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game programmer interested in talking/interactive with aspiring game artists
show user profile  thegeneralsolution

I am proceeding with caution as I do not want to violate any of the forums policies. If this thread is in violation of any of the boards policies, I apologize. (Could you direct me to a more appropriate place?)

I am a mathematicis and computer science student seeking to learn more about game-development. I was recently interacting with an art student from my area who was skilled in 3d Studio Max and other modeling software. My goal was to learn more about the artist/programmer interaction necessary for game development.

New responsibilities (such as becoming a father :P ) have made it impossible for him to continue to interact with me.

So I am seeking a new artist or artists, with talent in 3d modeling and animaiton, and enthusiasm for video games, who would be interested in collaborating for a mutual learning opportunity in game development.

Just a few things I want to make clear:
1. I am not merely trying to obtain free work. I would be most happy with a student - even if their modeling skill is just moderate - so he or she can learn as much from our interaction as myself
2. No commitments of any kind necessary. Just do what you can when you can.
3. Game projects are very small scale and would be focused on learning
4. I'd be happy to collaborate with artists on general game design ideas, and work to develop demo's for game ideas. But again, must be small scale.

There are a few details I could add but I want to hear your response first.
read 721 times
11/27/2011 9:21:24 AM (last edit: 11/27/2011 9:21:24 AM)
show user profile  advance-software
hi - also a programmer.

check out

loads of game art on there, some free. use that as your initial test content then come back when you have something up & running that shows potential.

that's my 2 parsnips.
read 706 times
11/27/2011 11:02:20 AM (last edit: 11/27/2011 11:04:32 AM)
show user profile  Mr_Stabby
also a programmer

imo if you want any success at developing stuff that extensively deals with 3d models (like games) then you should also invest some time in practicing the artist side of things yourself. These 2 areas benefit A LOT from integrating each other in both design and functionality, there are far greater effects between model, material and code to be achieved then just moving them about. Being a student(don't have to be art student or anything like that) you can get max for free so.. take a seat :p learn max and don't make too many typos.

read 671 times
11/27/2011 11:02:46 PM (last edit: 11/27/2011 11:02:46 PM)
show user profile  thegeneralsolution
Thank you both for your replies.

So turbosquid does indeed look interesting and I might order a model or two, so thank you for that suggestion, advance-software.

I still would be happier interacting with an artist I can communicate with though.

Mr. Stabby (love your name btw) I have built some of my own models using Milkshape 3d, and I agree it is worth investing time in doing some modeling myself (and I have) but my biggest impediment is just a lack of artistic talent. I understand geometry and can visualize things in 3 dimensions well. But I can't draw well.

I did recently do a fair amount of study on how skinning and skelatel-animations work, and I would say I have a solid understanding of how these models are put together, not only by the artist, but within the computer.

Things I'd like to explore include:
*Rag doll physics merged with artist-animations
*computationally interpolating between animations (i.e. combining a walk and a run to form an indermediate animation)
*implementing bump/normal mapping
*various lighting and particle effects

and whatever else seems worth pursuing
read 649 times
11/28/2011 9:58:21 AM (last edit: 11/28/2011 9:58:21 AM)
show user profile  Garp
I have zero (aka nill, zilt, etc) drawing skills either but still I manage to do a decent model every once in a while. So that shouldn't stop you (just get good references).

Oh, and I'm also a [wannabe] programmer :)

read 643 times
11/28/2011 10:17:25 AM (last edit: 11/28/2011 10:17:25 AM)
show user profile  ScotlandDave
Just for the benefit of others who might be interested:

What platform do you plan to use for development?

ie creating an engine from scratch or using existing tools such as UDK etc.

Many of the existing game-engines have built-in scripting functionality for things like custom interactivity, interpolating between animations/physics, etc. And many of them include visual editors for quickly setting up levels/models/materials/lighting etc.

Obviously coding an engine from scratch is a whole different ballgame, i think AdvanceSoftware knows all about that, and his advice to work with ready-made models is probably wise in that case..

Website | Blog | Contact | Vimeo

read 634 times
11/28/2011 10:52:10 AM (last edit: 11/28/2011 10:52:10 AM)
show user profile  advance-software
don't know "all about it" dave but yeah, have written & contributed to several engines.

lots of work. think carefully about why you're doing this if you want to build one from scratch. lots of re-inventing of the wheel to be done. your energy might be better off put elsewhere. that said, if you really want to code an engine from scratch is a good resource.

the ragdoll physics is the only one from that list that's interesting to me personally. the rest is fairly straightforward though lighting & particles is obviously an open ended subject so always something new & interesting to think about.

as for model everything yourself - well, sure, it's possible & artistic ability, just like everything else improves with practice, but theres's the practial reality that we all only have so much time. when you're modelling you can't be coding so it's a simple preference of what you choose to work on.

I mess about with a little bit of art now & again but don't have the patience or the skilll to do it properly. I too prefer to work with an art team which is kind of why I hang out here. welcome to maxforums. don't expect an easy ride - everyone's pretty much doing their own thing, but they're a talented, knowledgeable bunch of fronats.

We've got a discussion going here that you might find interesting :

read 629 times
11/28/2011 11:38:09 AM (last edit: 11/28/2011 11:39:58 AM)
show user profile  thegeneralsolution
Thank you all for your interest!

I am coding in Visual Studio and my target platform is Windows for now. But in the future I would like to learn more about XNA and develop for Xbox.

My plan, in terms of the bigger picture, is to spend some time working with the underlying mechanisms of the game engine. I went through a textbook on OpenGL to understanding graphics and rendering better. Now I'm 2/3's of the way through a game-physics programming textbook.

So, after I've gained a better understanding of these topics I will move on to just using existing engines.

My feeling about this is that anyone can probably pull the knobs and levers of a welll designed game engine, but if you understand the underlying mechanisms you really have more freedom and capability.

My feelings towards developing my own models seem roughly the same as yours, advance-software. I prefer to devote my time to the programming aspects and work with an artist if possible. Have you collaborated with any of the artists here?

read 602 times
11/28/2011 10:58:18 PM (last edit: 11/28/2011 10:58:18 PM)
show user profile  advance-software
> Have you collaborated with any of the artists here?

We throw poo at each other now & again :)

(gary)dave let me borrow one of his animated skinned monkey models for testing. cheers for that by the way.

it's common for coders to turn up wanting stuff for free. they are generally shown the door as these guys have a living to make too.

look at it from their perspective - they can mess about with your half finished buggy thing with quirky tools, or can use unity or udk or whatever - which would you spend your time using in their position ?

definitely helps to have an understanding of the fundamentals.
read 597 times
11/28/2011 11:00:20 PM (last edit: 11/28/2011 11:08:17 PM)
show user profile  ScotlandDave
XNA is pretty good from the point of view that it only has core functionality, so there`s scope for implementing custom physics, animation, lighting+rendering etc etc. Sunburn is a really cool example of third-party xna development structure / engine, it has deferred rendering and everything :)

Website | Blog | Contact | Vimeo

read 582 times
11/28/2011 11:12:41 PM (last edit: 11/28/2011 11:12:41 PM)
show user profile  advance-software
still not sold on deferred rendering. maybe I should look at it again.

read 579 times
11/28/2011 11:15:26 PM (last edit: 11/28/2011 11:36:54 PM)
show user profile  thegeneralsolution
>look at it from their perspective - they can mess about with your half finished buggy thing with quirky tools, or can use unity or udk or whatever - which would you spend your time using in their position

I was merely expecting the artist to use 3d studio max, which I assume most everyone here is already investing time in. And create models and animations as they see fit. Exploring other effects/techniques could necessitate the use of other tools, and I'd be happy to explore those tools! But I feel like there's still plenty an artist could learn from the interaction, even if they stay within the max realm.

Besides, wouldn't the artist learn a lot working with someone who's focus is understanding how their art meshes with the programming side of things and the issues involved? It may be faster to work with a full fledged game-engine with all the bells and whistles and fancy tools, but you may not know as much about whats going on under the hood.

From the artists point of view, I thought this could be an opportunity to learn and showcase their talent. And (unless I am mistaken) 3d artists in general are not programmers. So the way I saw it, I am providing them with a new capabilitiy as much as they are me. An artist with a cool game idea but no programming talent would definitely have something to gain from this, for example.

Thats how I saw it anyway. Perhaps programmers are less of a commodity than I realized! :(
read 548 times
11/29/2011 5:02:24 AM (last edit: 11/29/2011 5:02:24 AM)
show user profile  Paunescudanutz
First of all I'm not an artist, not yet anyway, but some interaction with a programmer wouldn't hurt, my brother is a programmer but unfortunately he's developing code for security systems, no need of 3d or 2d stuff in there So I am a little interested in your offer, I do have projects of my own going on but I am open to any kind of work that might help me learn something, that's the reason I check these forums in the first place.


<---~( Daniel )~--->

read 517 times
11/29/2011 9:41:06 PM (last edit: 11/29/2011 9:41:42 PM)
show user profile  horizon
>>It may be faster to work with a full fledged game-engine with all the bells and whistles and fancy tools, but you may not know as much about whats going on under the hood.

If the engine is open source, you know what's happening under the hood and it is faster at the same time. Added benefit is you are not reinventing the wheel again, and can focus on more important stuff.

Building an engine from scratch can only benefit YOU on the learning side, not the artist. When I see a bug in our level editing tools I don't learn anything, I just report it and wait for it to be fixed (check The Red Solstice link to see what I'm talking about).

read 504 times
11/29/2011 10:34:24 PM (last edit: 11/29/2011 10:35:19 PM)
show user profile  LionDebt
I've lost my max mojo being balls deep in a contract that stipulates I have to read boring emails and periodically yawn whilst converting meshes into e-poly, stitching vertices and removing triangles.

Maybe talking to a programmer could be less boring than what I am currently doing. Don't have 'much' free time, and also, not sure if the quality of my 3D fronat produce will be of use to you.

but, either way, fire us an email at cecil (dot) treadwell (at) gmail (dot) com
read 486 times
11/30/2011 4:28:14 AM (last edit: 11/30/2011 4:31:02 AM)
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