Kris Orpilla is one of the lead character modeler and texture artists at Electronic Arts (EA). He will be giving a one-hour presentation at the Game Developer Conference in San Francisco (23-27 March) that will provide a basic overview of how EA integrates BodyPaint 3D into its production pipeline. The session is called “Real World Texture Painting Tips for Game Developers,” and in the program, he’ll show workflow examples and efficiencies from texture work created for SimAnimals, the latest EA intellectual property released last month for the Wii.
The session will be part of the Visual Arts Track, in Room #2000 on Friday, March 27th 10:30 to 11:30am at the Moscone Center in SF.
According to Orpilla, the role of texture painting in games is an essential part of the pipeline and being able to add texture and realism to give the illusion of more detail than what’s actually being calculated is very important. Texture information can communicate important information to a player.
Orpilla used MAXON BodyPaint 3D v.4 in his work on SimAnimals primarily to texture 3D in-game visual assets to include characters, objects and/or environments. He cites BodyPaint’s ease of integration with other production tools, Photoshop and Maya, and its lightning fast rendering capabilities to quickly generate textures and dial in a visual style as key strengths.
MAXON BodyPaint 3D easily integrates into current Photoshop, Maya, 3ds Max and Softimage workflows.
“A lot of the SimAnimals creatures have to have seamless textures, because they’re going to be seen from so many angles,” explains Kris Orpilla. “With BodyPaint alongside, I could explore on the fly, with the Art Director sitting with me, any number of multiple variations of colors, textures and patterns. I could open up the file in BodyPaint 3D and move through the variations in the layers very quickly, make the choice and get on with the next one."
Orpilla reckons that using BodyPaint 3D for texturing shaves off about third of the rendering time as compared to other 3D packages. Its user interface allows him to customize his workflow ability to physically paint onto digital assets and allows him to explore variations in visual styles very quickly. (The brushes in BodyPaint 3D, in particular, allow him to set up dynamics, as you can in Photoshop, to create an unlimited number of effects.)
“We use Maya and Photoshop very heavily in our pipeline, and prior to getting into the MAXON stable,” explains Orpilla, “it was very manual and took a long time to generate assets. In the presentation I’ll be doing next week at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, I want to show the workflow and specifically what we use to generate textures with maximum variation.”
According to MAXON, Electronic Arts, Blizzard, Activision, Neversoft, ArenaNet, Sony Online Entertainment and Naughty Dog are among the game companies that use BodyPaint 3D to create hit titles such as SimAnimals, Uncharted: Drake's Fortune, Tony Hawk Project 8, GUN, Hellgate London, The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, and others.
Kris Orpilla is also a frequent guest lecturer at Ex’pression College and holds a masters degree in game development from the Academy of Art in San Francisco.