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14. August 2019


Today we are checking out akeytsu by Nukeygara.  This is a commercial 3D rigging and animation software providing a quick and simple workflow for setting up and animating characters.  Simply import your character in FBX format, create a rig or use the existing Unreal or Unity rigs then paint skin weights.  Once your character is configured, or if you imported an already rigged character, it is time to begin animating.  If you are used to Max, Maya or Blender’s animation workflow, you will find akeytsu’s approach to be much more streamlined.

It is available on a fully functioning 30 day trial available here.  There are perpetual and subscription based pricing options for both professional and indie (>100K revenue) studios, as well as education licenses available. 

Learn more and check out akeytsu in action in the video below.

Art


6. August 2019


Today we are checking out the web based tool, the Universal LPC Sprite Sheet Character Generator, a free tool that enables you to quickly and easily create multi angle animated character sprite sheets.  The LPC in the name stands for Liberated Pixel Cup a contest/organization on OpenGameArt for creating open source 2D pixel art in a consistent style.  You can browse the entire content of LPC assets right here.  The assets on LPC and generated by this tool are available under split open source licenses, the CC BY-SA 3.0 and GPLv3.


The Sprite Sheet Generator enables you to quickly compose characters by selecting a male or female base sprite, then customizing dozens of attributes and accessories, such as eyes, hair style, clothing and weapons.  While the UI isn’t amazing, the process is remarkably straight forward, as shown in the following video.

Art GameDev News


29. July 2019


Today we are checking out Laigter, a free tool that enables you to perform special effects on sprites quickly and easily.  Even better, the source code is available on GitHub under the GPL 3.0 license.

Laigter is described as:

This tool lets you generate normal maps for 2D textures, with little effort. Specially designed for Sprites in 2D games. Specular map generation is possible too, which gives your sprites the shininess they need to look PRO! It also let's you create parallax maps, mainly intended for backgrounds, to obtain a nice 3D effect in 2D games!

Normal Maps lets you create awesome realistic lights for games. This tool is primary intended for illuminating 2D sprites for 2D games, although can also be used for 2D textures for 3D games.

Specular Maps lets you make realistic shine into your sprites.

Parallax Maps lets you "deform" the texture depending the point of view, so you can create, for example, depth effects in backgrounds like brick walls.

Ambient Occlusion maps lets you define to which parts ambient light should reach weaker. Adds realism to lights.

Laigter is available on Itch.io under a name your own price system (with an option of free available).  Laigter is available for Windows and Linux.  Check out the video below to see Laigter in action.

Design Art


20. July 2019


Machinations.io is a fairly rare breed, a tool dedicated to game design.  Currently in a free beta, Machinations is a browser based tool for designing and simulating mechanics for gameplay.

Descriptions for the Machinations.io website FAQ:

Machinations.io is a browser-based platform to design, balance and simulate game systems. It allows you to map any game system in an interactive diagram, set parameters that define elements and the relationship between them, and visualise the way in which these systems work. Based on that, you can simulate different outcomes, plot results and balance your game economy.


If you are familiar with diagramming software like Visio or have used a mind mapping application, you have a decent understanding of Machinations.  Machinations is however one of those tools that is easier to understand when seen in action, so I would recommend watching the video below.

GameDev News Design


9. July 2019


Today we are taking a look at a free, cross-platform (Mac, Windows & Linux) texturing tool from Agisoft called De-Lighter.  The purpose is all in the name, it’s for removing the effects of lighting from a texture.  This is useful in removing specular highlights or shadows from a texture captured via photography or 3D scans via photogrammetry such as using Meshroom.

The workflow is simple enough, you enter a 3D object in a variety of 3D formats with the original texture applied.  You then mark the areas that are influenced by light and the areas that are shadowed and De-Lighter takes care of the rest.  This leaves you with a texture that is then light neutral for use in your own lighting set up, be it a 3D renderer or a real-time game engine.  Thanks to 80.lv for the heads up on this release.

De-Lighter is available for download, completely free and no registration required, right here.  Watch the video below to see De-Lighter in action.

GameDev News Art


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