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Game Developers Conference – Day Two, Part 1

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Another crazy day at the GDC. My (Colby) day started off with the typical perusing of the book store. I then proceeded to my second day summit. This session was titled “Technical Artist Boot Camp: Lessons in How to Create and Be an effective TA.” My world was rocked!!!

The first gentlemen to speak was Keith Self-Ballard. He is the Studio Art Director for Volition Inc. He spoke on the creative side of being a TA such as character rigging. After which, a number of other men spoke but the three after Keith that also impressed were Rob Galanakis from Bioware, Bryan Moss from THQ, and Bronwen Grimes from Valve. Rob’s talk focused heavily on coding while Bryan and Bronwen spoke on some of the technologies and practices they used on the current titles they are a part of.

Bronwen a technical artist, working on Portal 2, had an amazing speech on shader creation which implemented some interesting UV mapping techniques with new map types such as flow maps. One of the tools that Valve used to create the flow maps is Side Effects Houdini. Bryan spoke on animated normal maps for creating the illusion of wind blowing through clothing while a on a motorcycle. Might sound simple but incredibly intricate with a heavy attention to detail.

Tomorrow is when the convention blows up with the expo floor being opened to all GDC attendees. We will continue to bring you the latest news for the rest of the week. I am hoping to play the Nintendo’s 3DS as well as talk more big name companies to help me create one of the most bawlin’ game design programs in the country. Wish me luck.

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