Name: Anya Elvidge
P Number: P1321360X
Project Title: Stylised Blizzard Diorama
Overview: To concept and model a stylised diorama that you could expect to find in the world of Blizzard’s World of Warcraft. The diorama should include rocks, trees, a structure of some sort, grass, and props. The models should be low-poly and the textures hand-painted. Display the model in UE4 using a maximum of 15,000 tris and 4 x 1024 maps.
I tried to make research for this project as quick as possible so I wouldn’t make the same mistakes as before and get behind schedule. I looked at existing WoW worlds, texturing methods, and inspiring existing dioramas (particularly those by past winners of the Blizzard art contest).
I pushed through concepting as quickly as possible and came to a finalised idea. This process was sped up by the fact that I was working within existing worlds where the architecture, modelling and texturing style, and colour palette were already decided for me.
(Grass (alpha), stone path tilable, rope tilable, leaf particle (alpha), lantern (alpha), grass tilable, flowers and vines (alpha), tilable trim sheet 2, tree, tilable dirt, under arch trims, rubble and broken edges, tilable river bed, tilable trim sheet 1, tree leaves (alpha), uniques.)
I feel that this project has been the most successful of my Style Matrix work over the past 9 weeks. I’m really happy with the colours, texture consistency, and atmosphere of this piece (at least moreso than the shopfront). I was very quick to realise that my initial method of modelling and texturing (model > unwrap > texture) was probably slowing me down quite a lot and so I changed my workflow to; create tilable textures and trims > model > map tilables to model > texture remaining uniques separately. This meant that I created a small amount of textures that I could reuse over and over across my scene, particularly if I felt short on time. This workflow was also much more fun, because I really enjoy hand painting interesting textures without the constraints of obscurely shaped unwraps.
My favourite aspects of this piece are the overall atmosphere and composition. I wanted the diorama to have a mystical, self contained feel that didn’t feel like it had been pulled randomly out of a larger environment. I tried to achieve this by creating elements that led the eye round the piece; bottom bridge, up stairs/ tree trunk, round base of canopy, down tree lantern, round to left hand shrub, and back along the grass to the bottom bridge. Unfortunately, I didn’t include the campfire I had considered adding to the scene in my time management. It would have worked really nicely as an additional focus point.
Once again time management was a slight issue, although it was much much better than in other projects. Ultimately my main problem is over-exerting myself and being unable to complete all my aims despite working very long days. I made a very conscious effort to not include too much work in my plan (hence omitting the campfire and other assets), although I still spent too many hours working on this scene. I tend to over-estimate what I’m capable of and not actually think carefully about how long an asset or texture may take me.
As a result of having to rush towards the end of my project, there are some aspects of the diorama that I am not pleased with or could do to spend more time on fixing, such as texture seams (dirt texture), models intersecting weirdly (note grass planes and tiling grass/dirt texture), unfinished textures (some vines and ferns are not finished and hence omitted, various other textures not complete to ideal standard), and rushed models (tree). Unfortunately I will most probably be busy working on my Epic City project during week 10.
Despite the problems I encountered, the amount of mistakes I made during this project is greatly down from my shop front. I know I’m improving and learning a lot, and hopefully I’ll be able to take this further onwards to my FMP, where I have decided to make a series of dioramas. I’m really looking forward to seeing what I’ll produce for it.
I did a very quick overpaint to illustrate things I’d do if possible;