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Spring 2013.

Traditional Painting Color Self Portrait: Ballpoint Studies on the Human Figure 3D Animation Borg Head NURBS Bird Pumpkin Scene Apple Surfacing Fruit Bowl Scene Hallway Lighting Study Carnival Lighting Study Koala Expression Study Seasonal Changes for Life 3D Level for Youve Got Mail Octupus Surfacing for Kai Kala Credits, Logo, and Type for Kai Kala Graphic Art and Design Vector Art Oakley Musical Visualization Halloween Color Study Self Portrait: Vector Art Self Portrait: Typographic Color Pattern Rainbowflake Game of Thrones Color Wheel Cover and Layout for Gamer Letter Shape and Pattern Study Rebranding of Jack & Jill Donuts Warhol / Pikachu / CMYK Pop Art TAMU Department of Finance Poster Logo Design for Hex Tactical Resources Branding, Packaging, and Letterhead for Cacao Branding, Marketing, and Advertising for TAMU ACM SIGGRAPH


Painting color
Acrylic / Canvas Panel / Bristol These paintings are a study not in form, but in color. They aim to bridge the gap between realistic and surreal imagery.


Ballpoint Pen / Rives BFK This work stemmed from an interest in facial studies while exploring the human figure. Using ballpoint pen allowed for extremely precise markings over a large canvas and the ability for extremely controlled shading.


Soft Pastel / China Marker / Newsprint These quick studies aim to replicate the human figure with a variety of focues, such as tonal variations, posture and attitude, facial features, and strict contour.


Blender Using my own head as a reference, this Borg head focused on facial topology and a merge between organic and inorganic elements, such as a reinforced jaw line and glowing eyes.

Blender This bionic bird model was constructed completely from NURBS surfaces to create a smooth yet robotic surface.

Blender / Autodesk Maya / Adobe Photoshop This scene is the result of a 1-hour virtual pumpkin carving contest. I focused instead on shading and scene building.

Blender Using nothing but procedural textures, I did my best to model, shade, and texture a reasonably realistic apple.


Blender / Autodesk Maya Utilizing quite a few online models, this scene focuses on shading and lighting and utilizes several different forms of subsurface scattering across the different foods and surfaces.


Blender This lighting study attemtps to replicate creepy lighting from existing photographs, effectively capturing the mood without altering the layout.


Blender / Adobe Photoshop Shading and lighting an outdoor scene required a different approach than the hallway, as outdoor light is much less controlled and more subject to weather and time.


Blender This study on facial topology and animation took just 8 hours from start to completion. By using blend shapes corrolated to different muscle groups, a wide range of emotions could be acheived without having to design each specific expression.


Blender / Adobe After Effects / Adobe Photoshop This early project presented multiple challanges for our unexperienced group of three: the modeling and texturing of grass and trees, the animation of hundreds of objects, multiple seasonal changes, de-aging all of these componants on-screen, and a very short time frame for working and rendering. For the trees we turned to an addon to apply rigs to every branch and leaf as well as a default wind animation to mimic movement over the years, while an early foray into pipeline allowed us to animate the objects, surfaces, and lighting at the same time.

3D Level for Youve Got Mail

Blender This Super Mario Bros. inspired environment was used in the mixed-media short Youve Got Mail, in which a gamer must go into the game to rescue his friend from a digital enemy.


Autodesk Maya / Autodesk Mudbox The group project Kai Kala tells the story of a young boys imagination and creativity, which is physically represented through an octopus as he draws, an octopus who inks in color. As such, my surfacing for the octopus reflects his childlike, hand-drawn nature as well as touches on his colorful abilities.


Adobe After Effects / Adobe Illustrator As the story unfolds, the colorful octopus must whimsically battle the squid, who is taking the color from the ocean. I created the lighting and particle effects both for the credits and for the animation in addition to the art for both of the main characters. The text was meant to feel both childlike and hand drawn, as well as the twist on the department logo at the end.


Vector Art Oakley

Adobe Illustrator

Adobe Illustrator / Scrap Booking Paper / Canson Abstract visualization of a section of Havendance, a classical piece by David Holsinger. Concept and planning done in Illustrator, with the final project being completed physically.

Halloween color study

Adobe Illustrator A dual exercise in color study and target demographics, this series attempts to cater the feeling of Halloween to different age brackets by changing nothing but color. The bottom left signals to young children the theme of costumes and candy, while the middle promises teens a late night full of mischif. The top right paints Halloween in the sense of the fall season, appealing to an older demographic in a more professional sense.

Self Portrait: Vector Art

Adobe Illustrator A self portrait in the style of rotoscope, this was created by forming a mosaic of colored circles and further simplifying into large areas of color. By waiting to apply dark outlines until this shading was completed, the result bears some resemblance to Cel-Shaded 3D work, both in appearance and construction.

Self Portrait: Typographic

Adobe Illustrator Portraits are frequently made using typesets, utilizing their differentiating weights and contour to abstractly represent their subjects. This portrait aims to acheive the opposite, sacrificing clarity through abstraction in favor of realistic tone. To create a greater challenge for myself, I utilized only my name in a thinly serifed font and focused on subtle value changes.

Color Pattern Rainbowflake

Adobe Illustrator The focus of this pattern was to abstractly represent the interplay between additive and subtractive color systems.

Game of thrones color wheel

Adobe Illustrator This piece of pop art centers around the relationship between color and faction relations in the popular TV show Game of Thrones and is represented in the style of an Internet meme.

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Gary Platner, WoWs Lead Environment Artist, talks world design with Rob Simpson in this GAMER magazine exclusive interview.

SIMPSON: Hi there, Im Rob Simpson from the GAMER magazine Street Team and today joining me I have Gary Platner, the lead environment artist for World of Warcraft, and weve got an exclusive chance to interview him, ask him a few questions, and pick his brain a little bit about the coming expansion. So, Gary, to get started, why dont you tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got into the gaming industry. PLATNER: I just answered an ad in the

paper a long time ago back in about 93. I answered an ad from Sega. They needed artists, and I had just graduated so I applied, but they didnt hire me because I didnt go to Art Center. Apparently they thought I was good enough, but I didnt actually go to Art Center, so they didnt want me. But it got me into thinking about video games, so I took the first job that I could, a little game company in Costa Mesa. I worked there for a few years, I worked at Interplay for about 4 years, I was art director on Fallout 2, I was lead artist on Fallout 1, and a little bit on Torment. And then I went and started at Blizzard in May of 99. Ive been here ever since, about 11 years.
Cool, cool. So tell us a little bit about what being a lead environment artist entails. Well, the environment team is very small, we only have about 4 people, and its our job to make the world. I always say we put the world in World of Warcraft. We make all the natural elements to the game, the trees and the rocks, all the ground textures, the sky clouds, even water, everything like that. We also do a few other things like all the loading screens and the little in-game cinematics when you start a character, we also do that. But our main job is to provide artwork for the exterior level designers.

Oh, theyve evolved a lot. We have our own proprietary software called WowEdit. Its our own tool, and that has changed many times over the years; actually, almost every month theres something new added. We have a very active tools team. We call it tools, theyre just functions and things we can put into the game, put into WowEdit, rather. So WowEdit has really changed; its really turned into this great art tool, its a really nice painting tool. We can paint and texture terrain with a Wacom pen, so you can push and pull geometry and move trees and scale stuff around and paint on our textures. Its very artistic, and that has really improved a lot over the years.
And so now over the years as these environments have been changed or added with each new expansion, what kind of challenges have you been confronted with? Especially with Cataclysm; theres a lot of changes coming there.

team was like Well, we spent months on this, and you dont need it? And Im like Well, Im sure well use it, but just not today.

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Awesome, so kind of give them a lot of the tools and pieces that they need to make the world happen. Yeah, we give them all the art, we make all So after years of conceptualizing and designing these World of Warcraft environments, how have these tools or processes that you and your team use sort of evolved over the years and changed?

the artwork, we work with them on how were going to make a zone. Well make a little demo zone with our artwork and just go from there.

Right, right. Well, the big challenge was for us in the beginning to really make the old world look a little more updated. Theres a lot of stuff we couldnt do, and a lot of people dont know this, but the reason we did a lot of things in the old world was because of our limitations of the engine. You couldnt see very far, we had a thing called LOD, which is level of detail, and it would in a sense reduce the polycount of mountainscape -- when you look in the distance, it would kind of remove a few polygons. So we would make our mountains a little bit different. Now, we dont have to worry about that; you can see much further in WoW, our mountains and terrain can look a lot better. So when we went back to Cataclysm, we wanted to make all that stuff look better like we did in Northrend, make the mountains look a little more detailed, which we couldnt do in the beginning. Deepholm was kind of tough. We wanted to do some giant cave inside some kind of planet thing. We werent sure how to do it, so we thought we wanted new tech, or we thought we may need it, where we could make terrain upside-down. So wed have the same terrain up here that we could have on the bottom. We were sure we wanted that, and we got the tools team to make that happen for us, and then we decided we had a different solution, and we didnt end up using it. And the tools

something new thats old to work on, we want to improve it a lot. With Cataclysm, it was about the same kind of progression we would do; we would talk about a zone and talk about what we wanted to do, and all that stuff would happen on paper. For an artist, we need to see that, and we need to visualize how thats going to look, so we would do lots of concepts. Just big paintings about how we wanted things to look, so we could approve what we wanted. Once we see all the colors, that way well know if thats something we want to do. So well do a lot of artwork; well have Justin Kuntz, Gus Schmidt, he would do that on our team, Mark Gibbons a little bit. So once we have a piece of art, a big concept, well from there we can just make the whole game. The concept is our roadmap. Weve got the colors of the fog, weve got the lighting, the ground textures, how our trees are going to look, its a consistent thing. You know, people probably dont realize that when you make a game like World of Warcraft, you need to make it as though one person did it, but many people would have worked on many different aspects of it. Different team doing the buildings, different team doing the trees, and lighting and everything but its such an artistic style, you know, stylistic game, we want it to look like it was one guy who did it, like its a complete painting.

So what are the other steps that your team has taken to go from hearing the initial story progression plan for Cataclysm to visually incorporating and enhancing in all of these aspects of the game? Well, any time you give an artist


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So I know youve worked on a lot of pieces, now, over the years, whats your favorite new environment added or changed in this upcoming expansion? Oh, well theres so many that are my fa-

Well, you can pick a favorite. I can; I do have a favorite. Vashjir is really amazing; it came out really good. When we first heard about it, doing a whole underwater zone was like How are we going to pull this off? This is going to

vorite, of course theyre all my favorite, theyre all really good.

be crazy. But it came out really, really good. I really love Lost Isles, I really love Kezan, the starting zone for the goblins. But my very, very favorite zone has got to be Gilneas, for the worgen, the worgen starting zone. That came out so good; its just the consistency between our buildings, even the clothes the worgen are wearing and the human version of them are wearing, the ground textures, the lighting; its just a cohesive theme and everything works so well in that zone. Its just gorgeous.


MAy 2011

tually lots of things. To mention a few, I always talk at Blizzcon about vertex shading, one of my favorite features, where we can add color and light. We can paint that in essentially anywhere we want to, we can use it as a highlight or a shadow which adds more dimension for the game. Thats always been great, and weve always done more with that. For Cataclysm, we have a thing called point lights, which is

Was there anything that you can currently do now that does stand out that you couldnt do before given those tools and other things that have evolved? Right, right. Well, there are ac-

like adding a light to, say a lamp. We can put a light on a lamp now and it will illuminate the ground around it, illuminate the character, or add color. Or say if there wasnt a lamp there or anything, we just wanted to add different color to a zone; well, we can now do that with these point lights, and add a little more color, a little more shading, stuff that we couldnt do with our lighting system before. Really cool. But probably the best thing, the most incredible part of our tools, is a thing we call LiveUpdate. The idea is, if were in WowEdit, and youre making something, youre pulling terrain and stuff, what you have to do if you want to see that in game, you have to level build it, you have to actually put it in your local build of the game, run your game, and see it. Now, I can work on WowEdit and have the game running and see what Im doing. I can move a bush or move a tree or do terrain; I can see that happening in game. Because WowEdit is close to what the game looks like, but its not exactly. I need to see how things really are looking for the player, so now we can do that. And that tool is the best tool that we have.

Alright, well, Gary, thank you very much for joining us, and thank you to all of you at home for getting us this exclusive interview with Gary Platner, the lead environment artist. Well see you in Cataclysm.

Cover and layout for Gamer

Adobe Illustrator / Adobe InDesign Inspired by technology magazines, the layout here reflected game content very naturally. Featuring an interview with the lead Environmental Artist for World of Warcraft, large landscape images were incorporated into the cover, Q&A session, and the articles introductory spread.



Letter shape and pattern study

Adobe Illustrator In a study on using lettershapes as design elements, I opted to use one of the blandest characters I could find: O in Helvetica Bold. By arranging multiples together, and adjusting size and rotation, the final pattern gains a sense of indeterminate motion from an initially stable shape.

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Rebranding of Jack & Jill Donuts

Adobe Illustrator / Adobe Photoshop For my first major rebranding project, I chose Wacos local donut shop, Jack & Jill donuts. The redesign included logo variants, stationary, website, packaging, uniforms, nametags, menu, and advertisements. The menu takes imagery from the websites background, while the pail inspired donut hole packaging draws from the nursery rhyme itself.

Warhol / Pikachu / CMYK Pop art

Adobe Illustrator This design harkens back to one of the fathers of pop art and attempts to modernize his influence. An offshoot of Warhols famous Marilyn Monroe series, Ive replaced the actress with a subject perhaps equally as well known: the star of Pokmon, Pikachu. Warhols screen prints utilized a popular technique for mass production and used color to reference popular culture. This is mirrored here, as the widespread use of CMYK printing has made an impression upon society, leading to the emergence of an appreciation for digital art rendered utilizing only these four colors.



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TEXAS A&M UNIVERSITYS DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE was found to rank fifth nationally according to recruiters and the general quality of all graduates. Taking into account location, caliber, and breadth of study, TAMU beat out many prestigious universities, including the University of Chicago, California, every member of the Ivy League, and most importantly, texas university.


TAMU Department of Finance Poster

Adobe Illustrator

When asked to design a (relatively wordy) poster for Mays Business Schools Department of Finance in honor of its being ranked 5th in the Nation, I first decided on a more artistic approach. After taking into account how non-designers (namely Finance students) might view the poster, a more reserved version was created. The final design blends elements of the two together, in effort to be acceptable to all students.

Logo REDesign for Hex Tactical Resources

Adobe Illustrator A firearms training and consultation company, Hex Tactical Resources refers to its media outlet and team as The Hive. As such, this logo reflects the nature of their namesake by means of an edgy honeycomb of six hexagons. []

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Branding, Packaging, and Letterhead for Cacao

Adobe Illustrator
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1106 Holleman Dr. College Station, TX 77840 t.254.855.9586


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Cacao refers to the bean and tree from which chocolate derives and helps to push the organiac aspect of this candy bar. The idea behind Cacao is an organic mixture of dark chocolate and various mix-ins, such as fruit, nuts, or mint. The green packaging pitches organic and maintains continuity as a background for the endless logo variants, which although change in color and form keep a similar attitude and stay true to the brand. Cacao is aimed at young people, chocolate lovers, and fans of organic food, and could be seen both in grocery stores as well as local coffe shops.

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So have your what next? Join Friday, Feb. Mar. 9 Its you more than juststory, a script: Join us this Friday, 24 us this for Friday theon journey color! 6:00 7:00 Friday the for scoop visualinto storytelling! 7:30 PM See for details. for details. Langford C, Room 307
Come join us for a recap of our color Wednesday, Apr. 11 workshop and elect next years officers! 6:00 7:00 PM See for details. Langford C, Room 205

Branding, Marketing, and Advertising for TAMU ACM SIGGRAPH

Adobe Illustrator / Adobe Photoshop

ACM SIGGRAPH is a worldwide organization dedicated to the advancement of computer graphics and interactive techniques, dealing with the synthesis between art and technology. I began developing the image for the TAMU chapter as a volunteer during Fall 2011, my second year as a Visualization student, by creating early posters, logos, banners, and t-shirts. As Spring 2012 approached and the need for visual media increased, the position of Advertising Director was created to better recognize the work needed to maintain the brand that I had created. The items above chronicle my first two and a half semesters as the Advertising Director for TAMU ACM SIGGRAPH, including revamped officer and member t-shirts, an 8 vinyl banner, and 24 chronological posters.

Bachelor of Science in Visualization, December 2013 Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas Relevant curriculum includes: 3D Modeling and Animation Editing and Post-production Creating Digital Environments Web Design and Development Game Design and Development Graphic Design (Motion and Print) Shading and Rendering Techniques

Outdoor Activities Director - FBC Waco Summer Day Camp - 2010, 2011, 2012 Gained valuable experience in working simultaneously with people of all ages and backgrounds, including children and adults. Was in charge of leading large groups of school age children in difficult, camp-related activities. Advertising for Single Parent Support Workshop - 2010, 2011 Learned first-hand the challenges of working with a client to effectively advertise a local program through visual media. Volunteer work.

Traditional Graphite, Pastel, Prismacolor Digital After Effects, Flash, Illustrator, InDesign, Photoshop, Premier Autodesk Maya, Autodesk Mudbox, Cycling 74 Max, Blender, Unity Operating Systems Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, Ubuntu

W. Graham Horsley Endowed Scholarship Merit Based Award 2012 Recipient ArtFest 2011 Memorial Student Center Visual Arts Committee of Texas A&M Honorary Mention

TAMU ACM SIGGRAPH Advertising Director AIGA Member

1601 Holleman Drive College Station, TX 77840 Apartment 1805 254.855.9586