Old Stuff

Weekend Speed Environment and Guildhall demo day!


Worked on a new speed environment over the weekend, in preparation for a demo i did today at SMU Guildhall. It was a lot of fun. Still needs to be fleshed out, tweaked, redone..but for now im pretty ok with what i was able to accomplish in two afternoons.

The goal i set myself was to create a ruined treasured room, with roots growing down on it. Something you would see on a Castlevania or God of War game. As a bonus, i also wanted to script a camera with blueprint for gameplay. Along the way i got to try out a lot of the UE4 shaders and lights. It was a pretty good exercise. Great warm up for the current polycount competition that i am planning on entering. Unfortunately i didnt get around creating the chest itself, or finishing up some of the statues i wanted to see on the scene. Also, there is vfx as i still havent looked at how create that.

All the assets were made from scratch, with the exception of the brick wall sculpt, that was something i had done before.

Quick video showing “gameplay” and blockout to deco pass.

About the day at Guildhall

Robert Atkins had asked me to come to talk about texturing and checkout students folios. I ended up covering a lot of things and spoke for 4 hours straight.  Guildhall has changed a lot since last time i was there to talk to the previous class. A lot of the students were doing pretty awesome work, the modular environments i saw were great!! It honestly made me kinda jealous. The campus is really nice too, looks like a fancy expensive studio.

Testing out Modo Procedural Shaders for quick Texturing!


For quite a few months ive been working using a combination of Modo rendering and hand painting for the majority of things we are producing at work. Since our games runs on mobile, this was a perfect solution to get high fidelity assets. So its worked pretty well so far, the result was always a really nice diffuse with baked in lighting, highlights and other effects. Perfect for our pipeline, which only uses diffuse.

I wanted to sit down and try to figure out how i could use this technique to create more AAA assets.  Lately programs like substance, DDO, etc emerged. They seem to be pretty awesome, unfortunately i havent really had a chance to test them out. For me they always seem a bit overkilled because of all the layers, maps etc i have to set up to get ok results, before i even achieve anything that looks remotely good. Plus, im a stubborn old man who likes to hand paint! hehe..

Regardless of all that, i started running some tests in modo to generate a good diffuse texture.  The results ive gotten are up to a good start. While i was at this i also started looking into working on my showcase layout for my folio items. Seeing that i had a few questions that i answered for myself over the weekend about the low poly workflow and baking process for Unreal 4.

The breakdown is as follow.

High Poly – Sculpted in Zbrush



High Poly with Procedural Material material in modo. No uvs or polypaint.  Only occlusion nodes for detecting the edges concavities and cavities, and some texture projections.



Low Poly Rendered in the Unreal Engine 4. The Material is using a diffuse and normal maps.  One thing in particular i wanted to try was setting up a render in UE4 that matches the quality and fidelity of the high poly.




Low Poly Wires04_wall_test_lowPoly_wires


The initial base textures were rendered in Modo. Diffuse map base on the Final Color Render Output, meaning it was the diffuse as seen on the rendere. Using the procedural material. For this i also used two directional lights. One for each side of the wall, with shadows turned off.  For the normal map, i used the Shading Normal Output, which i then took to xnormal to bake the final normal map.



Here are the final textures used on the low poly.  The diffuse the diffuse i multiplied the final color render with the ambient occlusion pass. The normal map was generated in xnormal using the object space to tangent space tool.







Scripts Section

Added a new page with the purpose of sharing my personal scripts!! Current scripts are for modo. I use these when working with unreal 4.

uxcRename : Renames the collisions hulls to be compliant with unreal 4 naming conventions.

bakeAnimationsFBX :Exports the selected reference model as and fbx file with animations. Will first delete the items in the scene, bake in keyframes, rename the skeleton names, remove constrains and finally export.

Setting up Vertex Colors in Modo for Unreal 4.


Quick tutorial on how to use modo for setting up vertex colors. Specially when you need to do texture blending or other effects using vertex colors. This method works well for versions 601 to 801.  In version 601, make sure to save as an fbx, not fbx 2006.11.


Borderlands 2

BL2_CoverAfter Colonial Marines wrapped, i got a late start on the team. Serving primary as a texture/prop artists. Working directly with Visual Engineers, meeting whatever requests they had to populate the environments.



Fates Forever is out now!

Proud to say that we (hammer and chisel) shiped Fates Forever!The first fully dedicated moba for tablets! Go get it at the ipad store!

It also made Editors Choice! and its been bouncing back and forth on the Best Free App list! So exciting.


Also check out, the intro cinematic! Completly crafted inhouse.

Credits (in alpha order of title):

Art Direction/Concept: Brandon Kitkouski
Animation: Rod Love
Character Art: Joel Byington
Environment Art: Raul Aparicio
Post artists: Sekani Solomon and Jason Diaz
Score: Sam Hulick
SFX: Cooper Skinner

Will post more art soon!

Camera from Modo to Unreal 4

Been doing some R&D at the office, between maya and unreal 4..mainly for my own curisioty to be able to export animations into unreal and render them in real time. This process is problably super hacky and wrong, but i found it to be the easiest way to fix the camera orientation that most people run into.  Needless to say, this process also works for maya! :)


Mic Mac Cormac

Im not the type to say that “this piece of artwork speaks to me”, but this one really did!! So much that i felt the urge to try and make it into a 3d asset. Mainly because its such a great concept, its got all the stuff figured out so well! As a bonus im considering putting this in a game engine along with an environment. So firsts things first, Very wip still, trying to get as close as possible to the concept.

Concept by JBMonge, Jean-Baptiste  Monge.

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Copyright 2018 Raul Aparicio.
Developed by Rory Standley