Week 8 – Substance Designer 5

substance icon

First things first. I am dropping out of the Throne Room Challenge, at the same time I am committing to the next community challenge from the allegorithmic guys.*

*Unless it ends up falling on some horrible moment during my Master’s Project.

The reason being is that the number 1 feedback I received during GDC was to have more props, and to focus on a specific style based on the studios I want to work for and to have enough pieces so that I can mix/match my portfolio based on where I am applying. I think the first thing I will work on is my hard surface work. With a mixture of sci-fi/future warfare and some modern warfare type elements mixed in. But I am currently researching studios and their styles to find a focus. I have a ton of wide spread studios I would love to work at because I love almost every genre of game and appreciate tons of artistic styles. This will be a hard choice. For now I am going to put my next prop in the previously mentioned category though. Working on finding a concept but I really want to either do a weapon of a vehicle.

In the meantime I have been blasting through catching up with SD5. I created a node to help with the distance node. It helps you visualize where the bevels will and wont affect the original object since it only works on things below middle gray. It also has a slider that will that middle gray value.


Node in Action


Node Graph


The next node I created was a simple version of the new dynamic gradient mode that just replaces black and white. Still thinking about adding more functionality but I could see this saving a ton of time as is.


Node in Action


Node Graph

{ Add a Comment }

Week 7 – GDC

GDC 2015

Most of this week was spent in SF for GDC. Not really much work to show for it besides to talk about what I did there.

It was great meeting the Allegorithmic guys, pretty cool having them recognize my name, now to try and get onto one of their demo reels! I also talked to people at unreal, unity, microsoft, etc. To check out new tech.

The new Marmoset viewer is something I am really looking forward to as well.

One of the big highlights was talking to a 3d lead at Creative Assembly who thought my work was great, just that I need more assets to show off. Something I already knew but just didn’t have the time to get enough done on my portfolio. I don’t want to include any student work, and even though I have tons of work on my drives I am very picky with what I have up right now. Other critiques went similar, but overall there weren’t too many companies in the career pavilion this year. Lots of indies showing off their games instead.

One thing that was awesome was getting invited to a mixer with people from the foundry. I have really been meaning to get into modo every since the indie versions popped up an it was nice chatting with the people who make their products. They were an awesome set of guys.

Another good bonus was talking to a ton of people who are going through a similar process to me with my master’s. Most of them are also currently working in industry as well so it was cool to talk about things and compare notes.

{ Add a Comment }

Week 6 – The Week Lost in Time

Originally these posts started with me talking about this being my last semester. It now is and isn’t at the same time. Some opportunities came up and I am now going to be doing a Master’s. Unfortunately these opportunities came up about a week before the deadline to apply so this week consisted of me running around campus during all of my out of class time, and then coming home and writing proposals and paperwork.

This Master’s project has been a blessing and a curse. I am no longer stressed out non-stop about getting everything ready to apply to jobs in a couple weeks, I can work mainly on building connections and friendships in the industry, and I have 2 more years to work on my portfolio. The hardest part of this last year was finally getting to a point where I am happy with my own work, but not having enough of it yet to be satisfied with my portfolio. You wouldn’t believe the amount of stuff I never show anyone and may or may not be archived somewhere on my computer or in some random drive.

Because of this my goals for the semester have changed. The Throne Room challenge is still something I would like to do but I am still debating on finishing the full environment or not because of the deadline coming up for it. I may just take what I have and polish that out and use as a prop on my site. My new goal is to get roughly 5-10 textures, 5-10 props, and 3-5 environments up on my portfolio and regularly update those sections by taking out my weakest piece and replacing it with new stronger works.

The newest work will be the polystyrene seen at the top of this blog. I have also still been working on perfecting that wood texture. Nothing that great so far but I am getting a better idea of where I am going with it.

wd_01' wd_02

I am also working on the welds a little bit. I think I have gotten to a point with it though where I am going to wait until I need it in a project and then try to get some particle brush effect working for the burn mark stuff on the outside edges of the welds.

{ Add a Comment }

Week 5 – MORE CHANGES! And GDC Approaches

Posting this a day late because I came home exhausted yesterday after a huge list of changes to my plans and woke up at 2am. I wont go into much detail besides mentioning that I am currently writing up a proposal for graduate studies at chico and I have about a week from tomorrow to finish it and turn it in. On top of that I will be in SF for GDC 3 days after that. So very glad I decided to postpone my throne room until after GDC.

Last week my portfolio finally went up, after a year of WIP versions. Honestly I am still not quite happy with the current one, but from here on out I will be doing small edits to the layout instead of taking it down and putting it back up. I want the ability to apply for a job as soon as the posting goes up, and that means having a well maintained and populated portfolio.

On top of that my business cards came in a couple days ago:


As for work, Osman and I started wondering about creating a somewhat perfect wood graph in substance. Wood is one of the more challenging things, in my opinion, to pull off procedurally. I’ve only got about an hour or two worth of work into is so far but I am liking the results. Osman has been working on his own version and whenever we get to a point that we like we have been sharing info. Most of the resources we have found online have been either lacking in quality or lacking in information.


I have some potential solutions for making the knots better, along with making the grain more believable and wood like. I just need to get back in and work on it.

I’ve also been working on some more tile, this time focusing on flooring. Inspired by the amazingly well cleaned floors found all across the Chico campus.


To add onto these tiling textures I have been working with substance in another way this week. The first of witch is creating a brush for substance painter that creates welds. Right now they’re a little too clean around the edges and I want to add in some exposed values giving you more freedom to control what types of welds you want to do, ranging from clean to messy. But it is a start.


The other one I haven’t quite taken into painter yet because I am working out some kinks but it is a paint drips substance effect made for painter or even just for some masked images. I have been planning on playing with PopcornFX so I might try to just create it all in substance alone, or just base it off of a current effect like leaks, but I like the idea of being able to use it in substance without painter involved.



{ Add a Comment }

Week 4.5 – Changes!

Yesterday I put up my new portfolio. This is the first time since I purchased my domain that I’ve actually had more than one model on my portfolio at a time. It seems to have always been in flux.

If you don’t want to go to the top of the page you can get there thought here jschwieger.com 

As for the reason this post is called changes:

A few weeks ago I decided I wanted to start and finish the throne room challenge before GDC. While it was defiantly possible at the time I had started I don’t think it is anymore (I would like to thank my body for getting sick roughly 3 times in a row). I have less than 2 weeks to GDC and I think it would be better, overall for my portfolio if I finish up some of the “almost done” models I’ve had sitting around for a few weeks or months instead of rushing an environment.

The throne room will still be worked on, but this time I will aim for the actual contest deadline instead of the one I set for myself. That way I can get home from GDC and jam it out.

My current Fire Temple environment isn’t bad, I wish I had something else to go with it instead of 1 environment but speeding through a portfolio piece is not a good idea at this point. I am also lacking off portfolio quality tiling textures and more props couldn’t hurt.

Things I will be showing off on friday will be the current state of the throne room scene, a new brush/tool I have been crafting in Substance Designer/Painter and hopefully a couple new tiling textures to show off.

{ Add a Comment }

Week 4 – The Throne

This weekends focus will be finishing the throne and its’ surrounding area’s high poly & low poly models. I spent a large majority of last week getting ahead in my classwork so that I would have a week or two to work so I don’t really have much to show. The main improvement I have is that I’ve finally settled on my main design rules for the environment so moving forward here should me much quicker as most of my delays have been creative blocks. On top of that I am no longer sick so I have no more blocks there.

Another thing I worked on this week in my free time was taking this leaf generator network and putting my own touches and improvements on it:

Procedural Leaf Creation In Substance Designer from Eat 3D on Vimeo.

My goal when I am finished is to have a pretty decent leaf node network for generating them and then taking that and applying it to a forest floor like tiling texture. I am still about halfway through that so I will be posting it in a later blog.

I guess it is pretty much habitual now that I will be making a 2nd post either Sunday or Monday along with my polycount post so expect that. This time I will be posting the updated version of my website along with the blog so there is that to look forward too as well.

{ Add a Comment }

Week 3.5 – Blockout Done, Time to Model!

Finished the blockout today. Health issues have slowed me down a lot more than I would have liked this week. Feeling slightly better so hopefully my delays will be over in the next couple of days.

This week I will start modeling the more modular pieces. For more info check out my polycount thread.

Here are 3 potential camera angles for my final beauty shots.

HighresScreenshot00001 HighresScreenshot00002 HighresScreenshot00004

{ Add a Comment }

Week 3 – Blockout Part 1

Unfortunately didn’t get much done this week for modeling due to putting in a lot of work on my new portfolio site, resume and dealing with start of the semester type things. But I have the weekend to commit to modeling and will be posting an update with the final blockout sometime Sunday, which will be the same day that I update my polycount thread. Also my new site will be up sometime in the coming week, after that I will be updating my business card and ordering those for GDC. My current ones are fine but I have learned some good tips for making a card specifically for events such as GDC. One of those is adding a headshot of myself and a section for notes on the back of the card, that way my card feels more personal and people can write any note about my they want when they take my info. Another issue with my old card is that the model I threw onto it was my just finished character model from last semester, the problem is that I am not a character artist, and my card understandably confused people. Good thing I wasn’t looking for jobs yet I guess.

As for modeling: I am playing with a lot of basic forms tonight and will most likely be doing so for the next few hours, I just need to get this post out there as an update. I feel like my last environment’s main flaw was a lack of a solid blockout. The current blockout I have now is about the same level of detail, if not more, than what I spent on the old environment. Because of that, last time I fell into a horrible trap where I was half way done with the project, and didn’t like where it was at, or have any clue how to fix it by adding more. I had to basically cut my losses because of deadline and do the best I could with what I had. This time around I am working on an even tighter deadline, but I have many more hours per day to work on the project so I think over all time will even out.

I am really enjoying where this environment is headed though. It will also be the first environment that I don’t really base off of someones concept and then adjust slightly. This one will be mine from the ground up so my blockout is sort of concepting things as well.

From here on out my plans are to finish the blockout (this weekend), make high poly meshes (either in zBrush or Maya depending on what is needed for the mesh) for the base environment (this week and next week), create the lowpoly and bake out, take things into nDo as needed(this week and next week), then Substance Designer or Painter and possibly photoshop if needed (this week and next week), throwing them into unreal and testing lighting (this week and next week). Then onto taking the individual small props from blockout through that same pipeline (next week and the week after).

shot1 shot2

{ Add a Comment }

Week 2- Tiled Tiling Textures of Tile

Part of my goal this semester is to have a get set of Tiling Textures for my portfolio. Usually when I look into what studios are looking for when it comes to environment artists they all mention tiling textures. What a better way to start that series than with some tiles?

For this first one I purely used substance designer. Future ones I am going to incorporate sculpting and possibly even some hand painted textures.

Besides this I wasn’t able to get too much done because of the Global Game Jam and it messing up my sleeping schedule. But I did start a really basic blockout of my Throne Room scene. I am still playing with the overall layout and forms that I want the rooms in so it isn’t very impressive to look at right now. Either today or tomorrow I will be posting everything to polycount and linking that on this blog.


{ Add a Comment }

Global Game Jam 2015

This year was the second year I participated in the Global Game Jam. The main difference between this year and the last was that this year I was an organizer. Unfortunately being an organizer meant that I wasn’t able to work much on a game, but I still was able to hang out, texture a little bit, and work on some more technical art aspects this year during the jam.

This year’s turn out at Chico was great with 9 games in total being created, some of them were just 1 man teams. http://globalgamejam.org/2015/jam-sites/chico/games

{ Add a Comment }