Boot Camp Environment – Aftermath Project – Obstacle Course – Mini Specialization and Cross-Discipline Project

Boot Camp Environment

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This is my environment that I created for the boot camp task in my Studio 1 class. For this assessment, we had to at the minimum design four basic assets in 3ds Max for this exercise. Two cubes, a wall and a floor they also were used for the ceiling. We were given an orange and a grey texture that was already mapped to these boxes all we had to do was drag and drop them onto the models. Once we had completed those steps we learned how to export them into a file format that the Unreal Engine could support.

Then the construction of the environment that is shown above was started, I used a modular workflow to build my world and it consisted of the floor and wall assets and the blocks. I used the same simple assets to make the whole environment as can be seen from the images above. The following are the most common shader properties used in the unreal engine.

  • Albedo: This texture map describes the colour as viewed in perfectly diffused lighting conditions, with no faked shadows of any kind. PBR (Physical Based Rendering) is able to quickly produce believable results because the albedo map uses pre-calibrated sRGB values for known materials.
  • Smoothness/Roughness: The smoothness/roughness map describes how smooth or rough a surface appears. Similar to the metallic map, this is also a gray-scale map. White pixels in the smoothness map are 100% mirror-like and very shiny, while black pixels won’t pick up any reflections.
  • Metallic: A metallic map simply describes which parts of a material are metal and which parts are not metal. White pixels are metal, black pixels are non-metal, and usually, you should avoid anything between.
  • Normal: The normal map describes the direction that light should bounce off a surface. This is a powerful tool for manipulating materials because it allows for additional textural detail, bumps, and indentations across a surface.

It didn’t take me very long to come up with an idea of a jumping course with a 1st person view and then create it with the assets I imported in the engine the one task I struggled with was getting around to texturing the models. The group I am in for the aftermath project has been working very hard over the past week and a bit to get an early start on this project. I have made enough time to go over the videos that are for the students in the google drive and after trial and error, I’ve managed to apply some basic textures to my environment.

This is a clear indication of the lack of proper time management on my behalf and I am well aware of the consequences that come with incomplete work within this industry. The Student Studio Schedule that was sent to the students of this class is a perfect way to get a handle on my time management for the rest of this trimester and I will try my best to stick to it.

Throughout my years of playing games, I have always enjoyed jumping puzzles within games. So I thought for my environment I would try my hand at creating a jumping map. The results were average in my opinion but for my first environment in the Unreal Engine, I think I did well. The 1st person perspective makes the most sense when going through this type of level because the camera being where the players eyes are they would have an easier time jumping from block to block instead of the view being in a 3rd person view which would be substantially more difficult because the camera is located behind the player and would make it difficult to judge the distance needed to jump from block to block.

Personally, I am not very interested in designing levels and creating environments. I like the character or prop side of 3D modelling but it’s always good to expand your knowledge within the field that you work in. So I take everything that I can from these classes at SAE because the more you know the better chance you have to get hired.

Aftermath Project

Project Management & Teamwork – Critical reflection on how you (and your team) have performed in relation to your behaviour, the processes you employed, and the outcome of the project

  • Identify several important events/issues that occurred during the project, including both positive and negative aspects.

    Towards the end of the time period, we had for working on our project we came across an issue, we didn’t have enough time to finish the environment. So we decided to remove the things that hadn’t been worked on and fixed up everything that had. Overall I believe our environment looked better than what we previously planned it to look like. (Positive)

    Because of the time constraints we didn’t get to put all of the assets we created, into the environment and we feel if we knew what was going to happen was removing half of the environment because we ran out of time then all the time spent on the asset that ultimately didn’t get put into the environment could have been used making assets for the parts of the environment that we ended up using. (Negative)
  • Analyse the cause of these events/issues, so that the true cause emerges rather than just a symptom of a cause.
    Both of these things came about because of the factor of time management. We didn’t estimate how much time we’d need to create everything thus overestimating and running out of time. So even though the end result turned out great we still had to ditch a bunch of assets and the time that it took to create those things could have been used to improve what we ended up with. 
  • Identify solutions for the events/issues, including how to mitigate negative events and facilitate positive events.
    If we had been more organised and had come up with something to do with time management such as a schedule then possibly we could have prevented this. We divided the workload equally so we mitigated the negative parts of this project and for the positives, we focused on everyone’s strengths so the maximum amount of work got completed.
  • Critically reflect on all these aspects both in terms of your own role, and the team.
    I think I performed to the standard that my role required me to do. I made all the assets that I was tasked with creating and I made them to the liking of the head designer who then would put the assets into the environment. The team equally performed well and we didn’t have any issues with leadership or with handing out the workload or with performing to the best of our abilities and not slacking off.

Plans & Pitches – Reflect on the effectiveness of your project plan, and how well you communicated your intentions for the project

  • Review the effectiveness of your project plan as a guidance and support tool.
    We stuck to basically everything on our plan, even though we ended up with something different to what we planned from the start we still kept the end result withing the boundaries of what the plan said and all in all it was great at guiding everyone on this project.
  • Discuss how much the execution diverged from your original plan and why.
    In the end, we had the outside landscape of our environment completed but the main structure in the middle of our environment the temple wasn’t completed by the submission date. So we diverged quite a far way from our original plan but to be honest I believe that what we ended up was better then what we were trying to achieve.
  • Reflect on the effectiveness of your team’s pitches and presentations during the project’s duration.
    Our pitches and presentations throughout the trimester were very well put togeather. We made everything so that it would be clear and concise for when the teachers would go through our work and make informed comments on the information that we clearly laid out for them.

Creative Work & Processes Used – Effectively reflect on topics related to your discipline and your craft and how you (or your team) have performed in relation to these.

  • Identify the key creative processes that have been used in the project.
    We used many processes to map out how our project would go such as art bible and a project plan and ultimately these things helped us figure out how we were going to tackle this environment.
  • Analyse these processes to identify which have worked well and which can be improved.
    The art bible works extremely well when we were creating the assets in a similar art style but the project plan could have included a time management section seeing as we ran out of time and had to improvise.
  • Identify solutions for the processes and outputs that need to be improved.
    We could have begun with a time management skedule and got that out of the way then continued on with everything else that we did this way we would have had plans for how we would spend our time throughout this project.
  • Identify areas of your craft that you seek to improve.
    I really need to become better at UV mapping and unwrapping and texturing in general on 3D models and perhaps learn to sculpt in Zbrush also.
  • Determine and justify how other proven approaches may address the areas of your craft you seek to improve.
    I could have taught myself how to texture by watching videos and textured my assets myself instead of making them and dumping them onto my creative lead. would have saved everyone a lot of time.

Final Product (video) embedded into blog post

Links to all deliverables
Boot-camp Blog Post –
https://theartofthinkingsite.wordpress.com/2017/02/24/my-boot-camp-environment/

Project Plan – https://docs.google.com/document/d/1C40QKGvu6dEKTYcHD88gRAkv0YSFwyPQcn46wEz__10/edit

Art Bible – 
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1r7MpDOY2UwQ-ZPfw6tsjfaoriYpNRuozdzFMWrssZcY/edit#

Final deliverable –
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B0HAz3r5ydUKVE54dTlxVUxLMzQ

Details of your individual contributions to the project supported with images of assets created.

I was tasked by my team lead to create 6 models for our environment. I was tasked with making 3 items of furniture, a stool, a chair and a drawer. I was also tasked to make 2 items of pottery, a small pot and a tall pot. Lastly, I was tasked with making a mystical weapon known as a sceptre.

Obstacle Course

Spidey_12

Peter Parker [Image] (n.d.). Retrieved from http://spiderman.wikia.com/wiki/Peter_Parker_(Earth-12041)

I have chosen Spider-Man as my character for this obstacle course project. Here is a short trailer for the new Spider-Man video game. This video demonstrates his movement style and his personality.

PlayStation. ( 2016, June 13). Spider-Man – E3 2016 Trailer | PS4 [Video File]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3R2uvJqWeVg

This is a link to a PDF of my thumbnails/storyboards on my ideas for both of the course options.
Spider-Man Obstacle Course

Finished Project

  • What went well in the project
    With my extensive knowledge of 3ds Max, I easily managed to pick up how Maya worked. So with my knowledge on how Spiderman moves, I got stuck into creating my animation.
  • What didn’t go well, and why
    My computer isn’t the best and had issues running Maya but that was easily solved by using my USB to take my work off my PC and onto the work PCs. What isn’t ideal though is the fact that I lost my USB and had to restart my Obstacle course. Having already completed it made redoing it really easy.
  • What you would do differently next time
    If I had more time I would have shaped the Norman rig to look like Spiderman but when it comes to the course I’m happy with how everything went.
  • What you learned about animation during the project
    I learned that both 3ds Max and Maya both have the same animation tools and when you know how to use one the other is super easy to pick up also.

Mini Specialisation / Cross Discipline Project

Research for game environments
LIMBO_FeaturedImage
Limbo [Image] (2010). Retrieved from https://www.playstation.com/en-gb/games/limbo-ps3/

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Oni and the blind forest [Image] (2015). Retrieved from http://store.steampowered.com/news/?appids=261570

Assets I created for both the Mini Specialisation Project and the Cross-Discipline Project.

I used my work that I created in my Cross Discipline Project for my Mini Specialisation Project. I had never done work on an environment personally so seeing as I was asked to create assets for the environment in my Cross Discipline Project I used that for my Mini Specialisation also.

  • What went well in the project
    The team’s dedication to this project. We would have weekly meetings on Wednesday morning to catch up on how everyone was going and what needed to be done. This was a great booster for my confidence in this project because when everyone is fully into it like I am it makes me feel like we can do anything that we set our minds to.
  • What didn’t go well, and why
    Our group lead had a lot on his plate because he had a tonne other work to complete in his own classes and he had to accommodate us also. We ran out of time in the end but everyone met their learning outcomes so it’s all good but we wished we had more time because it was just starting to get fun.
  • What you would do differently next time
    Hopefully next time I’ll have more time to complete the project because time always seems to take the fun out of it. I’d probably also offer to create more assets because I wanted to continue building my portfolio for this project.
  • What you learned during the project
    I learned how to use the motion of the landscape to form an environment through 3D modelling. I usually focus on character modelling or character animation so I wanted to expand my modelling skills to landscapes. I will focus on character modelling but it was nice to try something different for a change.
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