Well, I guess I got a little board after finishing my last project. Usually I move right into some other project, but at the moment, I am lacking inspiration on what to do next. So, in the meantime, I decided to work on my low poly skills, namely, the art of character creation and rigging.
Rigging is the addition of a skeleton to the model so that they can be manipulated or animated. As you can see from “Dude”, he is able to move about and be articulated into any natural (and some unnatural) positions, such as running, pointing, kneeling, and being pushed backwards.
Perhaps the most interesting feature was that I gave him an articulate hand. He doesn’t have all 5 fingers, but he has a thumb, a pointer finger, and then three “connected” fingers on each hand. This allows for the pointing motion and some other articulate movements such as picking things up, or pushing buttons and holding objects like controllers.
Low poly art is interesting. There are so many “flavors” of it. Some low poly is focused on more of a “cartoon” look. Others are actually high poly objects with a small color pallet to produce a low poly feel. Yet some actually go for a square or “Lego” style. What I’ve done here is given the model sharp, angular features with no texture. The clothes are simply a change of the surface color of those polygons, rather than having a mapped skin with details.
I like this style and I’m trying to see what I can do with it. Hopefully a little practice will improve my skills.
The title might suggest something about a princess, a monkey, a thief, and a Disney movie, but it’s not so glamorous. It’s just a low poly world I created for my low poly class. I had some fun with lighting, and it is amazing what changing the background lighting color can do to your planet.
Above is a generic lighting fading from white to black. Kind of gives it a nice “space” look. But, it seems a bit moody, so I tried some sunrise, daylight, and sunset looks:
I’m no expert, but it’s a pretty fun way to change the mood and look of the model, without changing anything else. I’m really enjoying the class so far, but I’m not far from the end of it now. I think next up is a low poly character that moves, so I’m really looking forward to that!
Hopefully above, you can see my latest creation, a low poly T-rex! I’m still taking the low poly course, and really enjoying it. Perhaps because it is low poly, it makes it a little easier to have good results, even for beginner’s like me. Above is my “square method” low poly T-rex. Here is my decimated “triangle style” T-rex:
Not too much difference, although the triangle style does have more menacing looking teeth. For fun, I then made this “high poly” version by subdividing the square version:
And then I decimated the high poly model, as per the instructor’s suggestion in the course. It made for an interesting low poly/high poly mix:
In all four versions, I used the same colors, the same lighting, and as close to the same position/camera angle as I could. One interesting note about the decimated high poly model – it was really difficult to color it. When I would go into edit mode to select surfaces to color, it would look “high poly” again, but when I would select vertices, and went back to paint it, it was “low poly” again. So, I realized I forgot to apply my decimation. So it was showing the decimation, but it was not applied to the model. So, apply, apply, apply. That’s my lesson learned for the day!
Today I’ve been working on my low-poly course again. This time the task was a floating island with a waterfall. I know I’m not the best artist, but I actually really like this one. I feel it has that calm, cartoon look that makes low-poly seem fun.
I think one of the biggest parts of making low-poly work is the attention to detail. Don’t get me wrong, I’m no expert and I have a lot to learn, but when working with so few polygons, you need little details to stand out and make the image pop.
In this case, I think its the mountain color. Several of my fellow course takers did a great job, and did many thing about their island better than I did, but one thing I noticed was that all of them had the same color for the mountains as the ground. So, a simple swath of cartoony paint seems to really bring the model to life. Or at least, that’s my hope.
In this class we actually sculpted the shapes instead of extruding or transforming a regular shape, so that was pretty neat to learn. We also used the pair tools as opposed to our normal materials color methods. I’m really learning a lot with this course, which is really great!
As you can see, I’m still taking the low-poly course on Udemy. Today’s lesson was all about sharp angles. To be honest, I’m not really sure if my ice landscape looks more like Antarctica or some form of moon scene.
Either way I’ve been having quite a bit of fun with it. The previous lesson was more of a lesson in cubes, and everything had a square low-poly look to it. Here we have more of a sharp edge and the lighting is adjusted to try and show it off. So it is interesting to see the many different styles of low-poly art.
Well, at least building one graphically! I was working with the Quiet Learner on his new tile tower defense game. He’s only in a pre-alpha stage right now, so there isn’t anything playable as of yet. If you are interested, you can check out his work here: https://qlfiles.net/guile-td/
He is doing all of the coding for his game, and my participation is rather small. He was looking for a little bit of artwork for the towers and enemies, so I took some time to draw some old school pixel artwork in Gimp.
Thinking that it may be useful for others as well, I’ve put together a repository with my small collection. It is licensed under the CC0, so it is readily available for any other games, icons, or uses, too. Be sure to check it out, and if you end up using it yourself, be sure to drop a comment here so I can check out your great game!
In my continued efforts to learn app design and code, I have been making some new artwork to be used (Lord willing) in an Android game. This artwork is completely my own creation (for better or worse) and is built using Pixel Art Builder, a free app on the Google Play Store. You are welcome to use or abuse the art in my repository:
I needed some dice for games that I am making. It was difficult to find free to use for anything dice icons online, so I ended up creating my own. I used Gimp to make the set. Nothing fancy, but may be useful for you. I just used a gradient fill and then put black dots on the squares for each side of the die.
I applied the Apache-2.0 license to these, so feel free to use or abuse them to the maximum extent possible!
Often I choose custom backgrounds for my ROMs that are specifically themed to that ROM, such as choosing a PacMan image to go with a PAC rom, or the logo of the ROM somehow embossed or colorized to match the custom ROM.
On occasion, however, I strike out in a completely new direction and pic a seemingly random piece of artwork. Usually this happens when I find a picture or drawing that jumps out at me. One such drawing is this mandelbox artwork from “TheQuietLearner”:
I have used his artwork before in my custom ROMs, such as Slim 5.1.1 and PAC ROM 6.0.1 for the Samsung Galaxy S4. If you want to check out more of his artwork, you can find it here, as well as read up on mandelbox, mandelbulb, fractal images, and more. If you like getting new, somewhat abstract, or mathematical artwork, then I highly recommend that you follow his site:
A good friend of mine has a blog that focuses on his EDC, or every day carry. It is actually quite interesting because of my friend’s unusual assortment of items to which he carries every day. As a general contractor and laborer, as well as an avid outdoors-man, his pocket carry varies widely from day to day. Knives, rope, tools, flashlights, you name it, it gets pretty interesting.
You would be amazed at how little my every day carry would change. It really hasn’t changed in 6 years. So I thought, as a bit of a spoof I would do the EDS, or every day screenshot. So I took a screenshot of what I was doing today, but don’t worry, I don’t think this changes enough to be a regular post!
I used scrot – a linux command line screenshot tool, to take a picture of all four desktops at *nearly* the same time. I think that they are a few seconds apart, as you can see the cpu load has changed between shots. However, all of these screens are active and this was all happening at the same time! Ocaisionally this causes my old laptop to overheat and power down. It can no longer determine the CPU temperature, nor the status of the AC or battery. I don’t think it was designed for such heavy loads! Might be time for a more powerful computer…. Or perhaps I should try using it a little more responsibly!