Saturday, 19 December 2015

Through The Gate 4 - All the FX

This will be my last post concerning the style matrix projects. Mainly this week consisted of tidying up my projects and taking better images for presentation so for that reason I won't really go into detail too much, instead heres a load of screenshots for your viewing pleasure:

 The main thing I added since last week is the beam effect which uses world position offset in the material to create distortion, I had help from Mike Pickton setting this up and it uses world position so I dont get any repeating along the length of the spline (except in the distance where the spline comes back on itself but it's too far away from the platform to notice).






 Above you can see I added a bit more to the entrance tunnel, this still could do with a little work for my portfolio, adding some more layers of machinery and structure.

 And finally an asset breakdown, with everything I have created so far. You can see the amount of things I have modelled are quite limited but it does the job to create an environment like this. Most other pieces now that could be made include props and rubbish.


Below is a breakdown of potential fixes and changes I can make to the environment including everything I have talked about so far, compiling a list like this helps me prioritize what is actually important for getting the end result I would like.

 As you can see there is a lot I would like to work on! I'll start updating as soon as I continue work on it, but at the moment doing work is a bit hard due to my computer issues. My whole power supply has packed up and has potentially taken the motherboard with it so I need to get that fixed as a priority seeing as I will need it for FMP as well. 

Until next time, oh and happy new year!

Saturday, 12 December 2015

Through The Gate 3 - Decals Everywhere!

This was my last proper week on the project for the uni deadline and I had a mountain to do. Even though it seems like I have accomplished a lot in the last couple of weeks the scene could do with a lot of tweaking. I have decided to spend my time focusing on the super important aspects of the environment, with anything else that might take up too much time or otherwise not changing the scene much saved until after the deadline when I will continue pushing for a portfolio piece.

One area that needed to get pushed more in the last week was the signage. The platform needs more guides as to where people go and I actually needed to place in the advertisements. So I got to work on creating a decal sheet for pasting across the environment, I used a special material that allowed me to crop the decal to the part where I need it, allowing me to place more than one decal onto one texture sheet.

The following are final screens for hand-in although there will be newer screens next week of the updated environment for polish week. As you can see underneath I have added in arrows, service numbers, grafiti and included the signs which scroll sideways. I have also used decals to break up the ground in some places and create some darker patches.

I have worked on the background scenery a bit more, I replaced the flipped landscape which was acting as the ceiling of the cave with more giant rocks as it was lighting differently to everything else. Some other little touches include adding movement to the ring stabilizers and adding more depth using the fog sheets.



I also textured all of the objects in substance painter including the bins, fences and turnstiles. More detailed work can be done on these later but for now I needed them basically textured just for the hand-in.

Project conclusion (Of sorts)
This project has been a unique challenge for me as I have never created something on my own this large but strangely at the same time I think it could be much larger and much more interesting just because of how I have setup the assets in a modular fashion. I see a lot of potential for pushing this environment even more during polish week and beyond.

First criticism first: The scene needs more assets to break up the modularity, as currently it is very apparent that everything is lining up to a grid. Clutter is something that will instantly make this scene feel 'lived in' which is very important in grounding it in reality. This could include more signs, safety equipment, trash, leaflet/magazine rack and maps.

For further stretch goals I have got a lot of suggestions plus I have a few ideas of my own for what I would like to do. My first thing which I didn't have enough time for is adding a little bit of greenery to the scene; it could be hanging greenery that clings to the bottom of the platform and the ceiling of the cave. I feel this would help liven up the scene a bit more and it will help take the edge off some of the architecture.

Another thing that could help is more movement in the scene. This could mean the door animating, more movement in the light beam or adding animated sprites in the background of flapping birds. This is more for selling this world and making it more believable, it will be extremely beneficial for a flythrough of the level and this could even include adding some ambient sound.

Next week my plan is to complete tiny fixes and quick alterations for hand-in and then after I will compile a list of the the things I want to change or add to the portfolio version. There is so much I want to do with this project that I can't decide where to go, so hopefully limiting down the options will work in my favour.

Saturday, 5 December 2015

Through The Gate 2 - Adding a splash of colour

I have made some huge progress so far on this environment. After plotting out the basic shape of the level I could start working on populating the scene with assets. Important parts of the scene to consider at the moment include all the high poly assets as well as adding more colour to the scene. 

First things first I began to collect more imagery of train platforms and the kind of props I might find there. The main thing I gathered from the images is that a lot of the train platforms include a lot of signs and adverts, they also have a very specific way they are built in order to make it more accessible for people to use them.


I started work on the door used for the maintenance tunnel, creating the high poly model then texturing in substance painter.

Also I used this opportunity to create a small area on the other side of the door, the maintenance tunnel itself, that could be used for cinematic purposes later on. This didn't take long to do as I simply used modular pieces I already created.

 I remodelled benchs and signs that fit the scale of the level more as well as changing the position and shape of the skylights, this layout I feel looks a bit more natural. Signs are also an important part of selling the platform, so I added in some basic scrolling signs that I would replace with my own graphics later on. 


 The next big object I needed to focus on were the rings supporting the lightrail. To create these I modelled a straight section of the ring and a high poly model to go with it, then used bend modifier on the piece after to create the entire loop of the ring to save on texture space and make the model more efficient, I also used the same technique on the circular section surrounding the door although using the trim texture. I love this way of working as it really helps me to get the most out of my texture resources, working in a modular fashion also allows me to be quite experimental with how I used my texture sheets aswell and I can use them in my environment in different ways.

I added the rings into the scene and fixed the colour of the lightrail which I think fits the scene better in it's new colour. I went around the scene improving a lot of the lighting and atmosphere. I actually imported some of the example effects supplied by epic games into this environment, you can see that I have made extensive use of the fog sheets and godrays.



 Next week I'll be finishing up and presenting the scene, I'm looking forward to sharing it with you. :)