Choosing an idea for my Final Major Project was difficult. I had initially wanted to explore musical avenues and what it would have to offer artistically, but after pitching an idea for a Music studio based environment, it quickly became clear that its not the most interesting of scenes for an aspiring environment artist. Boxy architecture and lack of interesting features denied any further development opportunities.
Back to the drawing board, I had to start thinking outside the box. After searching a number of artistic forums and blogs, in particular Hypebeast. I stumbled across a number of inspirational Architects, which I thought would make a good premise for an environment project. Antoni Gaudi was one of these architects. After conducting some research and discovering a number of shapely and challenging pieces of architecture, I finally felt like I had found a project worth tackling.
Due to the curvaceous nature of Gaudi's work and its organic forms, I had decided early on that the focus of the project was to complete compelling pieces of architecture rather than focusing in on smaller, generic assets. I really tried to challenge my modelling and technical abilities. I had initially blocked out and planned to create three separate rooms with its own unique architectural style, yet as the modelling process progressed into its latter stages, some rooms had to take priority over others, not only to complete the level but to maintain a high quality which I wished to achieve. The best example of this would be the keen focus on the staircase, which I felt was the most prolific piece of environment art, and overall the most appealing. A Sacrifice which I felt paid off in the end.
I felt that there were a number of issues that I encountered whilst developing this project. Perhaps the most intense one, was the consistent adjustment and tweaking of curvy meshes! Not only with modelling, but the painstaking Unwrapping and Light mapping which cost me a lot of time, which was not accounted for in early projections of production. A lot of time was spent just fixing and solving problems, which in hindsight is a great skill to have learnt, developing a keen eye for the smallest of issues. Even in my final Production renders I can spot small issues which I am not happy with but perhaps with better preparation I could have avoided some senseless issues.
Overall I feel that I managed to compromise and develop my own ideas to create a full functioning Environment that I am extremely proud of and feel justifies the brief description. A highlight definitely being the final few days seeing the scene come together and creating a genuinely effect piece of Game Environment Art. I feel that I could have made improvements to certain aspects, particularly some of the texturing, but due to poor decision making and unexpected time constraints it was a forfeit that had to be made. But that is what I have learnt from this experience and hope to improve upon it in the near future.
Monday, 30 April 2012
Thursday, 19 April 2012
A lot of polishing has been going on today, as well as increasing the number of interactive elements.
-Rug Added which fills a void and creates a greater sense of warmth
-Swinging door now has accompanying opening and creaking sounds
-The Chairs are now interpactors and can be flung around the room
-There is a radio upstairs on the desk that can be toggled to play music.
-wind sound effects when you get near one of the doors to suggest exterior life.
-general UVW and lightmap fixes.
Wednesday, 18 April 2012
Yesterdays assets have been finished, and rearranged. I have also been tweaking the lighting in the staircase, its perhaps a little too warm at the moment and will need toning down again.
But considering the brunt of my level is now complete and there are mainly just minor tweaks here and there to finish, the odd texture and model adjustments. I decided to start adding more interactive features and sound. Spending the day playing with kismet and also refreshing my memory using the cinematic features UDK has to offer. Here is a little test video I created before producing my final flythrough.
Tuesday, 17 April 2012
Built some more assets today, as well as them being unwrapped and normal'd.
Also been considering scene composition and asset placement. playing around with a scene that tells a story, in the above pictures, It suggests a group of people were huddled around a fire listening to the wireless. It doesn't work 100% looking at the screenshot, but its a good form of experimentation. I am not sure an informal, cosy approach is the most appropriate as it is an upper class establishment. Cleanliness and conformity are key themes in such a house. I also thought adding an old 1940's-esque wireless would provide a reason to include some ambient music in the level as well establish what time period the scene is set in, despite its timeless architecture.
-Added a wireless model
-Added the Bench
-Completed the chair
-Unwrapped and Normal'd
-Need to complete the texturing
Monday, 16 April 2012
Finally beginning to fill the large voids with some classical furnishings. I have been looking forward to creating the small things for a while now. Almost done with this project! just need to keep focused and nail the remaining props to a high quality. Post processing, sound and effects coming soon.