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Archives for dawn of war » Shawn Woods - Art Director/Senior Artist
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Tag Archives: dawn of war

CONCEPT ART OF: Warcraft

From the author of the original post:

Welcome to our periodic spotlight feature where we take a look at the concept art and design of a game or film. The intent here is to get the creative juices flowing, remind people what’s out there and what’s being done, and to not lose sight of the quality of professional work. We can also discuss what works and maybe what doesn’t, what you dig, or what you DON’T dig.

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Game: Warcraft / World of Warcraft [link]
Release Date: 1994/2004
Company: Blizzard Entertainment [link]
Lead Concept Artists: Sons of the storm [link]

You KNEW it was coming! It is impossible, you might even say disrespectful, to study the art of concept design and not acknowledge the art of Blizzard Entertainment! Ignoring the titan in the room with the six-meter sword at our tea party would be.. dangerous.

Continue reading…

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Dawn of War: Making of the Greater Knarloc (Tau)

Dawn of War: Making of the Greater Knarloc (Tau)

Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War

The Making of the Greater Knarloc (Tau Race)

About the Greater Knarloc
A huge dinosaur-like creature from the Kroot genetic family. Originally, they were used as beasts of burden but were later trained for war after proving as effective at eating enemy infantry as at carrying heavy loads.

I had a lot of fun creating the Greater Knarloc. The original Dawn of War game did not support normal maps… only diffuse maps were used. However, I tried a different method. Instead of using zBrush to create a high resolution normal map, I used to to build up the musculature in a seamless way and then baked out a grayscale diffuse and lighting map. After that, I could paint over what I had and add the colors as overlay layers. This worked out well since our team coloring for the game was also done using overlay layers.

It was a different method to texturing old school but i am happy with the results! If I had only known zBrush back when I modeled and textured the Ork Squiggoth. That was time consuming trying to create a seamless texture!

Knarlocs have a lot of stuff on them, like a camel caravan in the Sahara Dessert. This worked out great for the animators to add secondary motion to their animations.

They also look a lot like a T-Rex with a more bird-like head. I referenced the skeletal structure of the T-Rex to make sure he was anatomically correct. These photo references from Forgeworld worked out great for the details of the skin.

For his skin, I looked at many reptiles like alligator skin and how it cracks and splits, along with the pattern along their spine.

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Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War Wallpapers

Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War Wallpapers

Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War Wallpapers

Here are a collection of wallpapers I had created for the Dawn of War franchise. Every single character in the original series of games (excluding Soulstorm) were rendered using their texture maps and model from the game with the Brazil Renderer.

Most characters in the original series used one 512×512 diffuse map. A few characters had additional reflection maps or glow maps and sometimes another small diffuse map. Larger units like the Squiggoth and Greater Knarloc used two 512×512 maps.

Additional Texture Maps:
Specular, Raytracing, Reflections
Lighting using Brazil

I create 90% of the Orks, the Kroot Warriors, Squiggoth, Krootox, Greater Knarloc, among others. Click here to read more about the Making of the Greater Knarloc.

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The Outfit – Character Sheets

The Outfit - Character Sheets

The Outfit by THQ (Developed by Relic Entertainment), 2006

Role: Character Art Supervisor
Duties: Model and Texture game characters using “next-generation” techniques including a high-resolution zBrush model and Shader 3 technology. I also pinched in for some UI Design and art creation of the Achievement Medals you earn on Xbox Live.
Maps: Diffuse, Specular, Reflection, Normal Maps, and Occlusion (baking in shadows).

These are character sheets I designed for the six main characters in “The Outfit”. They were originally designed to be used in the game for character selection, and also for marketing promotions as features in magazines. Sadly, they never ended up being used as I created them too late in the production and the game had more important issues to take care of, like the driving model.

The three Allied Hero characters; Tommy Mac, JD Tyler, and Deuce Williams are high-resolution models from Blur Studio who also made the original Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War cinematic intro and Company of Heroes cinematic intro. You can view the “Making of ‘Warhammer’ Cinematic Trailer” here.

The Axis Heroes are the actual game characters rendered from 3D Max using the Brazil Renderer with added reflection maps, falloff and lighting. I modeled and textured General Viktor Morder, leader of the Axis in the storyline. General Morder is also featured in the Game/Broadcast Design section of Ballistic Publishing’s Elemental 2 book, along with my Allies Scout.

I will later post my process in creating some of the characters for the game.

About ‘The Outfit’

The Outfit is a squad-based action game built for Microsoft’s Xbox 360, set within war ravaged Europe during the Second World War. The game combines squad-based combat and easy to use strategic gameplay elements with cinematic interludes. The Outfit gives players the option to control three different squad leaders (voiced by Robert Patrick, Ron Perlman, and Terrence “T.C.” Carson), each with their own specific skills and abilities.

Character Sheets

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UI Design – Dawn of War Games (PC)

Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War (PC)
Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War: Winter Assault (PC)
Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War: Dark Crusade (PC)
Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War: Soulstorm (PC)
http://www.dawnofwargame.com

I designed the original HUD and Frontend for the PC video game Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War. This was actually my first “official” video game to ship although I did assist on the pre-vis UI Design for Homeworld 2.

These screenshots illustrate how I created the Head Up Display (HUD) for the Space Marines race. I started off by setting up a scene in 3D Studio Max using a camera set to Ortho view (I didn’t want any perspective since my measurements had to be precise). After roughing out the shapes in 3D, I rendered out the interface design using Global Illumination to give me a nice, soft render.

I then used these layered renders and brought them into Photoshop, where I continued to color and texture the pieces. You can see a screenshot of the UI Editor I originally used for Dawn of War. At the time, we had no tool to create the interface for our game. Working with two programmers, I designed the look and feel for the UI Editor itself, and helped get the functionality working as well. It ended up working similar to tools I used on a regular basis; Photoshop, Illustrator, Flash, and Dreamweaver.

Today, Adobe Flash is being used as the authoring tool, along with Scaleform for the UI Design on Dawn of War 2.

Since the original HUD was not real-time 3D, I could paint textures onto the display as I pleased. The near-finished result is posted below. I’ve also included screenshots from Dawn of War: Dark Crusade where I created the HUD for the Necrons and Tau races.

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UI Design: Dawn of War: Dark Crusade (XFire Skin)

UI Design: Dawn of War: Dark Crusade (XFire Skin)

Dawn of War: Dark Crusade
XFire Skin

XfireTM is a free tool that automatically keeps track of when and where gamers are playing PC games online and lets their friends join them easily. It works regardless of game type, server browser, or gaming service that a player is using. Xfire eliminates the hassles of running multiple programs like IRC, instant messengers, or in-game friends lists to keep track of when and where a gamer’s friends are playing. It supports the best and the latest online PC games including server and non-server-based First Person Shooters, Real Time Strategy, and Role Playing Games.

This was a custom skin I made for Xfire using key UI elements from the game.

You can download the skin here.

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