Saturday, 8 November 2014

Film room project post mortem - white scribbles explained

It's been a week now and I've had time to really think about the film room project and assess how well we actually did. Strangely enough, reflection time hasn't really changed my opinion on how well we did, I'm still pretty pleased with how things went. And I've racked my brains numerous times to try and think of how we might have better used our time in certain aspects and all in all I don't really think it'd have made much difference no matter how we'd have allocated our time. We did about as good as we could managed at this stage, and I can be proud knowing that fact. We decided to circle aspects of the screenshot to highlight areas that weren't perfect, and so for my post mortem I'll go through a few of them just to clarify what we mean by all the white scribbles.

Firstly, one of the big issues is the actual perspective of the image. We always knew it was going to be an issue trying to get it spot on due to the original shot using a special wide lens which shows a pan of the room, which proved extremely hard to replicate in engine. Due to this, there are issues with actual view of room, with certain assets appearing more/less than they should in the shot. A really obvious one being the perspective of the blinds, and the large greyish mass which appears in the left when it quite clearly should not. The only way to fix this would have been to tamper with the perspective of the camera a little more, and perhaps make that portion of the wall red so it's less blatant that it shouldn't be there.

Moving on from this a little to the left, there's a large strip of light cast onto the red wall which shouldn't be there. Perhaps putting some well-placed geometry outside the window might have got rid of this, but we had so much trouble with the blinds that I'm not sure if we'd have ever got it perfect anyway.

Another thing we should have maybe looked at was creating the shadow found on the lower portion of the blinds. The actual colouring of the blinds is wrong to start with, but creating that odd shaped shadow on the bottom would have increased the likeness even moreso. Again, this was just an issue with the lighting, and whether we'd have been able to ever get this perfect I cannot say, especially as I have basically no knowledge of lighting myself, it'd have been up to my other team members sadly.

As I discussed in my earlier posts, certain assets, especially those which I made, aren't properly scaled in the scene. The one that really stands out for me is the blue vase in the foreground near the right corner. It's not coloured correctly which makes the error even more obvious, but if it had been made a little smaller in engine it would have looked a lot more similar to the original image. I totally realise this is my fault, and had I been more focused on particulars, especially those related to my own assets, I could have pointed this out to someone and fixed it, or even fixed it myself.

Another obvious perspective issue can be seen when looking at the beams. They are way too visible and at slightly the wrong angle, and due to the very nature of a beam following the flow of the room, they really help to highlight the error with the perspective. They are also too bright, which is due to the lighting being too powerful in that general area.

It's terrible but now I'm looking at the two images side by side I'm finding it so easy to nitpick and find tons of faults in our project. If I were to try again, I'd have definitely made lighting an even bigger priority than we already had. We allocated as much time as we could spare on it, but maybe we could have worked a little faster on making the assets and left an extra day or so for the lighting. Even as little as an extra couple of hours could have completely changed the outcome of the lighting. The perspective is also something else we could have worked on a little more. I think we got so fed up with it NEVER matching up that we gave up a little bit, but I reckon we could have got it even closer if we'd have given it a couple more tries. And on a personal note, I'd have made sure to be more involved with the actual putting together of the scene, as I could have helped point out errors and made sure my assets were in the correct places and the correct size.

All in all, I still stand by what I said originally and think that we wouldn't have been able to achieve much more in the time we were allocated. Our team worked relatively well together as a unit, but it was quite obvious certain members did do more work than others. Perhaps in a different team with individuals all working to a similar level we might have achieved something of better quality, but I don't want to dwell on that, it's important to make do with the team you have at the end of the day. We managed to finish to an acceptable standard and that's all that matters.

I've learnt a lot about myself in this project. I know now that I really like to make all the little objects in a scene that no one cares about, but perhaps that isn't exactly a good thing. I think I'm a little afraid to be given something that if not done well will be detrimental to the project, and that's not a good way to feel. I feel like I need to throw myself into doing important assets in future projects, as it'll help me gain confidence and also then I can be even prouder of my achievements as they'll be more noticeable.

I'm looking forward to the next project, although I don't know how I feel about working on my own again. I really enjoy the support of a group and having people to bounce off, so being on my own again might be a not so enjoyable experience for me, but we shall have to see.

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