I worked as a character artist on the already successful franchise KINECT SPORTS using my unique technical and artistic knowledge of the world-renowned Microsoft Avatars. This allowed me to be on top of upcoming technical problems, foresee the best solutions and to approach them without changing the flow of the pipelines.
Avatars are amazing little creatures and sitting down to choose the best shots from tonnes has been quite a task! Due to that I will only show you a few examples of what the character work for KS2 was like.
Microsoft Avatars in game are a lot easier to handle then the ones on XBOX LIVE MarketPlace. However, It was important to me to not forget that any extra effort I could possibly do to help the engine and the engineers was a big plus. So instead of going crazy with polygons and texture resolution, I decided to classify characters in 3 levels of relevancy (main, middle and semi-crowd or crowd). Using different knowledge and techniques learnt with the characters from the MarketPlace I managed to create good looking characters that would run efficiently in game and also have great detail for video close ups without compromising the style of the game. Things such as 32x32pxls NormalMaps combined on layer texture shaders.
Even though the skiing game was planned to be made by Rare's partner Big Park. I was soon asked to jump on the skiing characters as well. This consisted of four colour-coded teams of males and females.
Their bodies were done with in game essentials but helmets needed to interact with the players head. Therefore Helmets were done under Microsoft XBOX LIVE MarketPlace requirements for them to work.
KS2 comes with a new batch of funky mascots that make the whole experience far better and more fun!
The mascots were made differently and inspite of working with the Avatar Rigging System their funky shapes meant lots of intersections on the shoulder area when the characters raise their arms. Many changes had to be made from the concept point of view and like in these following examples the characters had to also change in proportion and shape in order to tackle and prevent future issues.
I think it really benefits
the pipeline and future "bugs" when little
things that help the character when rigging
or animating are done in the early stages.
Alongside the characters job, I was asked to help out the environment art department. I caught up with the flow of work easily and I believe I became a key element for the team. Working unpaid extra hours making sure that the final product was up to the very best standards.
I worked on the DLC package released on 20/12/2011 in one of the nine holes, code-named Crater. After finishing it, I started to help my team out with the other environments for (not out yet), prize driver golf and skiing.
*There is more to see on this but for legal reasons I am not allowed to show anything until the whole DLC pack is released.