Monday, 13 October 2014

Goodbye Vikings, hello Ellen Page

After an enjoyable first week, it came the time to finish the Viking scene project. I would like to think I got back into the swing of things pretty quickly, but I found trying to make my texture realistic just as hard as last year, sigh. I think a little more work on that side of things is in order, and thanks to the film project finally getting into full swing, I don't think I'll have to wait too long to get that practice. Before I get into that though, I'll show you the final renders for our asset swap Viking project, which I think turned out pretty well considering there was a bit of miscommunication.

You've probably noticed that the pig is very very shiny, and that's mainly due to bad communication. If we'd have managed to talk and get the pig earlier than the day the project was due, we'd have been able to sort the problem out in engine and it'd have just look a lot better. But apart from that, there's not much in the scene that screams 'BAD' in my eyes. Sure, the table and bench could have had similar textures, and they both used the same basic wood texture so I'm not sure how they both ended up being completely different colours, but it doesn't stand out too much for me.

It was my job to texture the shield, and although I'd have liked to do a better job, I didn't really have the time to keep tweaking it, and I'm relatively happy with the overall result anyway. I noticed that once it was imported into Unreal that either the person who modelled it didn't change the smoothing groups, or the smoothing groups just didn't get imported properly, because parts of it were very jagged and oddly shaped. Next time, I'll be sure to check things like smoothing groups, light maps, and pivot points before importing, because it seemed like even the less forgetful people weren't remembering to check everything like that. It was a bit strange to get used to the new map types such as metalness and roughness, but after a little playing around with them I think they're so much more effective. I can tell that if they're used right I think we're going to see some stunning work being produced over the next year. I can say one thing though, RIP to diffuse maps...

After this experience I can safely say I really enjoy working in a group, even if the project doesn't go quite as smoothly as planned. It brings with it a whole new challenge, which can usually be sorted out with some good planning, and I do rather like a bit of organisation and planning. And so I'm going to attempt to take it upon myself to make sure my group for the film project remain organised and that communication is given lots of importance.

Now my focus is solely on the film project, and after finding out exactly when the deadline is it's all guns blazing now. I've worked out a spreadsheet system to work out what everyone is modelling and texturing, and given them a budget in which to do so, and by putting this on the Google drive and allowing people to highlight what they've finished we can all keep up to date with what work people are doing even when not in touch with eachother. Our aim is to have all the models done before Friday, so that we can start to put them into engine and have ample time to finish up on the Monday, then sort out design docs and our presentation for the Thursday. I don't want to be leaving anything to the last minute this time and not be able to fix things once they're in engine, so we're working quickly to get it all done early.

I can't say my team have really been a team the last few days. One of our members has been quite ill which has made it difficult communication wise, but this really can't be helped and I really wish them to get better. And as a whole, I don't think we've been very clear with eachother with how we're expecting to go about the work, and we've had people skipping parts and moving onto other things, so the way we're working isn't exactly systematic. I believe after a few words we've managed to straighten things out though, and we're doing really quite well, and I'm still loving sharing a project with other people.

I'll be posting updates of the project in the next couple of days when models are finished and begin to be textured. For now though I have an episode of Downton Abbey to catch up on (yes, I'm one of those people) and then it's an early night to be ready for a long day of drawing and modelling tomorrow.

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