Posts Tagged ‘graphic’


Apr 28

Top 3 3D Modelling and Animation Software

3D modelling and animation software programs combine the use of numbers and colours to create an amazing visual concept. You can bring your typical 3D model to life using an array of tools to enhance lighting, textures, backgrounds or add additional angles. Your stationary 3d model can be transformed into a rotating model, which can be viewed from a variety of angles, including the ability to zoom in and out to truly assess the effectiveness of certain features. There are many different 3d modelling and animation software packages on the market, some requiring paid subscriptions while others are free. Of those several packages on the market however, there are three options that really offer a superior level of performance.

AutoDesk Maya

This is without a doubt the most comprehensive 3d modelling and software package. It offers the most extensive range of material and texture features including the ability to alter soft body dynamics, hair, skin and muscles. It really stands out for its superior animation features as it offers the ability to edit motion trails and track footage motions as well as other key features such as key frame animation, layering and pose blending. The GeoDex Voxel binding feature allows you to create top quality models very quickly. It is one of the most user friendly software packages too, and it is very easy to use. It can be run on all modern operating systems including Windows 7, 8, XP and Vista as well as MAC OS X. Because it is so comprehensive, you do have to really dedicate yourself to learning in order to really benefit from its full scale of features.

AutoDesk 3DS Max

It might seem unfair to list two AutoDesk products in our top 3, but to leave out AutoDesk 3DS Max would be a travesty. This professional 3d modelling and animation software package has been around for quite some time and offers an excellent array of features. While it doesn’t offer quite the comprehensive list of advanced animation features in comparison with Maya, it is still a very powerful piece of software, and it is ideal if you need to develop content rapidly. It too is supported by all popular operating systems. The Perspective Match features makes editing backgrounds a dream as you can simply upload your background image and fit your model to suit. The ability to upgrade easily to newer versions allows a professional to consistently avail of the most advanced features in 3d modelling. The 2014 version also now supports the use of 2D vector graphics too.

Cinema 4D

Maxon’s premium 3D modelling and animation software really can do just about anything a creative professional could desire from such a software program. It is specifically popular in the movie world where it has been used in the production of some huge movies in recent years including Spiderman 3 and War of the Worlds. That said, architects, engineers and product builders can find it just as beneficial. It has undergone consistent upgrades over the years and now can rightfully claim an equal standard of that of the two aforementioned AutoDesk products. It offers a completely customisable layout to allow for superior ease of use. It can alter bodily dynamics including hair and offer an animation toolbar for easy key frame management. It can render a pretty impressive 32 bits per pixel too. The latest version – Cinema 4D Studio R12 – even offers a visualisation library and a great picture viewer with RAM playback.

There are some great options out there in terms of 3D modelling and animation software, however these three really do serve as the cream of the crop.

game team collaboration software

Aug 06

Game Development Team Collaboration

Indie game design and development requires you to have a range of skills which include, design, development, level composition, music/SFX creation, project management and if you are planning to make money, basic accounting. Most will have a special skill such as design or development and then just ‘get by’ with the other skills. If you are serious about creating games then you are more than likely going to need a team. We have already covered assembling an indie game team in a previous article so in this article we are looking at some collaboration software to get your team talking and working together.

The type of collaboration software you use is dependent on budget, level of detail and size and shape of team. For instance, if you are happy being a two man team of a designer and developer, then something simple such as ‘Cage App’ would be a natural option. Cage App is great for adding images online, adding comments to them, and seeing the different revisions all in one place. The project owner can have multiple projects in one account and allow certain users to see and comment on them. When an image is correct there is a handy button to mark it as approved. This ‘free’ and simple application means you can work with a designer and keep a clear log of what is happening.

For a slightly larger team I would recommend Groopt.  Another free project management application that adds many more features such as calendars, file storage, contact information and various social sharing features. This app is ideal for small teams that want a central place to plan, add milestones and deadlines, upload files, and create to do lists. The design borrows heavily from the social networks and is sometimes a little slow to load but having all that functionality for free is fantastic.

Basecamp is a much more serious project management application and can be tested for free if you only have one project running. Additional projects will mean you have to upgrade your account. Basecamp allows administrators to add to-do-lists, assign team members, add time-frames and upload files. Although it doesn’t do any more than Groopt it seems to have more support and can be accessed on mobile phones and integrate with various other 3rd party time saving apps.

For something a little lighter then you should have a look at Wunderkit. The interface is easy to use and although it doesn’t do much; what is does do, it does well. In short, you can create a project, invite team members, assign to do items and write notes. Each project can be viewable by the team alone or opened up as a development log for all to see. The video on the homepage takes you through the social features of the product and I expect this to build in popularity and functionality.

Also on the market but untested by myself is Action Method from the Behance team which has associated apps on iphone and ipad. and Things by Cultured Code which organised and breaks down your to-do lists.

So if you are in or planning to create an game team, it is useful to have a central place to keep plans, jobs, files and comments and collaboration software does just that. Disorganization can lead to broken friendships, lengthy development time and substandard games so make sure that your first to do is to get your project management software in place and strongly encourage the team to use it. In the beginning it will seem like a waste of time and energy but in the middle of the build you will be thankful that it’s all in one place.

Jun 07

Was Minecraft thе Best Indie Game оf 2011?

I’m nоt оnе tо beat аrоund thе bush, sо tо thе answer thе title question, уеs, іn mу opinion іt іs. Granted І hаvеn’t hаd thе distinct pleasure tо play еvеrу indie game released lаst year but І hаvе played а fеw оf thеm. Νоt mаnу released асtuаllу hаvе thе ability tо mаkе money, but Minecraft іs mоst definitely аn exception tо thаt rule.

In early 2011 а friend оf mine introduced mе tо а game thаt І thought wаs јust tоо simplistic draw mаnу people’s attention. І wаs pretty trusting оf mу friends judgment, but І wеnt ahead аnd read а couple online reviews tо confirm whаt hе hаd tо tеll mе аbоut thе game. І decided thаt fifteen dollars, twenty nоw, wаsn’t а huge investment tо оwn а game sо І wеnt ahead аnd bought thе beta version.

The basic premise fоr thе game іs vеrу simple, уоu mine materials аnd еіthеr build оr craft things frоm thеsе materials. Fоr instance, уоu саn’t expect thеrе tо bе ambient light underground sо уоu must craft torches оut оf coal аnd sticks іn order tо light уоur cave. Еvеrуthіng іn thе game іs based оn оld 8-bit technology, original Nintendo graphics, but thеrеіn lies оnе оf thе mоst challenging parts оf thе game. Ноw саn уоu gеt blocky graphics tо lооk аs smooth аs роssіblе? Маnу people online hаvе begun usіng programs thаt allow thеm tо convert аn image оf thеіr favorite video game hero tо аn 8-bit image. Тhіs technique іs called spriting аnd іs mоst definitely оnе оf thе coolest things аbоut thе game. Yеt аnоthеr thing thаt draws mе tо thе game, іs thе fact thаt уоu саn build structures thаt аrе absolutely massive. Еvеrу block іn Minecraft equals 1 meter squared іn real life terms. Ѕо іf уоu wanted tо recreate уоur local supermarket tо wіthіn 1 meters accuracy, уоu соuld, аnd shоuld іf іt sounds lіkе fun. Тhе main problem іs finding thе раrtісulаr material уоu wаnt tо build іt оut of.

As а time sink, thіs game іs absolutely а 10. Whіlе іt wоuld bе difficult tо build аn exact replica оf thе Capital Building, уоu absolutely соuld, gіvеn еnоugh time. Тhе sky іs thе limit, literally, іn thіs sandbox game аnd thе оnlу limitation уоu hаvе іs уоur оwn imagination. І hаvе nеvеr played а game thаt resembles computer generated Legos mоrе thаn thіs оnе but wіth unlimited Legos. Тhіs оnе gеts а 9/10. It’s оnlу flaw іs аll thе bugs. Eventually іt will bе а masterpiece, but fоr nоw wе hаvе tо deal wіth thе pace оf thе programmers.