Oasis.

This week has been a busy one of group project work. I’ve had no time for painting, but I’m hoping to do some today once I’ve finished this blog post and done some more group work. I wish I could make myself make more time for personal art. I need to practise!

Since my last post our Container City project has come on a lot. The best thing was that our project was given the go-ahead by the tutors, with some really minor criticisms such as work on the well design and create a background vista. We’ve taken it in our stride and have now properly allocated assets to ourselves and started really bringing stuff together in engine, though the level is still feeling pretty bare due to a lack of assets finished thus far. Some more concepts were churned out by the lot of us, and we started to consider the details of how we wanted our level to look, such as colour palettes and more specific asset concepts.

Container colour variations

I also took a step back and did some more random mood concepts. As I mentioned last week, I got a little ahead of myself concept-wise. I did these to just go back and consider some other ideas and look into mood. Of course, we’re still going with the original idea. It was still a good exercise though and something that I should perhaps consider doing more so I can learn to churn out ideas faster.

Mood paintings

Our asset list is an evolving document, but it seems like we’ve pretty firmly decided who is doing what and we’re well into modelling now. I’m in charge of the in-engine work as well as some modelling. We’re using UE4, which is an engine which is still very much in the making. There are a lot of things that I want to do and can’t, and things that simply don’t work properly (cough cough foliage). It’s slowing us down and it’s going to make our level less awesome, but what can I do? A lot of Googling and keyboard smashing, that’s for sure.

I also don’t have the time or ability to make all the blueprints and such for the pretty level I want it to be. For instance with making godrays… I’ve seen the blueprints for it in one of the sample levels and it’s amazing, and our concepts have godrays, but I don’t think I can. Maybe I’ll try if I can get my share of the modelling and other higher priority engine work done though. It would make me extremely happy to achieve that.

So, as it stands we have a much more finished whitebox of our level done; one which we can simply swap out for our finished meshes. We’ve started populating this scene with assets and textures, and the courtyard now has some foliage and a floor texture on landscape. The foliage is so hard to make work properly, I’m working on it.

Capture

The weird lines in the shadows are a result of using the Landscape tool, and apparently there is no fix yet. That’s the kind of issue I’m talking about. As you can also see the grass is looking weird and black in a lot of places. It doesn’t look so bad up close, but it’s annoying all the same. The only way I could fix it even slightly was to turn off ‘two sided’ on the material, so only one side is rendering. In an ideal world where everything went right, I would have godrays, dust particles inside, and leaves falling from the trees. I need to get my assets done first though! I’m finding I actually enjoy making stuff look cool in engine more than modelling. It’s a very satisfying task and I really like it.

Capture2

I think in hindsight I should have made sure the leaves in the texture were more spaced apart, as from a distance the leaves look more like a green solid mass than leaves, but I need to get on with other stuff (credit goes to Jonah for the tree and grass textures, minus the pretty flowers). Something to consider for the future.

By next week I’m hoping to have my share of the assets modelled and in-engine, and probably more from the other guys. I really need the containers themselves to be done soon so we can get a feel for how our level is going to turn out overall. They are the main component after all. I have some blueprints that mean you have to find a key to unlock a door, but they don’t work properly yet so I’d like to sort that, and I’d also like to play about with particle effects. Then we’ll just have a week left…

There is so much to do, so I guess I had better get on!

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