Monday, 29 March 2010

Week 11

29/3/10 - I prepared the slides for a presentation which the Showreel group has to do this Wednesday; we have a meeting today to go over the slides together.

I also started posing the characters for their turnarounds: I'm going to leave the skin painting until they have all been posed, so there are some deformations here and there. Any problems with the texture maps will be fixed too, of course. Below are some unshiny renders of the characters I have posed so far.

Harry is not quite finished yet, his hands grasping the switches need to be tidied up.

Arms could do with some skin painting on his, uh, arms! And fingers.

Dark Arms may require some skin painting on his fingers too.

Worker needs his UV map fixed and some skin painting on the arms.

30/3/10 - The Showreel group had another meeting, in which we finalised our slides for our presentation to Belinda tomorrow. I also repainted the texture for the Buzz the Soldier Bee so that it would fit in with the style of the other textures, and posed the remaining ants.

Buzz now has soft shading rather than the toon style. There are a couple of visible seams still.

The Generic Ant and the Dark version have the same pose.

Some skin weights need to be painted on the fingers, as with the other models.

I made a start on Chapter 5 of the dissertation draft, which is the final chapter before the conclusion. So far, the structure has not changed from its original layout:

5.0 Adapting game art for a portable platform

5.1 Introduction
5.2 Low detail 3D models
5.3 2D renders of high detail 3D models
5.4 Pure 2D assets

At this point I am not sure if this chapter will need some sort of conclusion; I will see once the rest has been written if a conclusion is necessary. This chapter will likely make good use of some images to illustrate each art method.

31/3/10 - Today I painted the skin weights for the posed models, most of which are ready to be rendered this weekend. Following a supervisor meeting I have thought about making the turnaround videos more exciting in some way - like personalising each plinth, perhaps. Buzz needs to be re-rigged and posed with bones rather than the biped, so that will be my next main task.

1/4/10 - I re-rigged and skinned Buzz the soldier and designed some different plinths to reflect the characters which stand on them.

The spiked plinths are for the Dark iterations of the ants; the chunky and tall plinths are for the Heavy enemies. The bottom centre plinth is for Harry. I may work on these a little more if I have time - but the plan at the moment is for the ants to have silver plinths and the bees to have gold ones. The Bumble bee would have a gold plain plinth, Buzz would have a spiked one and the Worker would have a chunky one.

With the camera scene set up and all the models ready, I can soon commence turnaround renders. Each one will probably take a long time with 100 frames to render, and I have several to get through what with high and low poly versions of each character!

The generic ant is ready to be rendered in full, so I will not submit stills of other characters until he is done - it took a little while to set him up!

Now for something visually pleasing (I hope): nice renders of everybody we have so far. That is, a full roster of enemies and two out of three bee types. They're not on plinths, but are otherwise ready.

Low poly enemies

Low poly bees

Hopefully I will be able to create the last bee soon (the Queen Bee and Queen Ant are being left out of this project but will stay in the final game). Once I have turnarounds of all the models, the next step is to create mock-up environments to showcase and compare the low poly models to the renders as possible solutions for the iPhone.

2/3/10 - I spent time creating enemies that would not have their back set of limbs culled in Unity; this involved duplicating all the flat faces. The enemies were then skinned, animated and put in the engine. There is still a slight problem with some missing faces on Arms, which I will have to look into since according to 3DS Max they are neither missing, nor facing the wrong way.

Abi also pointed out that I had put Harry's arms the wrong way round *facepalm* so I fixed that and re-posed him. His rocket arms are now the front set, as was intended. I might try a different pose, such as moving the switch hands forward so that they're more visible, but this is what I decided on today.

Actually, here is an alternative pose. 3DS Max was still open and I couldn't resist.

4/3/10 - Today I commenced rendering character turnarounds and writing some more of chapter 5 of the dissertation. Rendering is time consuming and slows down the computer, so sadly I have not been able to get much else done, but I hope to get all the character renders done by the end of the day.

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