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July 19, 2013 / KingsIsle Entertainment

The Evolution of Bartleby – Part 3

Last time Principal Artist Jeff Toney finished modeling the magic world tree, Bartleby.  The 3d model we left you with doesn’t look like Bartleby just yet! 

When I left off last post we had Bartleby modeled and were able to walk around him in our custom game client to make sure we liked his size and the shape of his features. Still there was one major step left to do; we had to texture him.

Textures are pictures we create to give the illusion of different materials (in this case the components of the tree) instead of the flat polygons that we had in place. Bartleby was made of bark, but he had a canopy of leaves and his eye looked more like a human eye than one carved out of wood. You might think we would start with painting the textures first, but we first must plot out where the texture will wrap around the object.

In 3d Studio Max, there is a process called UVW Mapping that lets you decide how a texture gets wrapped around an object. Think of the texture as a piece of paper that you can wrap around the object. We could draw on this piece of paper and the model would reflect that change. Like a piece of paper, you can make different shapes with this texture. A single piece of paper could be folded into anything from a cylinder to a square to just the flat paper itself. Since Bartleby was a cylinder at his basic core, we can wrap this paper around him the same way.

3-01 Bartleby Cylinder

Notice the cylinder around Bartleby in the last picture? This is how his texture will be wrapped around him. Our next step was to unfold the piece of paper back into a flat plane. When we did that, his texture looked a lot like this.

3-02 Bartleby UV Unwrap

This looked a bit like a jumbled mess, but this is usually how we start. Every line and vertex of the 3D Bartleby model is represented here. If you look at the bottom middle of the previous picture, you can see the outline of Bartleby’s face mesh. From this point, we could tweak and move each vertex to get a better “painting canvas” for our texture. In the end of this process, we got a texture map that looked more like this.

3-03 Bartleby UV Unwrap Cleanup

That is more like it. You can see his face was as big as possible in the space provided and the general bark was overlapping with itself. I then used this as a first sketch for my final texture.

3-04 Bartleby Texture01

I started to paint a bark texture over the whole painting. I made it a bit cartoony in style with not a lot of details at this point.

3-05 Bartleby Texture02

I then added shadows and highlights for his face and eye, and added some moss and grass to the polygons that touched the ground.

3-06 Bartleby Texture03

I finally add a layer of shadow and light and some detail bark texture to make sure he looked like a tree. For Wizard101, our texture style is cartoony with just a hint of realism. This texture was then mapped to the model that we already had and he looked like this.

3-07 Bartleby Mapped

That was more like it! After a few tweaks, he was then ready for an effects pass. This was done by a specialized artist who added all the small environmental animations that surrounded the tree. This included beams of sunlight, small leaves floating down, wind, rain, and anything that helped give the scene more life. After a round of effects, here was the final Bartleby as he is in the game.

3-08 Bartleby Final

I am very proud to have worked on Wizard101 for so long, and always get a kick out of walking around Ravenwood with my characters, knowing that I helped create the great, wise tree that is the center of this magical school. Thanks for taking the time to read this, and I hope it helped in showing a bit of the process of how I make art in Wizard101!

Jeff Toney
Principal Artist

84 Comments

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  1. undertakersnumber1fan / Jul 19 2013 4:12 pm

    the graphic are so good on this game its scary even my mother was impressed and shes not a gamer

    • Firecatismypet / Aug 17 2013 2:12 pm

      That was awesome by making bartleby. But It Wont Let My Go Through Him To Go To Krocktopia

      • Crystal / Apr 11 2015 2:36 am

        Too bad, I can even go to Dragonspyre now through Bartleby.

  2. Adrian / Jul 19 2013 4:28 pm

    so cool

  3. BlueStar / Jul 19 2013 4:40 pm

    Amazing!

  4. Anonymous / Jul 19 2013 4:41 pm

    ok, probubly wrong blog lol but you guys just made the funnest game i’ve ever played, i have like litteraly 500 games. you guys are the best 🙂

  5. Bryan Caleb Bendickson / Jul 19 2013 4:41 pm

    Bartleby looked very ugly and weird looking during the stages of putting him together to where he is now Wow interesting.

  6. Anonymous / Jul 19 2013 4:46 pm

    i did not know that i just thought he was an old tree

  7. Anonymous / Jul 19 2013 4:47 pm

    The depth of details from the brilliant animation to the stories and funny stight at hands that the team at wizard101 go to is why we love wizard101. Thank you for showing us the steps in making Bartleby. I one day hope to be able to create something that is loved as much as what you have created, well at least be a part of it 🙂

  8. jaime / Jul 19 2013 5:00 pm

    i can not stop playing this game almost every day i play this 🙂 love it who woulden’t like it?

  9. CINDY HUGHES / Jul 19 2013 5:06 pm

    that is so cool

  10. Anonymous / Jul 19 2013 5:30 pm

    can you like make aquila in not in the test realm plz and make all the wizard like to lvl 100 that will be better and the spells

  11. Anonymous / Jul 19 2013 7:47 pm

    It’s really cool to see how Bartleby was developed! All of those steps are really cool! It just goes to show how much dedication was put into this great game! 😀

  12. Anonymous / Jul 20 2013 6:38 pm

    really amazing

  13. THE WIZARD101 SUPER FAN! / Jul 23 2013 2:04 pm

    THE BEST REVOLUTION EVER I NEVER SEE THAT BEFORE!

  14. John Legend / Jul 23 2013 8:32 pm

    That is some unique tree art you got there…

  15. Linda J Ige / Jul 25 2013 2:13 am

    A 60 year-old gaming? That’s me! I started out signing up my grandson, and I got hooked! I have never been so engrossed in all my life. My daughter and three elementary-aged grandchildren are playing too! Now it seems that it is one of the main topics when we get together; and we love meeting up in the game. FUN!

  16. Loveable Laura Hawkins / Aug 1 2013 7:58 pm

    When will players/fans be able to purchase game merchandise? Such as (a few examples) prints of concept art or posters, mousepads, T-shirts, calendars etc.

  17. David / Aug 13 2013 7:56 pm

    He doesnt look right cause isnt one eye supposed to be glass?

    • Crystal / Apr 11 2015 2:39 am

      Malistaire stole it. Remember?

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