Ultra Awesome: A Short Visual History of Videogames

Friday, October 31, 2008

A Short Visual History of Videogames

Hallo people! Sorry I haven't posted in ages, I've been busting my balls on my final year uni assignment, and doing some freelance work.

I've also been trying to get together a visual effects folio website, which I have just finished uploading, and you can totally check it out here:
www.ultra-awesome.com

Anyway, about my uni piece; It is an entirely animated 3D piece called "A Short Visual History of Videogames".
It is a 3 minute long "visual essay" (or whatever you call these things) about the history of videogame consoles, from 1972 when Ralph Baer invented the Odyssey with Bob Tremblay, to the launch of the current generation of consoles and beyond.

I did my project about the history of videogames because; I know lots about it, and I'm not very good at the deep-meaningful/pretentious stuff that most student films/animations seem to consist of. Plus ultimately my piece was always mainly intended to be a sort of modelling showreel, with the narrative taking a back seat to pretty visuals designed to show off my technical abilities with 3D modelling and lighting etc.

My aim here was to develop my modelling/texturing/lighting/compositing skills to the point where I was able to achieve photo realistic visuals with all of the consoles.

Anyway, you can view the finished piece here, or you can go to this page on my folio site:
A Short Visual History of Videogames
To view it in a larger size (since blogger makes the video really small and low resolution here, lame).



If you want to see this full sized 1024 by 576 resolution video, click on the the vimeo button in the video player, scroll down and click "download original file" (although, you'll need to create a vimeo account to do that).

I'd also made a snazzy looking DVD case for when I handed in all of the submission stuff to the lecturers:Here is a super hires image with random screenshots, that I used for the back cover of the DVD case.

Also, here is the front cover of the dvd case I made, in a handy desktop wallpaper size, for if you want a bit of old school arcade action on your computer desktop:


Here are a couple of screencaps of the Maya scene files, to give you a bit of an idea about my mesh topology and the lighting setup I used:

Lighting was pretty simple for most scenes; only 3 directional lights with soft shadows, to simulate studio lighting and to provide soft reflections on the consoles made of the black low-sheen plastics (I used an anisotropic shader for this with a volumetric brownian bump map).

Some scenes had more complex lighting; for the xbox/PS2/gamecube/dreamcast scene, I had to use a heap of light-linked area lights to get specific reflections off certain objects for the desired camera angle.

32 comments:

Farah said...

This is amazing, honestly.. the graphics.. the way everything comes together - BRILLIANT.

Keep up the good work.. x

McMerle said...

I absolutely love it. Ridiculously creative. It's isnanely boss.

Anonymous said...

Hi Kyle,

I sent you an e-mail a while back in regards to some 3d work.

Could you shoot me an e-mail when you can.

cameron@boomtownpictures.com.au

cheers,

Cam.

Anonymous said...

HI kyle - have tried your e-mail, not sure if you've received them?

are you able to call asap please?

cheers,

cameron.
0438575094

Chokocat said...

Amazing... sorry should say: awesome!

CreativeTide said...

LOVE the graphics (and the topic!), you did a really great job.

Only feedback I'd offer would be to turn up the voice volume and turn down the music volume. But that could just be a personal preference too. :)

flew said...

Nice work man..

I watched this at ACMI the other day..

AWESOME!!

Ernesto said...

It's fucking awesome but...where's the Dreamcast? I was thrilled until you jumped from N64 to PS2

Ernesto said...

oh it is there, but it came out first than the PS2 :)

Kyle Downes said...

@Ernesto

Yeah I know, a couple of people have pointed that out.
I was trying to keep stuff chronological, but having the Dreamcast on screen before the other 3 would mean the joke with the "go away dreamcast! nobody likes you!" wouldn't have worked as well.

Eric Carl said...

No love for the Dreamcast! Was actually quite a good system with some great games, and still has a strong cult fanbase. Nice job on the video though!

C4RL05 said...

Superb work Kyle. Love the comments, very funny but quite accurate, particularly the gamecube. Graphics, camera work, fonts, voice over, music, it all fits together beautifully.

Bec said...

I saw this at the Graduate Screening and was blown away! Looked professional, entertaining and beautifully executed, definitely one of my favourites. Good luck with all your future work!

The Miglest said...

NES killing Master System? What?

Saturn being ignored? What, what?!

Dreamcast with no love? What, what, what?!!

Do you hate SEGA, for some reason...?

Kyle Downes said...

Sega is my favourite!
Really, my favourite game of all time is Streets of Rage 2 on Megadrive.

But its true, worldwide the master system didn't do nearly as well as the nes.
The saturn was hugely overshadowed by playstations E3 unveiling.
And besides the cult following of diehard dreamcast fans (I'm becoming one of them), it was almost completely ignored by the mass market.

(ps. I put those dreamcast jokes in there because I knew it would draw a massive outcry from the diehard dreamcast fanboys, lol).

very said...

Hi guy.

You've made an awesome work. I just published a note on my "design" blog about your film

Keep up the good work,

A. Very

shen heng said...

Mate, you do great work. Was glad to see a fellow RMIT grad bounce out at Core77 site.

May contact you in the future for freelance work.

Adriano said...

I'm not too old, but I almost cried for the atari 2600:D
Contragulations for the video, it's visually clean, beautiful.
That box is really going to be copied and sold?
I will probably buy one.

Once more contragulations.
Bye.

Cláudio Stacciarini said...

Hi man!
Great video! It brings me many remembrance...
I think you forget to tell about pong - arcade (here in Brasil was called Telejogo), but nice work!

My works:
http://www.maquetestacciarini.blogspot.com/

Regards,
Claudio Stacciarini.

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Carlos said...

Amazing man !! congratulations from chile!! Can I ask a favor?

I can send you some links to tutorials you have learned or your favorites?

and which program to use?

I would greatly appreciate

helyeah_@hotmail.com

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Anonymous said...

Good visuals, but ultimately full of inaccuracies and a confused UK-centric view. Also, repeating meaningless phrases like "32 bit graphics" doesn't help.

Kyle Downes said...

I was trying to put across the point of view of the schoolyard kids from the time the consoles were around.

Looking at consoles and sales in pure statistics is boring, hence why I threw is the quotes like "64-bit graphics makes it twice as good". That was the main argument kids at my school used to use trying to prove Nintendo was better than Sony etc.

Also, I'm from Australia, not the UK.

Tracy@The3dStudio.com said...

Great video. I miss some of my older games! Do you sell your 3D models anywhere? We'd love to have you as a member if you aren't already. :)

Qusai said...

OMG, that is just brilliant. Awesome! I will be including this on my blog if thats alright? My blog is http://theweirdandwonderfullist.blogspot.com/

Steven said...

Very cool! Thanks for posting this!

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