The art connection

Hi everyone,

As you might know from a previous post, I am very much interested in combining the concepts “art asset” and “JMonkey”. I proposed some community game project, but others have rightfully pointed out there are some flaws in this idea. The main flaw is that people usually just want to make their own game (i.e., their own story, assets, gameplay, …). I completely understand.

I have been thinking some more though, and would like to share my ideas.

First, a very realistic question: would anyone be interested in having some art assets designed, modelled, exported, … by another person? I could help, at least if I like your asset proposals (something with characters).

My next ideas gravitate (again) slightly towards an idealism :wink:. But read on! My ideas are based on a few assumptions, that I hope are valid. First, I am making the important assumption that there are “artistic programmers” and “programming artists” on this forum. Of course, it goes without saying you are all in the first category :). Check. These categories are also not necessarily mutually exclusive. Indeed, I am sure there are programming artists out here (there is at least one).

The second assumption I am making, is that there are people here that are good at programming, have great game ideas, but do not have the time to make the assets. So, how do they get the assets then? Blendswap, Turbosquid, to name a few. This could work, but sometimes some additional time is needed to tweak these assets, add animations, and to export them. It might be nice if such programmers could post an idea for an asset (e.g., a character or prop description), and some interested artist picks up the idea, designs, models, exports, … and you have a finished asset. The obvious advantage would be that the programmer-guy has his assets, based on his idea (or enriched by ideas of the artist). To suppress objections from the legal department, I henceforth assume the artist uses a “creative commons” license (we are mostly hobbyists anyway, right? :))

There is a win-win situation here. Indeed, the artist can enjoy picking up an open assignment and using this as a guideline. I personally believe this gives a sense of purpose, and stimulates creative thinking (two things an artist likes). The artist can try to make the assets really nice. Moreover, once completed, the asset can be put up on display for others in the community to use, not just the programmer suggesting the idea.

Two important things to note: (1) the programmer is free to post ideas and choose among existing assets, and (2) the artist is free to choose among posted ideas (or propose his own). There is no real commitment or slavery required from either side, because it is a win-win situation. And no time constraints are imposed either. This arrangement makes sure both parties have their own creative control, so it forms a flexible network among creative people. Sure, “bad” asset ideas don’t get executed, and “bad” assets don’t get used. This stimulates people to submit good ideas, and create nice assets. It also helps in improving the asset pipeline.

Would anyone be interested in this? Let me hear!

Note, no changes to the JMonkey website infrastructure are required: we can initially just use forum posts (and links to files, images, …).

I look forward to your feedback. I am sure this idea is at least slightly more realistic than my previous idea.



Totally, these two groups seldom overlap and indeed the SDK is also meant to make it easier to collaborate like that :slight_smile:
Btw, the jMonkeyEngine project itself needs some nice models for example games / setups that actually look so that people don’t have to ask the weary question of “can I haz AAA game with jME?” anymore :smiley: Buying premade models doesn’t really work as most of them have special licenses and can only be redistributed in games. So we could only use them for demo videos etc.

I think it is a good idea. There are plenty of programmers that would love better access to resources, both as game objects or place holders, I am sure.

I can only confirm that … I’m a very very bad graphic designer and I don’t even speak about animations or uv mapping …
I work on a sci fi oriented project and it’s a real headache to find correct quality models “game ready” (especially animations)

I think this concept could really be beneficial to the community, but also like Normen said to promote JMonkeyEngine as a powerful game engine… you can say what you want if the graphics are ugly people rarely seek further …A AAA game demo will surely attract crowds on this amazing engine :slight_smile:

In the near future we should develop the assetPack system (already present in the sdk … simpa but too little content), it could be free for a part, but an other part could also be paid in the manner of unity 3d, which providehigh-quality assets packs to its users … or why not a donation system for the authors …

@ Normen you never thought of creating a partnership between jme and different artists to have regular and diversified content directly accessible from jme?

Whatever it is, I’m very interested in this topic +1 :slight_smile:

@haze said: @ Normen you never thought of creating a partnership between jme and different artists to have regular and diversified content directly accessible from jme?
It seems that sadly it doesn't occur to any 3d artists that they could have their work featured via us :(

It’s certainly an interesting idea, I think the challenges are social rather than technical in that you need to form an active and engaging community and bring in both the artists and the programmers to one location.

@normen said: It seems that sadly it doesn't occur to any 3d artists that they could have their work featured via us :(

And it’s a shame they don’t know what they’re missing :wink:

More seriously, you’re right @zarch, it will be a big challenge to gather enough artists to make the project viable :frowning: …Maybe some monkeys will share their working assets to begin :p.

@matomma, if i’m right, you’re an artist programmer, have you already got an idea of the community to target?

Thanks all for your interest.

@haze, In terms of what ideas to target, it might be too early to say something definite at this point. I mainly want to encourage people to suggest ideas for needed assets, and for artists to reveal themselves :).

But in case you want to know, my personal interest currently lies in character design and modelling. Although I have 12 years of background as a student in evening art school, I am relatively new to the 3d part, but heavily interested in improving. I am now looking for things to work on, to stimulate my learning and creativity. In particular, I think it might be stimulating for me to pick up someone’s idea for an asset and elaborate it.

I’ve started doing this with some of the assets for Attack of the Gelatinous Blob. Getting outside artists to help out here and there, and using the CC By (Attribution) license.
I think it’s a great idea to open up artwork a bit more than it commonly is, and I am more than happy to release free artwork for the game, even post it on the jme site or in examples.
If you are interested feel free to send me a PM.


@Sploreg, very nice that you want to release some free artwork.

On a related note, it might be elegant if each artist has some open repository, to which links can be posted on this forum. Actually, I myself am looking for a free hosting service to do this. Any suggestions? I could use google code, but I am not sure they appreciate a “content-only” repository.

Ideally you want a proper showcase/profile type arrangement for each artist … which is then a bit more than a simple forum.

Hello man!

I did this simple opensource project some time ago:
I would love to change assets for them.
Assets to change: player character, monster character, house, simple boxes.
Textures: 1024x1024 - diffuse color.
Totally: 4 models.

You can contact me if you want to do something.


Concepts of a player and a mutant:

A lot of folks use Deviant Art. I’m not familiar with their terms however.

Re. hosting: I would definitely go with if you’re making your models with Blender (which you should). It’s basically the YouTube of CC licensed models. If you want your free models to be discovered, you put them there first, then link to it from wherever else you think people might have use for it - like here.

Re. portfolios: There are plenty of great portfolio hosting services out there, some of which are tailored specifically towards artists and will probably be very easy to use. Some basic Googling should do the trick. Personally I’d recommend or for the sake of data ownership. They’re both based on open source software that’s easy to set up yourself. So should you ever decide to “graduate” from a fully hosted service to your own server and self-managed software, these two services would allow you to effortlessly export and import your data.

Re. the general idea: I like it! The challenges mentioned are by no means trivial. We need to become a more attractive community for artists (Unity3D is a great example of such a community), which means coming up with value propositions. Like:

  • Tutorials and discussion boards dedicated to the creation and pipeline of game assets. - Doable right now.
  • Promote free CC assets for commercial projects as an effective means to get art contributions. - Doable right now.
  • Jobs board to offer services and present projects. - Doable with small money and time investment.
  • Web front-end for asset packs. Doable with big time investment.

I like the idea of a repository for artist to post their artwork for JME3 game, just like one in Unity. As if we have a hosting for that type of content, then we can make JMP connect to it and JME Asset Store for the benefit of all! :roll:

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ok, if we should suggest ideas … as said earlier, I need some sci fi assets

  • A military character ( rig + basic animations) with an armor like Halo spartan’s for example, but separated into several parts to manage a stuff system during player progression

  • Sci fi Buildings (no clear idea but it should give the impression of being in a human technologically advanced civilization … Stargate Atlantis … Star Wars (Coruscant for example) … and some sci fi props ( with neon, flashy ligths), I think it’s missing the most and yet it is the basis of any map to provide immersive environment.

I found it some time ago that perfectly matches but they are whole blocks of buildings …

  • You can easily find spaceships, however it would be simpa to have land vehicles … in the genre of Tron: The Legacy motorcycles for example …or star wars speeder

  • NPC robots…the new Total recall with colin farrell contains huge model robots <3, probes like in Star wars again x)

  • and to finish the list, a human controllable mech , like matrix APU or avatar military mech with a cockpit

Sadly I have no artistic concept because I repeat I'm a very very bad designer, however I have a lot of ideas ^ ^ … if people are interested to create a multiplayer sci fi environment…mp me.

@Sploreg Cool, indeed I think it would simpa to make a small pack as nehon asset pack .
And thanks for the link;).

@erlend_sh absolutely agree, +1. But you still need to recover 2-3 artists to start the project …

I am glad my idea catches on :). Here are my further reactions:

@haze, @mifth: You both have nice suggestions! This is what I am talking about :-D.

<a href='' rel='nofollow'>@mifth</a>: you have cool character and level designs (I have browsed the other images too). How do you envision these designs to be used by another artist; e.g., are these rough guidelines or are they more stringent? 
I was indeed hoping to have some concept to work on this weekend. I am interested in both game projects presented here. Just a quick thought: possibly some assets could be shared between you two, like the hero, or some monsters. I think it can be very interesting to have people (programmers and artists alike) brainstorm about the assets, like discussing possible shared use, which could steer the design further.
But relating to the projects above, I am concretely attracted to designing a hero and a mutant/monster. Following the advice from a design book, I do need some (simple) backstory on each character (+ personality traits). This is important for determining the look. Also, other documentation you can provide is helpful. Could you provide this? Don't put too much effort in this though, we have to take baby steps, and gently grow this initiative!

Note: I roughtly intend to always make sketches before doing any serious modelling (it is easier to make changes in the design phase). I will put the sketches online. On deviantart perhaps -- I should make an account there.

@erlend_sh: You might be the ideal person to further promote this idea. If I may, I want to suggest some realistic possibilities to do this (but you are free to do as you like).

First, we could create a new forum here where people can post "requests for assets", like <a href='' rel='nofollow'>@mifth</a> and <a href='' rel='nofollow'>@haze</a> have done above. Ideally, people should give good descriptions of what they would like (things like backstory, character descriptions, style preferences, etc), with a link to their project. It is a bonus if they have a demo video showing gameplay.

If this cathes on, a bit thereafter (or simultaneously), we could post a "call for artists" on some blender forum (blendernation or blenderartists), where we outline the vision of JMonkey users (loosely) collaborating with blender artists. Like you said, this could indeed already work if artists just post links to resulting design images (deviant art) or models (blendswap).

@matomma these sketches are rough but the are ok to understand general idea and shapes.

Description: a distant town was infected by mutants. And the character should kill them all.

This is non commercial project. So, i can easily wait for your art for big ammount of time. Just get the fun with this. :slight_smile:

Here you can find many cool works and post yours:

Well, it ain’t exactly characters, but I am looking for WW2 naval ships as well as air planes for my naval combat simulator Enemy Ahead. I am working on a Fletcher Class destroyer myself and are making some good progress, but texturizing is a different story… Maybe the ship has to be populated with animated sailors in time? Not much of a story in here, although I could think about a campaign mode in which the player is actually a sailor making its way up to the top? Not sure about that though. It takes a lot of time for me to model, but this also has to do with the level of detail I want, I guess!

I like the idea about this sharing. This way, people can focus on what they are best at or like most. Characters are not my strongest point when it comes to modeling, but mechanical items is something I am starting to get the hang of. Suits my background as mechanical engineer better as well XD