Saturday, May 27, 2017

CC51: Let's Make a Game! Interview with Caleb Merrick

An interview with Character Crusade at the Glitchcon indie developer convention! These guys are all about story, and were gracious enough to interview me! They are so professional, kind and awesome at what they do, I was nervous at first but they know what they're doing and made me feel right at home quickly! You can see their site at:

Friday, March 31, 2017

Parallax Occlusion Mapping

I can't get a straight answer about whether parallax occlusion mapping is better for cpu/gpu performance than tessellation?? At the moment I'm using POM (parallax occlusion mapping) to achieve height parallax, but it has it's issues. I'm honestly thinking of just using tessellation, which will depend on people having DX11. I don't know, I'll run some tests.

I checked up on Steam's stats and found that easily the majority of people on Steam are using DX12 on Windows 10 machines, and still quite a lot using DX11, so it could very well be that I'd be in the clear to just proceed with tessellation instead of POM. My head is starting to hurt again.

Substance Designer

Jumping into Substance to create materials from scratch, seriously starting from nothing and eventually ending up with some unbelievable materials. The program blows my mind, not just because of how powerful it is, but because the learning curve is pretty steep, my brain is on full melt down mode constantly.
I also want to add a little note here; that this project has literally brought me to tears a couple times, it's almost enough to break a man. I had read about that but didn't really take it to heart. My wife Elissa has been such a source of strength and comfort for me, I honestly don't see how God could have blessed me with a companion like her <3

Friday, March 17, 2017

Making Mountains out of B-Splines

Oh now things are getting fun, making terrain! I'm using World Machine to generate height maps and masks for various terrain regions, it's pretty freaking amazing. First you define various landscape characteristics as shown below:

Then you let the "machine" go to work after carefully tweaking a bunch of settings, and what you get is a beautiful masterpiece, what a fascinating program, there's just something about the ability to make your own little world:

Saturday, January 7, 2017


So, currently I'm doing photogrammetry, a process of using a series of photos to interpolate between pixel patterns, thereby generating 3d data.

I started by taking some pics of rocks and stuff up in Colorado, not sure really whether I was doing it right or not, but the principle seemed simple enough so I snapped away:

I then took the images into Photoshop and balanced shadow and highlight values (evened them out):

After all that was done (time consuming), I took the photos into a program that uses magic (point cloud data), and generated high resolution geometry. After seeing the result I was pretty pleased that I had done it right! After that, I hauled the geometry into Maya:

Now the tedious task of modeling low poly versions begins. There are other ways of doing this, but the results can be kind of sloppy, if you want something done right, you gotta do it yourself:

When it looks about right, UV map that sucker and transfer maps (diffuse and normal), check this baby out:

From almost 132 thousand polygons, down to just over 3 hundred. Not bad says I.