Monster Lab

Monster Lab

I was lead artist on Monster Lab, and managed art resources and art assets between over 50 team members. It was the biggest project I handled at that point in my career.

In addition to the daily tasks of project management, meetings, and mentoring artists, I also created the exploration environments on the DS version of the game.

This was done using the Wii assets of the game. The problem though was the details were very small, because the Wii version was higher resolution, and had a closer camera, with a much lower camera angle. So from the top-down camera that the DS version had, many of the assets looked like clutter, or was unrecognizable.

monsterlab_environments

The majority of the assets needed to be remodeled or simplified. I exaggerated features, exaggerated textures, and removed clutter. I had to remodel a lot of the assets so that their facing angles were more complementary with the top-down camera angle. It was a pretty daunting task to tackle as well.

This of course, wasn’t enough. The lighting was meant for the Wii as well, so many features of the environment needed to be re-lit for DS, as well as repainted. This was all done via photoshop using paint layers and overlay effects.

Once the environments were completed, elements that appeared over top the player sprite were cut out into a separate layer using a sprite program. Each environment was 256-color DS compliant.

The DS character portraits were also done by me, again using the Wii assets. Many of the poses were also not applicable to the DS version because of various camera angle differences, space constraints, and other factors, so I had to pose them as well. The Wii models were lit real-time in game using a special hardware shader, which couldn’t be replicated using the standard Maya renders. Much of the lighting had to be faked via photoshop paint-overs to mimic the effect. Then the portraits had to be scaled down to DS compliant standards, and touched up.

monsterlab_portraits

 


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