Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Film Room Project Post-Mortem

In my post yesterday, I said I'd write a slightly more reflective post about the film room project in the next couple of weeks. Well, times have changed and we now have to write and present our project post-mortems tomorrow morning, so behold!

What worked well? What didn't?

Our group generally worked well together – there were no incidences or major disagreements between anyone during the project, but we did have some trouble with communication to begin with as not everyone was in labs all the time. We used Facebook to communicate, which definitely helped us organise things when people didn’t show up, and we definitely got better at communication and organisation towards the end of the project.

Our final scene was coherent and a good likeness to the film shot, but there are obviously improvements we could make still, mostly with the lighting. Still, I learnt quite a lot from the project about the technical side and about working in a group. We had a few problems with matching some things to the whitebox we’d made, as some people hadn’t followed it, but in general everything worked together.

What did you learn? What will you do next time?

I learnt how to use the perspective match tool in 3ds Max, which was very useful when making the whitebox of our scene. I also learnt how to make different glass materials in engine, and more about lighting and post processing in engine in general.

I think the key thing with group projects is communication and planning, so for any future group projects, I think it would be best to organise and plans things straight away to make sure people are on the same page. Meeting up regularly to review how things are going with the project would also help, and using Facebook or something similar to communicate throughout the project is a good idea.
Another thing we tried to do for this project which I will definitely take to the next group project was to divide up tasks to suit people’s skills the best, to get the best results.

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

I Love Group Work - week 4

The film room project is finished! I'm going to write a more reflective blog post on this project in the next couple of weeks, after I've had time to process it a bit, so just a short post now. Here's the finish room, compared with the film still:
The final render

Our biggest problem with the project was the lighting, as the lighting in the scene was actually pretty difficult to replicate. Still, we started with something like this:

Render without lighting changes and colour correction

We spent a good few days working on fixing the lighting, which more time probably wouldn't have helped too much. I think we did the best we could with what we had.
Here are the main "wrong" things I identified with our scene:
Feel free to decipher this mess
Some of the shadows are wrong, some things are too bright while others are too dark, and the kitchen things should have been made a darker to colour to make the lighting easier. The camera is also a little bit off, but it's not too bad!

This project was hard work, but I really enjoyed it. Group work is fun!

And now, a sleepy hedgehog

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Film Room Progress - week 3

I've been busy with 3d this week! All my assets have been successfully modeled and textured, and dropped into engine. We now only have 3 days to finish - dun dun.

Check out this pouffe!

My best work
And the other things I made

When presenting our work so far on Thursday, I was told to chamfer all the hard edges more. I did, and I think it will look okay in the scene, but I hope I did it enough so they like it. Only time will tell.

I'm also really happy with my unwraps for this project. I used 2 sheets, and they're probably the best texture sheets I've made.

I still need to tidy them up a little, though.

In other news...

I started making the climbing axe from Tomb Raider 2013 for my halloween costume. I don't have any progress pictures, but here's what it looks like at the moment

It needs a few more layers of paint before I can add the details, but so far it's looking pretty good. I know I should have made it out of foam or something, but all I had was cardboard and I didn't want to spend money.

And now, a hesitant ferret

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Whiteboxing and cats - week 2

This week, we continued with the Film Room project. We presented our work so far and got some feedback on what we were doing. Basically, we've changed our screenshot back to our original choice, this one:
Woah so good
Also from "Hard Candy"!

We had already done some visual design work on this shot, so we moved on to whiteboxing the scene - this is my one:

We also made a cardboard model of the scene but we haven't taken pictures of it yet.
Livy then made a handy dandy spreadsheet with everything we need to do on it

I made most of the orthographic images for the assets I have to model. I'm making the armchair, sofa, fridge, kitchen cabinets and cupboard, and the pouffe. 

Next, it's onto the modeling! This time next week, We will have hopefully almost finished the project, and I will have a more exciting post. Oh, I also did another photo doodle:
I figure I need to start drawing more regularly, and maybe even *gasp* with a real pencil! We will see. For now, here's a gif I found

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Week 1

Asset Swap

This year's timetable means I'm in every day during the week all day. So far, it hasn't been as bad as I thought it would be. I also thought it would be difficult to get the hang of things again, but the only thing I've struggled with so far has been life drawing (again). I'll pick it up soon.

Oh, and of course, all the software has been updated in the labs, which is great! We're now using Unreal 4, which is really awesome, except that most of the stuff I learnt about UDK over the summer doesn't exist again more. Ugh. It is really cool though.
We were set a small, week long group project to get into Unreal 4, which involved concepting, modeling, unwrapping, texturing, and adding to a pre-made scene in engine.
Pre-made scene in UE4

We each started by concepting a different asset, and then passing it along to a different person so that we had all worked on all of the different assets. The project went okay, but we did have some problems with getting work from a couple of members in our group.

My table concept/ortho drawing

Film Room Project

Alongside this project, we also started another group project which we will be working on for the next 3 weeks. The "Film room" project, which, after much confusion, is about recreating a film screenshot in 3D exactly.

The screenshot my group has chosen is this one, from Hard Candy:

I'll be talking more about this screenshot and the film in general in a future post.

Other Stuff

I've been working on my digital drawing a little this week in my spare time, and I think it's going okay. I've also been practicing life drawing/anatomy, but let's not talk about that.
Here're some quick-ish photo studies I've done this weekend:

Photo study

Photo study

Photo studdddy

Summer Project

Well, the summer holidays finished last week and now it's back to uni. That's right - I took a 5 month break from blogging. If it's any consolation, I had a pretty productive summer.

Behold, the summer project that was marketed as mandatory but actually wasn't. My brief was to build a playable map with the theme "ancient ruins" and an explorer character for the environment. If you'd like to look through my design document and see the technical specification you can view it here.