View Full Version : Age of Empires 3 Art Dump - Lots of pics

Dark Horizon
10 October 2005, 11:50 PM
Hey all, spent the last few days updating my page with tons of content (Age of Empires 3, Counterstrike, Elite Force 2 and WIP stuff)

Heres some choice work from Age 3, All modeled and textured by me. Theres much more on my site along with most the stuff I did while I worked at Ritual Entertainment that I just now got around to uploading.

Anyways, that's just a taste theres plenty more on my site.

10 October 2005, 12:02 AM
Woah, I cant believe one of the people who worked on age 3 is here. *gasp*

I love this friggin site.

and as to your models- amazing. :)

10 October 2005, 12:18 AM
Fantastic work, both here and on your site. :)

10 October 2005, 12:25 AM
Wow, thanks for posting this stuff and letting us take a look at your site. This stuff is phenominal, and it makes up one of the best looking games I have ever seen.

If you wouldnt mind, could you give the limits on stuff you had to work with, poly counts and texture sizes. I am interested to know just how limited everything actually was.

10 October 2005, 12:39 AM
Wow. Damn nice work! Such clean texturing and smooth edge work!
Is that all flat texturing, or is there normal map work in there?

10 October 2005, 01:11 AM
Wow. Damn nice work! Such clean texturing and smooth edge work!
Is that all flat texturing, or is there normal map work in there?

If you went to the site you'd see the normal maps. :P

Anyway, awesome stuff. Although it all seems good my personal favorites have to be the boats (the sails are just amazing).

Quick question if you don't mind answering; Did you texture them all at their final res, or do it larger and shrink/edit?

Dark Horizon
10 October 2005, 01:33 AM
thanks for the comments so far guys

toebee_1 ( : There were a lot of Limitations on this stuff, the Character models are part of our IGC's (In game cinematics) and had a poly limit around 2000 using a single 512 texture with a bump spec and opacity. The buildings on average have around 300-500 tris with a 256x256, with bigger things like the fort around 750 tris with a 512x512 I think. In game units were around 250 tris for a human unit and around 500 for a mounted unit. Most human units use a single 64x64 for a texture, while mounted units use a 128 for the horse and a 64 for the rider. The boats are all on 512's with an additional 512x256 for the sails usually. Units/boats/buildings all have specular, opacity and normal maps.

smurfbizkit2 ( : they were all painted at the actual resolution. I pretty much do all of my texturing that way. On the smaller textures (64x64) I use the pencil tool a lot.

erilaz ( : yep we use normal maps on most everything in age of empires 3

Gordon Moran
10 October 2005, 03:35 AM
Stunning work. I'm curious as to how you derived your normal maps? Did you use high poly models, converted bump maps, or both? The detail work is amazing too. What technique do you use for the engraving work on the armor? Is that painted with a brush in photoshop, do you use a vector drawing program to create the shapes or do you create it in Zbrush?

10 October 2005, 04:46 AM
Truly amazing looking.
AOEIII has to be one of the best looking games I have ever seen.
I am seriously considering getting it.
And as of the moment, the only thing stopping me is the fear that the way ensemble changed the way citizens gather materials; will ruin the gameplay.

10 October 2005, 07:08 AM
purely fantastic , jaw dropping work such detailed skins (on your site aswell)! You've once again inspired me to keep striving on to become a better skinner

10 October 2005, 08:20 AM
Nice to see U in here man :)

U know I love Your works so I won;t write it here again, and again and ... :D

Can U tell us what the resolution is for those models?? I'm curious.

Take care.:thumbsup:

Dude, I give U 5 stars, but I'm not sure U need them :applause:

10 October 2005, 08:52 AM
nice nice nice nice nice and awesome
dude that only thing that can distract me from my job at maya(Besides Ahem... girls...) is AOE and now i have III its Awesome nice work updated on website....awsome awesome awesome awesome ....kool to see u...

10 October 2005, 09:06 AM
these should go directly to the frontpage, great work!
nice to see it in detail :)

10 October 2005, 09:27 AM
aha !! your the guy who did the crazy UT models. i still regard the texturing for the effigy and magdelena models as the best ever !! i also watched your hellboy texture tut tons of times :D

your AOE models look really great. i didnt realise there were normal maps on the character models. i really didnt expect there to be when they take up such little space on the screen. maybe i should go have a closer look. it just seems a shame of going to that well executed effort and it not being a principle thing to notice.

10 October 2005, 09:50 AM
Quality work. Just saw this over at polycount.... great stuff.

10 October 2005, 10:44 AM
wow! do you realy have right to post these images on the net ? :eek:

otherwise, awesome work!

10 October 2005, 02:59 PM
Thanks for the info about poly counts and such.

10 October 2005, 03:25 PM
nice models and thanx for the polyq/map quotas, very interesting,

you say the characters were from in game cinematicws, does this mean that the non cinematic,(game play models) were different in what way. i geus less maps, smaller maps, but do tell:bounce:

Duke of Holland
10 October 2005, 04:55 PM
Excellent work :drool: Nothing to critize.

Dark Horizon
10 October 2005, 05:47 PM
pimeto : yea I'm allowed to post, once the game came out we were allowed to post the work we did on it. The only stipulation was the Microsoft copyright had to be on the actual image itself.

SHEPEIRO : Yea those are our in game cinematic characters (which are still displayed in real time within the game engine) and then we have the actual units you click around and all that. In game units were around 250 tris for a human unit and around 500 for a mounted unit. Most human units use a single 64x64 for a texture, while mounted units use a 128 for the horse and a 64 for the rider.

Gordon Moran : I used the Nvidia Normal Map plugin to make most of the normal maps for the project. It takes a grayscale heightmap and converts it to a normal map. They are less accurate and you really only get surface details instead of full forms like you do with mesh generated normal maps. There are some characters I did using a high poly mesh to generate the normal maps, but unfortunately max doesn't render normals so I can't show them off.

10 October 2005, 07:12 PM
Awesome stuff! I've been eyeing AoE3 but fear of getting addicted to it as we did AoE2 prevents my wife and I from buying it. Great job to the entire Ensemble team!

10 October 2005, 07:41 PM
simply awesome :applause:!

10 October 2005, 08:06 PM
awesome work!

All the best

11 November 2005, 02:43 AM
I'm really enjoying the game.. I played it all weekend good job :)

11 November 2005, 03:11 AM
There are some characters I did using a high poly mesh to generate the normal maps, but unfortunately max doesn't render normals so I can't show them off.

stuff looks great, i've been playing through this game quite a bit since it came out :) if you're using max 7 or greater you are able to show your normal maps in the viewport.

11 November 2005, 08:32 AM
Good work, great textured, when they make a age 4 i hope you get to be on the team.

11 November 2005, 06:47 AM
really nice stuff man! Saw this at E3 can't wait to play it!

11 November 2005, 11:18 AM
You peeps in the WIP game art forum should really consider putting finished pieces in the gallery! I would've missed this completely. It's now plugged, awesome work :thumbsup:


11 November 2005, 11:31 AM
Fantastic work, its really inspiring. Makes me want to learn low poly modelling..

11 November 2005, 11:36 AM
Woo! Another piece of game art on the front page. Excellent! This is shaping up to be a good week for me :)

Dark Horizon: Some great pieces here, especially those ships... Just checked out your WIP folder, man, you have been busy!

11 November 2005, 12:12 PM
I love it I love it I love it Love it. Congrats Jason. 2 Polycounters plugged at the same time.
/pinks away a tear.

11 November 2005, 12:44 PM
Awesome work xD! It's always been a dream of mine to work on age of empires, you are so lucky :P I even learned to program to write my own version lol! Got about 4k lines in and ran out of steam :(. So many people there that would b so cool to meet... speaking of which... did you get to meet Craig Mullins?

11 November 2005, 02:10 PM
Great work! Do you do all your texturing in Photoshop or do you use Zbrush, DeepPaint or BodyPaint?

11 November 2005, 02:19 PM
great model, good texturing, eyecandy

11 November 2005, 03:07 PM
Fantastic work!:applause: What software do you use for the textures?

11 November 2005, 05:04 PM
Did you use Jeaneane Garafalo as ref for her?

Dark Horizon
11 November 2005, 05:32 PM
lildragon : aye, wasn't sure what the rules were for where game art goes, thanks though!

WHW : thanks, most of the stuff in my WIP folder is either fairly new or really old, its more a collection of stuff i haven't finished (yet).

alfy : nope, would have been nice though. He did all of his work for us as an outside contractor

krisr : i do all my color maps in photoshop, and some of the normals using nvidias normal map filter. I used zbrush a bit on AOE3 but dont have any of it on my site atm. I've tried deepaint a bit, and never used body paint.

Copernic : photoshop

Grooveholmes : nope, I didn't use anyone in particular, I think its the heavy eyeliner.

11 November 2005, 05:44 PM
I'm just amazed that there are people out there that put so much detail in their textures! It really shows that you like what you do. I didn't have time to check out all the massive content on your site, but I really was blown away by the effigy creature... sigh... :)

11 November 2005, 06:11 PM
Great models, just wanted to let you know that you can render normal maps in Max. In the bump channel choose normal bump, then add your normal map as a bitmap. You can also layer an additional grey scale map in the normal bump for fine detail. Should render fine. You can set the height by setting the bump percentage and preview in the viewport by turning on DX display of standard material and turning on the display material in view button. Hope that helps. Great work.

11 November 2005, 06:30 PM
but don't forget to flip the green channel on the mirrored side of you model ;)
congrats to the plug, well deserved!

11 November 2005, 06:40 PM
wow that is great texturing, cant wait to see the game, Inspirational work.

11 November 2005, 07:03 PM
Ok now i have to buy that game.. Great work!

11 November 2005, 07:41 PM
The game does look quite incredible, I have enjoyed it quite a lot :D

Only thing I wanted to mention was that your locomotive in the game is a little off - the locotmotive appears to be a wood-driven locomotive, because it has the big "balloon" style smokestack. This was to help keep sparks from getting to the wood tender. However, your locomotive has a coal tender - from what I understand, coal driven locomotives had straight smokestacks. Of course I don't claim to know much about trains, but that bit seemed a little odd to me.

In any case those are all quite excellent, even nicer in realtime :D

11 November 2005, 07:52 PM
I'm impressed. Nice work.

11 November 2005, 08:38 PM
OMG. Your stuff is amazing! Love it to death :)

11 November 2005, 11:00 PM
Didn't know you did effigy too. Probably the most impressive game texturing job on a character I can remember.

Cool stuff. Are there baked shadows on the environment stuff? Did aoe3 do realtime shadows?
Haven't actually played it yet. Ensemble did a great job from what I've seen.

11 November 2005, 12:20 AM
These are great! Thanks for giving me more inspiration to work towards :)

11 November 2005, 12:27 AM
Woah, I cant believe one of the people who worked on age 3 is here. *gasp*

I love this friggin site.

and as to your models- amazing. :)

i take it your new to the cg world :scream: its a smaller world than you think. theres tons of guys on cgtalk. ppl that worked on Halo, Half Life, Starwars, you name it they come around here often


11 November 2005, 06:34 AM
Very impressive work, a good illustration of normal map use.

11 November 2005, 07:51 AM
Did anyone in your team make concept sketches for the characters you modeled, because I don't believe the Indians were medically advanced enough to insert implants. J/K around. Even though it was kind of distracting durring cutsenes, the game is excellent to say the least. Excellent work, tell your team they did one heck of a job!

11 November 2005, 05:56 PM
great stuff DH!

11 November 2005, 07:33 PM
wow very nice work! :) I'm looking forward to playing AOE3 :)
11 November 2005, 01:36 AM
excellent work im big fan of yours.. i have a zbrush question.. how do you make all your normals match perfectly to your painted texture.. do you import like a bumpmap into zbrush from photoshop and then export as normals?

11 November 2005, 02:12 PM
Great Stuffs man! Learn alot from u too! keep up the good work! i shall get a copy of AOE3!!

11 November 2005, 06:44 PM
Yes, great stuff and vety inspirating
The only problem is I can't see almost none of the images entire... : :hmm:

11 November 2005, 01:38 PM
Truely great stuff indeed. I downloaded the 'Hellboy' video from your website, very impressive work. The video shows you constantly switching between Photoshop and 3DS, how is your work on the psd file in Photoshop continiously/instantly updated as it is shown mapped onto Hellboy in 3DS ?

Many Thanks for showing us your work.


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