Ideas, so many ideas!

It’s full speed ahead on the Blizzard diorama project I’m working on. I’m feeling both happy with how it’s going, and a little nervous about whether I’m going to get everything in it done (surprised?). I’ve done a few run-throughs of how I think it’ll work out in the end, and it seems like it’ll be fine, but that’s assuming that I don’t run over on texturing certain things. Unfortunately I’m quite bad for getting carried away with texturing.


I’m currently working pretty intensively on just getting the textures done. I started out by slapping all of the textures on my model at a stage where they were just rough lines. It meant I could just work out whether the textures were too noisy against eachother and so on. This was a suggestion Mike Kelly made last Friday and it’s been really useful and probably saved a lot of time.

Something else that saved me heaps of time in the long run was very carefully planning out my textures. This was something I did on the train while I was going to visit home, and I’m really glad I did.

First I looked at my concept and just made sure I outlined how everything in my scene would be textured; was it a tilable or unique? What shared a texture sheet with what? Did the texture tile in one direction or two?

Texture Allocation 3

The printer was running out of ink…

To help visualise this to myself, I did some doodles in my notebook that made sense at the time but are now just a mess to me.

Texture Allocation


Then I used these visualisations to create a really rigid layout of what texture sheet does what.

Texture Allocation 2

I then went into Photoshop and made most of these textures upfront, since so many were tilable and didn’t require UVs. Blocking these textures out in lines, and putting them on my model meant that most of the legwork was already done, and all I had to think about was painting them prettily.

Once I’ve made almost all of the textures, I intend on going back in to 3dsMax and altering UVs in some places, chamfering edges, and most importantly making the whole diorama interesting from all angles. This may require some new assets but I mostly intend on trying to do it with reused assets and textures. This was something Mike K suggested and I had also considered, because the back side of the diorama is, well… see for yourself.



Mike K suggested during my feedback session today that I go in and do some rough paintovers to plan out where I’m going next, and what I want my diorama to look like from angles I haven’t yet considered. So I think that’s the next step before I go much further.

I’m really enjoying this project so far, I hope I get everything I want done for deadline or it’s going to be a stupidly busy week 10!

On a super happy note, I think I have a vague idea what I might do for my FMP! Yaaaaas! I had a meeting with Mike Powell (Mikes everywhere), and we talked about what I need to do to manifest some solid potential ideas. We didn’t talk about specific ideas, since I had none, but just how to get ideas from the floaty abstract of my brain into a more solid form that I can actually consider. He raised some really helpful points, and I went away feeling like I may survive this after all.

So yesterday, I went out for coffee with Jonah and Toby, a friend from animation, and I brought my notebook. “FMP ideas, quick!” I cried despairingly to the ceiling. Don’t get me wrong; I’d written ideas down before. I felt like I was so screwed because I had considered seemingly every aspect.

Well obviously I hadn’t, but I’d looked at a load of ideas and had run out of juice. In the end Mike, Jonah and Toby all suggested I create a series of dioramas. I love making dioramas!! …so that probably kinda, slightly makes sense. I don’t like spending loads of time on one thing, but at the same time I like creating concentrated, pretty scenes. Yeah. Dioramas are probably best. And then I can create a whole world around them if I want, or base them on an existing IP, and I can create concept art and maybe an illustration or two… And then put everything in a little book, with links or something to the supporting 3D models… I could do anything!

Cool. Dioramas and stuff.

I feel like now I have a format idea for my FMP, I should have a fun time of deciding on the world etc. surrounding it.

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