Black Ops 3 Beta – Fun Times

I have has the pleasure recently of being able to play the COD BO3 Beta for the Playstation 4! It has been a hell of an experience. I absolutely love it! Now issues aside this has been a good chance to get a taste of the gameplay and I for one look forward to the future. The more aerial we get, the better. You can now run on walls use special abilities specific to your character in addition to all the expected revamps. This demo is faster and more furious than previous iterations and that’s a good thing. If I had any complaints at all they would be.

-One Shot – you know I love it. Where is it?

-Customization for characters – nuff said.

-Reverse trigger functions compared to Advanced Warfare.

The last one really irks me I mean, Cmon whats up with that? I hate it when I can’t use the same controls. The controls I call the COD controls! Its not that big of a deal but its my only complaints.

When you’re running and gunning while running on walls with the ability to rewind time. It’s an experience that is unreal. I have played all of the COD titles and the farther we move from WW2 the better. The environments look amazing and diving into the water to swim and lurk is great. I cannot wait to this to come out. But enough ranting! Heres a clip from me playing earlier!

Add me on PS4: finaleX

It also goes without saying. Gun porn. These guns look amazing. Sometimes I die because I’m looking for facets in the modelling.

Edit: https://youtu.be/m23CB4L43iQ

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Pew Pew!

I have always had issues modelling guns so it’s something I’ve been practicing for a while. However I am never quite pleased with my final result. And after watching various videos I feel that I am at least on the right track as far as approach. I’m not big on firearms personally but well presented ones are always a work of art. Especially designs and ornate patterns. So the first example I want to show is this guy.

https://www.artstation.com/artist/ethanhiley

As a big COD fan coming across his Artstation showed me just how fine the guns I take for granted actually look up close. Freaking amazing.

Now the modelling and getting ergonomic shapes that suit the hand or arm is also something I always ponder as well. So for this I watched a timelapse about 5x from a friend of mine Edon.

He also has a gumroad page if you want something more training oriented.

https://gumroad.com/edonguraziu

The modelling especially caught my eye. The clever use of booleans and beveling and not an ounce of subdivision. I was quite impressed with the video and technique. Personally Maya always seemed a bit rigid for speed modelling but Edon showed me in that video how it’s done. The main part I took to heart is that you are able to boolean>> difference a flat form with an elongated cylinder and then bevel the perimeter ring. Usually beveling edges against n-gons is a surefire way to go to undo button and make life miserable. However through repeatedly watching this video I noticed that the bracing edges had to be relocated to get that smooth translation. I have seen the light as far as that’s concerned.

Now when it comes to presentation I feel that the typical floating in space object just can’t cut it anymore for a result so design and presentation must work hand in hand. Before I do allow me to add another tidbit I learned today.

“As I’m able to create a lot of detail fast with dynamasks I have started to keep my sculpts simple and only sculpt big shapes, details that wont change the shape of the low poly i can do in the suite. Other then that I have started doing things outside of the suite that I wouldn’t do if I didn’t have the suite”

This isn’t completely gun related however this is concerning the texturing. And also Quixel magazine.

http://dev.quixel.se/issue09

To be honest I thought this issue was a bit whack where I wish they would at least give tips on the programs or something. The articles just seem so vague. But I’ll make that magazine or book better yet haha.

Anyways the gist of that quote was that this person literally has their block in and does everything else in texturing. So the details and texturing both work hand in hand as a team. Geometric complexity alone wont do it or you’ll be like the cover of this month’s 3d artists magazine.

http://www.polycount.com/forum/showthread.php?p=2308983#post2308983

It’s a great helmet however I am going for robots that are a little more personal. Love the model though. It’s that marriage of  texture and micro detail that I’m seeking which brings me to my next point.

This guys video showed me the light in ways I can’t begin to explain. The technique is solid and I get enough of an idea to take it into my pipeline. Those guns are very nice and exactly what I was missing. Personality. Those guns look like they belong to specific people and that is interesting to me.

So in closing…. Allegorithmic. My boys in blue. Just updated Substance Designer.

https://www.allegorithmic.com/products/substance-designer/release-notes/5.0

If you don’t feel like reading here’s what matters. To me at least.

[Content] Add “Detail Oriented” technique to Normal combine filter
[Content] Add Vray/Corona/Redshift/Arnold targets to the PBR converter filter (to convert maps for these renderers)
[3D View] Add tessellation to PBR shaders

The last 2 are the main ones for me. PBR to Vray support. Oh yes. Now there’s is a node for conversion instead of using tricks to render it. And that means that other renderers too! So Cycles is next as well. Now tessellation is important for  viewing height information while creating shaders so this is also an amazing addition because I’ve complained about this for a while. I was actually going to close this post here but while we’re talking about SD allow me to show you the future of their viewport.

Who’s better Allegorithmic or Quixel?

That’s an unfair choice to force yourself to make. Both programs offer you workflows that have both strengths and weaknesses. SD can get a bit complicated for very basic things sometimes but the flexibility and non destructive nature makes it a very powerful choice. Being able to make sbars and interactive textures is indispensable in my life. However Quixel is a powerhouse and with Photoshop in tow you’re in good care with the most powerful image editor in this galaxy at your fingertips. So the answer is both. I leave Quixel and go into Substance. Sometimes I paint my base maps in Substance and then go into Quixel. But using them together is just pure power. Algorithmic was on a steam sale a while back. And I was given a key for Quixel by a great artist.

Georgian is a friend of mine who recently was in Quixel magazine in issue 03.

http://dev.quixel.se/issue03

He was in this issue showing off a fabulous model that he was so kindly as to share and give away on his Gumroad along with a breakdown. It’s kind of a classic but I might as well make this post a link fest.

https://gum.co/FXWJJ

This blog also talks alot about nDo and is a good place to start.

http://advancedndo.tumblr.com/

I’d definitely recommend checking those guys out and support, subscribe or follow. But that’s all for now. In the shadows I work and wait and grind… and play Black Ops 3 for PS4! Beta just drooped today!

Add me on ps4: finaleX

edit: Can’t end a post without soooomething Blender related. So I share with you all my latest robot WIP. D-29

Jibble Update And Free Kiosk!

So recently I did another iteration of model Jibble. He’s a nice test to use when it comes to refining techniques. I like the way he came out and plan to continue on him.

JibbleA(3) JibbleA(5) JibbleA(4) JibbleA(3) JibbleA(1)

The rendering is just 3 mesh lights and a black environment. I was pleased with the result. Now to make him talk. There’s also a timelapse!

For those wanting the files they are part of this gumroad.
https://gum.co/assetcol

Also Patrons get it as well!
https://www.patreon.com/posts/2842382

The hoodies, the iris and even the model and inserts! I hope you all enjoy. Deux coming soon!
Also I did a kiosk as a test of Blender/nDo and Substance Painter. Gave away all the files for that too, and for free might I add.

https://www.patreon.com/posts/2843314

Check it out!

KioskV2(1)KioskV2(2)  KioskV2MapShowcase(3)

Update. Kiosk… sketchfabulous…
https://skfb.ly/F7xO
http://www.blendswap.com/blends/view/80072

The kiosks have an artstation!
https://www.artstation.com/artwork/kiosk-v2-and-v3-mania

Kioskv3Promo

Secret Update #2

So before going to bed I wanted to sneak a small update of an upcoming Gumroad course I’ve been working on. The parts are coming together even though the more I look the more I wish I could change. The final version has to look killer but I am sure the next updates will be even more impressive.

HiraethWIP3

I would say hes about 50% done just in the chest. But the renders were looking very nice even at this intermittent phase. That’s cycles for you. I hope to have more updates soon and thank you all for your continuous support!

I also am giving sneak chapters out on my Patreon page. So subscribing also gets you insider access and $10+ subscribers get the gumroad courses plus exclusive content like brushes and all sorts of ill shiznit. So join up!
http://www.patreon.com/masterxeon1001

cropped-patreonspread1.jpg

Also to leave for the night allow me to show you another fine render of Deux.
master xeon render_00000

Configured by Nick of the legendary 10. It touches my heart to see this guy coming to life and looking so awesome. Enough about play time to get back to work.

Nick also did the last ill comp of this guy. Just can’t get enough of him!
DeuxLogo

For those who don’t know of him his timelapse is here.

For coming allow me to drop one more brush for the night.
https://www.patreon.com/creation?hid=2685075&alert=1
BrushPromoHoseFreeEdition#3

Also this song… *tear* Tazz is a soul who translates well into his music which flows through my character’s veins. The servant… has a mother#(@*ing song! omg!

Also that E3 amirite?

Just seeing that video pushed my art another level. Seeing what they can do just shows me I gotta work harder! We have the same tools… right?

And maybe leave the night on a laugh.

EDIT: one more sneak peek.

Secret Demo

For Uving for Substance Painter I have been experimenting with different types of Uving worflows. For example sometimes I UV islands based off of material selection which can be quicker however doing just regular old UV by manifold piece can be easier. The advantages of each are pretty different yet useful in their own capacity. […]

Part 2 – Go!

So, for the second part of my introduction, let’s continue. I was telling you before, about how I worked in a call center. Once I was only working there, without the 2nd job, I was able to kick my CG development into high gear. On average I would say, the next 3 years after my first, I put in even more time – like 12 to 15 hours a day. It doesn’t matter if you don’t believe me. I am not kidding when I say I’m obsessed. So during the day, I would use horrible PCs to try and get projects started, then go home to a slightly more inferior PC, that would turn off when it got hot.

I felt at this time, that my potential was limited. Here I was overflowing with ideas, however, I had a PC that was an absolute piece of s***. Sometimes the mag safe charger would get loose, and I’d have to fondle it, for sometimes half an hour, to get it back working. It was pathetic and it began to kill my ambitions.

I probably should have mentioned sooner that, before I decided to pursue CG, I had decided to leave my old life behind. It was similar to suicide, except I kept living. I consider myself a 3d ghoul, no longer part of the world of the living at times. I had an old life, overrun by corrosive people, in a small city, with no chance of ever getting better. I saw no future involving happiness, so I made the choice to sacrifice everyone who once knew me, for the chance to clearly pursue my ambition.

I always rant about how the life of the polygon is like being in a cult. I would live in a community, dedicated to the polygon, like a cult. Maybe I’ll make one. We’ll all wear wireframe robes and carry minecraft flames. But I’ll get back to the point here. 3D is to me a complicated and technical career, where outsiders are difficult to cue into the terminology, because they just lack the interest. I tell people I create digital matter, or film and game assets. But a lifestyle like this can’t take distractions. Life will be quick to show you a clearer path, than the one presented in 3d, which I think is invisible. It’s a road you must make. You road will appear before you, as you realize what your vision is. At least I hope so. That’s how I see it, IMO.

So, when I left my hometown, I left all cellphones and life behind. I had no interest in being contacted or being asked to come back. I wanted to just drift into nothingness peacefully, without a show, or even an audience. Even now, I don’t have a phone. Why call me? Phone calls were rarely good news in my old life. I would say, that was about 8 years ago, haha, or maybe 7. I just look at it like another universe. An evil… universe.

In time, people around me in the call center became curious about my 3d activities. My boss showed interest, which got my gears turning about making 3d training material, to ease the learning process. I modeled my life. At work, I made cubicles and modems as 3d models. Because I’m a sarcastically cursed comedian, I blew them up, and made them walk, and just learned the ins and outs, while thinking about a different path than the same old greasy ladder. “Why can’t a company just hire me as an idea-man? I think that’s my calling. Ha ha!” I hear words, then the ether begins materializing ideas.

As time went on, this call center changed, as I mentioned previously. The job became more sales oriented, and therefore they concluded my lack of sales was from using Blender, and not because they were basically forcing us to sell on a complaint line.

“Hello my internet is down.”

“Well here at ______ we have anti-virus software to protect your PC.”

“Does that fix my internet?”

“No.”

“Well shove that up your a**!”

After being frustrated with both ends of the job, it began to wear on me, as customers were becoming more and more unhappy with our service quality. Not related to tech support, who just try to figure out what happened. It came to the point, where most people who called wanted to kill us. And in this time frame, they tried to take Blender from my life.

I couldn’t let this happen. Ha ha! I tried to fight it. However, my supervisor literally made me sit at his desk, and watched me like a timeout teen. I stood for it for a bit, but I couldn’t let myself be singled out, while people were dropping like flies around me. So, I began working away from the other workers, in the corner, and worked harder on selling, and even harder on Blender. I think at one point,
I made it clear to them, that the only thing making this job bearable was using 3d.

Don’t get me wrong. Whatever program I could run off of a flash drive, for 2+ years, and make 3d content was fine by me. It could have been maya, max, modo, or something else. But realistically, they would have sucked.

I began making friends at the call center and getting more acquainted with the town. I met a guy who is now what I call my healer. He is heavily into herbal restoration and is a healing soul. After explaining to him my situation, with poor PCs everywhere I looked, he did something impossible. He invested in a brand new PC for me. The PC I got was to my specs and was just amazing. I’ll forever be thankful for the sacrifice, since I was unable to afford it myself. He even went an additional mile, and got me the graphics card Cycles required. He allowed a payment plan, and restored my faith in myself and in my responsibility to make a mark, with that gesture alone. I learned how being a helping hand can be the push people need to actually get off their bums and do stuff.

I cannot overemphasize how, this one act of kindness changed my outlook on CG. I realized that, if people believed in my potential, then the means to express it would become clear on my path.
After all of this, I also got offered the chance to work at home. So now, I was working from home and doing Blender, no longer locked down taking DSL phone calls. I had the ultimate setup – a little monitor for work, and huge monitor for 3d. This was a true representation of where my priorities lie. I continued working, and getting better with this new PC, and I was unstoppable. I was moving units at work, and making nicer and nicer models on the 2nd screen, and all of it was possible due to one donation.

I have tried to take that same spirit with me into 3d, to give back to those walking the same path. Maybe someone like me, with all odds against him, will find his hope through something I did or said. It’s the mark I feel I’ll leave in this world. Also, by working from home, I think something snapped into place mentally. I just couldn’t be a drone anymore. I became aware that my calls weren’t being monitored hard enough, so I just became myself with customers on the phone, and it quickly became a much more pleasant experience. I didn’t read stupid scripts anymore, or say canned lines. I decided that I would try to develop easier dialogue, to get people to the point quicker, instead of so many counter questions to every step. That part isn’t relevant, but there were other things that happened during this time that are.

I now had a girlfriend, which was a very important step, since companionship and stability are important to surviving in this world. As of this writing, we’ve been together for about 5 years or something, but I couldn’t imagine life without her. Funny story, there was a time when I was using a Bamboo, but had a Intuos 3 with no pen. The pen was $70, and I was unable to afford it because finances were that tight. She bought me the pen, which I used for almost this entire time. In fact, that tablet has sentimental value to me, because it was a gift from her. I remember the note on the box saying, that she believed in me and supported my dreams. To this day, that box sits by what I call X3(my current PC), the one mentioned before was X2, and the Mac was X1. Being believed in, was what drove me forward, and for the first time, I had people around who supported my unhealthy obsession with 3d. With the new PC, I was elated. I decided that not sleeping would help me achieve greatness, and I blended even harder. I mean, 6am through work, until 2am the next morning. It probably made me crazier. Ha ha!

Around this time also, I began getting involved with the online artist community more. Before, I just posted videos, went back to work, watched tutorials, and answered hate mail. I got so much hate mail when I first started! I saw a show on the net, called “Meshed Up”, and was blown away. So many cool people being funny and hanging out. I realized that the path to the next level lied in social interaction. After convincing them I was cool, I was allowed access to a very unique group of talented people, and this is where I went from making stuff, to making art. These people are still my closest friends to this day, and that hangout is where I lurk. These people have grown with me, worked with me, and helped me develop into a more design capable being. I learned the true nature of a team. I also got my first job through social networking.

I have always been obsessed with being fast, and basically showing everyone my worth through sheer talent of tool handling, and that played a large role in building my reputation and perceived worth. My goal was to be the ultimate user. If there was a leader-board, I had to be number 1. I’d give my life for it. That was my attitude, and personally, I think that’s what connected me with my career at Dead Panic Studios, the studio that turned me from amateur to professional. DPS assigned me my rate and illuminated my path. The man running the organization shared the same ambition, and as a part of that team, I felt we began the expansion of the company from the ground up. When it comes to that job, there’s a part 1, and a part 2, but to keep it simple I’ll stick with part 1. This company was the ultimate playground: I could work; I could discuss ideas; and logic would prevail for the most part. We were ambitious as heck, taking on projects past our meager numbers, and attempting to crush with impunity. I personally feel, this was the most important part of my 3d journey because it taught me so much. I was able to see a dream grow into something more. As our team expanded, the membrane that held everyone together was stretched thin. Long story short, I’m no longer there due to personal disagreements. However, I do not regret any of it at all. Continuing on.

I have always wanted to be both an entertainer and an educator. I would like to light the paths of artistic improvement, because I don’t think it’s entirely clear how the CG field works. We talk about industry standards required by companies who won’t hire because of lack of experience. So you clutter yourself down with crap, official-ware with no soul, and end up producing the same thing as your buddy next to you. Why even do that?! There is an alternate path, however you have to grind eternally. In this CG world, I see a backwards model, of selling the secrets of the trade to the new meat, who is trying to learn the secrets of the trade. In this confusion of paywalls and locked information, there is a disconnect between the user and their very community. I produce a lot of content and it’s mainly for education, however I also have a more nefarious purpose. To eat! Bwahaha! However, I feel that I can produce richer content than the usual bear. Why do we present 3d like a cooking show? Why can’t that show be “Who’s Line is It Anyway”? Sorry, late nights make me random. In this time of uncertainty, all nights are late nights. Since I left my last job, my survival has been in the hands of my own inventions. I told everyone else this is my “burning the boats”, there is no surrender. No chains will be placed upon me because I don’t need guidance. I have my vision, and now I pander to my public, to support me in becoming successful.

Before my 2nd life began, I worked in the oilfields and in the industrial sector. Fumes, gases, sparks and unsafe conditions are the story of my life. In a time where I thought I could just do what I wanted with no consequence. Upon realization of what my last job in my hometown ensured, I left a oilfield career of 5 years and walked away from a life and career that was eating my body and soul inside and out. The life of a servant also doesn’t include insurance. Life for me is but a spark, but if I can make a fire within you, then my job is done. There is no need to dwell on the past. Once you walk the road of the polygon, life is over. Its like Gantz, with the ball that people see which gives them instructions. In the field of 3d, there is no time for sorrow. The overtaken artists that fall to sorrow are no longer progressing, and therefore are not competition anymore. My only response to failure is resolve. When I accept defeat, so will my body. I feel that this competition of 3d is a deeply spiritual journey, which has taught me to ask more interesting questions. Not so much, “What does a car look like?” but, “Where in my mind, did I get the perception that a car looks like this?” I’ve had to reanalyze my understanding of this world of shapes and moods, and it has taken me into a sub-world of 3d, to truly the root of imagination. And this is exactly where I want to be, producing art not simply assets. That’s the first step to becoming unique. You aren’t a construction monkey. Don’t make a chair. Make your chair!

Before I close, I would like to add, that paywalls aren’t something I agree with entirely, but I also don’t agree with starving. I try not to make paywalls because a servant can’t afford obstacles. However, I do survive in part, thanks to the kindness of those who admire and drive me forward, with positivity and donations. You must be willing to invest in your success. This world values money above all, and therefore sinking it into your studies (not college), ensures you truly aim to win. A loser will not invest in himself because he knows it’s a surefire loss. It’s a double win if you’re fortunate enough to make a difference in the life someone who is struggling in the cg industry, by buying a product to support him or her. If I make it to the top, I’ll spend the rest of my modified life to help as many over the wall as possible.

Before I close this post, I would like to talk about some milestones in my 3d development. I told you about the cube art I did when I was an “amateur loser”.

Milestone 1: getting started

I did this video of ethernet cables fighting

And this is my first concept of Deux. I am still in shock. I once thought this was acceptable. Haha!

Cubicle Cube

My very first tutorial(or at least to me). Ducking Up. X1 days.
One day I’ll remake it and make the most realistic mallard ever.

Milestone 2: Goodbye Cubes.

Cubes are great and all but you won’t get hired with them. No one will ever admire a cube. Its too easy to make a cube, so much so, that it is an insult to leave it in the inferior 8-sided shape.

I was still a newb when making these, but I still love them.

I’m also obsessed with music videos – it’s part of my dream .

Milestone 3: Expressing A Vision

Deux version 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b-Hf-8UEmDI
Deux version 3(d2m): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wXLYuKbV0rc
The real Deux Version 3: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DHERGkfS9Fk

Over the course of learning 3d, I reattempted the same visions over and over to refine them. I found that as I worked with finer and finer artists, and teamed up with them, my own Sharingan was trained to be sharper and sharper. I hope those last three examples show just how refined a thought can become with progressive 3d understanding. I love them all. The first Deux will be on the key chain of the final Deux.

So that wraps up part 2. I was rambling a bit, so I think I’ll cut it this article short. Untill tomorrow!