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Archives for thq » Shawn Woods - Art Director/Senior Artist
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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: 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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