Category Archives: Design

Anything to do with 2d, 3d or design work

Gamejam 2017

The office I work in has just run a Game Jam so I took the risk of humilating myself by entering against a bunch of coders when I can hardly rub two bits of JS together. What made it more fun was I chose to do it in 2D and use C# as the language which I’ve never used before.

Kirkby – The egotistical game from the Gamejam

The theme of the Jam was Retro so I went for an 8-bit look and settled for an endless runner style game based on ME. Yes, I am an egotistical maniac with delusions of grandeur. The final game is available on this very website.

As its a running gag about my surname being spelled Kirby, not Kirkby, I went with the idea of creating a tiny me that looks like the Nintendo character. I created all of the graphics in game in Photoshop and then imported them into Unity. It was an interesting little project and I can think of a few things to tweak to improve it if I ever find the motivation.

Just incase you missed that link to play the game about me then its here.

Clone Attack

I also helped out on the intro for another game which was created by one of the chaps in the office. I created two intro videos for it and the first one was a straight motion graphic mashup.

The second one used CG elements in Cinema 4D with a retro TV model from Pixel Lab.

To make the second video I shot some wobbly video of a table then motion tracked it in After Effects create a 3d camera. The camera was then imported into Cinema 4D where the 3d scene was created, then that was then imported back into After Effects using Cineware rather than rendering the footage out of C4D. This meant I was able to tweak the project on the fly rather than have to rerender everything every time I made a change.

Finally, just to prove that sometimes my work and home life overlaps a bit, I was asked to make one of the awards for the Jam. So, I present the “Peoples Choice Award Golden Joystick” made from an old Atari joystick, sprayed gold.

The final winner for both the main competition and People choice award was Clone Attack and well done to all who entered. I will try and grab some links to everyones game and add them below when I can.

Finished Thor

Another month, another lack of bloggage, but I do have good reason as I’ve been working like a hardworking metaphor on several projects and I’ve finally finished Thor and started casting. The finished piece come is at around 6 inches high and I’ve made the first few out of bronze and one brass test piece.

No photo of the brass Thor yet as I got a bit over excited and took it out of the mould while he was still a bit soft so he got a bit knocked. Some of the damage looks quite funky and it adds something to the feel of it being an old artifact. Pics will come soon.

I had a bit of a problem moment with casting as I’d ordered some General Purpose RTV Silicone Mould Making Rubber (say that in a hurry) from MB Fibreglass (a good place to get supplied from BTW) and I’ve never used it before. Hmmmm, possibly I should have tried using it first but I jumped in head first and mixed up a batch and set to and discovered that it’s runny stuff.

lego

I built up a lego wall around the original Thor and poured in the rubber and at this point the flaw in my cunning plan appeared. I know better, I know I should have built up a better barrier at the bottom but I was being sloppy and rushing things. When I poured the rubber in it started to seep out of the bottom and dribble all over the place but I did managed to plug it up on the fly and carry on. Next time I will be better prepared but I’d just better make sure whatever I use to build up the base around the bottom with is sulphur free.

The final mould is really nice, very stretchy but rigid enough to hold up by itself without the need for a mother mould which helps a lot. I did have to put a slit down the back to help with the removal of castings but with plenty of elastic bands that stays shut on moulding.

Two finished and polished while the one in the middle-back was about to be polished.
three-thors

If you want to go and look at one in the flesh then they are currently on sale at Sacred Earth in Ipswich who commissioned the sculpture in the first place and through my Etsy store.

I’m making a note here, huge success

Well, nearly…

Monday night (May 27th) was FE Suffolk night and I’d volunteered to give a talk about my use of Cinema 4d and how I have used it to make content for websites, games, videos and other such tomfoolery. To try and make it interesting to the web people in the audience who have probably never been near a NURBS or a metaball in their lives, I thought it would be more fun to demo both Cinema 4d and Unity to give an idea about how a 3d app can be slotted into a workflow. That was the theory anyway but as the saying goes, the best laid plans…

I thought a good way to grab the audiences attention would be to build an iconic object from a well know game so picked the weighted companion cube simply as it’s a cube shape so works well with going from a primitive shape up to something more complex. I built the cube on a Sunday afternoon the week before the talk and spent about a few hours over the next couple of nights putting the texture together while having some fun with the model.
Cinema 4d Cube
This shows my step by step process starting with a primitive cube. The second one is a demo to show a default cube with its standard UV and how simple it is to drop a texture on to get a basic object textured. The third cube is me using a boolean to build some of the shape up, yeah yeah yeah… booleans are not the best way to work but sometimes they can be used to get good results. The fourth cube is the final thing cleaned up and then five is the final textured cube with the UV’s cleaned up as the process of modeling the cube creates some horrible overlapping on the UV. I would go into depth on what some of the terms are but I doubt I could explain them well enough without a load of pictures.

The final result isn’t bad for a few hours work and it’s free to download from the freebies section of the site.

companion cube

A quick video was rendered up to show an example of dynamics.

I then edited an existing Unity sandbox I’ve made to include the cube, along with a script to interact with it (pick it up and chuck it) but I left that as a backup as I really wanted to demo how to import objects from C4D into Unity and then work with them. The landscape was built using a selection of the default items and scripts within Unity but some of the assets are mine such as the crate, the rather crude toilet (crude model rather than crude as in rude) and the picture of famed Sci-fi author Isaac Asimov is something I don’t really think I can explain. Finally I installed the unity player onto my laptop, tested it, copied all the files over and then set off for the talk.

My talk was right after one called ‘Javascript without jQuery’ by the main man of FE Anders Fisher, I got up, plugged the projector cable in the laptop and was greeted by what had to be the smallest screen in the world. My laptop, in an attempt to display the small resolution of the projector, crushed all of the C4D screen into a mess of jumbled screens. So for those that haven’t seen C4D before, this is what it should have looked like:
c4d-largescreen

Not like this:
c4d-icklescreen

YOWZER!

So not one to be daunted too much, I shuffled on and managed to go through a few of the steps I took in creating the cube and explaining a bit about UV mapping. I should add that while UV mapping is a pretty important step when trying to make a good model, its also one of the most mind numbing processes ever developed by man, and it often takes me the longest out of any stage of making something as I tend to lose the will to live while UVing.

The biggest hurdle came when trying to work with unity as I couldn’t find any of the stuff I wanted to talk through properly and then to rub it in further, the object imported fine into Unity but refused to be imported into the scene. I ended up going straight to the finished version and back-peddling through the steps to show how I added a box collider and a rigid body then applied the script to the scene.

The test scene worked fine in Unity but fell over when I exported it and ran it as it turns out theres an export to offline mode. Well I didn’t know did I? It seems you need a whole load of js nonsense to make it work and without an internet connection it just fails so theres a little tickbox for export to offline mode that pumps out the needed files. You live and learn.

In the end I think I got there, just about, but I think GLaDOS had a hand in a few of the things that threw me off.

A big thanks to Kerry Buckley for taking a photo of me mid ramble.
dr cube and the unity 3d cinema 4d nightmare from hell

If anyone has any questions, feel free to chip in below but finally… here’s the link to the scene: FE Suffolk Unity Demo