Project Description

StudioPro was used for a number of key shapes in Marathon 2: Durandal. In a game that involves combating lots of aliens with a variety of weapons, all of the weapons, some of the larger decorative objects, and three alien types (the Probe, Juggernaut and Defender) were all rendered with StudioPro. The Defender only appears near the end of the game, but as the fabled lost clan of the S'pht race, they play a major role in the plot.

The process of building the Defender began with a somewhat older graphic technology, paper and pencil. With conceptual drawings at hand, I ran StudioPro and formed the alien's body out of basic shapes (cones, spheres), similar to modeling with clay. I rotated the rough shape and smoothed out the glitches. Looking at it from a variety of angles also helped me decide what textures to wrap it with.

The next step was importing a color map, and importing textures I had already made into the bump map. A few experiments led to a bump pattern that gave the Defender the desired look of sophisticated, but ancient, technology. StudioPro's raytracing feature allowed us to try out various lighting effects from the different positions the alien would take in the game.

The Defender is an asymmetrical creature, so every action it performs (shooting, raising shields, crashing) needs to be rendered separately from every angle-about 40 renderings total. For this, I set up a batch render, turned it on and went home. In the morning, the rendered images got a final touch-up, were dropped into the game's Shapes file, and then I moved on to the next project!

Bungie Software is a corporation dedicated to the production of outstanding, immersive electronic games that surpass the boundaries of conventional game technology and provide compelling and highly repeatable play. Makers of the multi-award-winning Pathways Into Darkness, Marathon and Marathon 2: Durandal, Bungie has captured the hearts of countless computer gamers since 1991.

"StudioPro is the most stable 3-D rendering program in its price range. Features like camera positioning are more intuitive than in similar programs and other features, like Metaballs, are just cool to work with."-Doug Zartman

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Updated 06.21.96 [16:15:44] by jason vance