"Life is too short to make bad art."

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Things you find on the internet...

I check the blog statistics every now and then (not often enough if I wanted to manage this blog more professionally - but hey... I am an artist at the core not a blogger)... but... there was a referring site that looked strange. I followed the link: 

http://gamerboom.com/archives/60814

and found this:

Someone took the time and effort to translate all my gamasutra blog posts to chines - taking out my text from the images and putting new text in. 

I don't speak any chinese so I can't say if they did a good job or not - one thing is for sure - they do a quick job. The tutorials appear on their site a day later... and they have been doing it right from the start.

The do mention me as the author - so... thanks GAMERBOOM.com for the extra exposure. :)



Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Apache Helicopter - modifications

In the last post I mentioned that it's fairly easy to modify the basics and create variations once you have the core shape down. 

So as requested by some here is a modification tutorial bringing the Apache more in line with the helicopter used in the HeliAttack3 screengrab at the top of the last post. 

Instead of the usual start with a simple shape I take the helicopter from the last tutorial.

Note:
You can download it for free at the bottom of the post.




Note:
Keep the guns and missiles separated when exporting your art. Add them as separate objects attached the the base shape in your game engine to allow flexible use (e.g. firing and rotation for aiming). 




Here are the two helicopters side by side in the scaled down size.


I hope this shed some light on how quickly you can reuse and modify vector elements and create new assets for you game or illustration needs from existing images.



As promised another free bit of art to make up for the long time between posts. Enjoy!

Get the source art (svg file) of this tutorial for
FREE
Download inkscape SVG file in ZIP archive

Monday, September 17, 2012

Apache Helicopter

Here's something close to my heart. Ever since doing the art for HeliAttack 2 and 3 back in 2003 and 2005 I fell in love with helicopters. They just make great game assets. 

Back then it was all pixeled and took what seemed like forever to create. In the game there were a few helicopters with limited variations. 

Creating a similar object in vectors allows for easier manipulation and variations. It also makes animations a lot easier and more flexible. 




This tutorial looks a little bit more complex than the previous posts - but I tried to break it down into easy steps and simple shapes. I hope it worked. 

Note:
As with all the tutorials prior I use squares and circles and deform them rather then 'hand-draw' the shapes. With the body of the Apache-style helicopter it might be easier to 'just draw' the shape with the straight lines tool rather than place squares and modify them later - but it takes a little more skill to get the shape right that way.  





Note:
Now you have a basic and recognizable helicopter. It's a good point to save and continue with a new file to give you a base shape to go back to when creating variations.


The next step is adding details (guns, missiles, rocket launchers, etc.) and then add depth to the helicopter by adding some highlights and shadows.


I use basic shapes in light and dark colours - in this case white and black - with transparency to shade the object. This allows for easy changes to the base colour (e.g. an army green or a bright red for an enemy object) without having to redo the shading. 

Note:
If you want softer shadows and lights use a more yellowish tone for the highlight and a dark brown or dark purple for the shadows. 



Here's a version scaled down  

to something resembling an 

iphone (lo-res) ingame size: 

I hope the complexity of helicopter didn't scare you off and you enjoyed the tutorial. In the end it's just another bunch of simple shapes combined to form something bigger. 




As promised another free bit of art to make up for the long time between posts. Enjoy!

Get the source art (svg file) of this tutorial for
FREE
Download inkscape SVG file in ZIP archive

Emotional Explosives...


This tutorial started out with some illustration request and I got a little carried away with the facial expressions I could add to a simple bomb. I thought I might just share the fun and turn it into a tutorial.

Like most of my tutorials this one starts with basic shapes - circles and squares and simple lines. If you are new to the tutorials it might be helpful to read from the beginning. Even though they are not in a special order some of the skills used here have been explained in a more detailed way in earlier posts. 


With the basic elements in place it's a matter of working out the expressions you are after... Adding different mouth shapes, squinting or enlarging the eyes.

Note: 
I will add a page or two with the facial expressions here soon. For now I want to finish another tutorial I have been dying to complete first - a cartoony helicopter to take me back to one of my favorite jobs (doing the (pixel) art of HeliAttack 3 in 2005).  

I hope you enjoyed this as much as I did - and believe me I really missed doing tutorial art and writing these little posts. 



Get the art (png files) of this tutorial for
FREE

As a special treat to make up for the long time between tutorials I uploaded the explosives as PNG-images in 256x256, 128x128, 96x96 and 64x64 pixels to be used freely in your projects. 

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Still alive and kicking...

After a long time without posts [due to all sorts of issues but mainly due to lack of piece and quiet] I finally get to sit down and write some new tutorials and reply to questions and requests.

To make up for it I will start off with some free stuff:

First of all 'Wild Surf - Paradise Island' is free for iOS now:
http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/wild-surf-paradise-island/id521631290?mt=8