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Archives for tau » Shawn Woods - Art Director/Senior Artist
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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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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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