Leviathan Project: Mixed Reality At Sundance

There has been a lot of buzz lately about Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), games and filmmaking. Since our founding in 2008, Vermont Digital Arts has been on a mission to be on the forefront of blurring the lines between film and games.

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Vermont Digital Arts recently had the amazing opportunity to lend a hand with Leviathan Project which is currently being demoed at Sundance New Frontiers. Leviathan Project is a mixed reality installation with its roots Scott Westerfield’s best-selling trilogy, Leviathan.

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Leviathan Project is a work in progress and a result of the magic that happens when visionaries like Alex McDowell and Bradley Newman, in collaboration with 5D Global Studio, Unity Technologies and Intel work together to transcend storytelling mediums. Elliott Mitchell, Vermont Digital Arts co-founder, was brought in late in the project to help out with the final push for Sundance. Elliott worked on some VFX and Lighting Design. It was akin to standing on the shoulders of giants.

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If you are able to get to Sundance, check it out! Otherwise, here is a link to a recent Engadget article which goes more in depth about Leviathan Project. Also, checkout the Leviathan Project’s Instagram account. You might see photo’s of Robert Redford

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Leviathan-Project-Sundance-02Leviathan Project’s next stop is the Vision AR/VR Summit this February 10th and 11th in Hollywood, CA. Catch it there if you are able!

UVs: The Good, Bad and Ugly

 

Elliott Mitchell Auto Unwrapping UV Devil 2016

UVs are often shrouded in mystery, or simply an afterthought to many 3D artists and game developers. Not only are UVs essential to texturing 3D models in Unity, UVs are required for Real-Time and Baked Global Illumination(Lightmapping). Unbeknownst to many, UVs may also have a profound influence on runtime performance and an artist’s iteration cycles.

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Earlier this month, Elliott Mitchell (co-founder of Vermont Digital Arts) delivered a quick ten minute lightning talk on the subject of UVs at the Boston Unity Group. His presentation is a high level overview of UVs for the given truncated format. 

Keep an eye out for a more fleshed out talk on UVs in the near future. There is so much more to cover. Here is a link to Elliott’s slides.

Vermont Digital Arts at Unite Boston 2015

Unite Boston 2015

Unite 2015, the annual Unity game developer conference, is scheduled to be held in Boston, MA, September 21st – 23rd! Isn’t that exciting?!?

I’m Elliott Mitchell, co-founder of Vermont Digital Arts and the Boston Unity Group. I am honored to announce that I will be presenting at Unite for the fourth consecutive year! My session, Unity Maximus: Art Optimizations for Maximum Performance in Unity 5, was announced on a list of talks published on Unity’s blog yesterday. This talk will be geared towards helping artists and designers who are beginners with Unity 5 art optimizations.

Unity Maximus: Art Optimizations for Maximum Performance in Unity 5, is scheduled for Tuesday, September 22nd, 5:00-5:30, Ballroom A.

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Many platforms, like VR and mobile, place high demands on developers to meet acceptable frame rates or else risk failure. Often, the art assets in a Unity project look fantastic but no matter how optimized the code base is, the build just doesn’t meet the desired frame rate. Unoptimized art assets, including some art which may be purchased on the Asset Store, can seriously hinder performance on demanding platforms. In this session, we will highlight some red flags to look out for in a variety of art asset types and identify key optimizations that can be implemented into your art pipeline to significantly increase performance on demanding platforms. Art asset types covered will include:

  • 3D Models, Animations and Rigs
  • 2D Textures and Sprites
  • Materials and Shaders

I’ll likely cover a few more topics like lightmapping & post process effects.

I hope to see you at Unite 2015 Boston!

Best,

-Elliott

EDIT 9/18: Changed the time and location to Tuesday, September 22nd, 5:00-5:30, Ballroom A.

Unite 2013 Video: Successfully Avoiding Common Pathways to Heartbreak and Disaster in Your Art Pipeline

Do you make 3D art, animation and or use Unity to make multiplatform Games?  Anyone can download or make 3D art assets and anyone can make games in Unity. It is another story when it comes to creating an art pipeline that accounts for efficiency, flexibility, multiple resolutions for multiplatform optimizations. Art optimization begin in the tools one chooses to uses for content creation. Optimization is also dependent on the way tools are utilized and how they export assets for Unity. Finally, art optimization happen within the Unity editor, which varies for individual targeted platforms, with best art practices and smart coding.

Elliott Mitchell, co-founder of Vermont Digital Arts and the Boston Unity User Group, gave a Unite 2013 (Unity Developer’s Conference) talk on this topic last August in Vancouver, BC. Check out the video of his talk and check back here to see a series of blog posts on topics covered as well as the plethora of areas he didn’t have to touch upon in his talk at Unite.

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Special thanks goes to Anzovin Studio for providing The Setup Machine for Games to Elliott and Vermont Digital Arts. In addition, Anzovin provided their expertise by rigging the Elliott’s 3D Samsquanch character as well as animating an Idle and Walk cycle for this demo!

Remember, there is no optimized game without good coding even if your art is exceptional. Make friends with talented engineers or learn to code yourself! It takes both sides of the brain to make great games!