Environment Construction

Tuesday, February 10th, 2015

Paw Patrol: Rescue Run


This is Paw Patrol: Rescue Run, a mobile game based on the hit Nick Jr. TV Show. I created most of the 3D assets for the game, mainly by converting them from original Nick Jr. show assets. These assets included the pups, their vehicles, supporting characters, and various props and level elements. Here are some pups in the Unity3D viewer I used to show them to the client:




Here’s the game in action:

And the update that added the new pup Everest, and a snowy level:

In both clips I created just about every asset you see (again, basing the game art on the awesome Nick Jr. show assets). Didn’t do the penguins, though, or the chickens. (Can’t have it all.) And I didn’t do the GUI graphics you see below. Pretty much everything else, though.


There were a few cases in which I needed to create new designs from scratch, and these had to match the show style. One such case was this crane that was used in the train level and the pier:


It has to be said: It was a PAWsome project to get to work on!

Saturday, October 12th, 2013

Unity3D Street Viewer / Designer

This interactive environment viewer uses Unity3D (and almost entirely pre-made assets from various sources) to show how game graphics can be used to show the public all the great possibilities our streets might hold.

And it can show design options from any perspective, from a bird’s-eye view to that of the man on the street:

And it can switch between designs on the fly using the controls I designed using the amazing Unity plugin Playmaker.

The building are a kit from the Unity Asset Store, the character and his animation is from RocketBox Libraries, and the cars are from Google Warehouse. The lighting is from the (just as amazing as Playmaker) Marmoset Skyshop.

Here’s the Unity3D Web PlayerIf the Unity player doesn’t work for you, try this video in which I demonstrate its functionality:

Unity3D Visualization – “Marmoset Street” from Cupola Media on Vimeo.

This little project got a big boost from an interview I did with Chuck Marohn of Strong Towns. I really appreciate his interest in the project because I’m a big fan of his podcast. That interview led to some other great coverage:

This Amazing 3-D Tool Might Transform Street Planning on PeopleForBikes.org.

New Software Lets You Virtually Stroll Down Streets That You Design on dc.streetsblog.org.

You can see more of this type of transportation-themed computer graphics work over at my other site, Cupola Media.com.

Saturday, October 5th, 2013

XBox Live Village Level (Unity3D Presentation)

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A little village level I created for StrangeGames’ Xbox Live Indie game, Avatar: Honor and Duty. The goal was a fun, bright look to match the Xbox Live avatars that would populate it.

Important to note: this level was not built with Unity as the target platform, but was instead built for the client’s proprietary engine. His engine did not make use of lightmaps, so I had to pre-bake the lightmaps into a single, gigantic diffuse texture.  Which still looked nice, but led to the textures looking a little blurrier than they would have otherwise. And it’s lacking a bit in FX elements like smoke, foliage, and filters; stuff I might normally put into a Unity map, but which were extraneous within the context of this particular job.

It was a still a ton of fun to play on XBox Live, though. :)

Here’s a few orbits around the level:

Take a walk through the level in the Unity3D web player:


WASD to move, space bar to jump. Be sure to check out the view from the top of the church!

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Monday, March 2nd, 2009

Smoke and Horsepower for Intel

Intel created the tech demos Smoke and Horsepower to show off the power of multi-core processing for games. In these demos flocks of swifts and herds of horses (animated by Jason Baskin) are dynamically generated, and their numbers are expanded to push processing power to its limits.

Here’s a clip from my demo reel of Horsepower in action:

I designed, modeled, and textured the environments for these demos. In Horsepower I rigged and animated the custom-built trees to sway in the breeze, and  animated the skydome clouds to give the vast space more life. All the different pieces came together via the Ogre3D open source game engine.

Here’s the lightmap I created for the terrain after sculpting it in Mudbox:

A shot from my Horsepower environment (and one from Yourself!Fitness) ended up being featured pretty prominently in the June ’09 issue of 3D World, in which I was interviewed about working as a freelancer:

In Smoke (below) I did everything except the fire and trees – which were generated procedurally – and the birds, which are by artist Jason Baskin.


Thursday, January 1st, 2009

Props and Environments for TouchPets for iPhone

TouchPets: Dogs

Environments and props for iPhone game Touch Pets: Dogs by Portland, Oregon game company Stumptown Game Machine (which got bought out by the mobile game giant ngmoco:), which in turn got bought by the even more gigantic DeNA).

I constructed many of these environments by directly converting artist Bill Muldron‘s excellent concept images into low-poly levels. Many of the detail textures in these levels originated as layers within Bill’s concept images.

These levels are extremely low-poly, enough so they can run smoothly on the iPhone, even with multiple dogs, items and props on-screen.

A few of the props I constructed for the project:

Touch Pets Dogs Launch Trailer on YouTube:

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