MAY.23.2016 - Game Development 001

Recent first Success building a top down shooter game :)
A quick update before I get into my next big bit of news for the blog section of my site. First, yes I'm doing great. Work at Treyarch has kept me crazy busy but I absolutely love it. I turned 30 in Febuary which here we are on lap 30 around the sun. I got cubital tunnel syndrome actually on my bday which was a big welcome to being 30. It's basically carpal tunnel but based in your elbow. It comes from doing the same motions over and over again. I had to sleep with a brace for a month but we're mostly better now. I took a break from rock climbing since the last post and just started up again ever since the cubital tunnel and it seems to be helping greatly. blah blah blah. Sorry I've got Game of Thrones on the brain right now. Dammit Hodor!

I've got a lot of work under my belt at this point with way more to come. Eventually I'll go in and screenshot all the parts I'm responsible for in game but for now here's the trailers for the maps I've worked on. I tried to get embedded video but blogger isn't having it tonight. It's been very enjoyable to continue working at Treyarch. I'm trusted and responsible with a lot of things on these maps, and very grateful to be apart of it.

So the big bit of news is that I'm starting a Game Development Blog right here just like I did for becoming a concept artist. From here on I will record my progress of learning game development in it's entirety. The end goal is to know how to operate my own AAA studio where I can build my own games. I've already started this journey and wish i'd have started recording my progress sooner. Too bad but have no fear I've got a shit ton of things to learn and probably a couple years before anything meaningful comes out of this. Eventually I might switch over to a vlog.
Learning UV and Texturing using MODO and Substance Painter. My crappy model haha. Dec 2015.
So what have I done so far? I'll catch you up. I've got concepting down pretty packed. 3d modeling is a bit shaky but I can get around pretty well even if my topology is a bit rough. I've dabbled in UVing and 3d texturing, nothing super impressive but I sorta know what I'm doing there. So that's what I've studied so far and as of now I'm cracking down on the Unreal Engine. I've messed with it before but now I want to understand it fully. So I'm learning how to put games together by following every tutorial I can get my hands on. Right now I'm focused on learning the blueprint system. I'm constantly having to remind myself to take a deep breath and not let it overwhelm me. It is slowly getting less intimidating. Most recently I put together this Twin Stick Shooter game from a tutorial I watched. That's the first image of the post. Man was that cool to just mess with and see something complex show up like that.
learning how to assemble levels and lighting. Not my geo.
 I've come a long way and It's relieving to be at this point in my life, making plans again, having something long term to work for. I need to be prepared for opportunity, just like before. It feels good to write like this again, it's time to throw down some good old fashioned hard work. 

OCT.22.2015 - Treyarch

Oh noooooo, I can't believe I've neglected this blog so long. My life has changed so much in the last 6 months. Let's get to this.

So above is an image I literally just finished. I won't be officially releasing it for a few days but i'm excited to post it here early anyways. I'm really trying to get in more personal work and also working on some high quality 3d kits I'll be selling for a pretty fair price. There will be more on that in my next post. ...and yes I promise I'll post again sooner than 6 months.

As many of you might have noticed I work at Treyarch now helping finish Call of Duty Black Ops 3. Ive been there for 4 months now I think. It's been a real ride and privilege. Leaving One Pixel Brush was no easy decision but I feel confident I made the right choice. So now I'm working these crazy hours, practically living at Treyarch. I should have something to share from this with in the next few months. The image below is the art test I submitted to get the job.

At the moment I starting to look for ways to help out the art community. I'm building up a few kitbash kits, probably some tutorials. More word on this in the future.

Oh and then there's real kitbashing which I got into and built my first model (below). I'm always in awe over the models that were built for the original Star Wars movies. I did some research on how they were put together and started to build my own. Once I get settled into my new place I'll start building another and build some Marquette as well. It is so rewarding to see one of these to primer like this. Just look at that dreamy detail.

As far as personal stuff goes well I have a gym membership. Never had one before but I kinda love it. I mostly put on some music and run the treadmill. I'm moving soon. Oh and I moved about 6 months ago, and I'm moving again, in like a week. It's not far from where I'm at now, and the new place is perfect. I'm also getting back into writing music again. My new place has a few notable places, a dedicated jam/art loft, a solid floor dinner room for building shit I can clean quickly, a living room for kicking it, and secret access to the roof from the window. I'm pumped as hell. What else, oh yes and I built a new desktop computer. It's a beast compared to my 2 year old laptop. I can't believe I was able to work professionally off a laptop for so long. I definitely owe that laptop some credit though, it helped me be able to study at work when I was driving school buses. If I didn't have that thing there's no way I'd have gotten to this point in my career so quickly. Now the laptop has become my dedicated station for recording music.

So yeah things are going great here, and life is getting pieced together nicely.

APR.10.2015 - Perspective Change

A lot has happened in the last several months, I've been so busy and preoccupied with work and life I neglected to update the blog :( but we're back! So the above piece is the first image I did at One Pixel Brush almost a year ago for the game "Breach and Clear: Deadline". The image was also displayed on IGN which pretty much blew my mind. I've come a long way since then in artistic confidence, efficiency, and execution; its been such a fortunate experience. I've done dozens of images at OPB at this point and really enjoy it. Hopefully I'll have some more OPB work to show after E3.

Lately I've been focusing on learning how to create 3d assets for in game use. The weapon above is the project I started to learn how to do it. You can see the original concept and the high poly 3d model that I've started for it. The goal is to prep it at current gen level and AAA quality then bring it into the Unreal Engine as a functioning in game weapon. Berry exciting.

I was in the weirdest funk for the past few months and normally I don't share stuff like this but on the chance that someone can relate to this and maybe get back on track I think its worth talking about. I've had a lot of changes in my life the past year, as a result the meaning of my life has been scattered around. I wanted to get down to the bottom of it.

I took to my journal. The entry started with me complaining as my journal has also been a kind of literary punching bag since as far back as I can remember, but ultimately it's where I go to organize my thoughts. I have too many to manage sometimes. In the middle of my onslaught of complaints I took a deep breath, my entry suddenly shifted focus and I wrote:

"...but I'm grateful to exist. I like existing, I'm certain it's better than not existing. I'm grateful for the amazing people that pop in and out of my life. I'm grateful for the variety the world has to offer..."

In that moment I realized how meaningful these things I was writing were to me. I realized I had been so caught up in hamster wheel type problems of life I neglected to slow down and acknowledge how kickass this moment of existence really is; the wealth of experience, opportunity, and possibility all around. These are the things that should be getting me out of bed in the morning, these are the things that make this very second so important. This is what makes life worth struggling and working through. I recognized something constant to hold on to, a solid foundation, through gratitude I find a lot of meaning in my life.

DEC.05.2014 - Be Alive

Holy crap life's been crazy. Work's been great, finally adjusted to it and seems like I'm meeting expectations. It's kinda strange posting on here with so little new work. All my work seems to go into One Pixel Brush these days which is fine with me. I've had the opportunity to work on some huge projects, in fact the biggest projects in the world, it's been mind blowing. I guess I'll tell you all about it in 2 years when it's released. haha.

So Apparently its common in my line of work to go through a kinda identity rediscovery. As an artist transitions from a study lifestyle to a working professional lifestyle you have to piece yourself back together. So I've been focusing more on exploring myself and I feel great now. I've been doing a lot more things than just concept art which is so nice. I started surfing a couple weeks ago, gonna start back up in February or March. Also I'm going to start doing real life kitbashing with models and clay. My first kitbash project is building a high detail X-Wing model. Ever since that Star Wars 7 trailer came out I've had Star Wars on the brain. I've also been writing music again. I'll have to release some stuff on the blog with my next post. All these things have really helped me reconnect with myself and feel whole.

For Thanksgiving I went back to Arizona to be with family. It was surreal being back, realizing I'd achieved my goals. I walked around with a little more confidence at the thought. I was opening boxes of my things that I'd sealed up almost a year ago. I could still feel the drive pulling me to do whatever it would take to make it. I could still remember how scared I was preparing to venture into the unknown. I had no idea I'd be where I am today having exceeded my own expectations. It reminds me how much I have to be grateful for, how much I have to look forward to, and how much I love the present.

There's nothing particularly special about me. I'm a very normal person, and normal people can achieve incredible things. Seize the day and be alive.