As most of you already know, the Graphics Department is responsible for producing characters, weapons, and items in the game that match the style of Combat Arms. Today, I'd like to share the Graphics Department's production process for making new cosmetic items.
First, we select the item list and collect reference material.
Discussions are carried out with the Planning Department, and a list of items that are required for Combat Arms is selected. Military-related references are collected and the requests of the users are taken into consideration when making the final selections. This time, we will look into the production process of the Ghillie Suit and the EOD Suit, both chosen based on user feedback.
The concept designer starts with concept sketches and outfit selections based on actual reference materials.
Concept Designer S: “I believe the most important part of Combat Arms graphic design is bringing the sense of military realism to life. Mandatory reference photo collecting takes place first to make the selected design a reality. Only the vivid designs that are based on vast amounts of real life reference materials will form the basis of Combat Arms game play! The thing that concerns me the most when making selections for outfits is how an outfit is used on the real battlefield or might be used to bring special appeal for those outfits in an imaginary world.”
Concept Designer K: “The concept of Combat Arms is realism, so things like actual texture and patterns must be considered to make it look right when they are produced in 3D. At times it is very disheartening when designs that went through a difficult thought process and took a lot of work are excluded from the production. There are also times when the 3D results come out a little different from what I had originally conceived, and those times are the most troubling. But making adjustments to minimize the differences in design by fine tuning the suggestions of the modeler or animators is also part of my job, so I have to deal with it.”
Several design selections are internally discussed in the department to choose the one that expresses the concept the best, prior to sending it over to the modeling department. There were several initial drafts for the recent cosmetic items but the ones with the best concept were finally chosen.
Modeler Billie: “What I am in charge of is bringing a 2D concept into 3D. The process for this task can be different in style for different individuals. For me, it requires careful detail work, editing, and fine tuning. The most important factor in 3D work is to express what was originally planned in the 2D concept design exactly in 3D, and deliver reality with details in texture and density. The recent Ghillie Suit was very difficult to work on due to the fur-like parts. The work was so stressful that my hair started to turn gray! My girlfriend gave me a lot of grief about my hair, but the item proved to be popular, and it made it all worthwhile.”
Modeler Jack: “My role is to breathe life into a flat picture. There are times Billie and I are in disagreement over textures or details, but it is in those disagreements and discussions that characters come to life! When is it most difficult while working? Hmm... I don't know... There are times when I am so immersed in the work and click too much and lose the file I am working on... It takes working late or working overnight to make recoveries... and since I am older now such instances cause significant damage to my body and mind for several days. Anyway, I was glad to see that the EOD Suit came out looking good in the game.”
The animators lay down the framework in completed 3D models to create motion that is close to the real thing.
Animator J: “I try to be very observant in my everyday life. Animators have to keep up their research in order to create more natural and dynamic movements. I refer mostly to videos on YouTube when working on different tasks. It is also important to have discussions often with people who worked on the tasks prior to me to bring the intended feel from the initial concept selections. Personally I had great deal of fun in creating the Ghillie Suit and the EOD Suit since they were different from previous styles. I did, however, make some errors in making the movements of the joints natural because the overall volume of the EOD was so large.”
Testing in the game environments is carried out to fix the density, color, and movement. This testing increases the completeness of the character prior to showing it to the users!
Sophia: “I believe it is important to increase the quality of work that is assigned to you, but the most important thing is to maintain the overall universal esthetic through collaboration in concept design, modeling and animation work. Every little detail is indeed important, but each one of these details have to be part of a big picture in Combat Arms. In order to achieve this, the people who are working on these tasks must continue to communicate with each other and share suggestions.”
Did this help you to understand the Combat Arms Graphic Department's process? We hope that you enjoy the characters that the developers have put their blood and sweat into during the production process when you play!
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