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Volunteering at Ropecon: Come say hi if you are in town!

Starting this friday, I’ll be volunteering at Ropecon, the massive roleplaying hobbyist event taking place each year at the end of July. The fair has everything ranging from table top games to cosplay and it even has show wrestling. This is my second year volunteering. I am sort of a borderline almost-hobbyist, my bridge being my trade as a 3D-artist and my love for games. I do also have actually quite a long history about customer service, so a friend who is involved in organizing the event, said he would be very happy to have me on board. He is probably also taking this chance to try and convert me into a full time hobbyist! :)

Ropecon is actually a really cool event, with an ever expanding spectrum of game-related interests on display. I warmly recommend it to anyone who is even little bit interested in fantastical subjects and game playing in any form. Also, it’s a good chance to come and say hi to me! I’d love to meet old friends and even more to make new ones! Most of my shifts are taking place at the miniature desk and table top game area of the show. It’s not a super tight schedule, so having a beer or two during the show is definitely an option. I also have been bestowed upon the magical power of giving away candy at the visitors! And if this not enough, I can also tell you where the toilets are, or sign you up for the table top game tables. :) So what are you waiting for, see you at Ropecon, folks!

When a mere card won’t do: 3D-printing unique gifts for friends

 

Recently a friend of mine invited me to his doctoral thesis completion party. I wanted to congratulate him, and just bringing a flower or two felt like it would not emphasize the event enough. After giving it a bit of thought, I decided to model and 3D print a small statue for him. In Finland, and possibly some other nordic countries, it is a custom that the individuals who reach the doctorate level in their studies will receive the right to wear a specific type of sword and a top hat. According to the lore, the sword symbolizes the strength of knowledge against ignorance. Never the less, these items were found to be rather pricey. As they are always handmade by request, my friend thought he may not bother. That’s when I saw my chance: he earned that sword and that hat and he should absolutely have those.

I quickly started prototyping a small statue which would feature those items. At first, I really wanted the items to be removable, so they could be taken of the pedestal and put back. Unfortunately, this proved to be highly difficult with such a small scale (12cm), where an error of only 0,5mm would be enough to break the system. I didn’t want the system to dominate too strongly where I could place the items on the pedestal, and with the pedestal being hollow for budget reasons and the pillar rather narrow for aesthetic reasons, it was just impossible to lay the sword on the pedestal in any more relaxed manner. In the end, after multiple complicated tests, I decided to drop the functionality and go with a solid statue.

The statue was printed with a Formlabs 2 at the library of Iso omena, Espoo. The base material was black resin. The print took about 10 hours and the machine was set at the best possible resolution. The figurine was then spray-painted with miniature colors, first grey and then finally warm white. This was to prevent the black base color from having a distorting shade on the white. A final touch of darker color for little bit of ambient effect for the crevices was added. I’m quite happy how this turned out. I am not really a miniature hobbyist, so the painting job is somewhat inaccurate at places, but the Formlabs is an incredible printer when it comes to precision. The result: The fresh doctor was delighted by his newfound office decor and promised to place it so that it would invoke envy among colleagues. ;)

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The finished statue

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A ruler for scale. The height is about 12cm.

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Putting on the first light grey layer of paint

Substance Painter, it’s one hell of a drug

A little update on my rocket project. The hull is now about textured; time to move on making some befitting scenery!

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Would you fly this to the moon -The steampunk rocket project

Hi there! How is spring going for you guys? Having the busiest work season of my up to date life, I rejoice for finally having the time and energy to work on a personal project. Looking at this terribly unsafe looking steampunk rocket, you can probably tell that I adored the Dr. Snuggles cartoon series as a kid. Not having had a hardsurface project in a while, it really felt like it would be a breath of fresh air to do one. The hull below is the highpoly, which is around 10, 000 tris. The lowpoly is around 7,000 tris. I am going to take a bit deeper look at Substance Painter, which has been on the task list for almost forever (and I feel guilty like hell about it!). So the focus would be to make a nice looking medium poly-ish, all mapped up and lavishly textured with all the particle sprays in the world, pc- quality asset. My commercial experience has gotten over the years more and more mobile-oriented, which is cool, but you know, you just gotta have little bit of that “what if the grass actually is greener over there”- healthy curiosity! So let’s fire up Substance Painter and put some color on this buddy!

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Hot Doggety! scores 10 000 downloads on playstore

10000_mäyrisHot Doggety has reached 10 000 downloads on google play. Who’s a good boy!  =) That makes us devs so delighted, that we felt like sharing these donuts with you. Thank you everyone who supported us and gave incredibly positive feedback. We want you to know the game is still being developed further and new content is on the works. Go dachsie!

 

More 2D stuff, fresh out of the oven!

So, I came across this cool homework at ctrl+paint, where I should take two animals and mix them up for creature creation practice. It sounded like it could be amusing, so I decided to give it a try. To make it bit more difficult, I wanted someone else to pick the animals, so I wouldn’t subconsciously choose easy targets. The given animals were a hippo and a camel. Below is the final painting. What a “majestic” looking steed. :D Overall I’m mostly happy how it turned out, only the hair fell bit below expectations (really need to work on how to express fluffyness!) Maybe the feet have somewhat a floating feeling too. The platform and the grass worked out surprisingly nice too. Sure, this is no way the kind of quality I would put to my gallery yet and try to sell it of as high quality concept art, but I feel like there is a good thing going. Besides having the feeling that the tutorials are really starting to sink in, I feel that the inner spark to draw has finally genuinely caught fire.

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My sketches are still bit blurry by nature…

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All colored up in his wobbly glory. :)

Tackling the 2D space, game on!

This summer I have realized why finns are considered such hardworking nation by stereotype. Our summer is usually so terrible, it’s best spent on the computer. Like last year, I actually got an entire game done in few months, because of that weather of ours. This year is actually a whole other story, because, holy crap, it’s actually not terrible out there….I am confused. You can pretty much look at my tan and calculate the wasted working potential…!

But, it has not been all sparkling and strawberries in the sun (I would by now be dead by the sunburns if I did that daily!). I have actually been tackling at something; before this,  I haven’t considered myself as much of an illustrator or further more, a concept artist. I was one of those kids who always made friends with the best drawing kid in the class, then compared what I had in the paper and what they had….. 99% of the time that resulted to a rage quit. You can probably imagine, that it did develop into quite the trauma…which I really even haven’t tried to properly untangle, not until this day.

But you know what, game on. Deep down I find drawing a fun activity, and in the last months, I have taken as much time as I can to develop my 2D side. If you are like me, I can’t recommend this website, ctrl+paint enough. The guy running that site is really clever at breaking difficult concepts down to more simple pieces…that and he has a really calming voice! =) I am about halfway through his tutorial library, and can already see a positive change. I’m not exclusively concentrating on characters or environment, but try to reach a good basic level on both. The ideal situation is to reach the level where I can do all my own concept art, which later will be turned into models. There is still distance to get there, but now I don’t have that feeling of hopelessness and fear of white paper anymore. Here is a simple practice project to “feast your eyes upon”. I’ll start adding actual concepts to the gallery, once I feel the quality is about right.

ps. Happy midsummer everyone! Remember, lake fish is no good for sushi, over and out. ;)

torni

No more rage quits. It’s all about patience.

 

The day I made friends with Zbrush

Yikes. I guess the pact is sealed. Finally I had the chance to sit down and do some serious sculpting, and it really starts to look like I can deal with Zbrush and its logig and even enjoy what I’m doing.  I was supposed to study Zbrush further in the spring, but then we came up with the Hot Doggety!-concept and started quickly working on it to have it done in time for the Assembly festival. Now with more free time again on my hands, I have dedicated a major part of it to finally grab a firm hold of this software. So far I have gotten a good understanding of organic techniques, painting and basic retopologizing workflow. As the UI really starts to sink into memory, sculpting has become extremely addictive!

Here is for your amusement a quick render about my first bigger and more organized ztool. (You can check out the textured final render in the gallery section.)

Happy zbrushing everyone!

tarja blogiin

A quick Zbrush internal render before texturing

Hot Doggety gets featured by Blendernation!

A while back I uploaded my dachshund model to Sketchfab for portfolio purposes. I had no idea this would/could happen, but the awesome people at Sketchfab decided to honor my model first as a staff pick, and then it was also featured in Blendernation as part of Sketchfab blog, which introduces their favorite Blender-made models of the week. You can check the blog here.

Guys, I am incredibly flattered. This really made my monday, and made me realize how bad I want to finish the official appstore version of the game already. This is not really a new project post, but I just felt like I want to mention why am smiling right now. Pleasant monday to everybody out there!

Hot Doggety scores 2nd place in Assembly 2015 Gamedev!

What a weekend, wow.

I am proud to announce that Team Hot Doggety! has taken second place in the Assembly game dev. compo. As the results were in, it seemed it had been a battle between two titans: Running Beer by Kaljameri Games and Hot Doggety! by Team Mäyris (trans.: nickname for dachshund.) We were very moved by the spontaneous laughter of the Assembly crowd  when they saw dachsie and want to thank everyone for their support.

Team Mäyris (Jaakko Lindvall, Jenny Tirkkonen, Ville Mutka, Juuso Heikkilä & Heini Kärkkäinen) had an amazing weeked. Over and out.