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Technical Art Techniques: State of the Industry. Christopher Evans, Jason Parks, Judd Simantov, Paul Thuriot. Inserted Slide. Data added to the original presentation is in yellow 290 people were in attendance, data is as accurate as time allowed

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technical art techniques state of the industry

Technical Art Techniques:State of the Industry

Christopher Evans, Jason Parks, Judd Simantov, Paul Thuriot

inserted slide
Inserted Slide
  • Data added to the original presentation is in yellow
  • 290 people were in attendance, data is as accurate as time allowed
  • We will add videos as our respective companies ok them for release.
    • Check back at:
  • High level discussion of technical art techniques used in everyday situations
  • Overview of current ideas from different perspectives
  • Designed to be driven by your interaction and feedback
    • The second half of the session will not work without your participation
    • Because of this; we have organized incentives (read: prizes!)
this panel is not
This Panel Is Not…
  • A ‘normal’ panel presentation
  • A group of post mortems or making-of’s
  • Or even how-to’s and tutorials
  • Packed full of images or videos
  • Us dictating ‘how it should be done’
who we are
Who We Are..
  • Christopher Evans
    • Technical Art Lead, Crytek
  • Jason Parks
    • Such and Such, SCEA
  • Judd Simantov
    • Art Technical Lead, Naughty Dog
  • Paul Thuriot
    • Senior Technical Artist, Advanced Tech, LucasArts
why we are doing this
Why We Are Doing This…
  • Developers have roughly similar goals
  • Everyone stumbles towards those goals in their own way
  • No incentive for sharing knowledge.
  • This panel is about Tech Artists sharing ideas and seeing how others dealt with their same problems
show of hands tech artists
Show of Hands: Tech Artists
  • How many current Technical Artists/Animators/Directors do we have in the audience? 145
  • Aspiring Tech Artimators? 5
  • How many working on a title? 217
  • Work in R&D? 90
show of hands tech artists1
Show of Hands: Tech Artists
  • How many feel you focus more on art? 100
  • More on programming? 100
  • Anyone feel like they are increasingly becoming a tools programmer? joke
  • What has had the most recent impact on our field?
  • What do you think will have the most impact in the next 5 years?
next gen pipelines
Next Gen Pipelines
  • Challenges due to increase in quality and magnitude of work needed for next gen
  • How automated is your pipeline?
    • How do you rollout DCC tools updates?

NaughtyDog: Animation Tools

  • Getting DCC apps to work together
    • Math as a common language

Driven relationship example: barycentric blending

show of hands dcc apps
Show of Hands: DCC Apps
  • Maya 145
  • 3DS Max 145
  • XSI 12
  • Modo 1
  • Lightwave 5
  • C4D 0
  • Blender 0
  • Mario Paint joke
  • Did we miss anything?
show of hands specialty apps
Show of Hands: Specialty Apps
  • MotionBuilder 20
  • MudBox 70
  • ZBrush 80
  • FaceRobot 0
  • Deep Paint 3
  • CAT 5
  • Proprietary asset creation tools 3
character rigging
Character Rigging
  • Animation rigs and 'deforming' rigs
    • Game characters can deform in realtime, so do you even separate?
    • Special non-game 'cinematic' rigs
  • Do you lock down rigs?
  • Syncing DCC functionalities (constraints, etc)
    • DCC SDK tools programmer bottleneck?
  • Rig Porn

Crytek: Crysis

NaughtyDog: Uncharted/Drake

Tippett: Hellboy/Abe Sapien

  • Helper Joints
    • Driven at runtime or baked into animations?
  • New skinning algorithms
    • Engine support requires DCC app support!
  • Baking arbitrary deformation to bones
    • Poor man’s solution video
    • Ideal solution
      • Auto-generation of n weighted, pose-driven joints
  • State Machines
    • animGraph, morpheme, etc
  • Blending to simulation
    • Hit reactions, Fall & play
    • Runtime IK (HumanIK)

Crytek: fall & play

  • Interaction with a physical world
    • Authoring in-game canned anims in a DCC app
show of hands animation
Show of Hands: Animation
  • Keyframe only 35
  • Primarily mocap 30
  • Steady mix of both 30
  • Used facial mocap in a shipped title? 1

(Heavenly Sword Dev)

show of hands animation data
Show of Hands: Animation Data
  • FBX 25
  • COLLADA 10
  • BIP 8
  • DCC File (MB, MAX, etc) 21
  • Proprietary 8
facial rigging
Facial Rigging
  • Bones vs. Shapes: The Great Debate

NaughtyDog: Bone-Driven Facial Rig, video

LucasArts: Hag’s Head ILM, Hag’s Head x360

Crytek: Crysis shape set (98)

  • How do you create your shapes?

LucasArts: CloneCam

  • Driven facial bones/shapes/maps

Crytek: fleshy eyes

facial animation
Facial Animation
  • Motion capture vs. Hand keyed
    • Direct control vs. Sliders and Joysticks

Crytek: image-based mocap, video

    • Vertex animation (Universal Capture)

EA: Fight Night Round 3

  • Where do you create/edit animation data?
physics and simulation
Physics and Simulation
  • Experiences with Havok, Endorphin, etc
    • How to author behavior through controllers

LucasArts: Endorphin_crate, Endorphin_slope

  • Asset creation in a physical world
    • Proxy detail
    • Authoring/testing can be tedious

Crytek: rope bridge break, rope bridge ai pathfind

  • Cloth and Hair

LucasArts: Cloth Solver x360

aesthetic overkill
Aesthetic Overkill
  • In your experience, what visual technologies have really paid off, and which have been overkill?
show of hands 10 min break
Show of Hands: 10 Min Break
  • “Sure, I could stretch the legs”
  • “No, it’s our turn now!”
your turn you can
Your Turn - You Can:
  • Comment on one of the topics pulling examples from industry experience
    • How did you deal with a similar issue
  • Steer the conversation to a new topic
  • Ask us a questions
    • Ask for an image or video to be brought back
  • Get your mic privileges revoked by the moderator
but you said prizes
But You Said Prizes!?
  • If you contributed to the session, come on up afterwards
  • You are speaking for the benefit of the audience!
rate our talk
Rate Our Talk!
  • Especially if:
    • You want more technical art sessions at GDC
    • You thought you (audience) did a good job
    • You liked the session
  • Things to remember:
    • We gave you prizes
  • Show of hands numbers and slides are online at GDC site.