Saturday, 9 May 2015

Week 10: Final push

This week has been an incredibly productive week, especially as it is the penultimate week before the DMU deadline for our Off the Map project.

Dan has been working well this week, endeavouring to get Alice, polished and ready for the hand-in. This week Dan worked on re-topology the Alice mesh. This is the process of getting the high poly information ‘down rezzed’ in order to become game worthy. This is because very high poly assets in engine, may cause drops in frame rate and unnecessary crashes. Throughout the process, Dan used 3D coat, in order to complete this task. Of course, the process of re-topologizing is an arduous task, however this is only as he needed to focus to get it just right.
Final character topology
When the process was complete, we had a game-ready Alice model. She was 17,000 triangles and had 3 texture sheets for her body, hair and clothing. Using 3D coat made the process of unwrapping easier for Dan. Granted, he still had to make a few tweaks in 3ds Max, nonetheless the majority of the work was already complete. Following this process, Dan then baked the high poly information onto the low poly mesh, using the X normal software.

He ran into an issue, as the fingers were so small in comparison to the rest of the body it caused some clipping issues when baking. Yet, after reducing the cage size, Dan was able to resolve the issue. The textures were originally 4k sized, however they were scaled down to be fit for game. Now we have a real and believable Alice model, who looks adorable. We all thank Dan has done an excellent job, thank you very much!

Braden has also been busy this week. Even though he had complted all the tasks asked of him by the team i.e. texturing assets and UI work, this week he devoted himself to populating the level with assets and helping others with texturing.

He endeavoured to get the level polished by placing assets where appropriate. In addition he was able to improve the lighting in our level and get a ‘zoom-in’ camera mode working, in the level.

Afterwards Braden textured Luke’s frog and dragonfly. We feel that Braden did a fantastic job with these textures. The textures for these assets adhere to the style of our level, whilst the moistness of the frog’s skin gives it that touch or realism. All of which look whimsical, when placed in the level.

Luke decided to devote this week and next to completing his texturing and engine effects. The ‘spawn’ in his falling leaf particle effect wasn't working and it certainly needed a look into.

Over the Easter break, Luke worked hard to get the falling movement looking better. Since the level update to unreal engine 4.7, Luke has been able to import his particle effect into the level and they look fantastic! With the help of the timetables, Luke is now clear of what he hast to complete between now and the final hand in. He is working hard and we are proud of his progress. 

Amber and Freddy worked hard together to complete the textures. With the materials imported we are really getting the level to come together. More importantly, with their hard work, we are now beginning to see the level resemble the original concept very well.
Even when Amber was working with Freddy, she was able to work with Braden to polish our level as much as possible.

This week was a productive week for Denzil as he endeavoured to finish all his work, starting with the Cheshire cat that he had been working on before the Easter break. After polishing this mesh he sent it off to Freddy to be textured.

Once this was completed, he moved onto working on the dancing mushroom that was yet to be completed for the level. Fir this, Denzil took inspiration from toadstools, referring to them as often as he could.

It was an enjoyable experience top create the mushroom as he had as much creative freedom as possible. He sculpted the dancing mushroom and when this was created top his liking, he began to polypaint the mesh. He enjoyed the process however he needs to work on his polypainting skills in Zbrush as some areas of the dancing mushroom look slightly patchy.

When this process was completed, he received feedback from Freddy. He made the necessary alterations and when he got the approval from the team, he baked the mushroom textures using X-normal. Voila! We now have a beautiful mushroom.
Following on, Denzil unwrapped and textured the mine cart; completing all the tasks that were requested of him for the team.

He played around in engine afterwards and was able to create this fantastic water caustics effect, taking inspiration from the ‘Elements cave’ level by Epic games.

Now Denzil is helping the team in any way that he can, this includes texturing assets for the deadline.

So there you have it, our week, quite productive eh! We should be comfortable for the DMU deadline However, we have one week left, so it’s all hands on deck. Nevertheless, by the way things are going, we know that the level will look spectacular when it is complete. Can’t wait!

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