I've never heard of isolating the green channel of the normal map and using it as a paint layer. What effect does that create exactly?
WARNING They dont listen to their users as much as they like to say they do. Check their forums. Plenty of requests go unanswered. Their "To Do" list has been outdated. They lack staple features such as a Text Tool, Adjustment Layers, Channels, Layer Styling, Proper Cropping. Paintstorm cant even resize a photo correctly (It will always leave a border when resizes). You also run into square artifacts occasionally. There have also been several instances were paintstorm was detected as malware, once called out, the dev reuploads a clean version. This happened at least twice from forum reports and Virus Total. Aside from the very obvious lack of support and maintinence. The brush system is good. However a good brush engine will not replace the other basic features and functions paintstorm lacks. DO NOT expect support. This is definitely a homegrown app and it shows. If you want a versatile brush engine, clip studio or even krita is where its at.
XPEC Art Center (XAC) was at ChinaJoy 2015 and we spoke with Laurie Hung, Business Development Manager of XAC, about the professional art design and creation company and the services they provide. They have collaborated with top AAA developers and assisted in the creation of some amazing games such as Bloodborne, Killzone Shadowfall, and Final Fantasy XV.
XPEC Art Center
My company provides game developers professional art production outsourcing. We are the first and only company in Asia that has is established and that has been providing this professional service. Usually art production is just a department of a game company, but we are an independent company and we provide this kind of production service to our clients in Japan (Sega and Sony), United States (EA), and Europe.
In terms of services, provide the whole package. XAC is a member of the XPEC group. Our mother company used to be a game developer. So we used to be part of the team of game development, but then we came out as our own company. That’s why we are familiar with how a game is created. From the beginning to the end, we know what role art plays. We also know how to think ahead to produce a better game because, after all, it’s not just about drawing something.
A lot of our clients come to us and tell us they want a certain style and like this game, but they want us to help them figure out an art style for them. That’s when our Art Director and Art Leader jumps in to lead our client and figure out the vision.
Tools for Development
3ds Max for sure and a very important thing that we try to do is use tools that our clients ask us to use. For example, some clients who trust us a lot, will put their engine in our company so we can integrate environments and everything, all they have to do is take a look and tell us what to improve on. So, we are familiar with all types of engines and tools.
We also use texturing tools like ZBrush including different project management tools, based off the client’s needs.
Final Fantasy XV was a co-development effort. The whole Japanese development team came to Taiwan and stayed in our office. They had a special area just for them. Their team and our team worked together for months, and also went out to travel Taiwan to get better chemistry. Their Art Director and our Art Director figured out things together. It wasn’t like the Japanese team came with a set configuration. We just worked together and made it happen.
In a way all companies need help with AAA titles right now, because as big as Square Enix and Final Fantasy XV is, they have to focus their resources. That’s their number one priority. Usually art production is a section that can be easily outsourced. That’s why it’s usually the first thing they think of, to find a professional partner to work together with, but this partner has to have experience in developing games.
Laurie Hung, Business Development Manager, XPEC Art Center