Friday, 22 February 2013

Bows, Arrows, Staves and Dissertations

The characters have been handed over and the rigging and skinning has begun  so work has become less hectic. While it was great fun making them two characters for our game it would have been too stressful to keep going at that rate for much longer.

So I took a few days off over reading week, lazy? yes. Worth it? totally.

I feel much more refreshed and ready to crack on with the game now, and seeing the characters come to live as they are nearly rigged is making me very excited, I cant wait to see them animated and shoved into unity.

But there is a minor halt in the major project, as the dissertation deadline looms ever closer. My essay 'Aesthetics as Metaphor: A Study of Environmental Storytelling' had to be put on hold while I churned the characters out so I have less time to cram it in now, but it seems to have all worked out well as the models are completed and the dissertation is coming along reasonably well. So fingers crossed.

So I completed the low poly of the bow and arrow which I had blocked out in the last post:

Now I'm working on the Staff for the player character to use:

This is only a pretty early block out and has been through quite a few designs already, but I like the curling tendrils running up around a crystal. The shaft of the staff will be much more gnarled and branch like, quite similar to Gandalf the Grey's staff. This kind of staff has nature in mind as well as the new ability the player will have in the game which is the ability to cast magic, hence the crystal on the staff, but it can still be used as a melee weapon. The crystal also mimics the crystals present on the Bark Basher (the final boss character of the demo) so a theme is present throughout.

Once the staff is completed and the dissertation handed in I can begin working on some of the environment props and start playing around in unity with the particle effects and shaders. Oh, and start texturing the characters and weapons. The next few weeks will be when (hopefully) something resembling a game begins to form and that's when it really gets interesting.

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Fae Handed Over

Last you saw of the Fae was the completely low poly model. Since then I have unwrapped it and created a high poly mesh in ZBrush.

As this is only the second time I have used ZBrush I was pretty pleased with the results, the high poly looks nice and I got across pretty much everything I wanted to in the model. I have yet to project the normal map on to my low poly model, but I cant foresee any problems as I have done pretty much everything the same as I did for the Centaur.

My current ZBrush technique is to stay with the standard red wax shader (which I know many pros don't like) and make the details more defined than I would intend for them to be on the final model. I then add the standard material to it as it will hopefully give me a better idea for how strong the final normal map will be.

So here is the ZBrush sculpt in red wax and standard materials:

Now that has been handed over to one of the riggers I can slow my work pace ever so slightly as the two characters which I needed to produce quickly have been made. Now I need to produce the weapons and any other props that are needed for animations quickly so the animators don't have to wait for me. After that I have a bit more freedom with what I can do, I will probably work on some more props, do any unity stuff that needs doing and then texture the characters while the designs are still fresh in my mind and the animators that want to work with textured characters can.

So now I have begun my longbow. It has only been blocked so far but here is a screenshot anyway:

The bow will be made mostly out of ice as the Centaur's that inhabit the ice areas of the game will be using them (hence the Centaur being used for a size guide). It's a longbow which means it is very big, and I was surprised during research as to just have large they are.

Monday, 11 February 2013

Completed Fae Low Poly

So the last time I posted I had just started the fae model. Now it's finished!

It's been a bit of a rush, especially as the design has changed a few times throughout the development, but with help from the team I think we got a much more interesting design than we initially planned. Which is great!

Here is the low poly as it stands:

The planes around his head and shoulders as well as the legs will be vines or leaves coming off the body. I think the design is much more interesting to look at now than the original design, which is great as the player will be staring at this character quite a lot.

If I had more time and some more polys to play with I would have liked to have emphasised the vines and bark detail more, but this will hopefully come across much better in the high poly sculpt.

I have now passed this model on to the rigger, Joe Hornsby who will begin to rig it as I unwrap this model and make the high poly mesh. I will then hand him the new low poly which will be unwrapped once I have completed the high poly so he can skin that to the rig.

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Fae Time

With the success of the Centaur model I have immediately moved on to the Fae, the player character.

I don't think the design I have for the Fae is as strong as the Centaur was, so that starts me off at a disadvantage, and I have only 8 days to model the low poly, unwrap and then produce a high poly model so time is of the essence.

As of now I have 5 days left, a very scary thought, but it should be achievable.

Here is the low poly as of now...

Some major changes have been made since pre-production, the legs for example have been made into a much more animal like leg as opposed to the very sharp angles I originally had in mind. This was because when I started modelling it I found the design didn't work at all in 3D, so I had a discussion with the team and decided these legs would be best.

Another thing that's changed is the head, which I'm quite pleased with, the original horns we're a nice idea but I think this design works much better and should look good when it's all finished

That's all for now I'm afraid, I'll keep you posted on changes to the Fae and I will get round to writing some more tutorials and reviews on my other blogs once I get past this rushing stage of completing the characters, I already have some in mind I want to do.