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Creating the Art of the Game

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Overview

The key word here is art: the dynamic 3D art that defines the world of computer games. This book teaches you everything you need to know about the planning, modeling, texturing, lighting, effects creation, and interface design that go into creating today's most advanced and stunning video games. You'll be learning from a master-veteran 3D artist and instructor Matthew Omernick-as you progress through the carefully chosen, software-agnostic tutorials that make up this beautiful, full-color volume. The end result ...

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Creating the Art of the Game

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Overview

The key word here is art: the dynamic 3D art that defines the world of computer games. This book teaches you everything you need to know about the planning, modeling, texturing, lighting, effects creation, and interface design that go into creating today's most advanced and stunning video games. You'll be learning from a master-veteran 3D artist and instructor Matthew Omernick-as you progress through the carefully chosen, software-agnostic tutorials that make up this beautiful, full-color volume. The end result will be skills you can apply to whatever 3D tool you choose and whatever wildly imaginative game you can think up. Through a unique combination of explanation, tutorials, and real world documentation-including discussions of the creative process entailed in some of today's most popular games augmented by screen captures and descriptions--you'll quickly come to understand the workflow, tools, and techniques required to be a successful game artist. In addition to learning the ropes of game art, you'll also find in depth tutorials and techniques that apply to all aspects of 3D graphics. Whether you are using Photoshop, 3ds max, Maya, or any other computer graphics software, you'll find a wealth of information that you can continue to come back to time and time again.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780735714090
  • Publisher: New Riders
  • Publication date: 3/10/2004
  • Series: New Riders Games Series
  • Pages: 286
  • Sales rank: 1,261,644
  • Product dimensions: 8.00 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 0.54 (d)

Meet the Author

Matthew Omernick currently works as a lead artist for LucasArts Entertainment Company near San Francisco, CA. With a B.F.A from The Ringling School of Art and Design in Sarasota, FL, Matt has more than seven years of industry experience as a 3D artist and animator.

Matt has also taught college-level 3D graphics for four years at Cal State Fullerton and the Academy of Art College in downtown San Francisco. He has worked for companies such as DreamWorks, Day 1 Studios, and Electronic Arts. He began his career working for various film and broadcast studios in Florida and Chicago, then branched into creating 3D art for video games. Some of Matt's credited titles include the Medal of Honor series, RTX Red Rock, and Secret Weapons Over Normandy. He is currently working on several cutting edge projects for multiple platforms.

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Table of Contents

Foreword: Making Games.

Turning Lead into Gold, Plastic, Wood, etc. Embrace the Constraints.

Introduction.

Who Should Read This Book? A True Artist First. What to Expect from This Book. What This Book Covers. Making the Game. Themes.

1. Preparing to Create.

How and Where to Collect Reference. Concept Art. Setting the Quality Bar. Blocking Out Your Scene. Conclusion.

2. Modeling Theory.

Primitives. Polygons and Memory. Polygon Reduction. Modeling Techniques. Common Mistakes. Conclusion.

3. Introduction to Texturing.

Game Texturing Theory. How to Choose and Create Textures. File Formats. Color Depth. Resolution (Texture Size). Photoshop. Where Do I Use My Pixels? Digital Photography. Making a Texture Tilable. Actions. Conclusion.

4. Advanced Texturing.

The Power of Layers. Photoshop Tools. Alpha Channels. Conclusion.

5. Applying Textures.

Assigning Materials. What Are UVs? Multiple UV Sets. Tiling. Conclusion.

6. Advanced Modeling.

Organic Versus Inorganic Models. Organic Modeling Methods. Modeling with Triangles. Cleaning Up Your Geometry. Conclusion.

7. Lighting Principles.

Color. Mood. Traditional Lighting Setup. Working with 3D Lights. Effective Lighting Practices. Conclusion.

8. In-Game Lighting.

Vertex Lighting. Lightmaps. Per-Pixel Lighting. Normal Maps. Dynamic Lighting. Troubleshooting. Conclusion.

9. Effects.

Particle Effects. Billboards. Fog. Water. Clouds. Decals. Conclusion.

10. Tips and Tricks.

The Metal Box. Trees and Vegetation. Reflection. Placed Shadows. Conclusion.

11. User Interface Design and Creation.

The Shell. In-Game User Interface. Heads-Up Display. Composition. Plan, Plan, Plan. Conclusion.

12. Wrapping It Up.

Source Control. Collision Geometry. Skydomes. Light Volumes. Tagging Materials. Bug Fixing. Polishing. Major Milestones. Conclusion.

Index.

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Customer Reviews

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 23, 2004

    An excellent insight to the creation of game art

    Creating the Art of the Game is an excellent place to begin for any artist interested in entering the video game industry. It hits all of the basics of modeling, texturing, lighting, vertex coloring and so on. Being an artist in the videogame industry for more almost 14 years I wish there was a volume like this when I was starting out. Well actually there weren¿t any actual 3D games being produced when I started out, but be that as it may, Creating the Art of the Game will give those entry-level and intermediate game artists who read and take to heart the lessons in this book a good head start above their peers. Advanced artists may also find sections of this book to be very valuable. I personally found Matt¿s tips and tricks interesting. Every artist has their toolbox of tricks and shortcuts and its fun to look into another artist¿s toolbox and find that there are different ways to achieve the same result. I¿m glad that Matt mentioned right off to the budding talents out there that it is their artistic talent that makes them marketable not the knowledge of a particular tool. It is through the development of their observational skills and their ability to translate that information into whatever medium they are using that is the utmost importance. I can take a talented artist and within weeks I can teach them to be proficient with any tool. I can¿t take a technician of a tool and teach them to be an artist in that same amount of time. I found the information in this book to be very well thought out and presented in a clear and understandable format. We, in the industry, can speak in acronyms and shortcuts that are unintelligible to the average person. Matt has explained what a lot of the terms we use mean. He has deftly presented the in and out of the production of game art and I highly recommend this book most of all to entry level and intermediate artists with less than five years under their belt. For those advanced artists out there I think this book would be valuable in affirming your processes and possibly you may be exposed to something that your work experience may not yet have taught you. Matt is an excellent artist and a very skilled teacher and you would do well to learn from a person who will lead you on the right path to your goals of working as an artist in the video game industry.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 11, 2004

    So you want to be a game artist?

    When I joined the games industry twelve years ago, books on the subject were non-existent. Getting things to work meant many hours of trial and error. Come to think of it, 3D programs didn¿t exist. Today much has changed. The world of gaming is a multi billion dollar industry, and today¿s artists have to know the tricks of the trade. Not forgetting a full understanding of how a game is created from the initial concept to the final art pass. It¿s all about getting it into the box. Matthew Omernick has an extremely good understanding of what an artist needs to know. In his new book Creating the art of the Game he advises the enthusiastic new artist to focus on the essentials and demonstrates how to create 3D art using proven techniques and tools. He teaches the beginner the art of creating successful game art, and remarkably, he¿s also managed to make the process painless and fun, two things that eluded me when I was starting out. If only I had this book twelve years ago! So you want to become a game artist? I suggest purchasing this book, downloading Maya Personal Learning Edition from the Alias web site, use the cheaper version of Adobe PhotoShop, Adobe PhotoShop Elements, and get to work. You¿ll soon be on your way to becoming a competent 3D artist. Creating the art of the Game is an easily digested book that will enable you to create art that could be used in computer games. It will also teach you the tricks to build up a successful portfolio of computer generated art, essential for getting a foot in the door at your chosen game developer¿s studio. I would also like to thank Matthew for teaching me a few tricks.

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