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Creating the Art of the Game

Book Description

The key word here is art: the dynamic 3D art that defines the world of computer games. This book teaches you everything you need to know about the planning, modeling, texturing, lighting, effects creation, and interface design that go into creating today's most advanced and stunning video games. You'll be learning from a master-veteran 3D artist and instructor Matthew Omernick-as you progress through the carefully chosen, software-agnostic tutorials that make up this beautiful, full-color volume. The end result will be skills you can apply to whatever 3D tool you choose and whatever wildly imaginative game you can think up. Through a unique combination of explanation, tutorials, and real world documentation-including discussions of the creative process entailed in some of today's most popular games augmented by screen captures and descriptions--you'll quickly come to understand the workflow, tools, and techniques required to be a successful game artist. In addition to learning the ropes of game art, you'll also find in depth tutorials and techniques that apply to all aspects of 3D graphics. Whether you are using Photoshop, 3ds max, Maya, or any other computer graphics software, you'll find a wealth of information that you can continue to come back to time and time again.

Table of Contents

  1. Title Page
  2. Copyright Page
  3. Contents at a Glance
  4. Table of Contents
  5. Dedication
  6. About the Author
  7. About the Technical Reviewers
  8. Acknowledgments
  9. Tell Us What You Think
  10. Foreword: Making Games
    1. Turning Lead into Gold, Plastic, Wood, etc.
    2. Embrace the Constraints
  11. Introduction
    1. Who Should Read This Book?
    2. A True Artist First
    3. What to Expect from This Book
    4. What This Book Covers
    5. Making the Game
    6. Themes
  12. Chapter 1. Preparing to Create
    1. How and Where to Collect Reference
    2. Concept Art
    3. Setting the Quality Bar
    4. Blocking Out Your Scene
    5. Conclusion
  13. Chapter 2. Modeling Theory
    1. Primitives
    2. Polygons and Memory
    3. Polygon Reduction
    4. Modeling Techniques
    5. Common Mistakes
    6. Conclusion
  14. Chapter 3. Introduction to Texturing
    1. Game Texturing Theory
    2. How to Choose and Create Textures
    3. File Formats
    4. Color Depth
    5. Resolution (Texture Size)
    6. Photoshop
    7. Where Do I Use My Pixels?
    8. Digital Photography
    9. Making a Texture Tilable
    10. Actions
    11. Conclusion
  15. Chapter 4. Advanced Texturing
    1. The Power of Layers
    2. Photoshop Tools
    3. Alpha Channels
    4. Conclusion
  16. Chapter 5. Applying Textures
    1. Assigning Materials
    2. What Are UVs?
    3. Multiple UV Sets
    4. Tiling
    5. Conclusion
  17. Chapter 6. Advanced Modeling
    1. Organic Versus Inorganic Models
    2. Organic Modeling Methods
    3. Modeling with Triangles
    4. Cleaning Up Your Geometry
    5. Conclusion
  18. Chapter 7. Lighting Principles
    1. Color
    2. Mood
    3. Traditional Lighting Setup
    4. Working with 3D Lights
    5. Effective Lighting Practices
    6. Conclusion
  19. Chapter 8. In-Game Lighting
    1. Vertex Lighting
    2. Lightmaps
    3. Per-Pixel Lighting
    4. Normal Maps
    5. Dynamic Lighting
    6. Troubleshooting
    7. Conclusion
  20. Chapter 9. Effects
    1. Particle Effects
    2. Billboards
    3. Fog
    4. Water
    5. Clouds
    6. Decals
    7. Conclusion
  21. Chapter 10. Tips and Tricks
    1. The Metal Box
    2. Trees and Vegetation
    3. Reflection
    4. Placed Shadows
    5. Conclusion
  22. Chapter 11. User Interface Design and Creation
    1. The Shell
    2. In-Game User Interface
    3. Heads-Up Display
    4. Composition
    5. Plan, Plan, Plan
    6. Conclusion
  23. Chapter 12. Wrapping It Up
    1. Source Control
    2. Collision Geometry
    3. Skydomes
    4. Light Volumes
    5. Tagging Materials
    6. Bug Fixing
    7. Polishing
    8. Major Milestones
    9. Conclusion
  24. Index