Tech Art Intern Recap

Tech Art Intern Recap

A recap of all the shareable work I made during this summer’s internship at Dreamhaven’s Moonshot Games.


I was very fortunate to be selected as Moonshot Games’ first technical art intern in the studio’s history! Mentored by industry experts Rick Gilliland and Jenny Liu, I worked on many different technical art projects that significantly enchanced the artists’ quality of life in a real-world game production.

In this post, I will share some of the works I developed as a recap of the summer.

Maya Tool: Pipe Generator

Pipe generator addresses the problem for hard surface modeling artists who need to create many pipe-like models for their work.

To do it manually, the artist would have to create a cross-section, and manually extrude segment by segment. These pipe-like structures usually have some contour nearby to follow, therefore, it is best to derive a pipe using edges on other mesh.

Pipe from Cross Section

This tool creates a pipe using a cross-section. The user first selects a pipe cross section in the UI, then selects a set of continuous edges to extrude along. The tool will then extrude a pipe using the cross-section without altering the original cross-section pattern.

Pipe from Edge

This tool can also automatically create circular pipes along selected edges. The user specifies the desired sides and radius of the pipe, selects the edges, and the tool automatically generates such a circular pipe. Alternatively, for faster iteration, the user can freely adjust these parameters without generating a new pipe as long as they don’t change their selection.

Maya Tool: Pipe UV

Single Seam & General Use

Pipe UV automatically unwraps a pipe or a segment of a pipe onto a pipe texture sheet, where ten different pipe textures span a specific V value range in the UV space. The artist only needs to select a seam (that is, a set of continuous edges) on the pipe, specify the index of which pipe texture they want to unwrap to, and Pipe UV automatically unwraps the pipe (or pipe segment) into the designated V range.

Multiple Seams

Pipe UV can unwrap along multiple seams on the same pipe, effectively separating the pipe into multiple UV shells that span the same V range. This is an instrumental technique for artists to add details to larger pipes by overlapping UV shells.

Auto-save user preferences

PipeUV automatically saves the user’s preferences for the V values, so the changes made by the user will be remembered even after the user restarts Maya. It also offers an easy way to import and export default V values, allowing the artist to quickly switch between templates if needed.

Maya Tool: Match Normal

Select a set of polygon components (which can be a mix of edges, vertices, or faces) and adjust the pivot of the object so that these components belong to the average normal of all the components. For example, when selecting a ramp face on this object and applying this tool, the pivot is then updated to the normal direction of the face. This tool is frequently used by 3D artists to manipulate objects more efficiently in 3D space.

Maya Tool: Decal Manager

Place Decal

Decal Manager is an improved automatic decal workflow that helps 3D artists place decal planes precisely onto objects. Oftentimes it is very difficult for 3D artists to place decals with the correct rotation, not to mention on a mass scale. Place Decal allows the user to select a face that the decal will adhere to, then place the decal plane perfectly flat on the face. The tool also allows the user to place many decals using different scales, and the scaling factor can either be adjusted universally or by axis.

Adhere Decal

Adhere Decal is a very easy tool for the user to deform any decal plane using the object’s geometry. It will then raise the decal plane a very minimal amount of y-displacement to avoid clipping into the mesh. The user can simply select the object, then select all the decals that they want to adhere to, and press the button. For the artist’s convenience, Adhere Decal was also made into a shelf button.

Maya Tool: Match UV Shell

Match UV Shell helps match the UVs on two similar but not perfectly matching shells to form a precise match, allowing the artist to overlap UV shells without causing seams or visual artifacts. It will intelligently match only the parts of the UV shell that are overlapping, and does not deform any part that is unique to one shell or the other. For example, the upper part of the larger shell in this demo was not manipulated, but the lower part matched perfectly with the smaller shell.

Hypershade Tool: Duplicate Shading Group

Duplicate Shading Group addresses an issue: when selecting a material in Maya’s HyperShade window and “duplicate shading network”, it does not duplicate the connected shading group of the material. Duplicate Shading Group adds a “Duplicate” button in the marking menu of HyperShade and will copy the connected shading group when the user selects the material.

Unreal Engine: Ice-like Shader

An ice-like shader with adjustable snow and glitter on the top. Some parts are blurred intentionally to avoid leaking confidential contents.

Textures by Philip Klevestav.

The contents shown above are approved and does not contain information about the unannounced project we are working. These contents as well as all the code are owned by Dreamhaven - Moonshot Games.

Tech Art Intern Recap
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