Game Reviews

Learning Blender

When I take a rare break from summer vacation fun and writing novel #6, I’ve been continuing work on my game prototype or, to be entirely accurate, I’m learning modeling/texturing and animating and other art details. Basically I need to generate placeholder models in my prototypes and I figured I’d dive into the whole art creation aspect. It has been interesting so far. I don’t plan to do the art for the game myself (if I take the prototype past prototyping), but I think it’s important for me to better understand all the performance implications of different modeling and texturing solutions.

This is all beyond any of my experience with BioWare, so it has been slow progress. But I’ve really been impressed with the quality of the tutorials I have found online. Here’s a few that have worked well for me (I should note that I’m using Blender, an open-source modeling tool that has a fairly simple pipeline with which to get models into Unity).

  • This is the first tutorial I used for Blender and it does a fair job of describing the interface.
  • This is a tutorial that I’ve glanced at but haven’t really used yet… its about doing the texture painting inside Blender itself.
  • This is a two part video series that shows how to model a “space wall” and then bake it down into the various textures (normal, specular, emitter, et cetera) and then apply those to a model in Unity. At times I found it difficult to understand (the user is quite advanced) but I was able to get through it (even though I’m using Paint.Net instead of Photoshop). Loads of useful tips and whatnot throughout.

Former lead designer at BioWare (Dragon Age: Origins, Neverwinter Nights). Creator of Raiders of the Serpent Sea.