3D artist / games developer
Hover-Bike Character & Animation Controller
For this project I produced a game-ready character with a bespoke set of animations using Maya. Texturing was done using Substance Painter to create a set of PBR textures. Finally, I created an Animation Controller in Unity to give a playable demo with my animations working in-engine.
The most complex of these animations was the character's leap onto his bike (to the right). Here it was crucial to capture the transfer of weight onto the bike whilst also giving it a sense of buoyancy. This animation required a number of large and small movements to work together to create one smooth motion so before blocking out my keyframes I sourced a variety of reference material.
Pinning IK handles was essential to making this animation as it was sometimes necessary for the character's hands to follow the motion of the bike rather than his skeleton’s root motion.
When importing my FBX files into Unity I used the naming convention 'Character@Idle' or 'Character@Jump' so that my animations could be exported separately to their models.
In order to test my animations I created a playable demo for the bike riding section of which I wrote a very simple physic-based Character Controller C# Script. This script worked in conjunction with an Animation Controller to blend my animations based on the joystick’s current left/right value. While making this demo I made a number of revisions to my models and animations back in Maya, greatly improving their overall quality.
The on-foot section of the demo is animated using Unity's Third Person Controller starter asset. To set this up I calibrated my character’s armature with Unity’s Avatar component before replacing the default Avatar in the ThirdPersonCharacter prefab.
This project has a very low poly-count, with my character only consisting of 3,063 polygons. I was inspired by the tricks and techniques used by portable versions of console games to make the most of a low poly-budget. With so few polys it was important to prioritise edge-loops in areas with the most deformation like knees and shoulders. Despite careful weight painting some faceting is visible in certain poses, rather than compromise on poly-count I chose to make sure faceting was only visible in areas that aren't usually seen during gameplay.
Most of the bike's fidelity comes from its texture painting. I wanted the bike to feel used so I used Generator Masks to create the effect of distressed and peeling paint along the bike's edges and cavities. I also used Anchor Points to fine tune a variety of adjustments across different layers. I decided to forgo a metallic map for my character, instead choosing to use an Occlusion map to enhance his shading - My PBR textures can be seen below.
Professional Theatre: Game Project
Made independently over the course of three weeks, Professional Theatre is a colourful interactive diorama of the world of Commedia Dell'arte.
Loosely based on the Commedia's stock characters the game's cast were all designed, modelled and animated myself. Commedia Dell'arte's improvised performances rely heavily on masks which inspired the game's core mechanic of searching for masks hidden around the piazza.
Each collectible mask prompts a unique response from the NPCs. By speaking to the right NPC whilst wearing the relevant mask the player can unlock a hint as to where the next mask is hidden.
My goal for this project was to create a world that felt as alive and animated as possible within the tight deadline, which is why I opted to make use of cel-shaded graphics. This was a really fun project to work on and a world I would love to revisit in the future.
Cel-shading allowed me tight control over the exact colours which appear on screen, inspired by the work of renaissance painters including Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, this palette is defined by warm pastels and varying hues with very similar saturation values. Contrast colours are used throughout the game in order to draw the player towards points of interest.
The absence of shaded materials makes framing and colour all the more important to telling the game's story. For instance the opening shot uses dramatic shadows to give a sense of emerging into the warmth of the sun as well as indicating the time of day via the sun's position in the sky.
As well as 3D, I am also skilled in 2D and hand-drawn animation. Based on an original character this short animation was made using a combination of Adobe Photoshop and a software called Krita.
Besides conveying the character's attitude and emotion the main challenge of this project was replicating the look of my dry media drawings using digital brushes.
The dynamic and aggressive gestures were keyframed based on a variety of references and sketches. I then sketched out the in-betweens before cleaning up each frame in a series of passes.
HotWater: Concept Art & Game Proposal
For this project I created a design document for a post-apocalyptic, city-builder/survival-sim hybrid. HotWater , the game's proposed title, is a tongue and cheek reference to the idiom in hot water.
The game's events take place 25 years after the collapse of global society. As the result of melting of the ice caps 99% of the world's land has been swallowed by the ocean, with only a few survivors living on ships and makeshift floating settlements. Players take control of a group of these survivors who have happened on an abandoned oil rig which they must upgrade, defend from pirates and transform into a thriving nautical town.
In order to quickly communicate the game's mood and core concepts I created concept art and gameplay mock-ups using both 3D modelling and digital painting.
The game's setting and scenario were inspired by Waterworld (1995) and Future boy Conan (1978) while the games branding and UI take cues from the the branding of contemporary global shipping companies.