Train2Game News Presale for breakthrough physical character animation tool

DeepMotion, a pioneer in the field of Motion Intelligence, announced today that DeepMotion Neuron, the first tool for completely procedural, physical character animation, has launched for presale.

The breakthrough cloud application trains digital characters to develop physical intelligence using advanced AI, physics, and deep learning. With guidance and practice, digital characters can now achieve adaptive motor control just as humans do, allowing animators and developers to create more lifelike and responsive animations than those possible using traditional methods.

DeepMotion Neuron is a Behavior-as-a-Service platform for developers to upload and train their own 3D characters—choosing from hundreds of interactive motions available via an online library. Neuron will enable content creators to tell more immersive stories by adding responsive actors to games and experiences, and the service will free up time for artists to focus on expressive details by handling large portions of technical animation automatically.

“DeepMotion Neuron is designed to help developers close the gap between reality and digital representation by making high-fidelity, interactive simulation accessible and easy to use,” said Kevin He, CEO of DeepMotion. “By granting characters true motion intelligence we believe we can greatly reduce the ‘uncanny valley’ that has haunted those of us in the entertainment industry for over 50 years.”

The core technology of DeepMotion Neuron is built upon state-of-the-art techniques revealed in a research paper presented at SIGGRAPH 2018 by scientists from DeepMotion and Carnegie Mellon University. The paper applies reinforcement learning to the growing domain of sports simulation, specifically basketball, where real-world human motor intelligence is at its peak. After training and optimization, the researchers’ characters were able to perform interactive ball handling skills in real-time simulation. The same technology used to teach digital actors how to dribble can be applied to any physical movement using Neuron.

In the DeepMotion Neuron prelaunch, developers can register for early access and discounts. Those that back the campaign will get first access to the Neuron cloud service, personalized onboarding, in addition to receiving an exclusive demo package and free training time. Developers and animators can learn more and participate in the campaign at deepmotion.com/neuron_prelaunch.

DeepMotion Neuron’s cloud platform is slated to for release in Q4 of 2018.

Train2Game News Design an Adventure Time character

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World-wide video game publisher, Little Orbit, announces a “Design an Adventure Time Character Contest” and challenges fans of the hit Cartoon Network series to create their very own Adventure Time character with the winning design appearing in the next soon-to-be-announced Adventure Time console video game.

Beginning January 27th, fans can submit their artwork and short character description, for a shot at joining Finn, Jake, Princess Bubblegum, Marceline, Ice King and all their favorite Adventure Time characters on their next epic video game adventure.

WHAT: Design a new Adventure Time character for the next soon-to-be announced Adventure Time video game published by Little Orbit.

WHEN: January 27, 2015 – February 17, 2015

GRAND PRIZE: The winning design will appear in the next Adventure Time video game!

HOW: Email your design in a .jpg file no larger than 5MB to atcontest@littleorbit.com and include name, birth date (must be 13 years or older to win), address, phone number, email address and a two sentence character description. You must be a legal resident of the United States to be eligible. The winning character and artist will be announced on the Little Orbit Facebook page in early March.

For complete details and contest rules, please visit http://www.littleorbit.com/atcontest.html

Train2Game News Versatile student finds home at T2G

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Student who tried many careers finds Train2Game is the place where he can accomplish his life’s ambition to work in the Games Industry You name it, he’s tried it.

James Hardman has attempted many directions in his life: Seven years in Education, Franchise Manager, The Navy, Tattoo Artist, Events, Bank Employee and many more. But he’s finally found where he belongs, creating creatures and art in the Games Industry.

It has been an interesting journey for the 30 year old who has roots in Prussia and Egypt. James Hardman has tried everything to get a job and a career that he enjoys, but it took him a great deal of time and effort to find his ideal arena of employment.  Working in hotels, events and working in data processing in a bank. He tried work experience with Jenny Clarke Design Ltd as a Flash Tattoo artist and Aphelio Ltd as a Creature Designer (3 month unpaid internship). He tried to join the Navy and also trained as a franchise manager.

Since birth he’s loved gaming but struggled to make it his career. After many attempts in other directions it was when he joined Trai2Game that he rediscovered his love of gaming and found the passion to get into games.

“To enter the game industry is more than a job to me; it’s a sense of identity and my place in life. I noticed through each job role generates a certain type of person. I am specific type of individual needing to be a specific type of environment to really take off. I feel mis-understood in many job roles due to my style of thinking and how I approach subjects to produce solutions.

It is really important to me to around great people who support each other and understand each other without constant questioning of one’s self. I’ve had seven years in education and two at T2G. Proving it’s not just qualifications but you also need experience, that is why I am now looking to work and gain experience in art.”

“My experience with Train2Game has been the best course I’ve entered. The course not also teaches essential techniques but provides many opportunities of job placements. Also get your name out there. The course itself already has done so much for me, I am forever grateful. They have really improved my self-esteem and I can see hope finally. The content is up to date and explains all vital processes very clearly.”

James is now completing his studies with Train2Game and looking for an internship/employment at a games studio. James is a great conversation; ask him about his roots in a country that no longer exists or how he created an energy loop that he was going to build with a team of Belgian Nuclear Physicists.

You can find James on the Train2Game Forum or reach him through the Train2Game blog.

Train2Game News Student offering her artistic skills

LUC52101Train2Game Student and three time game jam winner, Chloe Martin is offering her artistic skills and knowledge to those in need.

Chloe is on the art and animation course and was previously a member of Digital Mage, along with my self, who were featured at The Gadget Show Live in 2012 as part of the Make Something Unreal Live contest sponsored by Epic Games.

After her continued success through previous game jams Train2Game invited her to be a mentor at the last game jam in April which she did an excellent job as. Using her knowledge and talents to help new students.

She is now looking to update and improve her portfolio by offering to help other Train2Game students with their coursework or any projects they may be working on. Chloe is a highly talented artist and will be a huge asset to your work.

Chloe is primarily a 2D artist but also can do 3D work if need be, dependant on what you are looking for in your project or coursework. This will be something she will be doing in her own spare time as she does have a full time job and is continuing to study on her own course.

You can find samples of her work on the forum by following this link: http://www.forum.train2game.com/album.php?albumid=485

This is just a very small fraction of the work she can do and she will provide more examples on request.

If you are interested and want to contact Chloe you can email her at booya127@live.co.uk

Train2Game News: Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag at Eurogamer

ACIV Ace Of SpadesBe one of the first in the UK to play Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag at the Eurogamer Expo this weekend!

Get hands on with three different demos at the Ubisoft, NVIDIA and Sony stands, and pick up your free exclusive Assassin’s Creed Ace of Spades card, designed by award winning London artist Vic Lee, from stand staff after you have played* (while stocks last).

Fans who pre order Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag from the GAME stand at the Expo will also receive a limited edition artwork print, exclusively designed for Ubisoft by Vic Lee.

Mr Vic Lee – described variously as a storyteller, artist, illustrator, historian, mapper, ragamuffin and vagabond – can been discovered at www.viclee.co.uk

This is only the beginning of your Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag journey. The Ace of Spades is the key, the question is… to what?

The game will be available to play on a Sony PlayStation 4 I have been told. This seems an excellent game to test the new hardware.

Train2Game News: Mad Munchkin Reviews

Mad Munchkin ReviewsTrain2Game student, Amy Methven from Elgin Scotland, has created her own YouTube channel talking about all sorts of different art and animation.

Amy’s Mad Munchkin Reviews have covered media such as games, movies and TV Shows. She has spoken about the Batman Arkham games, My Little Pony and she has discussed subjects such as CGI compared to 2D animation.

It’s a fascinating view on all the different aspects of animation.

I asked Amy why she decided to create her YouTube channel and she said “I started the Mad Munchkin reviews for lots of different reasons really. The first one being that I love Art and love talking about it, like most people on the Art and Animation Course with Train2Game.

The second reason is that I wanted to find other creative ways to expose my Art work outside of the video game industry. In a practical sense, it allowed me to develop my video editing skills as well as analytical skills when it comes to my writing. I wanted to teach myself how to construct my critiques so I can successfully back up my opinions on what I review.

The show primarily focuses on Animated Movies, tv shows and video games, looking at the creative process behind creating these pieces of Art from the perspective of theory rather than the practical technicalities of the process. As much as I love the practical side of creativity, it is the theory and reason behind it that I like talking about more. Asking why something looks a certain why is more interesting to me than finding out how it was constructed.”

If you would like to check out Amy’s YouTube channel you can here: http://www.youtube.com/user/Amymethven/videos?shelf_index=0&view=0&sort=dd

Or you can view her Deviant art page at: http://amymethvenart.deviantart.com/

Train2Game News: Blitz artists hosting ‘meet the experts’ web chat tonight

Leamington Spa studio Blitz will allow you to get an insight into the life of a games industry artist & animator when two of their team host a live webchat at 6:30pm this evening.

It’s the latest Blitz Games Studios’ ‘meet the experts’ sessions, which last month saw two programmers offering advice to aspiring game developers.  It provides a great opportunity for Train2Game students to get advice from industry professionals.

“Two of Blitz’s experienced artists from the company’s R&D and game development teams will be sharing their knowledge on a variety of topics aimed at aspiring newcomers to the industry as well as experienced artists looking to further their career in a new field or specialism.” reads the announcement from Blitz.

If you want to submit a question to the Blitz artists before the session begins at 6:30pm today, get in touch with them via email, Twitter or Facebook.

To take part in the web chat, visit the Blitz meet the experts website from 6pm this evening.

There’s more advice from industry professionals about getting into the games industry here on The Train2Game Blog.

Will you get involved in the web chat? What will you ask the Blitz artists?

Leave your comments here on The Train2Game Blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

Train2Game News: Sleeping Dogs art director on getting into the industry

http://www.sleepingdogs.net/news/Meet-the-Team-Josh-Lee

Sleeping Dogs art director Josh Lee recently featured in a United Front Games ‘meet the team’ interview and offered his take on getting into the industry, revealing he started in fine art.

“I’m kind of old school. There are a lot of schools now that didn’t exist at the time that offer these opportunities… I was born and raised in Montreal, I studied painting and drawing at Concordia in Fine Arts.”  said Lee.

“From there, I was trying to figure out how to make a living, and I ended up moving into the Film Animation department. Subsequently, I worked in traditional animation for a number of years doing frame-by-frame animation. At the time, over 15 years ago, you could feel a shift in the industry.” he continued, adding that adding 3D skills was an important element in getting into games.

“Things were moving more digitally, so I started taking 3D courses to balance my traditional arts background with more CG tools. After a few years working in traditional animation, I ended up in a CG house in Montreal called 4-elements that was affiliated with Softimage.”

“We did trailers for games, special effects, CG for commercials, any number of things a small startup would do. That was my first exposure to the production side of games. When that company closed temporarily, I had an opportunity at EA.” Lee added.

It’s an interview that’s sure to be interesting to Train2Game students, as Lee discusses what his role as art director involves, life at United Front, and of course, Sleeping Dogs. Read it here.

Be sure to keep reading The Train2Game Blog for advice from professionals about getting into the industry, while we’ll also keep you up to date with the latest Sleeping Dogs news.

What are your thoughts on Lee’s route into the industry?

Leave your comments here on The Train2Game Blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

Train2Game news: Dungeonland dev diary reveals Disney, Spongebob and medieval art influences

Train2Game students can get a look behind the scenes of art in Paradox Interactive’s upcoming co-op dungeon crawler Dungeonland, thanks to developer diary number number two from Critical Studio.

Posted on the Paradox Interactive forum, the Dungeonland developer diary entitled ‘The Art of Dungeonland’ sees the Critical art team discuss the influences and concepts behind their cartoon style title including Disney, medieval fantasy and more.

“When we started working on the visual design of Dungeonland, our only goal was really to just have fun. The personality of the game came from not trying to “copy” anything. It’s a big mix of influences from everybody in the team, done our way. We don’t really care if it’s been done before or if it looks like something else – if we think it’s cool, we are going to do it!”

“And we had a LOT of influences. Everything from Disney, of course: all the cartoons, the Silly Symphonies… But not only Disney – EVERYTHING even remotely related to cartoons, from Spongebob Squarepants to Coyote Ugly and any weird obscure stuff we watched as kids.”

“On top of that: everything medieval fantasy, including Lord of The Rings, a lot of Warhammer, about nine hundred different monster manuals from Dungeons & Dragons, and so forth.”

“We also try a lot of different stuff and throw a huge amount of ideas away until we are happy with what we got. Even though we are a small team, so far we’ve been able to produce hundreds of pages worth of concept art – and we’re very close to a thousand.”

There’s much more in the Dungeonland developer diary which you can read in full on Paradox Interactive’s forum.  Those on the Train2Game Art & Animation course will no doubt like a look!

There’s more Paradox Interactive news here on The Train2Game Blog, including our in-depth interview on the development of King Arthur II: The Role-playing Wargame.

What are your thoughts on the art style and influences of Dungeonland?

Leave your comments here on The Train2Game Blog, or on the Train2Game forum.