travis engine
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Meet Travis Overstreet

I’m Travis Overstreet and I took the Character Artist Bootcamp at GAI.  Currently, I’m a digital artist working in Chicago, IL. I’m originally from a small town outside of Atlanta, Georgia, but I moved up here for work five years ago. I currently work for a small startup in the mobile casino space based out of the UK. My work in Chicago has mostly been centered around creating art slot games with a few freelance ad jobs here and there. When I was in Atlanta, I worked mostly in the advertising world making various spots for internal and external use. Because of the location and nature of my past work I’ve had to cover a wide range of skill sets from various 2D and 3D tasks to animation and more.

Experience At GAI

At GAI, the most valuable things were the critiques and learning the importance of Process. Before this class when I sat down to create a character, I had no set practice or process. Because of that, I never achieved consistent or repeatable results with my work. Most pieces would end up half-finished or rushed out the door. During this class, I was shown a clear process from beginning to end that, if followed and given the proper time and effort, would result in a finished piece of quality. I was also encouraged to add to and iterate upon the process in the hopes that the development would help myself and others down the line. I think this is part of the reason the community at GAI is so effective. Everyone shares and grows together.

GAME ARTIST BOOTCAMP

Project: Viking Girl (Real-time)

First off, I know I wanted to create a female character, as I tend to make male characters typically and I wanted to push myself in this way. After I decided that I began a search for a concept the grabbed me. I didn’t have any other restriction than that it needed to be female. I landed on a wonderful concept that was created by Roman Kupriyanov.

This piece was interesting to me because of the complexity of the costume, the braids in the hair, and the variety of materials. From there, I collected as much reference as possible.

travis overstreet box 1

PROJECT BREAKDOWN

Mastery is not magic. It’s process.

Evolution #1: High Res

Built using ZBrush, Maya and Marvelous Designer.  There was so much work that went into making the high resolution digital sculpt for this character… I built an ecorche for the face. You can see that documented on my 80LV article HERE. You’ll also see the work I did for the body and the clothing there as well.

travis hi

Evolution #2: Low Res

I wanted this to be built for a hero character for a AAA game so I didn’t really spare the polygons too much.  Straps where built separate from the clothing but I did save as much of the polygon budget as i could for the face and the hair. The total polygon count is 75,000 (including hair).

travis lowrez 1

Evolution #3: UV + Baking

I broke the model up into four texture sets to make it as high quality as possible.  One of the things the teachers focus on at GAI is building to your Portfolio not to the game.  Ryan always says, “Your first job is to attract attention. Then you can talk to them about topology and making it run in engine.”

travis bakes

Evolution #4: Texturing

For the texturing, I used Substance Painter. I started with a base cloth material that had a weave pattern similar to what I was aiming for. From there, I adjusted the base color to get as close to the concept as I could. Then, I use a lighter looser weave material using a curvature mask as a way to simulate areas wear the cloth may have worn through some of the cloth. Then, it’s just a matter of adding light and dark grunge layers with slight adjustments to the roughness.

travis texture01

FREE TUTORIAL

WATCH TRAVIS EXPLAIN HOW TO TEXTURE TORN FABRIC IN SUBSTANCE PAINTER

For the ripped areas, I used the lighter loose weave material with a very subtle negative height layer, add a black mask, and then paint the ripped areas back in. Around the edges, I add in more subtle wear using the lighter loose weave. I also create a paint layer above all of this where I paint in some height and wrinkles around the torn areas. Learn more in the tutorial to the right.

CHECK OUT THE FREE TUTORIAL

travis fabric tear THUMB

Evolution #5: Engine Setup

This model was rendered in Marmoset Toolbag 3.  Marmoset is really one of the most powerful ways for me as a game artist to focus on my work and not the game engine. Studios respect it.  Artists love it.

travis engine

ADVICE TO FUTURE GAME ARTISTS

The biggest challenge with this project was getting all of the different pieces of software to communicate correctly. Something would look great in Substance or ZBrush and look off in Marmoset and vice versa. I learned a lot about getting your work into Marmoset or whatever the end renderer is early and continue to check it as you go. As the amount of software required in CG art expands I think we as artists have to be able to visualize the final result as quickly as possible so we can iterate and make changes as early as possible. I’m only a week into my new project and I already have it up in Marmoset. It’s already helped me immensely.

HIRE TRAVIS OVERSTREET

Follow Travis Overstreet:

Artstation

Linkedin

80Level

travis overstreet box 1

BONUS!

TRAVIS OVERSTREET WALKS THROUGH CREATING REAL-TIME HAIR BRAIDS

I started in Maya, placing the main hair cards by hand, creating the silhouette. Then, I combined them and made them a live mesh and used quad draw to draw on the next set of hair cards. I then adjusted those by hand until I was happy. Then, I just rinsed and repeated that process until I was happy with the hair….

CHECK OUT THE FREE TUTORIAL

travis tutorial hair thumb

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