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May 14, 2012 8:00 AM

by B.N. Reporter

Last week saw a significant turn of event in the game creation industry. Last Friday, May 11, 2012, Mixamo, Inc. has nominated "Vanguard" a Blender-made game character as the winner of the "Space Battle Character Contest." It could mean that the game studios no longer need to rely on some of the expensive software to create top-notch game characters and props.


In an interview with after the announcement of Mixamo, "Tommy Wong" the creator of "Vanguard" has shared his story of how he made the model and how he chose to use Blender for joining the contest:

Can you tell us about yourself? 

"My name is Tommy Wong, or Yung as I am known in some forums. I am from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and I have been dabbling in 3D for a couple of years now. Previously, I taught in The One Academy as 3D modeling lecturer, but now I venture full time as a freelance 3D artist. Before this, I worked at a few local animation houses as 3D generalist, specializing in character rigging."

Why did you use Blender for the contest?

"I was actually introduced to Blender by one of my ex-colleague back in version 2.4 when the overhaul for the current Blender was announced. The transition from Maya, which was the software I learned, to Blender, was painful and agonizing, but I grew to accept and love Blender's way, except for the lack of support for n-gon, which really hampered my workflow and required work-around. I soon learned about B-mesh and thought I should I give it a spin for the competition."

What programs did you use other than Blender?

"For this competition, the modeling of the 'Vanguard' was going well in Blender, all the way to UV unwrap, till I hit the time to do the baking. Blender's texture baking was surprisingly quick, but I wasn't able to control it, and due to time limit, I had to resort to Maya for the baking. Photoshop was then used for texturing and finally it was lit and rendered with Marmoset's Toolbag."

What's your future plan?

"I am currently learning as much as possible about game development, and recently I've fallen in love with Scirra's Construct2. I hope within this year, I could raise enough money from my freelance to lock myself away for 1 to 2 years while I try my best to put together my first game! (There will be a lot of mechs!)"

Congrats, Tommy. And we hope the best for your future plans and we'll look forward to your games and other works!

It's notable that Maya was usednot due to an inability of Blender but admittedly due to a lack of up-to-date tutorial on how to bake texture maps in latest versions of Blender. (Trick & Tips: When baking normal maps in Blender 2.6, please make sure that the surfaces of the low ploy model does not intersect with its high ploy version.)

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