Saturday, 21 March 2015

Week 7: Week before Easter

This week was the final week before the Easter holiday and things were certainly heating up: the pressure started to raise as we attempted to get things completed before the Easter break.

Amber has created a list for the team of work to consider doing during the Easter break. To our fortune, we have been given a 2 week extension for the DMU hand-in. However, we do not want to fall into the trap of ‘Student syndrome’ (leaving things till last minute). Thus, we will endeavour to get as much done as possible.

This week we got a visit from developers at natural motion and fortunately, Dan was able to get some beneficial feedback about his Alice model.As you can see, now she has a better shape and silhouette.
New revised Alice
Braden has taken a small break from working on user interface; he has now completed texturing all of the assets he was tasked to do. He is well ahead of his work and his assets match the concept style very well. He has certainly earned his keep.

Luke has also worked well under pressure. He has continued to perfect the particle effects in unreal engine. They are beginning to standout. Here is a short video of his work:

From last week, Denzil has endeavoured with the Cheshire cat. He has now posed the cat into position. After making a few tweaks and unwrapping the model, he will soon be ready to transfer the cat to Freddy to be textured.

Freddy and Amber have certainly pushed hard this week. Under the pressure, they have been endeavouring to improve the aesthetics of the level. Were once the level textures looked over used, Freddy and Amber have developed a technical way to vary the textures in our level. This method allows our level to avoid obvious texturing patterns. Using a new technique demonstrated to them by 

Braden, Freddy and Amber have created a series of mask textures for the assets.
To create these masks, they used the RGB channels in Adobe Photoshop and sectioning the 3 maps into 1 map. This technique can also be used for roughness, metalness and emissive maps; it is a great way of optimizing our level. Furthermore, it is a very time efficient method of texturing.
3 opacity masks on one texture
Our rock materials (most being instances)
Material set up in UE4
Masked planes shown in level
With the masks, Freddy and Amber were able to create 3 different materials through material instances. By doing this, it meant only one parent material needed to import into unreal engine, the children materials are made through the material instances.

In addition, Amber and Freddy were able do the white rabbit. It is a simple design, but will look cute when animated. Although, our level still needs developing. We are glad with the progress that we have made since last week. Here's he latest video of the level:
Of course this wasn't an easy stage to get to, as the fatigue from working on the project was beginning to settle in. However, we cannot wait for the final outcome for the level.

Saturday, 7 March 2015

Week 6: Getting things in order

This week has been incredibly eventful for the team. Of course, you can image, the more eventful, the more stressful it will be and so we can also say that this week has been very hectic as well.

For the benefit of the team, Amber created a timetable to –do list, asset list and a texture budget graph. This was a great idea, which allowed the team to stay on target for the duration of the project. As a result our team, has become more focused and productive. Furthermore, it means that Amber does not have to consistently keep checking up on the team. Thus she can progress with her own work.

Unfortunately, Freddy was ill at the start of the week, however, she recovered and got back on track as quickly as ever. She proved that she was not going to let the team down by completing one week’s worth of texturing in a day. This is outstanding! Keep up the good work. Afterwards, Amber was able to create Roughness and normal maps to complete Freddy’s textures. Here are a few shots of their work:
Screenshots of the level in engine
Dan has continued to endeavour to get Alice looking as perfect as possible. As seen last week, he had worked on her body. This week Dan focused on designing Alice’s dress.

Of course like any progressive practices, Dan had to make a number of iterations until he got it right:

Dan used the software, Marvellous Designer and Z-Brush during this process. After taking on board feedback from the team, he worked hard to create this design for Alice’s dress.

As you can see, her design matches the original concepts, and has the likeness of Alice Liddell. We cannot wait to see her fully rigged!
Alice at the moment
Luke has been working in Engine this week, endeavouring to complete the sun ray and fog effects for the start and caterpillar’s lair. He has been working hard and it is not an easy task. The final iteration will look great.
Luke's particle effects in engine
Braden has also been working very well, with the user interface for our level. Specifically the main menu: it looks Brilliant! And it is even more fantastic when it is fully animated.
Start screen
Braden is a genius and his designs are very impressive. Although, he has to work on texturing his assets for the time being. When he completes the user interface it will look incredible.

This week, Denzil has been attempting to perfect the water material. He has taken on board the feedback given to him by the team and has now created a believable pond looking water that is editable. Here is a video showing his work:
He didn’t stop here, when this was completed he strived hard to also polish the water fall and water splash effects in unreal engine. Great Job!

Denzil is currently working on the Cheshire cat that lies in this section of our level.
Although, Denzil has creative freedom for the shape of the cat, the look will be heavily inspired by the Forest Main Coon cat. Amber says these cats “are the most adorable ever!” so it is no surprise that they have to be implemented in our level.

He has currently modelled the base and should hopefully finish over the Easter break.

Amber worked to get the level as playable as possible. As you can see, we still need to get many more assets in the level and create the lighting effects. However, we have worked hard this week and we are proud of the results: