Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Introduction to 3D Graphics Presentation

Image used in PowerPoint

Taken from the second interview

The video
Starcraft II cinematic teaser
Internet sources
Nick Carpenter
-Interview #1
-Interview #2
-Career history
RenderMan software
Link #1
-Evidence of Blizzard's conversion to RenderMan
Link #2
-Wikipedia article on the software
References and artistic inspirations for Starcraft series
Link #1

The vast majority of the information that I gathered for this project was attained from interviews with Nick Carpenter (Cinematic Creative Director at Blizzard). Once I located a name that was attached to the game's cinematics, finding all the information that I needed was easy. The second interview listed above gave me all the technical information that I needed regarding the way that the teams work together, and the areas that the software has advanced in. The first interview (as well as the site that lists all the games that Nick has worked on) gave me some insight into his career as a cinematic designer. The rest of the sources were picked up to evidence facts stated in my presentation.

My presentation makes it clear that the most notable step forward Blizzard is taking is the incorporation of movie-level CGI rendering into StarCraft II. I became very excited after reading about this, and I feel that it truly will impact the future of 3D graphics for videogames; as said in the presentation, if it's difficult to tell the difference between CGI models and actual human actors in movies today, then how real could this technology make videogames appear? One of the smaller details I acquired that interested me was the information on the art direction of the game; it is interesting to point out all of the designs and artwork that the StarCraft series has borrowed from previous Science Fiction outings. When reading Nick's statement about how the graphics are a vehicle that is sent towards crafting excellent characters and storylines, I found myself to agree with him completely; I felt that I had to put that statement into the slideshow. If the game features poor gameplay and a bad story, good graphics are basically useless by themselves. Overall, I found this project to be quite enjoyable; it was fun to research one of my favorite gaming companies, and I think the class will enjoy my findings, as well.

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