About Me

Hi. I'm Josh Ols. Lead Graphics Developer for RUST LTD.


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Entries in Blog (28)


Alloy Announcement 2

Okay, so here's where we are. The ball is rolling on getting our stuff into the asset store. Though it looks like we won't be in until mid-november. Sorry if any hopes were dashed, but worry not.

Awesome stuff is on the way! ;)


Alloy Anouncement

Sorry for the long silence folks. We over at RUST ltd. have been working on something BIG! Our very first product for the Unity asset store! XD

"Alloy", as it is called, is the refined version of the physically-based shader system that we used for Museum of the Microstar. The package is planned to have the full set of shaders, documentation, working examples, etc and will be followed shortly by a planned video tutorial series. 

If all goes according to plan, we will release on Tuesday. Keep an eye out. ;)


Update (05-18-2013)

It's time for a long overdue update. Sorry for the long delays, but work and life have been getting in the way.

Today I'm going to start the first in a series of articles covering nasty little gotchas in Unity3D's Surface Shader system. Originally I had planned to make one comprehensive article covering all these topics. Due to lack of time, I have decided to break them up into focused separate articles.

The vast majority of my observations will focus on how to make your shader a "good citizen" in Unity3D, so it can take full advantage of Unity's featureset. Though I will throw in a few that focus on some neat tricks I discovered that I feel can benefit everyone. Please note that I will not reveal any implementation details from my surface shaders, since I plan to release those commercially in the future.

More to follow soon.


Update (1-12-2013)

A late happy new years to my readers! :p

Sorry for the lack of updates folks. Between my day job, my indie efforts, and just plain goofing off I've been just a tad bit distracted lately. In particular RUST ltd., the group I'm part of, has been working on an entry for Unity's big DX11 contest! Its material shaders utilize everything I have learned about physically based BRDFs as well as the quirks of Unity's surface shader system. I'm particularly excited to combine my stuff with the other fun and experimental pieces of tech from the other tech heads on the team. ;)

Our team's artist/level designer has really been pulling out all the stops for this one, and it will definitely be something to see. We're approaching the deadline for submission, so now it's all hands on deck. Once the contest is over, I'm tentatively planning to release some samples of the tricks we used to pull off some of our effects. Keep an eye on the contest and get ready for some jaw-dropping examples of what Unity can really do!

Cheers. XD


Update (8-22-2012)

Hey all! *waves*

Sorry for the long pause in the new info, but not a whole lot has been happening on my end. My team decided to take the Summer off after the long push to get our "The Hold" concept prototype out the door. During that time, our artist decided to take advantage of an opportunity to spend some time in China training budding 3D artists in the tools and tricks of their trade. Now that he is back, we've resumed work and are going full steam ahead! XD



We've started work on the next version of "The Hold", and are trying to take it from a concept demo and turn it into an actual game. The new version has some vastly different style goals but will continue using the custom physically-based BRDF shaders I developed for Unity3D. I plan to make them look even better using what I learned from the first batch, as well as a few tips from SIGGRAPH 2012. ;)

For the blog itself, I plan to do an article that amalgamates all the things I learned about taking advantage of Unity's features so that they will all be in one convenient location. Quite frankly, they have some quirky rules that are not well explained when it comes to making surface shaders integrate well with their platform. I'd like to share said knowledge so that my readers needn't hunt it all down and tinker for hours on end. :p

Other than that, I am also planning an article discussing the difficulties of getting physically-based BRDFs into a Light Prepass Renderer. This article will center around an example BRDF that has already been used in production and is compatible with such a renderer. It may not be as relevant these days, with everyone and their mother moving to tile-based, compute shader driven, traditional fat g-buffer deferred rendering. Still, I thought it was a cool idea, and wanted to share it with everyone. :D


Side Notes:

I'm currently watching a few Kickstarter/Indiegogo projects and am trying to spread the word. If you would be so kind, please consider contributing to the following projects:

The Other Brothers - A very stylish platformer done entirely in pixel art. Approaching the end of its campaign and still a little far from their goal.

Project Giana - A fantasy platformer with an interesting "twist". 

David Crane's Jungle Adventure - A rather ambitious campaign from the original creator of Pitfall. It's off to an anemic start, so let's try to get the word out. 

Planetary Annihilation - A massive scale sci-fi RTS by the people who brought you Monday Night Combat. 

Mercenary Kings - A modern Metal Slug by the people who did the "Scott Pilgrim vs The World" games.

Let's Build a Goddamn Tesla Museum - Project to finally get Nikola Tesla the recognition he deserves by building a museum to honor his contributions to science and technology.