I didn't get onto the GDC volunteer program.

I don't know anyone who did, and don't know how to find anyone who did, it'd be really great to know what they wrote on their submission.
I may try and volunteer for something a bit smaller and closer to home, give them more reason to pick me when I try again next year. Also I aim to sort something out for FMX, which is taking place in May I believe, anyone whose interested in coming along let me know because if there's 10 of us we can get a small discount off the already fairly reasonable £105.233 down to £75.7545 (90 Euro) which is amazing for an event like this. Though anything looks amazing next to GDC's $1300 price tag.

I've reached a near final stage on the Exeter Cathedral model, just the towers at the back remain to be done and some details round the doors at the front. I am now well into the UV unwrapping and as usual my plugin of choice, RoadKill, is screwing me over just as much as it makes my life easier. Not the most soothing of ways to spend almost an entire Sunday. But I know you came here for shiny so here you are:

This render was actually a test to see how the passes worked when I composited them in Photoshop. There's ambient occlusion, indirect lighting, shadows and diffuse.

Here are the Final Gather points as computed at render time from the perspective of the camera, they are added to the final gather map with each consequent frame so that it doesn't have to be re-calculated.

The generic looking but so easy mental ray Sun & Sky node. I think it should be renamed the Pixar button.

Behold! Image based lighting. Impressive no? that took one click and 20 minutes to render. The panoramic image it drew the lighting information from courtesy of Tom Gameson. I'll have to do some reading on how it actually works this out but its very accurate in how it matches the lighting conditions of the image, because our dull English weather creates such soft shadows and diffused light sources it takes quite a bit of time to render but I was amazed with the results.

In other news, which is slightly out of date now, the entire sequence of gameplay footage from the Uncharted Demo was released a few weeks ago and its too stunning not to share, here are all three parts:

I also came across some amazing work by Autodesk master Wayne Robson, this guy has a pretty enormous ego, but he's pretty good at what he does. The first Autodesk master to specialize in Mudbox.

Another interesting piece of game journalism from Michael Thomsen in which he interviews one of the designers working on Homefront and  gives him a hard time on why certain game mechanics don't better serve the overall themes of the game.

Pete Collier's excellent blog post explores where we draw out creativity from and how its necessary to seek that inspiration lest our work turns stagnant.

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