For “Spare Parts” credits, our concept artist Ross Burt offered to make some retro 8bit rolling credits and he created an 8 bit avatar for the core team.
It was really fun to see his 8 bit caricature of all of us ;-)
Here are some screenshots followed by the entire credits.
Watch them with the music on Youtube:
Strange I never talked about my ex coworker Robert Craig before. Bob is a Scottish 3d generalist with a great eye for lighting and rendering. I have worked with Bob on several projects at EA, amongst them was Spare Parts and he also rendered some of the marketing videos I animated.
Bob did a lot of great work on the Harry Potter game series, with all the constraints it entails, and I love his personal work as it immediately reminds me of what is being done in Feature Animation and especially at a studio in Emeryville.
His work has a very painterly feel and shows a great passion for light, no wonder he also loves oil painting.
Have a look at his CG Society profile page to see his latest work in high resolution and also his Vimeo channel for a breakdown of some of the shots (his game work is included as well).
With the closure of EA Brighlight in the UK, I think someone should quickly grab him while he is still, kind of, available!
My ex-coworker Ross Burt posted some of the character designs he created for Spare Parts.
The cute robots weren’t selected for the final game but I really loved them. We did model one of them and I got lucky to animate the green one with spray can nozzle head on the far right. Those who know me will rightaway understand why I fell in love with that little fellow ;-)
And an other progress reel for Spare Parts Cutscene 02b. That sequence followed Cutscene 02a during the game. The lighting is “In Game” and the shadows are baked or faked.
For that sequence I used the famous shot from Tim Burton’s “Mars Attack” and an other one from Dreamworks “Monsters vs Aliens”. (click on the thumbnail for an edited animation)
For the layout, I reused a run cycle I had done for in-game animation and quickly tweaked it so the character could come to a stop and restart. As you can see there is no offset in the cycle yet.
The idea at that stage was to convey that an entire army was getting ready for the fight and a long queue of enemy would go throught the suit-up machine. This eventually got ditched as I didn’t have time to animate all those guys reacting to what was happening in front of them. The rigs were also really really slow and I couldn’t get more than 2 of those guys in Maya at the same time.
After pitching the idea to the executive producer, he suggested that one of the characters would get his helmet the other way round to give a more comical effect. I was delighted as it meant I could have a bit more time and went a bit further by having the guy getting stuck to the machine.
The chair is missing here as Ross our concept artist was working on the final environment and I changed the colour of the tube to match the colour of the LCD screen in the previous shot. At that stage I had establish that the good guy would use a variation of blue colours and the bad guys a variation of greens, ultimately we went for purples in final.
If you pay close attention to the end of the shot, you will notice that the arms on the poor fellow have been inverted when he has his helmet the other way round. As the helmet and the arms were constrained to the same control, this was the only way I could achieve that effect. Talking about constraints, while in the air, I parented the upper body of the character to the transparent box you can see at the top to allow for the flailling legs and rotation of the main control without affecting the upper body. Originally the tube was supposed to be transparent and show that but when in game, we ran out of time to make it work.
I hope you found this interesting!
Some of the work I did at EA last year
“Spare Parts” came out last week and despite a lot of praise for the fancy graphics and ANIMATION the game didn’t get very good reviews among the hardcore game critics who weren’t too pleased to see a game renewing with the tradition with simple and fun action adventure games.
If you haven’t got an internet enabled Xbox360 or PS3 and didn’t get a chance to check out Spare Parts démo on PSN or XBLA, here is a “Gamespot Daily demo” where you will be able to get a glimpse of the actual game play, in-game music AND, for once, what EA normally hides for screenshot purposes, the fancy frontend graphics Kim created for the game.
Doesn’t that game look stunning?
Spare Parts is a game that renews with the tradition of fun action adventure games for all we all love.
Neil Parkinson, my lead from EA just posted a short animation piece he has been working on for a bit during his rare spare time. Check it out it is really cool.
Neil didn’t just animate the shots, he also came up with the designs, rigged the characters and rendered the shots…. pretty impressive if you ask me!
I am also posting his 2010 showreel where you will be able to see some of the great projects he worked on at EA: a longer version of the shot he animated for the Spare Parts trailer I posted a while back, some Zubo animation and some other really funny Western inspired personal animation.
Rize of the Zombians
Neil Parkinson 2010 showreel
An interview with Simon Pegg just emerged on IGN. In that interview the Shaund of the Dead star is talking about the great downloadable game I was working on few month ago at EA: “Spare Parts”
Check it out, there are plenty of new clips/concept arts from the game and even ….. some of the cutscenes I worked on!!!! :-)
Friday was my last day at EA Brightlight and I received some really really cool presents! One of them was a Moleskine sketchbook with an 8 Bit version of me on the cover, an original “Spare Parts” drawing by Ross our concept artist extraordinaire and nice words from my teammates inside. My time at EA had been really good.
After a great experience in Angouleme and 2minutes last year, I wasn’t too keen on coming back to the UK and the insane cost of housing but working on “Spare Parts” and moving to Guildford was one of the best things that could have happened to me. I have met some incredible artists and improved my skills tremendously.
Working on a downloadable game with such a small team allowed me to understand the intricacy of how a game gets done and this was a very challenging but enjoyable experience. Unlike my experience at Rare, I was entirely involved in the whole process and tackled in-game cycle, marketing videos and cutscenes (those look amazing by the way). I really want to make my own game now! ;-)
“Spare Parts” comes out this winter and you should definitely keep an eye on it, at around $10 it is one of those must buy games for the whole family to enjoy. Thanks you EA Brightlight and my team for such an awesome experience!
so we have a new gameplay trailer, a poster and a Facebook page!
ah I wish you could see the cutscenes…..
My buddies game designer Gary Napper and concept artist Burt Ross got recently interviewed about the game industry and their role in the game development process. Check that out, you will see some of the earlier concept from “Spare parts” and Ross look really sexy in that familiar Tshirt ;-)
Our game designer Gary Napper just came back from San Francisco where he presented our game “Spare parts” to reporters. Want to find out what “Spare Parts” is about?
The robots at the bottom in the background are performing some of my “idle animations” by the way.
Oh there is also an other video with more gameplay on Gaming Truth
Well since some of my work has gone public with the release of the Spare Parts trailer, why not create a new temporary game showreel!? ;-)
You will find it in the Showreel section of my blog
No motion capture data was harmed in the making of that video.
This game and the team I am working with are awesome. I have only been in the game industry for few years but making a downloadable XBLA/PSN game is probably the closest thing to what it was back in the mid 80s/90s. Unlike the 70 and upward teams most games require nowadays, in a project of that size, every team member can truly participate to the direction of the game.
All the character animation has been done by Neil, my lead animator, and myself.
EA just announced what appears to be a very fun XBLA, PSN game!
“Electronic Arts has announced a new tiny action-adventure game called Spare Parts, to be released during Winter 2010 on Xbox Live and PSN. Your goal is to repair your spaceship to escape from an unfriendly planet. Therefore you can upgrade your robot with collected items and a friend of yours can join the game to help you in co-op mode.”
Would a video be following very soon?
An other really talented artist working on my team is Lead Artist and Senior Lighter Lee Sullivan.
Until very recently Lee had Lou Romano’s “Up” colorscript on his desktop so that should give you an idea about some of his inspirations and the kind of quality he is aiming at.
A while ago, with Neil Parkinson, they were running a pretty cool blog. Check it out
“Shower power” short film
I just found that old video which will introduce you to some of the cool people I work/worked with.
[update] I have been told that the original videos can’t be viewed outside UK so here is a low res Youtube version
While I am at it. What about an other video about our neighbours, Little Big Planet creators’ Media Molecule?
“Shower power” short film
I just realized that I never featured my friend and (ex)coworker Dan Carrey!!!
Here is his short film. “Shower Power”
You will also find Dan’s showreel on his website
We definitely had a bunch of top animators at Rare. Here is also Peer Lemmers showreel if you didn’t know his work:
My current animation lead, Neil Parkinson, is also a very inspiring animator/modeler/rigger/concept artist. Don’t be surprised about the crazy amount of skills, all my coworkers are Jacks of all trades at EA which can be a bit overwhelming sometimes.
Neil is currently finishing rendering his short film so in the meantime check out his reel:
Well while I am at it. I think I should also feature our local concept artist Burt Ross. Ross is a crazy Scottish guy who can be pretty loud when he plays Fifa at lunch. He also happens to be really talented at what he does, namely Concept art and Storyboards.
Ross is also the creator of the Astrofunk comics. Number 2 just came out by the way!
Check out his blog:
Ok, that’s it for today but I will soon create a new post feature the other crazy artists surrounding me.