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

Realism in UI Design

The history of the visual design of user interfaces can be described as a gradual change towards more realism. As computers have become faster, designers have added increasingly realistic details such as color, 3D effects, shadows, translucency, and even simple physics. Some of these changes have helped usability. Shadows behind windows help us see which window is active. The physicality of the iPhone’s user interface makes the device more natural to use…. continue reading article…

http://ignorethecode.net/blog/2010/01/21/realism_in_ui_design/

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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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