Thursday, 25 October 2012

On to Specialist Animation Week 3

Week 3...the final week...for the first part of this project anyway.

I've mostly textured the two props now, which was expected to be complete by the end of the second week, so not too bad timing there. The 3rd week we need to light and render them as well as modelling a character, this is where it gets interesting.

First off though, here is Mjolnir:

And Loki's Sceptre:

Things are turning out quite well if I do say so myself. Although this is where things begin to get difficult. I've never been great at characters, and I have to make it in Maya by Wednesday, so less than a week. Not to mention the rendering coming out with some very weird results. I also have a presentation which is due either this Wednesday or the week after. Here I will be presenting my study of how visual themes effect the narrative of a game and pitch the idea for my dissertation.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Loki's Poki Stick

I've had the last few days off in terms off university work as my Mum and Sister came up to visit which was nice, and we went out on Sunday night to see my comedian Ross Noble for the first time and that was a pretty awesome night.

But as for work, I've mostly been texturing my props for the current project, got to have these completed by Thursday so I have the last week free to model and unwrap the character. I've spent a fair amount of time these past few days trying to render out an ambient occlusion map which I have had partial success with. It is working but I have seems around the edges of the model, even though i have turned up the 'fill seams' option in the baked map setting.

So here is Loki's Sceptre, with the not quite working AO map:

So far it has a diffuse and a specular map on it, so I still need to start my normal map for this as well as finish these maps, but I'm pretty pleased with how this has turned out so far.

I have done some work on Mjolnir as well, but I have spent the majority of my time on the sceptre as the work seemed to be flowing quite well on that prop.

The hand strap is going to be changed, as having it all the same texture makes it look very boring, but the normal maps are working to a certain degree without spending too much time on them, and the tweaks that need to be done should be pretty simple. The spec map is only basic at the moment too so that will require some changes, but overall I think I can have both of these to a pretty good level of quality by Thursday, which would be great considering I've been learning a new program throughout.

I've also been posting bits and pieces to Polycount which is an awesome website based around game artists. Some of the work on there is incredible and it's a great community. Eventually I'll start a thread of my own work...but I think I'll build up my portfolio a bit more before then.

Saturday, 20 October 2012

By Thor's Hammer!

Just a quick update, unwrapped both weapons and started texturing the hammer now. All seems to be going well so far, and I'm enjoying the texturing a lot more now that I have my new Intuos 5!

So here is the hammer so far:

The black pattern is going to be normal mapped on it, it's just there as a place holder. There still isn't a spec map on it either, plenty more to do before this is finished.

I'm going to be moving on to Loki's sceptre soon, so I have a good basic texture for them before working on the details and I will have plenty to get feedback off during the tutorials on Monday.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Beginning of the last year...

So, this is it... The last year, after this the big scary world.

Anyway, we've begun a few projects at uni so far, the first of which is the pre-production from the final major project. For this project everyone has 4 projects to complete, which we can split between any amount of collaborative or personal projects, as long as 2 of the projects are part of a collaboration. During this time I will be putting all 4 of my projects into the same collaborative project, which is the Fae game I briefly mentioned in the past. For this project we have 11 people, all of which are artists or animators, who are putting various amounts of their time into the project.

In short it will be a game demo created in the Unity game engine about a faerie player character who has to defend a you girl who has found herself trapped in the Fae realm. She will face many dangers while in this unknown environment and you will have to use your abilities to defend her. The player starts off in a forest environment where they will be attacked by tree like creatures and small wyverns and will eventually end up in an icy environment plagued by centaurs.

For the project I have been tasked with creating the player character and the centaur enemy as well as various props mostly centred around the forest environment. The final part of my project will be using the unity game engine, as I did with the UDK game last year. This year however we have a much larger group with more people working within the game engine, so we will hopefully be able to achieve much more and get it looking closer to a stand alone game rather than the mod of last year.

So enough talking, lets have a look at the designs I have so far...

First up, here are some early designs of the player character, it has a forest theme to it so I was thinking of the bulk of the body being made of rocks, with vines and branches reaching between them holding together:

This is also the most finalized idea I have for the Ice Centaur so far:

The designs are still in early stages as we have only been working on the pre-prod for about a week. In this time I also managed to get camera to follow a moving player in unity by recycling code that people are sharing on the internet.

And that's project 1...

The pre production is done over a large period of time during which we have other projects to do. The first one of which we are half a week through. We have to model a character and 2 props in Maya, which is a new program for me to use and one that I really need to get a good grip on when looking for work. We are allowed to use existing characters and props but preferably ones that have not already been rendered in 3D. I chose to do Thor from the avengers movie as well as his hammer Mjolnir and Loki's Sceptre.

During the first week we need to have designed turnarounds and modelled the 2 props as a warm up for using Maya. I have already finished the majority of the modelling, with just a few tweaks needed here and there.

Here is Mjolnir, weighing in a 312 Polys:

And here is Loki's Sceptre at 494 Polys:

I'm pretty pleased with how these have turned out and how quickly I have managed to make them as I have had quite a bit of trouble adjusting from my 3Ds Max workflow, but it is starting to come together now and I should be ready for moving on to modelling Thor himself once I finish off his turnarounds.