look i actually used a texture this time

I’m not finished with this one yet but I thought I’d share my progress so far. This is my first time animating textures, as seen on Finchlett’s eyes to make him blink. Games often use this technique as it’s much easier (and less graphically taxing) than the alternative of modelling and rigging actual eyes. Plus it looks cuter most of the time, at least I think so.


Didn’t had the time to test the seasons (will do tomorrow), but it looks good so far.  Decided to add some slope pieces (shown only in use) which are extremely hard to place correctly actually. Need to think how to improve this.

I also wish it could be possible to rise and lower terrain in one step per click (instead of two) using ‘modifyneighborhoodterrain on‘ cheat. But I have a sort of solution to that using smoothing feature.

It looks like we’re actually going to be able to make our game work on the 3DS!****(probably!*****)

Having signed up for Nintendo development I’m not allowed to share information about systems and specs, so I won’t go into detail, but there are some aspects of 3DS development I want to share with you all:

Textures VS polygons

When I started working on graphics for this, I used Spyro as reference, and by extension the limits of the PS1. The Playstation’s main problem was its inability to render many polygons at the same time, so everything had to be extremely lowpoly and a lot of fancy trickery had to be used to make it look like there was more geometry on the screen than there actually was. On the other hand, the Playstation used big discs and had quite a bit of video memory, which allowed it to have many fairly big texture maps (for the time). The Nintendo 64 could hardly fit any textures at all, but used mipmapping instead, to “smudge out” the images, so that two pixels would be enough to make a perfectly smooth gradient. The N64 approach meant that geometry had to be used very cleverly to imply detail, since detail couldn’t really be stored in texturemaps. A lot of very tiny pixel-constellations were also used to create repeating patterns.

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Steven wanted Garnet to try on some human clothes so this is her wearing his choice of outfit because she can’t say no to that face

Also Steven wanted to swipe her glasses

(Actually I just like to challenge myself to draw something I haven’t tried before every time I hit a follower milestone and I’ve never drawn Garnet in human clothes before so)

(Also I wanted an excuse to give her puffs)

(Also sorry the texture looks so weird my markers didn’t like the paper I used and they were being wet and weird)

(Anyway thank you for 500 followers)

War Stories: Dancing Penguins

It’s been a while since I shared a war story, so I thought I’d tell a funny one today. I briefly mentioned it when [I interviewed Marcus Montgomery] for this blog and we were talking about the usefulness of stub files, but I realized today that I never actually explained what I meant. Stub files, for those who don’t know, are placeholder assets that work, but are clearly and obviously placeholders. They look awful, they’re often covered in textures that say “REPLACE ME”, they’re purposely out of place in order to call attention to their temporary nature. Stub files will almost always fail certification, and this is all completely intentional. They exist to hold the place of actual working assets, so that developers can play through the content without having to make allowances for unfinished assets.

A long time ago, in a studio far, far away, I was working as a hybrid scripter/level designer/gameplay programmer. The project was a grim and gritty martial arts brawler for the PSP partially set on the streets of Hong Kong, (amid other places) where the protagonist would battle numerous gangs and street punks. My duties on that team were quite varied - I built collision for the levels and navigation graphs for AI pathfinding, tagged the walls and areas with contextual navigation (places to jump, places for wall running, places to hide and sneak along, etc.), placed spawners for enemies, placed and scripted checkpoint triggers, and so on and so forth.

One of my tasks was to hook up some transition cinematics when the player would trigger certain fights. We had to give an executive demo soon to show off our progress, and they needed these transitions to help establish a feel for the gameplay. The only catch was that the cinematics department was dragging their feet. My boss asked me to put them in, but they kept telling me they didn’t have them ready. A week passed, then two, and I kept having to explain to my boss that they still weren’t ready. The deadline was approaching, so something had to change.

One thing we did have access to was tutorial/sample assets for the PSP. They provided examples of file formats that the system could use, and that actually included cinematics. There was just one catch - the only cinematics I had to work with were clips from some sort of nature show featuring penguins waddling and set to mild harpsichord music. So I created several copies of the sample dancing penguin video and renamed them according to the cinematic asset naming scheme. Then I hooked them up to play when triggered in game, and checked them into the asset repository. Whenever the player was supposed to trigger a cinematic for a fight, instead they got the video of dancing penguins. The penguins had invaded, and they were everywhere.

In less than two days, all of the penguins had been completely replaced by WIP cinematics.

Other War Stories:

Sometimes, getting a piece to look the way you envision it means wiping the whole thing and starting over. 

I just wasn’t happy with the colors or the paint texture on No. 11 the first time around. I took off all the paint, sanded the antlers again, and then laid down a total of four fresh coats with my newly cleaned airbrush. Cleaning and troubleshooting the airbrush took me three days, on and off, and the actual paint job was spread out over two to allow my masking fluid to dry overnight. 

All that extra time paid off, though! This is exactly the look I had in mind, and you can see the wool I’ll be using on him as well.


Please share your thoughts as always! I’m a bit worn out by peoples’ definition of what good hair is when applied to anyone but themselves. I’m especially worn out by coming across more and more girls in Lagos who try to associate good hair to being mixed. When it comes to hair texture, some (a lot actually) men and women alike really need to educate themselves past the mentality that looser curls equate to better hair and tighter curls are less attractive.

I believe we have the grace to choose whatever hairstyle best suits us, for whatever reasons we see fit. I rambled in my video and forgot to properly highlight this; some of us genuinely have a hard time maintaining our natural hair, some just prefer diverse changing looks, whatever the reason, find the space to be happy with whatever you’re working with, artificial or not. I’m just not here for the “‘your hair is better than mine” ’ compliments’ because I honestly believe both our curls are glorious.  However, self-love is clearly more easier said than done! It’s like a girl with the 'perfect’ figure (according to my standard) telling me to love mine. My first natural response is, “Yeah, right, easier for you to say.” Or when my sister with much thicker hair tells me to stop being jealous of her hair and I just roll my eyes lol. -Yagazie