Wednesday, 29 October 2014

The curse of the pink tinge

The final week of the film room project has easily been the most difficult so far. What has begun as a relatively easy start to the year has suddenly plunged me into lighting and engine work, which is seriously not my forte at all. It's frustrating having to let other people sort all the lighting and asset placement out because I'm not adept enough at it yet. And due to us only having a few days to fix the lighting, it's not enough time for someone like me to try and learn all the basics to then sort it myself, when it's so much more efficient to give it to someone who understands it already and can fix it much quicker. I just feel a little inadequate at the moment, but I'm going to try to sort that out in later projects when I'll have more time to work it out for myself.

All in all, our project outcome is pretty good in my opinion. I'm impressed with what we've achieved in such a short amount of time, but I feel like we'd have been able to push the likeness of the room to the screenshot more had we had a tiny little bit more time. I say we'd have been able to achieve more with more time because I don't believe we could have done much more with it in the time we were allocated. We just didn't have the know-how between us all to get the lighting spot on like we wanted in the 3 weeks provided, it just wasn't enough. It wasn't a lack of time management skills, it was simply a lack of practical skills in general which we can all work on in future projects.

Anyway, before I ramble on more, I should probably show you the various stages of the lighting before we finally got it as close as we could on the last day.

This is the stage we were at before we had added all assets to the scene, mostly my vases and bottles etc. At this point not all windows had been put in, so the lighting was never going to be completely accurate, however the colours in the scene were as similar to the screenshot as they ever were going to be at this point. It was when we started to add in all the other light sources that things ended up getting a little weird...

A weird pink tinge started to creep over it the more we tampered. At one point, the floor was as far away from the original grey/black as physically possible it seemed, and the walls were turning a shade of pink rather than the red seen in the screenshot. The walls were also reflecting light and making objects around the room a shade of pink, and so the sofa, which should be a pale green, ended up a horrible colour which didn't match at all. The shadows at this point weren't accurate either, especially the ones cast by the blinds. The reason we picked the screenshot was the distinct shadows on the wall with the pictures hung up, and so we were eager to fiddle around some more to get the blinds to cast a harsher shadow on this area.

I had no idea what was going wrong with the lighting, and so I had to just leave it to my teammates to try and fix, which wasn't really ideal. In the end, they got it as close as they could within the time and it ended up looking much better than when we had first built the lighting. We said goodbye to the pink tinge, and hello to a few new, by less major, issues.

So this is the final screenshot up against the original still from the film. I was personally quite happy with the likeness of my textures of most of my assets until they were put in the scene. The lighting has skewed them all slightly, and even though they resemble the objects, they don't look as exact as I'd like them to. The vase right in the foreground on the right is really bugging me. I should have textured the inside of the vase white, as it is in the screenshot, but instead it's come out black and looks quite obviously very different. I'm also not very happy with the sizing and placing of certain objects. The stereo isn't anywhere near big enough, and the vase in the foreground is too big.  The brown vase on the table isn't at the right angle to match the screenshot, and the pictures on the wall appear a little too low in comparison to where the screenshot cuts off. I'm disappointed because if I had piped up and said I'd place my own assets, I could have maybe done a more accurate job than what one of my team members had managed. They were rightfully more interested in making sure the placement of their own assets were spot on before they tended to mine, so I should have jumped up and done them myself and made them as accurate as possible. But alas, it was not to be, and I have to say I'm still really pleased with the outcome that we achieved in the amount of time given. In comparison to first year, I've managed to produce so much more in the time frame so I'm happy to see a huge improvement in speed and quality.

I'll be writing a more detailed post about the comparison of the screenshots in my post mortem in a weeks time, but for now I'm glad to see this project get finished even though I've had quite a lot of fun doing it. It'll be nice to have a little more creative license with the next project though.

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