Author: ABT

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We call this the Crimson Slice!
Concept came from the ever mysterious Rob.
Anwar Bey-Taylor created the Model, textures and materials.
Chay Johansson did all the in game set up and rig.
This piece was really fun.
It is currently in the workshop here: http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/
Head over and vote it up! Thanks.

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In the month of October the Founder and Creative Director of Mind Traveler Design, Anwar Bey-Taylor was invited to Hoyes Diseno in the country of Colombia to present and lead a workshop on character development for video games.

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Here are his thoughts on his experience with Hoyes Desino.

“Hoyes Desino at Universidad Icesi, in Cali, Colombia was a spectacular experience! The students were very passionate and confident in the way they retained the information and in the questions they asked. They were completely engaged and excited about video game development on all levels, especially character design and development. They are progressing wonderfully towards the cutting edge of technology and I am so very excited to experience what they create in the coming years. I have no doubt it will be nothing short of incredible.”

Here are some photos from the event. As you can see the energy was monstrously magnificent.

20151015_203350446_iOSA marketing poster for Hoyes Diseno created by the students that organized and executed the event (above).

20151015_172254000_iOSA picture from Anwar’s character development presentation (above).

20151016_035330000_iOSThe team of presenters were invited from all over Latin America and the World. (above).
20151016_220828968_iOSThe character development workshop. After learning about how to develop monsters they all became monsters (above).
20151016_035324000_iOSThe entire student team that organized and executed Hoyes Diseno to perfection (above).


20151019_210416060_iOSAnwar was also invited to meet a team of student video game developers at SENA, a neighboring school in Cali, Colombia. They turned to monsters too.

“Colombia is an enchanting experience. I have meet numerous amounts of creative young students and developers who are absolutely excited to continue learning and soon share their ideas with the world. Colombia is a country of immaculate beauty and joy, it radiated within the people everywhere I visited through out the entire trip. I look forward to visiting Colombia again and helping them create magical stories and entertainment that will influence the world.” – Anwar Bey-Taylor

Without stories everything is forgotten.

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At MTD we believe that story is the crux of what lathers life into art and design. We set out to instill story into everything we create. It is through the story that history is instilled into the character, providing the possibility for the character to live in the memory banks of the user rather than to be forgotten as soon as the screen turns off.

There are many examples in films and video games where the story makes the characters timeless legends, thus because of these character’s brands and IPs are built and solidified forever into popular culture.

Darth Vader is a easily notable character that only continues to live fruitfully in our memories, even though he was created decades ago. Although he is tall, dressed from head to do toe in black, has a deep voice and a crazy scary mask, his legend goes deeper than just the design ascetics of his outfit. Darth Vader is forever ingrained in our memories because he is Luke Skywalker’s father. That story of fatherhood turned a already bad ass character into a well rounded multi faceted historic icon, suddenly he is applicable to youth and adults, and because of that he will live on for generations.

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The story grounds the design. A wizard without story is just a design consisting of a bunchh of basic archetypes (ie: pointed hat, staff, long beard) but when you plant the seeds of story, you can get something more powerful. An old man that stumbled upon a magic staff while walking his dog can look like anyone… he can evolve into the role of wizard in ways that are new and rich with emotive context. It is in story that mediocre poeple can can become heroic icons, revered and remembered for lifetimes.

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Story can make an otherwise basic character design seem original and full of life. The addition of bandages, a broken watch, a locket with the character’s recently passed mother in it, a chipped St. marks necklace pendant, and/or a battered dirty jacket with band patches and buttons can make a basic street character archetype turn into a identifiable hero or vigilante that the audience can identify with.

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Story leads our character designs and creations, always, whether it’s a mobile game, a new player skin for a M.O.B.A. game character, a monster for a console game or an old broken watch-tower nestled at land’s end, story is always present in our creations. For client we always ask about the story and subtext about the universe they are creating, the world in which their characters are existing in. In some cases there is no story, that is not a problem, upon client approval we fill in those missing story pieces, guaranteeing a creation that is rich with history, identifiable attributes, and a type of life that is sure to couple seamlessly within the memory wharehouse of the players. – AnwarBey

 

Meet Fu Yu the Fish!!!!

The team and I’s new Dota2 work is a submission for the upcoming New Bloom Festival for Chinese New Year!!

He is a wonderful good fortune fish that is full of life and ready for action! In the game Fu Yu assists as a courier that delivers to the player, items from the shops to help make the hero Bigger, Badder, Faster, Stronger, GREATER!! We had a blast creating this little guy, and hope the world enjoys our creation. KAPOWW!

You can find more info on him below in the workshop, also it is at the workshop that you can help build his greatness by voting for him to be integrated into the game.

Model breakdown shots are coming soon!

http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=375092915

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We made it in! Into the mythical world of DOTA2 our little bat creation originally named “Blind as a Bat ward” has now been renamed to the infamous “Echo the Locator“. We created this ward item for steam workshop back in July 2014 and recently at the tail end of October it has finally been approved and added into the game for the general player population to purchase and experience. This ward has been labeled a “Very Rare” item and can be found in the “Treasure of the Rotted Gallows” bundle, but it is a “Random Bonus Reward”, so although we hope it will only take you 1 purchase of the bundle to receive it, don’t be surprised if it takes you a few tries. Enjoy! Cheers to Chay Johansson (animation) and Simon Boxer (illustrations). – Anwar

 

 

 

 

Today I listened to a song by Bishop Nehru and MFDOOM called Caskets, at the end of the song a woman talks about how to thrive in times of hardship, she goes on a very inspirational rant about how you have to go with the flow and not get down on yourself during the hard times. The song reminded me of my time at Blizzard when I worked with the Cinematics team on WOW, SC2, and Diablo3, it also provided me with a very unique kind of clarity, about why I was only with the team for 1 year rather than continuing to be with them today.

I recently published some of the works I created during my year at Blizzard Entertainment on the Cinematics team, you can find it in the “WORKS” section labeled Blizzard Cinematics.

This is my first time ever showing the models I created for the Starcraft2 and World of Warcraft Cinematics. I worked with Blizzard 7 years ago, it was my first full time job in the industry. I remember I was super nervous the whole time, for it was a dream job and the team was unbelievably skilled and  talented and they knew it. I remember everyday there I was stressed and worried that I would do something wrong or my work would be considered sub-par and to be honest with you, in some cases it was. The team consisted of veteran artists, guys that had been developing for video games, film, and advertising for many years. I was the youngest guy on the team. My dreams were to create characters for Blizzard cinematics but my insertion on the team was to be a part of a newly created environment team, which although it was a super amazing position, it was also a surprise since I was under the assumption that I would be helping with characters, especially given that a character is what my art test consisted of (which in hind sight was actually a good thing, given that if I knew it was an environment position when I applied, I probably wouldn’t have had the confidence to get the job, since I had never created environments before).

Blizzard Cinematics Art Test 2007

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The models I was assigned to create were a mix of objects, some were background objects, meaning they would only be seen in the distance and through depth of field, while others where hero objects, meaning you would see them in focus and in the foreground. No matter what they were I created them to the best of my ability, for I only had one level of execution and that was only “the best I could possibly do”. I remember I was assigned to create the ground plate for the Starcraft 2 Betrayal cinematic but I had never modeled anything hard-surface in my life, let alone at a cinematic quality. Stressed beyond belief I borrowed a Gnomon DVD from the libaray at work and left early. The Gnomon dvd was called “modeling for production” (or something to that extent) it was by  Cajun Hylton, when I got home I spent the whole afternoon and night watching it and practicing the steps Cajun used to create his high res hard surface models. When I returned to work the next day I worked nonstop on trying to bring the intricate designs from then Art Director Fausto De Martini’s concept drawing to life in 3d. That model took me weeks but in the end I finished it and it was approved to be textured and used for the cinematic.

Ground Plate Model – Starcraft2: The Betrayal Cinematic

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Although it was stressful and worrisome I tried my best not to show it, instead I just tryed put a smile on my face and suck up as much knowledge as possible. Most of the time that did the job, but at the heightened times of stress when smiles didnt fix everything, I would take a break and go explore the Blizzard campus. I wondered into areas of all sorts, some of the places I found were where the super secret projects were being worked on, like the just recently admitted Project Titan. I also wondered into the World of Warcraft, and diablo 3 production areas. I meet a lot of amazing artists on those walks and most are still very much my friends today. We would talk about art, they would show me the arts and projects they were working on and I was blown away by the excellence in the execution of everything they created. They would also be interested in what I was working on, but I never felt like my work measured up to theirs, I mean these guys on the WOW team were concepting monsters, creating them in lowpoly 3d, texturing them with amazing hand-painted textures, and throwing them into the game effortlessly… meanwhile I was sculpting bullet ridden walls for SC2 or mountain sides and Ice slabs for WOW which although I thought was cool, I also didn’t feel like it compared to what they were doing. I was humbled by the multi-dynamics of their artistry.

My time at blizzard was that of pure magic, although it was challenge at every corner, it is one of the few places I have worked thus far that I felt like I was a part of a community, one that was tight knit, full of energy, and super fun all wrapped into 1 work day after another. I learned so much! Modeling, concepting, ideation, shaders, texture theory, traditional sculpting, lighting, how to make awesome characters and environements and so much more. I was so hungry for knowledge and to take my artistry to the next level that even though it was stressful most of the time, there was still no other place I would rather have been. Even now, when I think about the experience it seems unbelievable … like as if it was just a dream… a dream come true. -Anwar

 

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EverStar has gone live on kickstarter today. It is a action adventure RPG with some truely amazing gameplay mechanics.  At MTD we created all the real-time characters for the game.  Anwar Bey-Taylor created in 3d all the characters and creatures which were based on some really cool concept from Psycho Sorted. Chay Johansson created the character and creature rigs. The time constraints were pretty tight but we were able to accomplish some quality character creation nevertheless. Overall the team at Psycho Sorted created this vertical slice in only a few months, we am amazed at all the content they were able to solidify in such a short period of time. We are rooting for their success with their kickstarter campaign! Check out the project here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/psychosorted/everstar-0

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Here are some turnaround shots of some of the characters I created for EverStar.

Tessa- Realtime/Ingame model

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Clanroot – Realtime/Ingame model

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Clanthorn – Realtime/Ingame model

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Vadraug – Boss Monster – Realtime/Ingame model

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Welcome to Mind Traveler Design BLOG. We are going to be putting in tremendous effort to making this blog fun and entertaining.
It is here that we will post all the news about what we are up to in and outside of MTD projects.
Stay tuned, we are looking forward to telling you our stories. Cheers. -Anwar

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