Hi Folks,

Sorry that Bertie hasn’t got much love lately.  I’ve recently been working Freelance for a company on their latest game and haven’t had a whole lot of time for anything else.

Oh yeah…our short film “Waking Gus” was featured in an article on 3D World’s website.  Yeah, that 3D World…the super sweet, super glossy magazine for all you 3D Artists out there.  Check it out:


When I get back to her, you’ll be the first to know.  Take care gang.



WWR – Medic Bertie Rigged and Ready to Rock

Hey folks,

Just spent a wonderful holiday in Portland, but now it’s back to the business of bringing to life Bertie.  I’ve just finished rigging her and while it’s not exactly the most complex rig in the world, it does the job.  I’m really excited about this.  Having built this from scratch and then seeing it move around is awesome.  As always if you have any comments or critiques I’d love to hear them.  All the best.


Medic Bertie complete!

Well…at least the modelling portion is. Baking out maps and creating the in game mesh took a lot longer than I originally thought it would, but it turned out quite well. These shots were taken using another gem of a program, Marmoset. It makes it as easy as possible for the Game Artist to view their work in engine. No need to export models or textures in proprietary formats, it uses OBJ’s. You can quickly and easily position lights, create turntables, even add sweet little graphical touches like bloom and depth of field.

Here’s my Medic Bertie Mk2 for your enjoyment. Let me know what you think.


Baking Maps in Topogun

So after the awfully exciting process of unwrapping is complete it’s time to bake out some maps.  There is this fantastic new program called TopoGun out there which Jonathan Rush introduced to me and the other students of his CG Society course. You should really check it out.  It’s very specialised if you haven’t gathered from the name, and is used purely for re-topologising and baking out maps. It does both of these things incredibly well, and short of a few bugs, very smoothly.

The process is simple.  Once you’re all done in ZBrush, you export your high poly mesh out as an OBJ and then import it into TopoGun. Like ZBrush, TopoGun can handle incredibly high poly counts with nary a hiccup. If you’re re-topo’ing then you can just start drawing right on top of the high poly mesh. Creating topology, deleting topology, and moving verts, edges and faces around until you are happy with the low poly mesh.

Baking maps is even easier…no need to build a separate cage, just hit a few buttons and voila you’ve got your normal, diffuse, cavity and ambient occlusion maps. Below you can see me baking out the maps for the Bertie Mk2’s head.

I highly encourage you to check it out.


*Sigh* Baking Maps

Now I’m sure there are people who love unwrapping UVs and I think that’s great, but I do not…not one bit.  In fact when I discovered ZBrush’s UV Master plugin, which automatically unwraps your model with little to no stretching, I felt like I’d died and gone to heaven. But part of this self assigned project is not taking any shortcuts so I unwrapped this guy the old fashioned way.  Of course it’s not that hard when your model is made up of simple shapes, but when it’s made up of what seems like hundreds of simple shapes it gets old real quickly.  Look UV maps:


Surfacing Finished

While this isn’t how it turned out in the end, here’s the high poly version of the Bertie Mk2 all textured and looking pretty in ZBrush. Things left to do: Paint the left arm red, add decals, and *sigh* bake maps.


Surfacing in ZBrush

I can’t remember where I first saw it, but I love describing Texturing as Surfacing.  It really nails what the artists are trying to accomplish.  Now there are some amazing ZBrush artists out there and I encourage you to find them, but one of my personal favourites is Scott Eaton.  Simply put he’s one of the best out there and an excellent teacher to boot.  I took his Anatomy for Artists class a while back and it was fantastic.  If you feel you need a refresher, I can’t recommend him or his classes highly enough.

Anyway onto my actual work.  Here’s where I was at after the first day of painting.