February Update

On February 11th the PR campaign for Evolve officially kicked off.

Here’s our reveal trailer, as of February 23rd 2014 (22 days online) its sitting at an insane 9.2 million views!

We’re officially talking about the first 4 hunters and the first monster, Goliath.  The journalists that previewed the game in late January were playing a pre-alpha build on a map called Forest Ruins.  The feedback has been amazing so far.  All of the journalists were able to play the game for a couple hours and I think the game really speaks for itself.

This was one of my favorite interviews, Adam Sessler just finished playing the game and sat down with our design director, Chris Ashton:

Here’s some nice gameplay B-roll.  Lots of bugs in this video, but considering it’s pre-alpha footage…not too shabby.

The last thing I wanted to share was an awesome mini documentary the guys at Game Informer made about Turtle Rock.  I think this video says it all and is really worth a watch, no really, its good.

That’s all I got for right now…lots more to talk about in the coming months.  We’re going to be at all the major gaming expos from here on out so let me know if you’re planning on going and if you get a chance to play the game!  Also if you have any questions about anything you’ve seen so far.  I’ve spent over a year on Goliath from rigging, to designing his game-play, to animating and tuning him.  I’ll go into more specific detail about him soon, once I get these other monsters done!

Dave


Evolve

evolve_shattered

After leaving Sony in 2011, I had made up my mind that I wanted to try something new.  I put some feelers out there and had two offers that I was seriously considering:

1. Blizzard

and

2. Turtle Rock

To make a long story short it all came down to the same thing that has driven me for the past 10 years.  I don’t want to work at the biggest best and most bad-ass place.  I want to work at the place that I can help BECOME the biggest best and most bad-ass place.  Sure I’d love to work at Blizzard…if it was 1994.  Or Pixar, if it was on Toy Story 1.  Working at those places now feels like the “safe” option and I’m not ready for safe.

So I took a chance and signed on at Turtle Rock.  During the interview I was pitched the entire idea for Evolve.  I was shown all of the art and even saw the game in action (almost 3 years ago!)  I knew this was it, the scope of the game: insane and the work that needed to be done: impossible, but I couldn’t wait to start.  And now after almost 3 years one thing is for sure: games are hard.  Way harder then film.  Games are our generation’s film and its a young industry with so many surprises up its sleeves.

I urge anyone that’s stuck in a rut at a VFX house or Animation studio to seriously look into up and coming game studios.  There’s so much to learn and so much challenging work to be done.  No animator should feel that they need to uproot their lives, their families, to move across the world whenever their employer smells better tax subsidies.  Screw them and go make a fun video game.

Game Informer Cover

So the first time the world ever saw anything about Evolve was our Game Informer cover.  What an honor this was and the entire studio was so pumped by this opportunity.  GI came to the studio and spent several days with us in early December 2013.  They played Evolve, asked a bunch of questions, and then asked if they could play more.  :)  We had a great time and right now on their site for the entire month of January they have exclusive news and images from their visit.

Evolve Cover Reveal

final_cover_withtext

I can’t talk too much about anything just yet for various reasons, but I’d be curious to know if people realize that the cover was created in engine using entirely in-game assets.  Now we wouldn’t go make a magazine cover without a little touch up, but except for the red planets, bright white lights, and some tongue touch up, these images are 100% in-game.

I’ll prove this to you at a later date when I can show screen shots of these poses in cryengine.  My point is that games are where its at.

In the future I plan to go into crazy nerdy detail about creating Goliath, the Hunters, and other things I can’t talk about yet!

Now I need to get back to work…even though its 9:30pm on a Sunday I have monsters to animate!

Dave


2014!

I haven’t forgotten about this ‘ol thing.  I’ve been insanely busy for the past 2 years there’s so much to talk about and share.

Exciting things are happening, stay tuned!

Dave


I’m still here!

Wow, its been a year and what a year its been.  I left Sony Imageworks in the spring of 2011(miss the people, not the politics) and found a kickass studio down in Orange County.  I can’t say what exactly I’m doing down at Turtle Rock, but trust me….its awesome.  I’m working in 3ds Max and the game engine we’re using is Cryengine 3.  Thats about all I can say, but the job is perfect.  Its just the right mix of creative and technical, I figured out Max in about 3 weeks and now I’m rigging and animating like a maniac.

I plan to post an updated reel soon, and do some posts about film vs. games.  What I can definitely say right now is that in film its about YOUR shot.  Do people laugh when they watch YOUR shot, are people impressed by YOUR shot, is YOUR shot the best shot in a sequence?  At Turtle Rock (won’t speak for all game companies, because this place is one of a kind) its about the game.  You have your parts that go into it, but if the game isn’t fun or satisfying for the player it doesn’t matter if you just animated the next coming of Jesus.  Now its about the project, its about the team, its about working hard to collectively create something people will want to play.  Never got this feeling from film.

I’ll be back soon, life’s a bit crazy, but I have some new animations from last year that I’d like to upload and share.

Hey 2012, lets do this.

Dave


Blog Stats for 2010

Wordpress sent me an email the other day with all this info attached.  Its pretty interesting to see the numbers.  I’m planning more animation focused posts again soon, if there’s anything in particular you’d like to hear about leave a comment, it would really help me focus on what is most important to you guys.  Maybe you would like to read a post about lipsync?  or physical animation?  Or how to start a shot?  Or maybe you have questions about the industry?  Feel free to ask away.

Also, Red Fog reached its goal and will become a real life comic book!  Thanks to everyone who helped Chris and Mike get the chance to make their dream a reality.

Happy New Year!

Dave

——————————

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads This blog is on fire!.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

The average container ship can carry about 4,500 containers. This blog was viewed about 14,000 times in 2010. If each view were a shipping container, your blog would have filled about 3 fully loaded ships.

 

In 2010, there were 5 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 24 posts. There were 31 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 13mb. That’s about 3 pictures per month.

The busiest day of the year was January 18th with 192 views. The most popular post that day was Cloudy With A Chance Of Eyeballs..

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were tvtropes.org, animatorsresource.blogspot.com, cartoonbrew.com, animatorwork.blogspot.com, and arcreferencepage.blogspot.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for baby brent, david anthony gibson, cloudy with a chance of meatballs animation workflow blog, head shapes, and gummy bears.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

Cloudy With A Chance Of Eyeballs. September 2009
44 comments

2

Cloudy Animation…now with more Meatballs. October 2009
36 comments

3

Baby Brent’s, Baby Brent July 2009

4

Cloudy Animation Reel! October 2009
4 comments

5

Room 1403 Blog! September 2009
2 comments


Red Fog

Do you like Zombies?  Sure you do, how about graphic novels and supporting independent artists?  I knew it.

Red Fog is a graphic novel developed by a good friend and colleague of mine, Chris Williams.  He’s teamed up with artist Mike Docherty and editor D.J. Kirkbride to create an awesome 150 page book filled with “Allied soldiers battling tons of zombies.” Need I saw more?

Together Chris and Mike bring a wealth of combined film and comic book experience.  Chris has an extensive resume of major Hollywood films including the Spider-Man Trilogy and most recently Alice In Wonderland.  Mike brings over 30 years of comic book and storyboarding experience, working for many amazing companies including Marvel, Warner Bros, and Sony.

Chris is using a service called Kickstarter to help raise the funds needed to complete the project.  Its a pretty cool idea, you pledge to donate a certain amount from $20 to $500+.  And with each set increment you get cool stuff in return.  So as an example: if you pledge to give the project $40 you’ll receive a printed copy of “RED FOG” signed by the creators with your name included in the acknowledgments.  Seems pretty awesome, you get a book full of cool artwork signed by the artists and your name is printed as being part of the reason it even exists!

Now if you’re still on the fence about this Chris has given me the go ahead to release a handful of exclusive, hi-res images to wet your zombie appetite for human flesh!

Check out the gallery for ultra high resolution (new desktop wallpaper for sure) images:

ALL IMAGES AND CONTENT COPYRIGHT 2010 C.Williams/M.Docherty

If you want to be a part of this project and help Chris make this book a reality then head on over to the Red Fog Kickstarter page and pledge your support!

Kickstarter page:

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1623839531/red-fog-nazi-zombie-graphic-novel

Facebook page:

http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Red-Fog/135727629785128

I’ll be back soon with some new animation type stuff to talk about.  I’ve been working on a fight animation, wanted to use it as an opportunity to talk about planning from thumbnails to finished animation.  I’ll post something soon!

-Dave


I’ve got nothing, but these guys have something…

Seems like to have a blog you must start every post with an apology about how you’re not posting enough.  Well, no apologies from me…I’ve been way too busy.  Just to keep you coming back…I got a new laptop and have started moving towards actually creating some of my own animated ideas.  Been playing with pixel animation, traditional, and boring old cg.  I’ll post some stuff as soon as I make something remotely interesting.

I do have some blogs to pass along while I’m here:

All of these guys are animators/supervisors at Tippett Studio in Berkeley, CA.  Most recently completing work on Eclipse and Cat & Dogs 2.  I’ve added their links over on the sidebar so in the future you can keep checking them out.

Jim Brown

http://jbr0wn6.blogspot.com/

Geoff Wheeler

http://geoffwheeleranimation.blogspot.com/

William Groebe

http://williamgroebe.blogspot.com/

Tom Gibbons

http://gibbysdowntime.blogspot.com/


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