W.U. 25: Shieldsman Shield Concept Art

The next unit to be implemented is the Shieldsman. A heavily armored soldier carrying a retractable tower shield. This unit serves as the tank, incoming attacks from the front are negated while the shield is in place. It is slow, however, and cannot traverse steep slopes. It cannot even climb ladders as they would collapse under its sheer weight.


Retractable Tower Shields are the Shieldsmen’s namesake. Made of solid steel, only the strongest warriors take up this role.

While in limber mode, the shield offers more mobility (limited as it is for a Shieldsman).

When activated, the shield is as good as a wall of steel, shrugging off even the high-speed bullets of Sharpshooters.

My first step is to concept the Shieldsman’s shield. I won’t bother actually making the Shieldsman yet; I’ll just reuse the Dragurian Colony Soldier 3d model for now.

This sketch shows how Shieldsmen may look like.

"Got 99 problems but a bitch ain't one."

I got carried away and made another shield:


Adorned with three hideous faces, the Mad Kings Shield is not for protection as much as a tool to strike terror to enemies.

The retractable component doubles as a tool to kill, serving as a portable guillotine. In practice, this miniature guillotine only works best as a coup de grâce move.

W.U. XIII: The Missing Weekly Updates

I am currently loaded with work so I wasn’t able to update the past week or so.

Instead I stole some time those weeks to do some art to de-stress.

Still not sure if I did her properly. Any younger and that would have been questionable. Nevertheless, she turned out close to what we’ve planned for her.

This is my current favourite. It was supposed to be “Witch Knight” but Kingdoms of Amalur beat me to it. Since they’re witches, I wonder if they should be female? Hmmm.

I tried making a “Dragurian Heavy” soldier. I don’t like how it turned out though.

Obviously needs work with the symmetry. Kudos to Stan Prokopenko for the tutorials!

I was not confident that I could draw Serin properly, and I certainly still think this is not good enough. Its like trying to draw a fleeting beauty.

As an aside, I’ve put up an Indie DB page in the hopes of getting more feedback. Hopefully some developers and gamers would chime in and say what they think.

As for programming, I’ve been slowly picking back up on it. Right now I’m making an editor for the behaviour trees. Its turning out to be really difficult because of the way GUI is made in Unity.

Normal Map Problems in Blender

Normal map baking in Blender is very simple and straightforward but there are numerous pitfalls that are not apparent to the user that can make things broken.

No objects or images found to bake to

Generally speaking, if either of the high-poly object or the low-poly object you are baking to are set as not renderable, Blender can’t find it and thus, can’t bake anything. To make objects not renderable, there are many ways to do so:

  1. Set it as invisible from the Outliner
  2. Have either objects in a layer that isn’t set to be rendered. In the Render tab, there’s a section named “Layers”. That determines which layers will be rendered.

It doesn’t make sense to me at all that normal map baking has to depend on these things as if we’re rendering to a movie file.

The other possible reason is if the low-poly object doesn’t have an image assigned to it. From my experience you can just create a new image from Blender, assign it to the low-poly’s UVs, and you don’t even need to save it yet. That is enough to make normal map baking to work.

Overlapping UVs

Take care when baking into objects that have overlapping UVs. If you have a head whose UVs’ left side is mirrored to its right side, this can cause the baking to overlap as well.

Here, the objects have multiple copies, thus, it made sense for me to simply make them use the same UV space. I was baking the high-poly object you see in the bottommost copy of that object.

However, the normal map baking produced those lines you can see in the left side of the screenshot. Again, this is because the UVs are overlapping.

What I did, was to temporarily set aside the UVs of all the other copies of the object:

Then bake again. This will produce a clean result like the screenshot below. Then simply move the UVs back to their original positions.

Flipped Normal Maps

Things looked fine until I saw my object up close:

The left side of my character’s armor seems to be flipped from the right side. This is because in the normal map (shown in the right side), the UVs were split in half. And then the right half was rotated upside down (because I was saving space).

Here is how it looks like in Blender:

However, when you preview the normal map from Blender, it looks fine.

In the end, I was forced to remap the UV layout so there’d be as few seams as possible.

This resulted in having to reduce the size of my UVs to fit in the image, but so far, that’s the only way I see to fix it.