Words and Stuff.

It’s weird. I don’t know why, but I’m finding it really hard to remember what I’ve done this week.

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Ok… first thing I did, after working on it a little over the weekend too, was finish my fish! I mentioned last week that my two fresh-water fish were not enough, and I would need some salt water fish to live in the lake of tears that Alice cried. They are now rigged, animated, and in engine, ready to be scripted by Dom so that they swim around. They already swim and it’s so so cool.

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They’re kinda cute.

This sweet little bunch are all hand painted, and they have been the most enjoyable assets I’ve made for this project so far, by far. From left to right they are goldfish, koi, boar fish, and pouting. The two on the right are my salt-water fish and will live in the lake, whereas the other two are freshwater fish that will serve as ornamental fish for the man-made water bodies in the level. I chose fish for the salt water that were not overly recognisable, but were still well-grounded in reality and actually existed.

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Speaking of the lake, that has moved on a bit since last week too. Some more assets that I made over the last few days have also been for the lake, specifically salt-water foliage, such as kelp and agardhiella. The kelp has it’s own skeletal animation which I created to make the whole thing move, rather than using materials like we did with the trees. This definitely worked much more nicely, but it meant that we could not use the foliage painter to put down the meshes, as an animated mesh is a ‘skeletal mesh’, and the foliage painter will only accept static meshes. To work around this, Dom created his own procedural version using blueprints, that randomly places the meshes within a specified area. I don’t know the science behind it, but it looks great and is very impressive.

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Unfortunately I haven’t done a great deal else for the level, as creating animations for both the fish and kelp was time consuming; I’m a little rusty at animating. Apart from the above I’ve been doing bits and bobs, such as changing the grass so that it doesn’t move at the base like it did before. It was a classic ‘we’ll come back to that’ job. Well, perhaps for the first time in ‘we’ll come back to it’ history, I actually came back to it.

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The writing bit begins.

I’ve also started the longer piece of documentation for our team, which will be handed in as part of our team submission for OTM. It’s a pretty big job, since I have to begin from the very beginning and explain in detail the processes that have gone into the whole level over the last 5 weeks. Some teams are doing this as part of a group blog, and part of me wishes we had done that too… but it’s too late now really. Besides, I don’t mind doing a bit of writing every now and again.

Today we were set an extended writing task too, due in for the same deadline as the OTM project. So, I’m going to have a lot of writing to do. I’m kind of looking forward to it if I’m honest. Our task is to reflect on our progress over the year, which I was going to do anyway, but also to consider my career aspirations and future. I really enjoy reflecting on my work, and doing one big reflective piece on this year and how it will affect my future will be really fun. I’ll be making a start on that soon, and I will post it to my blog when it is finished, as well as formally submitting it.

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I don’t share much of my life drawing, but this week’s session I actually found to be quite enjoyable and relaxing, and I was pleased with my work for the day. The model wore a turban and various cloth was draped over her body, and we were allowed to work in colour, to catch the bold hues, or we could choose tone. I chose to use tone, and attempted to put the model in a scene rather than focusing on an up-close view, since I want to work in environments in the future. It made me think carefully about atmosphere and composition, and I also added an arch shape around the model to give the impression that the viewer is looking in on a scene through a door or something. Unfortunately I ran out of time with this piece.

This post is a long one I’m afraid; I still have lots to talk about in terms of personal work! First of all these are a couple of studies from this week. The first was an hour long, the second I spent a couple of evenings on and then got bored of when it came to painting the foreground.

1h study Rolling hills

The second, longer study, was a learning curve. I purposely chose a photo that had a strong fore, mid and back-ground so I could practise (nope, still don’t know if that’s grammatically correct) rendering things that are both faraway and up close. In the past I have had a habit of using one brush for everything, which is good and all, but it meant that I would create a piece that was sort of a mish-mash of fore and background and it would be difficult to look at.

I think I’ve done a good job of this piece, as I put a whole load of effort and time into using different brushes and textures to create various levels of detail. The amount of texture I achieved on the left hand side is something I would usually fail miserably at, and am quite pleased with. It’s onwards and upwards from here.

Gosh. After all that ‘I can’t remember what I did this week’, I seem to have written a whole lot more than I usually would… one more thing to mention.

IMGP0012 IMGP0016

I finally managed to haul-ass into town and get reference photos of a building that I really like and wanted to use as inspiration for my ‘big’ 3D personal project… wait… I never mentioned that, did I?

I want to create a little (like, really little) diorama based around the building above, Wygston’s House, and make my own concepts to potentially make it into a kind of exotic shop with lots of colourful fabrics and such. Most likely a bird shop. Burds. I’m yet to make any concepts as I only took the photos to overpaint/chop up today, but that seems to be the direction I’m headed in so far. I’ll be using the project to learn about Z-brushing textures and creating super pretty hand-painted assets with a good consistent style and colour palette, and then I’ll use Marmoset to render it (maybe). This weekend I will be making a start on it, and I have a feeling this could save me from death by boredom as a result of this OTM project.

Hopefully I’ll have something to show for it next week, if I’m not too busy procrastinating and/or doing OTM and/or trying to have a life. I’m very excited. 🙂

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