Author : tsmith3d


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MoP's Avatar
Old (#1)
Hello friends,

It's been a while! But this time spacemonkey and I have not been idle... we have just put the finishing touches onto a new Dota 2 custom Courier.

You can check out the Steam Workshop page for the backstory and voting here: http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfile.../?id=161982972

May we introduce... Blotto & Stick!
He is a drunken and greedy small keen who has come into possession of a magic stick that just about manages to keep him on the straight and narrow!

He has everything you'd want from a custom Courier, and more:
  • 2 LOD levels
  • Multiple animation variants including 2-3 idle and portrait loops
  • Additive turn animations
  • Jiggle bones for his bags
  • Cloth bones for the tail coat
TL;DR:
A video of most of the animation sets:

Some fun images:




And the concept art from spacemonkey that started it all:


Some vital statistics:
  • Concept art by spacemonkey
  • Highpoly sculpt, lowpoly mesh, UVs and textures by spacemonkey
  • Rigging and skinning by MoP
  • Animations by spacemonkey and MoP
  • Tools, scripts and in-game setup by MoP
In fact, here's a screenshot of the (currently alpha-version) tools that I've been writing - currently they only support Couriers but I hope to expand this later. It handles exporting SMDs, compiling QCs, VMTs and VTFs, all from the simple UI window.



Anyway, take a look at the Workshop page and if you like it, please vote - we'd love to get another fun Courier into the game


Cheers,
-MoP
Offline , MoP, 11,623 Posts, Join Date Oct 2004, Location London, UK  
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Sunburnn's Avatar
Old (#2)
Looking good, keep it up you two/!
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Goldo_O's Avatar
Old (#3)
Wow O_O Let's make this guy a new hero! Awesome concept and animations, I hope it gets in quickly!
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Offline , spline, 115 Posts, Join Date Feb 2006, Location Toronto, Canada  
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Sunburnn's Avatar
Old (#4)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Goldo_O View Post
Wow O_O Let's make this guy a new hero! Awesome concept and animations, I hope it gets in quickly!
Yeah, we could possibly make him a new hero, just find a voice actor and we're golden
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Neox's Avatar
Old (#5)
way too awesome
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Steffen 'Neox' Unger
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spacemonkey's Avatar
Old (#6)
thanks for doing these promos mop! lets see how the dota community react now I guess.
Offline , polycounter, 1,143 Posts, Join Date Oct 2004, Location London Uk  
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bounchfx's Avatar
Old (#7)
oh my goodness. you guys are out for blood... looks amazing!
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Sukotto's Avatar
Old (#8)
This is all kinds of amazing! Good job guys!
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soulstice's Avatar
Old (#9)
amazing! great job!
Offline , triangle, 311 Posts, Join Date Jul 2007, Location Toronto, Ontario  
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7thBattery's Avatar
Old (#10)
I really, really love this. The model and textures are amazing and feel like they could've easily been done by Valve.

However, what I'm most intrigued by is this:
Quote:
Originally Posted by MoP View Post
In fact, here's a screenshot of the (currently alpha-version) tools that I've been writing - currently they only support Couriers but I hope to expand this later. It handles exporting SMDs, compiling QCs, VMTs and VTFs, all from the simple UI window.

*jaw drops*

Could you explain what exactly your tools are doing? I mean, I get that almost all of Valve's files are just text files we could (potentially) write ourselves, but I'd love to hear more detail on all of this from you guys.

If you could give a detailed tutorial especially in the area of jiggle and cloth bones, I'd gladly, lovingly offer you guys up as a Service Provider on all my future items
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Neox's Avatar
Old (#11)
wow for a proper toolset that simplifies the workflow for sets or couriers i'd so give you a share of all items that make it into the store :o
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Steffen 'Neox' Unger
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vlad_the_implyer's Avatar
Old (#12)
Quote:
Originally Posted by MoP View Post

In fact, here's a screenshot of the (currently alpha-version) tools that I've been writing - currently they only support Couriers but I hope to expand this later. It handles exporting SMDs, compiling QCs, VMTs and VTFs, all from the simple UI window.
But, why would you need this? The only usefull feature is exporting smds, and there are exporters that do that.
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DoubleLeaf's Avatar
Old (#13)
Most unique courier ive seen! Instant Win!
Offline , spline, 113 Posts, Join Date Oct 2012,  
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Neox's Avatar
Old (#14)
Quote:
Originally Posted by vlad_the_implyer View Post
But, why would you need this? The only usefull feature is exporting smds, and there are exporters that do that.
well if you could get a full set or courier for testing in the game without the super exhausting workflow that it is right now that would be a real timesaver, i've seen people putting in custom mdls to play with against bots and such, so this would be a way better way to test your stuff before you do the final submission. also who knows maybe valve will see this and try to streamline the workflow further, because as of now it's a pretty annoying pipeline to for instance just load up pieces of a set to test them all together with the workshop editor.
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Steffen 'Neox' Unger
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Lennyagony's Avatar
Old (#15)
Incredible work all around, you most definitely have all of my votes. As for the tools they look so polished, just looking at them almost make this feel like real production
Offline , polygon, 552 Posts, Join Date Sep 2009, Location Australia  
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Oroboros's Avatar
Old (#16)
Very cool. Nice change of pace from the standard flavor of couriers, interested to see what Valve thinks. Nonetheless, got my vote.
Offline , spline, 168 Posts, Join Date Nov 2012, Location Austin, TX  
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MoP's Avatar
Old (#17)
Quote:
Originally Posted by vlad_the_implyer View Post
But, why would you need this? The only usefull feature is exporting smds, and there are exporters that do that.
Well, it's a fair point, and maybe you know an awesome workflow that I don't (if so, please share!) but I just found the whole import and compilation process to be very tedious and painful for iteration.

As Neox says, to have a simple, "one click" pipeline (which is what my tools essentially allow) straight out of 3dsmax, saves me a lot of effort - especially if I want to make more couriers.

Partly it was just a fun little side project too, I like to do a bit of maxscript on the side

And you're right, there are exporters for SMDs already (I use an existing one and just wrap the maxscript functionality) but it basically means I can set up the whole asset as a single data file in 3dsmax, have all my exports set up in the max scene so that they can be rapidly re-exported in a consistent manner, and then a button that just converts all TGAs to VTF, writes a VMT using settings from the UI, and writes a QC based on the chosen settings.
It then also compiles the QC and immediately overwrites the default Donkey courier model so I can just launch Dota 2 Test and check the model in-game without having to do anything else - it's all inside 3dsmax!

Maybe it's not saving that much time really but it was a fun project and we found it useful - especially since we have all our files under version control since we work remotely so we can ensure that both of us are working with exactly the same settings and workflow.

TL;DR: We think it saves us time, I'd love to be proven wrong though, I'd love to learn something!

Also thanks for all your kind replies guys, it looks like the people on the Workshop like it too
Offline , MoP, 11,623 Posts, Join Date Oct 2004, Location London, UK  
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Neox's Avatar
Old (#18)
our waldi is keeping the first place of this week warm for you guys, right now its totally my favorite asset in the workshop. so well made just a great inspiration
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redcap's Avatar
Old (#19)
This is so good it doesn't look like a courier. It looks like a stinky hero man! Good work.
Offline , vertex, 39 Posts, Join Date Aug 2012, Location Utah  
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Hazardous's Avatar
Old (#20)
This is off the charts guys!!!! Seriously, holy shit!!!
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spacemonkey's Avatar
Old (#21)
thanks for all the support guys!
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haiddasalami's Avatar
Old (#22)
Awesome tool MoP and awesome courier! Been thinking of sitting down and looking at the pipeline required for Maya + Dota2. Those scripts from Valve are quite outdated :P
Technical Artist at Digital Extremes.
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vlad_the_implyer's Avatar
Old (#23)
Quote:
Originally Posted by MoP View Post

TL;DR: We think it saves us time, I'd love to be proven wrong though, I'd love to learn something!

Also thanks for all your kind replies guys, it looks like the people on the Workshop like it too
But it's literally three clicks. Export, rename in D2, press the "testmap" button. It takes roughly the same time, since you need to startup the testmap anyway, replacing the donkey, or doing it the proper way. No need to overwrite, create your own vmts, qc files, and all the other stuff.

Not to mention that you're not allowed to use custom materials or cloth-sim, and D2 is not using jigglebones.
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MoP's Avatar
Old (#24)
vlad_the_implyer: Hmm, what do you mean "rename in D2"? Where do you do that?
Your method sounds pretty good. Maybe I've wasted my effort... oh well, scripting is fun

I guess we'll see about the custom materials and cloth sim, our courier works without it but I'd like to think that we can get that in
I'm pretty sure the jigglebones are used in Dota 2 too, I thought that actually a lot of heroes use jigglebones (eg. fur on Ursa's back, skulls on Witch Doctor's staff, etc.).

They definitely work anyway.
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spacemonkey's Avatar
Old (#25)
w00t accepted
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