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Archives for relic » Shawn Woods - Art Director/Senior Artist
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Relic Rescue Social Facebook Game

Relic Rescue Social Facebook Game

Relic Rescue Social Game

Art Direction, Interface Design, 3D Design

The following images are screenshots from the Facebook game Relic Rescue. I was an original team member and Art Director. I had to hire and train a team of senior AAA artists to learn the processes of building game specifically for the casual market. I was also in charge of creating the Relic Rescue brand – logo design, styleguides, art outsource management of the artifacts and animal obstacles, central marketing support (Facebook Ads), community art support and creation of many original assets for the game including 3D design of the buildings. After launch, the game required extensive feature updates based on weekly metrics reviews and customer feedback. We used agile development to quickly change direction and maintain momentum to keep up with the fans playing the game entice them to make micro transactions.

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The Outfit Game: The Chief Signature Vehicle

The Outfit Game: The Chief Signature Vehicle

In the video game “The Outfit” we had a number of “Signature Vehicles” that could be unlocked and played in the game. Each Signature Vehicle was a custom texture over the original. I thought it would be funny of the tank flame thrower was painted like a fire engine, shooting flames out of the barrel. If we had time, it would have been cool to see water FX shooting out but as it was, the game was already in crunch time!

I also created the texture set for the Axis version of “The Chief” and the Allied “Death from Above” shown in the thumbnails below, as well as rendering each of the tank variations for the Front End Design.

View more screenshots.

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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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Video Game Achievements

Video Game Achievements

The Outfit – Published by THQ, Developed by Relic Entertainment

The achievement medals for THQ‘s “The Outfit” were created using 3D Studio Max and Adobe Photoshop. This game was Relic Entertainment’s first foray into the video game console world.

The achievements are high resolution models rendered out using the Brazil Renderer from SplutterFish. I was Art Supervisor on the visual appearance of the models, as well as creating the art assets for modeling, texturing, rendering, and post-production work done in Photoshop. I split the duties with another talented artist at Relic Entertainment, Jacob Binkowski, who helped model and texture half the medals. Since “The Outfit” was a fictional World War II game, we could not use the real life medals. For some, we took artistic liberties to keep the essence of the original, and in other cases we came up with a completely original piece. What was cool in the end was that one of our medals was actually created into a real-life medallion give to everyone who worked on the game. In total, it took 3 weeks to create all of the medals between two full-time artists.

Here is the full list of the 41 achievements for The Outfit.

Coming Soon – Company of Heroes: Opposing Fronts Achievements

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Character Art – Company of Heroes: Opposing Fronts (PC)

Character Art - Company of Heroes: Opposing Fronts (PC)

Company of Heroes: Opposing Fronts (PC)

Expansion Pack to the highest rated RTS game of all time.

I was the Art Supervisor for the Characters team on Opposing Fronts. It was a fun project and great opportunity to work on the expansion to such a highly rated video game. The standards were set very high and with most of the original team moving on, we had a challenge ahead of us.

The Heroes Team (character artists) was filled with 4 people; Melanie Caron, Kristian Bourdage, Stephen McDonald, myself, and Cheol Joo Lee on concept art.

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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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