Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Easter Holiday Fun Time

So I'm back home for Easter and while I will still be working plenty, as I have plenty to do, I have had some time off to spend some time with the family and friends, so it's been a less than productive few days.

First off I did a few books, nice and quick, quite nice and relaxing. They were actually quite fun and I think they've turned out quite well so far, they still need a normal map and the specular map has only just been started but it seems to be working so far.

I begun texturing the instruments although they are in super early stages. It was more a test to see if I could get something that looked close to right, I probably shouldn't be showing this at all, it's embarrassing really.

Other than that I've started a few props but they're too early to be worth showing, I've also made a few minor tweaks to the centaur texture, but barely enough to be worth noting.

I've also been reading up on my anatomy some more and doing some pencil sketches, I'll probably upload them some time when I have time.

My graphics tablet has broken over the last week or so, and as such it's slowed my work down considerably, especially as it's mostly texturing and high poly sculpting I need to do. But it's not really an excuse for how little work I have gotten done, I guess it was lucky I took a week out over Easter in my schedule, so I should be fine still.

Sunday, 17 March 2013

First Echoes Sweatbox

The first sweatbox,where we show our work off to the tutors and the rest of the course, is happening tomorrow so I've been getting some quick renders out so people can see my work.  So I thought I might as well post them on here.

I've been continuing to texture the characters, although this has been going slower than I would like as I'm having to work on it in university rather than at home as my poor computer cant handle the stress these days. But in terms of the actual texturing it seems to be going quite well.

The Centaur has a Diffuse and Specular map:

The Fae has a Diffuse and a Normal map:

Other than the characters I have the weapons, although these are not textured yet. 

And I have the instruments from the previous posts although I wont bother posting them all here again as they haven't changed.

I feel like I don't have much to show for saying how much work I have been doing, I am a week or two behind schedule due to personal matters but I think I need to step up my game a bit, especially as the final deadline draws ever closer.

Still the work I have so far exceeds my expectations so there's a bonus there, I just need to work on getting work done faster by improving my workflow.

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Texturing Time

Texturing has begun! I always like to switch between texturing and modelling a lot within a project so I don't get too overwhelmed by one or the other. This is particularly true about texturing as I consider it one of my weaker areas. Unfortunately due to the urgency of much of my work I have had to get all of the modelling, unwrapping and high poly sculpting done early, leaving the mountain of texturing to climb.

I began by going to the Centaur. It had been a while since I had worked on him so it was nice to be reunited with him again. I began by blocking out the base colours, then adding some texture detail. I then went on to render the normal maps and ambient occlusion maps to help give it some of that high poly detail. This was a bigger problem than I had hoped and eventually took me around 3 days to get to work...shame on me...I have always had trouble rendering these maps out and always waste too much time on them. In the end I used xNormal, I program I had used a bit before but this was the first real use of it.

Anyway, here is the current centaur texture so far. It only has the diffuse map on at the moment and it isn't finished, I want to work on the colours so they compliment each other more as well as adding detail to areas I haven't had a chance to yet like the quiver.

I'm quite pleased with certain aspects of it so far, such as the skin, which I normally have trouble emulating on my models. The ice has come out reasonably well so far as well considering the small amount of time put into them so far. The AO map has also massively helped to sell this texturing and I'm looking forward to doing more high poly sculpts and adding ambient occlusion and normal maps to my future models.

There are areas I'm not so pleased with as well, such as the leather straps. I always seem to have some kind of leather on my models and have never been able to get it to look quite right, I may got back and redo the leather completely. The rune like marking on his skin are also more like place holders at the moment rather than final ones.

I have also begun the Fae's textures, although these are in a much earlier form than the Centaur. As it stands the Fae only has blocked out colours and and AO map applied, this is because I get the centaur one working and I decided to get the Fae's AO done quickly while it was fresh in my mind.

Absolutely nothing about the Fae is final, and there is some AO cleaning I have done which isn't in the screen capture but it gives a nice first feeling of what the Fae will be like. The AO worked surprisingly well on the areas that varied a lot from the low poly to the high poly, such as the forearm detail and the roots on the feet, and could almost pass without a normal map, at least as a static, unlit mesh anyway. 

The textures are looking promising so far and it's certainly boosted my texturing confidence. I seem to have started this project with quite a bit more knowledge and expertise than I had before, which is strange as I'm not sure where it has come from, most of the work produced between last years game and this one was quite poor, but I seem to have pulled it all together for this final project and it is going much better than I could have expected.

Monday, 4 March 2013

Instruments of War!

So, it's been a while since I last posted and boy oh boy has a lot happened. But work is back on now and I'll need to work quickly to make up for my time away from the project.

Firstly I finished the staff, I wasn't completely pleased with how it turner out. I liked the idea behind it but I'm not convinced it worked out. Either way what's done is done.

Here it is, at 636 tris:

Other than that I made 3 instruments quickly in a day, which have been unwrapped, but not textured yet.

There's a recorder (272 tris):

Some pipes (280 tris):

A Violin (878 tris):

And finally a French Horn (1,004 tris)

Lots of work to do but it seems to be coming along, so I'll continue working away.