Video Game Development 101 Lesson 3 – 3D Art Asset Creation; Modeling and Sculpting

By | March 23, 2016

In this lesson we’re going to talk about visual art assets and the advantages of 3D art assets. We’re going to introduce the 3 distinct disciplines that are used to create an animated art asset, the technologies that make it possible, the limitations of those technologies, and the resulting artistic process.

Published on Jan 20, 2014

*** © 2014 Nickel City Pixels, no public performance ***

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4 thoughts on “Video Game Development 101 Lesson 3 – 3D Art Asset Creation; Modeling and Sculpting

  1. Drew

    This is pretty much why I switched to 3d even though I’m a 2d artist. For one, I wanted a more realistic look, and 3d just worked better for that. 2d seemed better suited to more stylized art (or pixel art).

    The next thing was that I liked the idea of creating things that could be built on or modified. In 2d, you must redraw every frame that you want to change. In 3d, you just make the change and everything adapts to the change. This makes it easier to tweak animations or change a character’s look without having to redo a whole lot. I can even slap a new material on something even after it’s been exported to the game engine.

    I also like that I can reuse my assets across multiple characters. After I have built a character or two, I can use them as a foundation for other characters. Plus, the more assets I build for one game, the more building blocks I have to work with for my next game.

    I still like 2d, but I totally agree that it is easier to manage 3d assets if you are willing to learn the programs. A bit more work upfront for an asset that can be much easier to work with in the long run.

    For people who want to make retro platformers or games with pixel art, 2d would probably be best, but 3d could still be used to create reference models for the 2d art, so it would still have a use. It’s not always easy drawing 2d from pure imagination.

    1. admin Post author

      That’s all very true! Re: pixel art, I’ve been experimenting with some post-processing effects to achieve the look procedurally. It’s hit or miss though, on some images it works/looks good, on others… not so much. Here’s a king character which turned out pretty well:

  2. Drew

    Yeah, I had tried some pixel-like effects in 3d when I was considering working on a platformer a long time ago. Although I may have been exporting to Photoshop first. I can’t even remember. Either way, I was never entirely satisfied with the results. I think pixel art works best when it is done by hand and carefully planned because each pixel has to count. If it becomes too detailed, it gives the effect of rasterized 3d renders rather than 2d sprites.

    Either way, my current project is more like Diablo or Baldur’s Gate, so I no longer need to worry about it. In fact, it was the main reason I switched to 3d. Doing isometric 2d art is not easy, even for an experienced artist, especially when it comes to the characters and animations.

    1. admin Post author

      Same here. A lot of the results I’ve gotten have been underwhelming. I think eventually someone somewhere will come up w/ procedural pixelation tech though!

      Speaking of which, I just found this utility:

      Haven’t tried it out yet but I’m intrigued by its purported palette imposition feature!


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