Give Peace a chance, okay?
It’s still all about the girls here in the Secret Laboratory. Though not the way you think, which I guess is sort of unfortunate.
Nope, I’m continuing my work on a set of characters who are all retro-futuristic and are all, not to put too fine a point on it, Babes. Dames. Skirts. Frails.
I’ve done a bit more work with Crazy Bump, the normal map maker I mentioned earlier, and I’m liking it more than ever.
This thing just makes me happy. “Shake ya Boogie” is an animation by Czarek Kwaśny set to the song by Mocean Worker, AKA Adam Dorn. It’s got a terrific mix of thirties-style animation, dancing wrenches, and retro industrial madness – all with a good old scratchy film chaser.
The music (from the “Cinco de Mowo” CD) likewise morphs from the present day to the raw, uncontainable jazz of the 20s and 30s. I was glad to discover the CD, which features a guest turn by Herb Alpert.
It’s been quiet in here lately, but for good reason; I’m working on a set of characters for a project, and character work always takes a lot out of me – although this part’s fun. Just don’t ask me about rigging and skinning them. I get nightmares.
This is a space pirate and I have indeed been having a great time working on her. She just needs hair and that rigging-and-skinning process that I mentioned I have issues with.
While I was working on her ray gun I experimented with the beta version of Crazy Bump, an excellent normal map generator. Back in my game days we always used the Nvidia normal map plugin for Photoshop (there wasn’t much else to use) and I wasn’t ever exactly thrilled with what we were able to get out of it.
Crazy Bump, on the other hand, has several tools for analzying your texture maps. It can look for large 3D shapes in the image, and it can find large, medium, or fine levels of detail in it. Once it’s discovered all of those things you’re able to mix their levels together, as well as the overall strength of the normal map, to get just the shapes you’re after. You can blend images together, and you can edit existing normal maps, too. Very nice!
It’s free standing (so it works for any 3D app) and during the beta, it’s free.