First Presentation

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For the first presentation of the semester, i felt it went pretty good – we were clear and concise with our pitch of the game and showed great energy toward the project!

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Game Development – The Character Development

Will wanted us to to make the character look appealing in a diverse way so anyone could pick up the game and be able to click with that one character that catches their eye, with our game being a supermarket themed game we decided to list of people you would normally see in a store surrounding.

  • Colleagues
  • Managers
  • Cleaners
  • Parents
  • Children – Toddlers – Babies
  •  Teenagers
  • Groups of friends
  • Guide dogs
  • Elderly

We also talked about what kind of shopper stereotypes we could add in, i found this video that would probably explain what i mean by stereotypes for shoppers or better put – what retail workers have to put up with from the general public.

As well as those ideas, we also thought it would be cool to also throw in some more crazy ideas such as a medieval market or a space odyssey!

Although when we brought this up to Will, as much as he liked the spontaneous ideas that we as a group spewed at him, it was considered best to go with a simpler approach to optimise game play rather than make a stunning piece of work that plays bad. When thinking about this as a gamer i do see where Will is coming from, we see so many beautiful games nowadays that play horrid (Sonic 06 im looking at you).

So with that we decided to get down and start mucking around with different styles for Will so that he would have a variety of pieces to look and choose from.

Character inspiration mood board-

From our collaborative research on some character designs, myself and Claire had found these sort of styles interesting enough to mix with the inspired style the company had originally went with. Keeping in mind we know the character will need to fit inside a trolley cart in the game so we figured a Pixar stylised approach may be the best direction forward to achieve what Will wanted (simple with arms) – i also threw in Adventure Time in the mixture as the anatomy of the characters would be great for the flexible nature that the game may need when it comes to other game mechanics such as picking up items or having more characters in a trolley cart.

Some of my favourite attempts with the character design side of the module, i wanted to mix the various inspiration we had found and implicate it into some sketches – my group were happy enough with these designs and Will was particularly interested with the anatomy of these images below;

He commented on the anatomy, he quite like the unrealistic proportions of the “characters” (One on the left is totally not an attempt of me…) on how the forearms were beefy compared to the more slender legs – i was surprised he would had even acknowledged these as its my typical style of drawing human characters; he also likes how the male on the left was a man but still have feminine appeal to him – i do tend to make my male characters more girly….

When it came down to the final decision on how our characters would look, we as a team decided to stick with the more cartoon style which would resemble a mixture of adventure time and Pixar anatomy – i am unsure if i liked the direction of this as it seemed too simplistic or that it was dived into too quickly without considering other alternatives though i digress, we stuck with these little guys!

When it came to modelling the characters on Maya, Claire was pretty eager to create a base design which we were happy enough to allow her to fire on and do that whilst i continued to think of simplistic designs to make all the characters different.

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Will really liked this design sheet as it stayed true to what he wanted, various character designs with vibrant colours.

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Claire did such a fabulous job on this base model! Go Claire!

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When Claire was done and happy with the model, she had given Jakub and myself a base to add various clothing, haircuts and optional accessories to her created mesh.

Unsure on how to model clothing onto a character on Maya, i had to look into a easy enough method that would help me produce the target amount of designs that were needed for the next meeting. I came across a very talented 3D artist who goes by the name “Maya Sensei” i watched the above tutorial to get an insight on how i could make my clothing designs.

Following the tutorial was easy enough and i manged to create my first design in 3D, i wanted to make a hipster like character with a vibrant apparel and as an added accessory I gave him cute little pixel geek glasses. I found the process fun and it proved very effective for this type of model, the reason why i did not go into much detail for this is because the camera of the game will obviously be far away from the character thus making any detail modelling go to waste as well as the time spent doing the work – i feel like we should let the image textures do the talking for detail although everyone in the team has their own workflow!

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Jakubs designs came out beautifully (they are below) i especially like the little guy with the cap, very cute!

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Jakubs Models

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Jakubs Models

When we presented our designs to Will he was very pleased with the results and the amount of individual characters we had created and especially loved how efficient we had been thinking when it comes to rigging the characters that we just have to copy over the rig, bind it and paint according to what that characters clothing and hair is like. Will wanted us to make sure he had a selection of characters for the game and we believe this would be more than enough for the client to get started for SuperMarket Shriek.

Looking over these designs its pretty cool how each of the character silhouettes are unique to each of their own, its important that the texturing adds to the appeal of each design next!

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Thanks to Claire for helping me out with getting the hang of texturing, even though this is my second year in animation i was not given to best opportunity to practise my texturing until now and as it may had been daunting at first, its not all that bad to be honest! After UV’ing my clothing on some of my favourite designs i applied some basic stripe designs via Photoshop and just applying them over the UV map then porting it into Maya. I also wanted to add the Billy Goat logo into one of the T-Shirt designs simply because other companies such as Microsoft to it in their Avatar scheme.

As for the duplicates of the hipster character you will notice that one of them have pretty detailed hair compared to the other and that is because as i was researching in my spare time i had came across a planar technique known as “Poly hair”

In this video walkthrough, we are going to take a look at creating polygon hair for game characters. I’m going to showcase my workflow for creating polygon hair for my character, “Mr. Grumples.” I used this technique for the Mr.Grumples demo asset I created for GDC 2013.

In the video, I use Maya 2014, but the technique can be used in any 3D application. Although the tutorial uses Maya to demonstrate the technique, it’s not Maya specific and any 3D app can be used.

Modeling and Texturing

This video will show how to model a simple band of polygons that can then be distributed across the surface of the head of a character. We will then look at painting a hair texture with opacity to map to the polygon bands. We will also look at creating a specular map for the hair.

– UnityCookie YouTube Channel

Check me out sometime!
https://gumroad.com/masterxeon1001
http://www.patreon.com/masterxeon1001
https://masterxeon1001.com/
https://www.artstation.com/artist/jer…

How do they make that cool polygon hair? I have my way of doing it but I feel there’s more than one way to skin a cat. I go over some of my favorite features during this unnarrated timelapse. Enjoy and subscribe.

I love this technique so much! Efficient and nice in detail, you can take this in whatever style you want whether it be a cartoon, realism or anime – the boundaries are endless.

With this hipster character i decided to give her some poly hair and the results were pretty interesting personally, i really think she looks lovely with this design though the team thought it would be best to keep the hair basic which is fine – im more happy i got the chance to try this out and come out having a good idea how i could add hair to characters in the future, i did not want to apply a texture to the planes for the character as i felt it would take away the solid block colour appeal we are aiming for the game.

I believe now that we have our characters fleshed out that Jakub will now take the time to rig and skin weight the characters, i will be ready to animate as soon as they’re ready and report any issues that may or may not come with the rigs.

Game Development With Billy Goat Entertainment

We have been put into our group projects for the second semester now and i have been assigned with Billy Goat Entertainment who are better known for their recent release of Her Majesties Spiffing.

 

Playing the game myself over the Christmas holidays i found the game to be very witty and full of the usual British banter we have among friends! Short and sweet game.

During the first week when we met our company boss, Will – very nice chap and was alot more informal than i original thought he was going to be (which im happy for). We sat down and started talking about a game his company had been working on for a 48 hour game jam recently and their theme on the brief was “waves”, thinking out of the box than the generic thought on waves – Wills team went down the path for sound waves for their game.

The game was made for a global game jam which gave the time of 48 hours for studios to create a game based around waves, like i said prior, Billy Goat entertainment decided to base the game around sound waves to in hope give it some authenticity from what the other teams had made.

I like the concept of the game and after trying it out i was happy to find out there was a option to play with controller rather than scream down a mic, not my cup of tea to shout.

Would you like to PLAY THE GAME?

The objective of the game is to get from point A to B without “dying” to the obstructions that are within the level such as pits, swinging hammers or pushers.

 

BBC project portfolio

First Robber Draft – 

Early Raider Designs –

Street Model – 

Street Props –

Bench

Lamp Post

Street Advertisement Sign 

sign

HD Rendered Stills – 

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What i contributed to the group –

  • Modelling of the characters
  • Modelling of the street and props within the street (Lamp posts and Signs)
  • Concept art of the character
  • Animation of the robber throughout the short
  • FX dynamics of breaking the window
  • Modelling of the plan sheet

Its been a good project between myself, Cassie, Caitlin and Eoin. We hit some speed bumps but we as a team got through and look forward to showing you the final rendered short in the earliest time possible!

 

 

 

Concept art portfolio

Matte painting of the world –

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kalama watching over her land – 

kalama

Kalama and the lakes heart – 

kalama-watches

Lost In Thought – 

alone-in-the-forest

Edge of the forest and to the highlands – 

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On the edge of tomorrow – 

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Grave dear friend – 

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Compilation video – 

 

The concept project with Samantha was a fun one, honestly it was what distressed me from the pen drive incident and i hope that i have somehow pulled my way back to a decent level before hand in.

Me and Samantha had also agreed and were saddened by the lack of time we got to focus on this project due to the high demand from the BBC project and all the time we had to put into it instead of this but i digress, we did awesome i feel. Honestly check out Samantha’s stuff she made such progress with her painting and its lovely seeing how far we have came together nearly a decade on pursuing our goals as Artists!

https://squigleyanimatesagain.wordpress.com/category/concept-art-project/

 

Paintings and Final Outcomes

With the little time i had to catch up and the BBC project holding me down i felt i did pretty damn good for what i have to show here! Hope you enjoy~

thumbnails

For the starting of my concepts i wanted to do some quick sketched out thumbnails before setting stone down on what theme i wanted to go towards, i really liked the top left thumbnail as it looked very much like a Scottish highland, i also like the top right image of the dense forest with the one eyed pillars in the distance, i seemed very eerie with an ominous appeal to it.

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I recommended to Samantha that even though we were to doing a simplistic style of the paintings before adding a parallax to them that we should try going out of our comfort zones, mine being one layered paintings on Photoshop. I attempted to make some rocks and a cliff with an entrance to a cave but i feel it came off too soft looking for rocks though i noticed in a tutorial i came across the Artists rocks had also looked rather soft, perhaps in some cases this is okay when the rocks are further away to indicate a depth blur?

I felt these tutorials will come in handy in future so i will leave them here for reference.

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I prefer these three images above as they stay true to the Limbo appeal, some from class made comments that the Limbo aesthetic was not very tasteful but hey im calling that as just states of opinion since i absolutely love it!

My first attempt of the parallax effect.

Following this tutorial like religion i create the above parallax which in honesty was a breeze, it was also very fun to decide which way what image went and how it zoomed in or out. If i were to fix this i would make not make the movements as drastic.

My second parallax went alot smoother i felt, it had a point of interest (the character) and the layer work was easier to make the depth of the painting show better this time. I feel with the stress of getting as many done as possible is causing my paintings to suffer as the clean up of my work could be better when you really look at this piece.

With the evaluation of the last parallax i decided to really sit down, calm myself and spend some actual time connecting with my work and boy did it work! I am so happy with how this piece came out, i decided to add a very personal character of mine who is called Kalama – she is a canine hare creature i created back in 2011 and she has stuck with me ever since. The value of this painting is sentimental to myself as an Artist as i create my character through representations of me, Kalama being the happier side of me. In some ways you could think i have a character for each mood or emotion a person can think.

I wanted this parallax to have a point of interest and a subject looking at it to indicate to the audience that this is the objective of the painting.

This is the photo bash concept piece i create using the Pexel free stock images i downloaded from the internet, from liking the painting before i wanted to refine my Scottish highland inspired piece by allowing people see kalama and her world in a more photo realistic way.

One thing that completely past my mind when my tutor Alec looked at it he had mentioned it felt empty on the lake area and it hit me that i forgot to add the tree island in the middle of the lake! I will defiantly have to come back to this and update the piece as it does seem lacking not to mention the parallax seems to be moving too fast for my liking, i think this maybe because i tried out a new render setting so my renders would complete quicker.

Matte Painting – 

viewview1

I uploaded this part to facebook for feedback and this is what i was given regarding the mountains.

  • too flat
  • too smooth
  • make more ridges on the edges

 

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Alec also suggested i could do a matte painting as its a quick process that concept artists use to visually express their ideas also, so with that i wanted to refine my highlands even further and show how big the world is past the highlands, there are dense forests and mountain ranges!

If you wish to see what the mountain areas look like go look at Samantha’s blog for her pieces of her part of our world concept!

I found this technique awesome to work with but with spending so much time on it with detailing and rendering light cause the file unable to be given a parallax without it looking off – i also spoke with Samantha on this and she recommended keeping it flat too.

 

Animating for the short

After losing my data from my file drive corrupting i had been working towards getting the animating done for my group so we could piece the short together in time for hand in and to get some stuff rendered. Thankfully i had Cassie to work on cameras to save time animating the character, i felt there was no need to animate parts of the character that were not gonna be seen.

 

Not gonna lie, i felt so much pressure doing these animations as pretty much all the animating to given to me but i had to do this to make up for my files going missing – i had to prove that it was not going to set me back!

Cassie was wonderful during the animating stage as she kept checking in on me and gave good feedback when it was needed to help finalise the movements of the character, heck even she took on some of the work to help me out and she did amazing with her animations (and she says shes bad a animating…HA shut up Cassie you’re amazing).

Eoin was tasked with doing the raider inside his house although he was having some issues with the rig, i dont think he knew how to work him very well but i took on his part also seeing as i had been playing around with the model mostly and had the most time animating the robber.

Now we are going to send the play blasts to Caitlin for her to put the clips together, add the timing and sounds which will hopefully bring us to the end of the project for hand in!

(We still need to render it all though….)

The great corruption…

So today… something truly “amazing” happened regarding my pen drive with all my animations for our BBC short, my personal project and creative enterprise project… It got corrupted whilst someone was transferring files to a mac in our class room.

May i add that i am not the only one to have this happen to their equipment whilst using the same mac computer in class.

I had spoken with my lecture Alec about the situation regarding my lost files and i was recommended to go to a tech shop which i did as soon as it had been mentioned to me, there is a tech shop in Glengormley i have been going to for fixes and additional parts for computers in the past called The Tech Stop. They took my pen drive in yesterday and i was told they would try their best to get me my files back as much as they could, this gave me some relieve.

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Today i got the drive back and i got the files back, all of them really but i cannot open any of them anymore sadly.

The technician told me something may had rendered the files useless now and even my lecture Alec took one of my maya files in an attempt to recover what i lost but even he had no luck so i am at a cross roads now.

Do i either,

A) Give up and let this huge set back take over me

B) Nut up, get as much done and hope i pass

Im gonna go with (B), i cant let my team down and hell ill even have to sacrifice marks on the concept project in terms to get this BBC short done as i feel it has a higher demand right now.

I cant let this get to me too much so once this blog is posted im forgetting the whole thing happened, if i dwell ill not get anything done at this rate. I want to say thank you to The Tech Shop, Alec Parkin and my group for helping me in everything they did in hope to get my files back – it truly means alot that you guys stuck your necks out for me.