the vehicles and then also build some 3D versions that could be snapped on if the asset needed to be flipped over in the game world or in a cut scene (cop cars were flipping all the time! hahaha). This first screen is the 2D versions and then a 3D version on the sedan. Some of the high-polys were kitbashed from other models. 

My textured and modeled 3D undercarriage

My 2D undercarriage and texture on Jason Rost's semi-truck

The Pioneer Bridge level. I built some random structural elements for the bridge and optimized a lot of the other artists modular chunks for this. I also fixed a lot of the materials and UVs and lightmap UVs, imported art, and built some of the actual level in the engine

The completed version of the Bat-Computer with all my blood sweat and tears in it (seriously though, thanks again to Mitchel S. He saved my bacon on helping with this one)

In game promo shot

Forza 5 - 2013 Raceday Objects

Somewhere in the middle of production on Forza 5, we were tasked with building a bunch of raceday objects. These were basically the props that would be spread around tracks and would only be present in real life on, you guessed it, RACEDAY! they are used across every single track except the Airfield test track. Our producer was out for several weeks so I got to be team leader on this project. I tracked assets, did all the submissions, reviewed other artists works, assigned assets, did scheduling, and created assets myself. The turnaround on these was crazy! We had basically 4-8 hours on each prop! That included modeling, UVing, texturing, building 4 LODs and materials and making it all look "next-gen". We had close to 200 objects to build between 3 of us. OMG, those were some crazy weeks. Luckily, the other two artist working with me (Jeremy Lanum and Mitchell Stankowicz) were incredibly talented and we developed some awesome shortcuts and techniques to rapidly produce the assets. Below is a handfull of the props I made. I created around 60 total including 9 "pitkits". Its crazy how good some of these look considering we had less than a day for each!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Kinect Star Wars - Summer of 2011 Vehicle, Character, and Level Art

Wow, it seems like it was YEARS ago that I worked on this game! I completely remember the excitement and awe I felt when my boss came into the artist room and told us we would be helping out on the tail end of production on Kinect Star Wars for the Xbox 360! Not only did we get to work with some rad new technology, but we also got to add our love and art to the incredible Star Wars universe! For the majority of the several months we were on this game, I built levels and assets to populate those levels. My team of dudes worked solely on the campaign portion of the game. My team and I built the Kashyyyk (Wookie home planet) speeder bike chase level, the rest of the Kashyyyk level where the characters are on foot, and the Felucia speeder bike level. This included modeling and texturing rocks, trees, alien plants, architecture, Sarlac teeth(!!!), textures for FX and tons of optimization and cleanup of existing assets provided by LucasArts. I also did tons of world building and prop placement inside 3ds Max and inside the Infernal Engine made by Terminal Reality. I helped implement levels, assets and textures into the Engine and organize massive amounts of art. While the team finished up on various other levels and clean up, I switched over to vehicle and character art. This project was also my first time using a source control program like Perforce.

The Republic Cruiser was initially modeled and UV by Microsoft or one of its affiliates. I remodeled sections, built some high poly elements and baked them down and then textured it with 1024 Diffuse, Normal, Spec, Glow, Reflective and Gloss maps. It is featured heavily in many cut scenes. All textures, lighting and renders in these asset images by me.

TC-38 protocol droid is one of the main NPCs in the campaign. The original model is based on the model for C3P0. I modeled high-poly sections for baking, baked him, UVed him and made all the textures.

Below are various screenshots from the Kashyyyk and Felucia levels that we built almost entirely. I spent many days building rad forest scenes and planting giant ferns and tentacle plants. The work on the wookie tree village was pretty sweet also. 

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

League of Legends - 2011 Alistar Unchained Skin High-Poly Sculpt and Poly Paint

More League of Legends stuff I made for Riot Games!!!! Almost done with the LOL portion of my portfolio revamp! This is the first skin I made for Riot. And it shows (j/k, this guy is rad!). I was still in school full time, working at Valkyrie 3-4 days a week, working at a bar called The Redwood 2 nights a week and doing my radio show. It was a stressful couple months and I loved every minute of it! I was transitioning from being a student and wrangling my portfolio together to getting paid to make awesome game art, preparing to leave the service industry forever and my radio show was really taking off!
You can see that the Alistar here is VERY different from the one I delivered. When they saw how wicked this one looked, they had me change his  color to blue and modify some proportions to make him more cartoony. This version is my favorite though, as I love the demon look to him. I think this sculpt and polypaint took me around 3-4 days and then another 3 or 4 to get the low, bakes and textures set up and get him into maya where he could have a rig pasted into him. He will always be my favorite!

League of Legends - 2011 Karthus Pentakill Skin High-Poly Sculpt and Poly Paint

This was the second or third skin I made for Riot Games crazy popular game League of Legends  (32 million players a month!). this was sculpted and painted in Zbrush initially. I took this sculpt and polypaint all the way to in-game model using 3D coat for the retopo, and xNormal for the bakes then PS for texturing. I think my turnaround for this dude was 6 days. He has a bunch of chainmail in some of the areas that may look a little bland, but I decided to do those in 2d insteads of 3d to save time. I really enjoyed working on the metalhead version of this character and tried to channel Eddie The Head (Iron Maiden mascot) as much as possible! Heres some cool little BPRs outta Zbrush:

Saturday, January 11, 2014

League of Legends - 2011 Pantheon Skin High-Poly Sculpt and Poly Paint

I think this may have been one of the last characters I created for League of Legends while working at Valkyrie (I did some environment stuff for the updated Twisted Treeline map after this at some point). This character is called Pantheon and has a couple different looks. I sculpted and polypainted a high-poly version of him in zBrush based on some concept art provided by Riot Games. I made a low poly and UVed him in 3dCoat. Then baked out all his maps. Drew Gamble ended up finishing off the texturing and delivering him as I was outta town on a vacation (I think?). Decided to get some nice BPR renders of my high poly work (characters and hero environment assets) from League of Legends! So heres the first one!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Lost Planet 3 - Summer 2012 more cool screens!

Gotcha some more screens from Lost Planet 3! These were just screen caps directly out of Unreal Engine 3 (WIP shots basically) and then some from the actual retail game (you can sorta see how the post effects were setup and some changes made by Capcom for gameplay purposes). This is one of the 5 multiplayer levels I worked on originally titled "Research Lab". We actually built a portion of it as an art test for them but ended up having to scrap most of it for performance when we began proper production. The map was created by me and Ryan Kuehn. We both did everything including lighting and FX placements as well as world-building and some design elements. Most of the assets were existing ones from the Campaign that we modified. Theres a couple cool little areas I highlighted in these screens. We built this map based on 2 (I think) peices of concept art and ended up having a lot of creative freedom (which is one of the reasons I loved working on this project!)

This shot is from earlier in our process. This is the area VKE had originally done as an art test. We had to replace a lot of the cool art that Cam Klevin had made and then try to get it looking good again. You can see tons of tileable textures and the lighting is crazy bright and doesnt have the right color. Still a pretty shot though! 

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Forza - 2013 Bathurst Screens and promo materials

Hola! I spent a decent part of last year working Turn 10/Microsofts  Xbox One launch title: Forza 5! It was an incredible experience and was completely different than anything else I had ever worked on. I helped build 3 tracks from scratch and then polished and redid art for 2 additional tracks. The big one we did was Bathurst Mt. Panorama in Australia. My boss, Joakim, at Valkyrie flew out there and spent a couple days taking color and object reference photos and overseeing laser scanning stuff. Then, me and a couple guys made one of the best looking tracks in Forza Motorsport history! Our Forza team was maybe 7 dudes at its height (working on 3 tracks simultaneously), but we only really ever had like 3 guys on any given track at any time. So our accomplishment is pretty impressive (horn tooted!). We did every element of art on the track except the crowds, lighting and animation stuff. Also, after we handed the track off, there was additional optimizations handled by Turn 10 and Microsoft. Things i spent a lot of time on: powerlines and poles! Fences! Barriers! All the hotels! Terrain! Houses! Materials and textures! Signage! The pit area! Awesome radio antennae you can hardly see! I also did lots of technical stuff that you dont really see but help make the track really pretty. We all had to implement our stuff directly into the proprietary engine and use custom sets of tools and plug in written by the sweet lil fellas at turn 10 (and a couple tools we developed!). The brand new engine that Turn 10 created is awesome and ended up being really easy to use. Anyway, heres videos and art and radness:

This is a video provided by Turn 10 at the release of Forza Motorsport 5. It shows off a lot of the awesome work I did on Bathurst. Probably better to just watch it on youtube in all its HD glory!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Lost Planet 3 - August 2012 some more jams!

Pulling more Lost Planet 3 screens together! Heres some shots from directly out of Unreal of a level called Extraction. The level was built Cam Kleven and myself. We both did lighting and effects placement and we ended up modeling a lot of stuff for this one also (mostly terrain, walls and rocks/ice). Lost Planet 3 by Capcom and Spark is out ow for the Xbox 360, PS3 and PC platforms.

I was primarily responsible for building this area and all the mega structures the players get to interact with here. The brief was that it was supposed to be some sort of mining level (hence Extraction) and was the only level that had anything really roughed out past a grey box. It was actually pretty cool because a lot of the large structural areas I designed and built eventually became incorporated into gameplay elements for the various MP modes that were originally just cool stuff I added in for composition, balance, and general radness! First time I saw this map being I was so proud of that! Gameplay! Woot woot!

We had an extremely tight budget for perf, so i had to use only a couple sets of assets throughout the map. Turned out pretty sweet anyway!