Born in: Massachusetts
Favourite Manga/Anime: Star Blazers, Battle Angel
Harry: So you modelled the majority of items?
Chris: Between Alex and I we modelled desks, computers, etc.
Harry: Are other characters as polygon intensive as Konoko?
Chris: It depends on the character. Less important characters have less polygons because its a waste of processor time whereas heavy characters have a concentration in armour etc. For instance, some TCTF squad guys or the Elite Strikers are quite polygon intensive.
Harry: It's a well known fact that Konoko is made up of many polygons. Is this to maker her more life like compared to Lara [Croft]?
Chris: Yeah, Lara was a groundbreaking concept, but we're using much more advanced technology, so we can create characters with all these polys yet it runs fast and smooth.
Harry: Will there be settings to change detail etc. in Oni?
Chris: There are levels of detail planned, but that isn't implemented yet.
Harry: What are your tools for making your models?
Chris: I use a Pentium II/300 with an ok video card. It's not good for gaming but good to display stuff. We use Character Studio and Photoshop for textures, and 3DStudio MAX. Character Studio and Photoshop are basically our only 2 tools.
Harry: Can anybody acquire 3DStudio MAX to make their own models?
Chris: It's $2700, so that might be beyond some people's budgets.
Harry: Have you modelled any neutral beings, like dogs or birds?
Chris: No, we're not doing any ambient life.
Harry: Which character took you the longest to model?
Chris: Well, the initial stuff took me longer than the stuff now, when you have a basis, i.e. a male human frame characters can be done quicker than starting from scratch each time. When I first started, the Blue Striker was the first character I modelled, Konoko was fairly soon after that but I revised her a couple of times.
Harry: Do you know how many revisions of Konoko have you gone through?
Chris: No, but I do have 15 or 16 files, but usually because I save everything, there's lots of different versions of Konoko.
Harry: What's your process in modelling? Do you have a wireframe then add the skin...?
Chris: The concept of the wireframe is a little deceiving. In a program, a wireframe is actually just a viewer, it's not like I'm making little strings to put together. You make the spaces in-between the vertexes not visible so you see the whole thing. After that I apply a texture map to see how it looks like textured, and to see what I need to change. But usually we'd start with Alex drawing up a concept piece for several concept pieces, like 4 variations on one thing, and I'd take t hem and unify it to one thing.
Harry: And what do you do in Photoshop with these models?
Chris: I make the texture maps, so for Konoko or when I model a different piece I then have to UV map the different piece. UV mapping is actually the most frustrating and time-consuming process, 'cause you have to unwrap stuff, select individual polygons, I have little tools that will give me a bitmap with the wireframe on it half with the mapping and take that into photoshop, and I'll have a white transparent layer which I throw on the top layer and I can paint underneath that and use it as a guide. Then I'll decide on a resolution of that map once I've drawn all the detail, I work with a much higher res than the engine, so I reduce it to a size that can be used.
Harry: Was the Iron Demon (the robotic killing machine) quite easy to do? I mean, when you look at it, it's quite clunky and everything, it's square. Was it easy to do?
Chris: I didn't do all of that, Alex was just messing around and had done that, and said "put it in." It was untextured at that point, I had to modify a biped to fit that, I had to modify a lot of the geometry. I would say it's about 40% revision on the whole thing.