This project contains a series of various 3D models, created during my 12 week internship at Appbox Media, PLC where I was working as a 3D Artist. I was part of a 4-man team, two programmers and two artists, tasked to create a dinosaur-themed first playable game for the company. As part of my NDA (Non-disclosure Agreement) I cannot divulge any in-game screenshots, but I can share the work created by myself.
As a trial period for the company, I was tasked to create a dinosaur with a cartoon look. It was a test of my modelling skills and animation. I was able to complete the model with textures and basic animation in my first week.
The sketches above show the evolution of the more defined sketches with the final one being the one the Chief Creative Director chose. I aimed to show something akin to Gravity Falls and early 90s animation. The head was enlarged slightly and the eyes were exaggerated to match the cartoon look.
Modelling & Animation
I box modeled the character in Blender, under a strict budget of under 1500 polygons. I had full creative control over the style and design of the yutyrannus, as long as it represented the dinosaur faithfully, with the minor cartoonish exaggerations. Influences from games like Banjo Kazooie and Yooka-Laylee and Super Mario 3D helped me define the look of the dinosaur to the liking of the Chief Creative Director.
The texturing was done in Substance Painter for the rough look, then further defined in Adobe Illustrator for the sharp clean edges of the feather and eyes. I wasn't allowed to use Alpha channels because of limitations on some mobile devices, so the mesh had to support the texturing, whilst keeping the polygon count under 1500. The final mesh is 1200 polygons.
Aside from modelling one of the dinosaurs for the game, I was tasked with creating low poly environment assets. There was a design document cataloguing the assets that I had to create.
Jungle Environment Props
For the jungle environment I created over 40 props, including modular land sets and a skybox for a simple flat level per the request of the programmers. The art style is reminiscent of MOBA games, but I increased the contrast and saturation to appear closer to platformer games like Super Mario 3D and Yooka-Laylee.
City Environment Props
For the city environment I created over 20 props that occupied the background, which included a modular road segment using a Texture Atlas to make sure the materials and textures are kept to a minimum to reduce file size for the final app. The buildings also share some the same Atlas. Although I completed the models of the street props and cars, my internship ended before I had time to complete them. The wireframes for the buildings were further optimized, reducing each building to under 300 polygons., with the lowest being 34, letting the texturing do most of the work.
Level Select UI
During my second month working for the project, I was tasked to create a level selection screen, where the player can scroll through "Islands" and select level to play through. Each island has 10 levels, so they had to be wide enough to accommodate the levels, but narrow in height so that the menu items were not obstructed.
The sketches show the design process of the first 2 islands that were completed. The modelling was done in Blender with height maps created in Photoshop and then retopologized and UV mapped in Maya, followed by texturing in Substance Painter. The first island has a volcano and tropical jungle theme, while the second is a simple jungle and beach.
The maximum resolution for the level select screen is 1080p, but can be scaled down to 540p on older devices in Unity 3D, so the textures were done at that resolution for optimization purposes.
Clothing for Character Customization
The other artist I was working with on this project, Rui Fan, created a mannequin template for the character creation and I was tasked to create some of the clothing for the character as she worked on the animation. The design document called for some everyday style clothing, as well as some "cool" ones.
I used the default pose of her character model to sketch out the concept art before continuing to a few of the models.
The clothing creation was fairly simple, aside from the texturing. I had to maintain a greyscale texture so that the player can use sliders to choose which color they preferred for their player. Only specific items, like the Space Ranger suits and jeans had specific textures assigned to them. The lines had to be kept smooth, so instead of Substance Painter, I textured everything in Illustrator by tracing the UV maps.