Past Journals

January 2001 February 2001 March 2001 April/May 2001 June 2001
July/August 2001 October/November 2001 Current Journal

Friday 30th March 2001
The basic model for the new creature is now relatively complete. Some tweaking here and there but nothing major. I've begun on the texture mapping and I can see that taking longer than the modelling as there some tricky areas where I have to blend together some very strange body parts. Hopefully I'll be able to include some alpha mapping but I'll have to check to see what the current rules are with that for the engine.

Other than that there's another developer diary from Christiane at Voodoo Extreme There's some interesting stuff there. That, and my Zip drive's on the fritz again, so no back-up tonight. I'll have to take a look at it over the weekend.

Thursday 29th March 2001
Reduced resolution example of portion of a pretty much non-specific skin texture. This example could change before the game is released (and probably will), but it gives an idea of the graphic that the end user will be able to modify. The graphic represents approximately one quarter of the final texture. Most of the creatures I've designed will follow a similar pattern, that is, the skin will be defined in one texture, and will be labelled as best I can. It should be fairly easy to tweak textures this way, for example colour changes, removal of "unnecessary" clothing (at least for some creatures, other characters have modelled clothing), addition of tattoos, that sort of thing. Perhaps a Mod. would feature the "Lesser Spotted Doo-Hickey" rather than the "Greater Crested Doo-Hickey" that's currently featured in the game. It's all a bit on the basic end of Mod. creation, but the information might be of use to some of those already planning their Mods.

On a related note, the new character I'm working on will be clothed but I'll probably create a seperate texture that does not include clothing. This will NOT be sanctioned by Bethesda in any way, just something I'll do for free for those with more "European" tastes! :o) I'll throw it up on this site after the game's release. I'm not sure what tools will be included with Morrowind, but I expect there should be a converter for creating BMPs and TGAs from the format we'll probably use, and for sending those formats back the other way.

By the way there's not really any Doo-Hickeys in the game, but you knew that, didn't you?

Wednesday 28th March 2001
Art Update:
The textures are now "coloured" up. Looks much better and less like the washed out creature it was before. That being the case I've started on the next creature, and this one is female. A female "what" I can't say. I am using some Brom paintings as reference however, particularly one which has a great colour scheme which I'm using as a guide. Also I'm digging into my animal reference books for some ideas. I've got a ways to go before it's in a showable state, but hopefully by Tuesday I should have a good model and some textures on her. Animation could take a while, as she's not a typical character.

Tuesday 27th March 2001

Art Update:

We had a scaling issue with the "D******" which I've just received confirmation from Christiane will now work. Which is good news, believe me! I was not a happy camper yesterday afternoon. :o(

I've a few more changes to the texture, mainly boosting some contrast and adding some colour to the guy, he's a bit monochromatic, at least in the body. Should have him fixed up by tonight. As with most of my creatures I've tried to keep them all using one BMP file. That should make it easier for the player to develop their own skins for the creatures once the game's released. I've even labeled the various body parts for easier identification. Aren't I a nice artist! ;o)

I've been given the go ahead with new character design. This is also great news as this creature will feature the ability to ***. (Censored by the all-seeing Zenimax. At least my fear of the all-seeing Zenimax!)

Art Meeting News:
The magazine visit last week went well. Hopefully we should see a nice preview in few months. More details when I'm allowed to blab. I do have some news about the new, which is currently being revamped and should go "live" VERY SOON! It will feature new wallpapers weekly. These wallpapers will be of the various races in the game, with examples of weapons and armour. All nicely lit and posed for general consumption. At first these will be displayed as thumbnails on the site, with a new race being linked each week. This includes the new race, which has yet to be revealed. And they all look awesome. Christiane's done a great job on those. The Argonians and Khajit a VERY cool looking. I think everyone will be impressed. It also means I'll be able to put up some shots of the weaponary I worked on earlier in the game. This should all start very soon now, hopefully a matter of days rather than weeks, although things always happen to get in the way.

Tuesday 21st March 2001 (Evening Update)
The modelling on the head is finished and the texture almost complete. Looks pretty good and a think a good re-interpretation of the Daggerfall version. Lots of teeth! I'm tempted to post the head texture up on the site once I have it tweaked. It's amazing how deformed it looks, almost unrecognizable, but on the mesh it works fine. We'll see.

I'll work on the body some more tomorrow, and hopefully have it all Physiqued in time for the Tuesday meeting. The next creature on my list could be awesome if I get clearance to do what I want with it. There are some programming and gameplay issues to resolve however. There's always a trade-off between what's possible and what looks the best. If it doesn't work in the game however I'll have to come up with something else. That would be a pity.

Tuesday 20th March 2001
Meeting report. Very quick meeting today as there were magazines visiting. Can't say which ones just yet but hopefully there will be more coverage in the next few months. Perhaps some screen shots of the creatures so I can at least put something new on the Morrowind pages!

We discussed some changes to the current creature I'm working on. There were some problems as it was beginning to look too different from the Daggerfall version. (Design by committee, never a good idea!) So today I will redo the head. Unfortunately my favourite creature so far, the "H&n*$@", while it looked good after it was exported in our viewer, it went wonky in the game proper. So I'm not sure if the mags. even got to see it. Not sure what the problem is, but I suspect MAX is retaining information that it should have discarded and it's screwing up somewhere between exporting and arriving in the game.

The game itself is looking great. Lots of late nights by the team getting it ready for the magazine visit. Also, I thought I saw real-time shadows working. Could be wrong, don't quote me, but it might have looked rather awesome! ;o)

Tuesday 13th March 2001
Meeting report. Dental appointment for Todd today so he wasn't able to be there. Relatively short meeting, just really status reports.

I do have the new creature complete, just a few tweaks to the animation to do. Really enjoyed working on this one! It was a rush job, with no sketch to go on so I had lots of freedom to go nuts and have some fun with it. It's nice to remember why I love this job so much! :o)

Tomorrow I start on a creature that featured in the original Daggerfall. Been looking forward to this guy for quite some time. As usual I'll keep the journal updated with my progress. (And hopefully update my pitiful links page too!) :o(

Tuesday 6th March 2001

Meeting report. Crunch time approaches, you can sense that we're getting closer to the end of the project now. Well over half way, and I can sense an anticipation from the other members of the team. Or perhaps that's just a result of the food poisoning I got over the weekend from those kindly Burger merchants over in Mount Airy. ;o)

As to any specifics, I obviously can't go into any details. We will have some "polish" time at the end of the creature model making, which is great! A far cry from Daggerfall and Battlespire. Although we did polish, it just wasn't planned as far as I recall! ;o) My new creature takes shape and should be ready to show at the next meeting. Can't say what it is, what it does or what it looks like, but I have been referencing my Pumkinhead DVD for some bits. More than that though, I can't say.

Thursday 1st March 2001

Happy Saint David's Day to any fellow Welsh out there. :o)

I've been very busy recently so I apologise for not updating. We had a change of plan with one of our creatures last week and had to change stuff at the last minute. Also I've been tweaking the Nix Hound some more so it's now done, again! I've a bunch of other work, texture tweaking and modelling to do for next week so I will proabably not update for another few days.

The meeting this week was uneventfull, so no real news to report. Although...the first thing out of Todd's mouth did involve lesbians and vampires. Or was that vampire lesbians? Game related or just prattlings from Todd's over caffineated mind? I'll let you decide.

Although personally I wouldn't put money on anything like that turning up in Morrowind! :o)