Tuesday, March 27, 2007

The Dominance War II

This past month or so was the second year of the Dominance War, a 3D game character modeling competition spanning four online CG forums; Polycount, CGChat, CG Society, and 3DTotal. I work at a game company, but I mostly do animation, so I thought entering would be a good chance to brush up on my modeling skills. I heard about the war from two of my co-workers, Gabe Jackson and Eli Heuer, both of whom entered as well. I went for the Polycount side - you can see my progress thread here.

There were a few things I was taking on for the first time with this model, mainly Normal Mapping, which can give a low-poly model the appearance of something much, much higher-poly if done correctly. It was used extensively in Doom 3, and is becoming an industry standard. You can see the Normal Map below with the other textures, it's the blueish-purple thing, and it's job is to control how light effects the model to create the illusion of added detail and smoothness.

I designed General Atrox, battle-ravaged warrior from an ancient and endangered race of giant lizard. They once ruled the galaxies with thousands of colonies on various planets, but have since been systematically eradicated by an unknown force. General Atrox hopes to find revenge somewhere on the battlefield of the second Dominance War and bring his race back to glory.