Post-Finals

Whew. I’ve been quite busy since my last post. Well, sort of; part of that business was relaxing after finals. But finals were very busy indeed. Since then I’ve been playing a good amount of Skyrim, which I will definitely write a bit about when I get a chance. But the short version is: Though I was doubtful at first, I think it’s a fascinating game. I’ve also been playing Bastion, which will probably be added to my list of favorites when I finish it. But now I’m at my parent’s house without my computer, so it looks like the majority of my alone time the next week will be spent reading The Hobbit, and subsequently the Lord of the Rings. And other things. It’s great to get some reading done after spending so much time on computers. And simply to spend time with a medium that is so much more mature than video games.

But I digress. My finals went really well; I think I produced some great work, and I’m definitely getting a really good idea of what exactly I want to do with Katabasis and how I want to do it. I can’t wait to really get started on making it next semester.

I think the biggest update here, however, is that I now have a website: www.trsnell.com. Having a website is awesome. Now I feel like a Pro.

And here are some things that I did for finals.

Completed zBrush sculpt/textures for the son character. Still need to give him a name.

I'm really happy with my choices for his outfit, and the textures thereof.

And here is the World Surveyor Man. He's the first fully complete character I've made for the game. I modeled, rigged, and textured him last semester, then returned to him at the end of this semester to do some Maya compositing.

And I did some other creature designs, but doesn’t look like I’ll be able to post those until I get back to Denver.

In addition to finals, I also had my first portfolio review, which consisted of showing my work to the Game Art and Animation department heads. I got a lot of good feedback, as well as a lot of good ideas. It was cool to finally show my work as a whole to people who haven’t been familiar with it since the beginning. Two of the four people there were 2d animation teachers, and didn’t really know much about game design or 3d animation, so it provided a bit of a challenge to me to explain my work. Frankly I did a terrible job of explaining Katabasis, but I got good feedback on how to do so better.

I also showed my two stop motion animations (on my website). I always thought that they were solid works, but ultimately not all that impressive. But, everyone there were really impressed by them. Considering that one of the reviewers has done stop motion for over 20 years, I was pretty proud. One of the reviewers had the idea to do stop motion cutscenes for my game to tell the mythological back-story. Originally my idea was to tell the myth story purely through imagery in the game–which, while I think it’s a cool idea, probably wouldn’t work out as well as I’d want in this game. Ultimately, doing stop-motion cutscenes would probably work a lot better, and it’d be a lot of fun. So I think I’m going to do it. It’ll be a lot of work, but in the end I think it’ll be worth it. I just need to find a space to do it.

That about wraps it up for now. As I said before, expect an update in about 2 weeks about Skyrim, and one at some point about Bastion.

And now, back to The Hobbit. Speaking of The Hobbit, the first official trailer for it has been released. It doesn’t really show much other than what the dwarves look like, but it’s pretty exciting nonetheless. And I wouldn’t want a trailer to show too much, anyway. It looks like they’re going in a much more serious and Lord of the Rings-y direction with the movie. I forgot how much more light-hearted The Hobbit is compared to LotR: the elves hop around in trees singing silly songs, and even the Great Goblin is somewhat nice compared to the pure evil of the orcs in LotR. It’ll be really interesting to see how exactly they do the movie.

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