High Poly Skittles Gun

Work In Progress / 21 September 2020

Its been a minute since Ive posted anything on my art station so lets change that. In my down time I've been working on this homie. Its a design by Billy Machin that I really love because its the fun colorfulness of something from Splatoon but instead of being some goofy water gun its just a normal gun lol. Seeing his work makes me want to try and design my own funky guns but in the mean time I thought I'd brush up on some good old hard surface high poly and a nice low poly with a bake. Mostly because I think that's something my portfolio is missing. It was also inspired by a co worker that mention about a workflow of using mostly booleans. I made it a challenge for myself of how many booleans I could get away with on this boy and I'm pretty happy with the results. The next step for this homie is to start working on the low poly and push it from there. I hope to have it done before October because Ive been kinda sleeping on this piece for a while and I want to finish it once and for all.

As for a personal update, Ive been working/Contracted with a rad company in Austin Texas called HookBang for about a year now and we were tasked to help push out this year's NBA 2k21 game and handle the switch port as well. Its been a very challenging and fun learning experience getting my hands dirty on working on an actual game. I'd also love to share some of the work I've been doing in a blog post and ect but I still need to get everything cleared. I've also been having a lot of fun learning unity and doing some dumb VRchat world stuff. Its almost a bit therapeutic to work on goofy stuff for that game just because I don't really take it that seriously. I planned on doing all my personal projects in Blender only because eevee is so fricking awesome but honestly its very tempting to want to do a piece all in VRchat just because its been fun getting to play around with friends in a 3D space that I made.

I'm also going to make it a goal to at least have one blog post a month just because it does bum me out that Ive been so radio quite on here so hopefully I can start changing that

Halloween Blender Sculpting

Work In Progress / 25 September 2019

I've been loving following Pablo Dobarro's updates to the blender Sculpting tools and have been wanting to give them a try for a while now so I've been slowly cracking on this since I posted that one pumpkin a little less than a month ago. Originally I was wanting to model someone's front porch but I decided I wanted to do something more out there and I got inspired by Grace Liu's Pumpkin House. The day job has been all Sci-fi modeling so this is a nice change of pace. Blender seems awesome for being able to switch back and forth between modeling and sculpting, but I've never tried getting a high poly sculpt so we'll see how it goes. I want to finish this before Halloween and get a noice highpoly bake out of this guy so if need be I'll toss it into zbrush to continue sculpting.

It's still very early but I want to keep in the habit of posting more personal work on my down time.

Thanks for reading and have a nice hump day,

Danny Tamez

Stylized Ramen Noodles WIP

Work In Progress / 17 September 2019

I saw Daniel Thiger's "Spaghetti and Meatballs" piece and Kento Yamamoto's "Variable Ramen Material" piece then decided to try and do something similar but stylized.  Part of me wants to try and continue and push myself to finish this on in substance designer but another part of me just thinks I could redo this whole thing a lot quicker if I just did it in Zbrush. Make it just a whole model rather than just a texture and then I think I could reuse a few of these height maps for it.

We'll see but regardless I've been having fun getting my feet dirty again in Substance Designer. It's been a while.

August Wrap-Up!

General / 05 September 2019

Hey, how's it going? It’s been a minute since I've actually written a blog post and it's for a good reason I promise.  To get a bit personal august has really felt like my life had actually fell into place all at once. I finally after a year was able to move out of Florida and luckily after one contract ended another opportunity fell into my lap at a perfect time. To then work on Orb Rivals at Orionark Games which is awesome for me because not only do I think the project looks super rad but it also checks a goal I had for this year of actually getting paid work on a video game project! It's strange how some of my bigger goals for the year just so happened to land all at once but I guess that's just how life works out sometimes. :)

Anyway as for more personal work that I'll be able to share. I want to try and have a little diorama-ish Halloween piece that I had already started to work on a whim done before the end of October. I'd also like to take some time to go hard on some Substance Designer work, because I haven't had the chance to do some fun work in there as well in a while. Plus I think I'd really like to improve my understanding of materials as well. I'm thinking I can combine those last two goals if not all of them together. Unless I get swamped with work I think those are doable goals. 

Anyway thank you so much if you actually took the time to read this and if your in the Austin, Texas area expect to see this handsome mug around some game dev meetups. 

Sci-Fi Corridor Modular Kit: Update 4

General / 09 July 2019

So, for the time being this is the final render. I'd like to come back to this project after a bit of a break. I've been grinding on this pretty hard for the last month and a half and it be nice to come back to this after a bit of a break with some fresh eyes.

I'm pretty proud of how the final render came out and the fact that I managed to make a pretty kick ass scene in about a little over a month time. being that I was also challenging myself to learn a whole bunch of new work flows as well. I adapted to them pretty quickly and made a pretty nice piece!

The texture masks were done in substance painter and being able just to do slight edits on them in substance and then just re-import them into unreal was a god sent. in the process gif a lot of the edits were just touching up the masks and making slight changes to them. its an extremely satisfying work flow once you got it all set up and you can just go for it. You also get so much out of the texel density I really couldn't see an argument for not working this way.

The decals were also super satisfying as well! I love the work flow of just modeling to a mid to high level and then just tossing on a bunch of normals decals for all that extra goodness. I'm not sure if the guys at Cloud Imperium Games were the first one to do something like this but geez it so fun to work this way. You should check out this blog post on polycount they do a way better job of explaining it than I would. 

Final render of the mod kit from blender using the eevee renderer. I can't sing blenders prays enough! I think out of all the modeling programs I've used it's definitely my favorite modeling program. (with a close second being 3DS Max) You should defiantly consider checking out blender 2.8 when the stable build comes out in the coming weeks. I really think it's going to shake up Autodesk and everyone else in the 3D modeling game!

Special thanks to Jeremy Estrellado for giving me a whole lot of guidance and feedback on this project and be sure to check out the DiNusty Empire for the best 3D art community on the net! 

Thanks for checking out this blog post! be sure to check out the Art Station post if you found this project through my blog.


Sci-Fi Corridor Modular Kit: Update 3

Work In Progress / 02 July 2019

I kind of wanted to avoid making this before I made the big final art station post because I figured I be done with it by this morning, but I keep finding little nitpicks to touch up and change that I wanna give myself till the end of the work week to fix a hand full of things. In all honesty I'm really antsy to start applying to jobs hardcore again and I really want this piece in there, because I feel like its shaping up to be my strongest piece in my portfolio.

So here are just a little nugget of all the notes Ive been making for myself. I wrote these and more in a trello document but that is way less interesting than just a picture. Typically I just do this on paper but I think getting used to writing this up digitally would be awesome for working in a group/team setting. 

So what comes after Post Sci-Fi corridor 2 drop by Monday? Well I think I'll feel it out by then but the goal is to have the piece done to a point where I feel comfortable making a big art station post about it or just uploading it to my portfolio website so I can start applying for jobs with it in my portfolio. If I end up doing the latter that means I'll more than likely keep hammering on it until i mustard up the courage to do the big art station drop. I'd also like to go back and clean up some of my older work on here based on some notes from my friend Poji Chow (go look him up and hire him hes great!) So more than likely I'll be cranking on that by the weekend as well!

Thanks for reading and look forward to the drop and the break down blog post too on Monday!

Sci-Fi Corridor Modular Kit: Update 2

Work In Progress / 24 June 2019

This project has been a bit of a roller coaster where I'm really high on it for a while then I crash a bit because I'm starting to think the project is junk. 

Which I think has to do with the workflow Jeremy had me learning (working with masks and material functions) and not quite understanding it at first but then I just kept pushing myself and it just clicks with me a little bit more and more. To now where I'm pretty confident with working this way and wouldn't understand a reason not to work this way unless you were just working on very tiny props. Working this way actually seems like wizardry because you get so much out of the masks with texel density and such.  Then just reimporting the masks after making slight edits in substance painter then seeing the changes pretty much instantly is great. I'll have a better explanation of what I'm actually doing with the mask and such closer to the end of this project because I'm still not there when it comes to materials in my scene.

Next on the chopping block for me is to completely redo the lighting then figure out what I need to do to get my materials to a point where I'm happy with them and it doesn't look so grungey. My goal was to have this project to a point where I was happy enough with it to make a full artstation post with break downs by the end of the month and I still think I'm on track for that. Although we'll see I could easily see myself wanting to wait a bit longer and crack another couple of weeks into it. I mean this project has been about 4ish weeks in the making imagine what I could do with another couple of weeks and anyway I'll still be writing a blog post like this every week. 

My goal with the blog is to write a post like this every week till I land my first gig. I think it would be interesting to do and cool to look back at when I finally do make it.  Plus I just find writing very relaxing recently. :)

Thanks For Reading! 

Sci-Fi Corridor Modular Kit

Work In Progress / 14 June 2019

So about a month or two ago while learning Blender 2.8 during the Heavy Poly mentorship I made a Sci-Fi Corridor. Which I was actually really proud of and I wanted to push it to be a full fledged Unreal piece rather than just a fancy render in Blender 2.8. Unfortunately the piece was actually made in a week and a bit jank due to how quick I made it. So because of that I just decided to start over and base it on a piece I had Recently stumbled upon by Alexandr Nepogoda. I then broke it down to about eight pieces and one extra for a hallway connector because I didn't think it would be really that interesting to make a mod kit of only a straight hallway.

I was fortunate enough to stumble into DiNusty Empire right before Jeremy Estrellado was starting his next round of mentorships, so I was super quick to hop on to that. So Jeremy has been super helpful giving me direction on how to keep pushing this piece further and further.  So this was the final-ish block out and you can see I was starting to push everything right into the next phase. I am currently further than this screen shot but all the materials and lighting is still pretty rough and very much in the works. 

I've been documenting this project pretty thoroughly so I'm pretty confident that once the piece is looking killer by the 30th (Which is the goal I'm really pushing myself to be done by) I'll have an awesome piece to add to my artstation! 

Thanks for reading!!!