Friday, 24 April 2015


        Throughout this project our major issue has been the team working. As I mentioned in a previous blog post, 2 out of the 4 of us were always in, and the other two members only showed up for lessons. This lead to communication issues, and then in time, visual and continuity issues within the level section. This also meant we couldn’t help each other improve on our weakest parts of the asset production and assets would come in that weren’t up to scratch with what we needed it to be. I think this also shows that no matter how talented one person is in the group, if we don’t work together and keep in contact with one another, the project is going to fall apart.

                What could we have done better?
        I think the texturing could be significantly better. I’m not a good texturer to begin with, and with 2 members coming in infrequently, this project really suffered.

Week Sixteen: Finally some Engine Work!

      Watching other people texturing is extremely helpful on how to move forward on improve my texturing. I can see how my team members can get the values wrong and have too much lighting information on the Albedo. From this begun to I fell that working too much into a texture can make it look unrealistic, but this is probably down to values. I feel texturing is the same with painting, a good value is balance is a lot better than colours thrown onto a page without thinking about the tonal range.

This was one of the first projects where I was able to use the Unreal Engine. The previous group I was in, one of the team members was bottlenecking the engine work. At first I even found the most basic stuff to be quite difficult, this included how to import assets into the engine, how to apply materials to an asset, and general understanding of the UI. This version of unreal is significantly better than the previous version, as it’s much more user-friendly, but still the UI is quite daunting to a new user.

I managed to produce a few blueprints for the level, such as a matinee fade in, and interactive door which you press E and the level fades out. I also managed to program in a crouch and a sprint function. I have this rather bizarre ability to be able to tell someone how to make blueprint and what they need to implement, but I personally have no clue on how to actually construct the blueprint.

Week Fifthteen: Too Much Ambition

       This week we had to present our early ideas to the tutors. We showed the area mock-up with concepts of props and areas in general. We were informed that we were being far too ambitious, having three areas which would have vastly different props. It was recommended that we should focus on one area and make it look beautiful. So we focused down to the black market area, creating buildings based on our original areas to reuse props. This changed happened at the end of the week on Thursday, but luckily most of the assets could be brought forward into this new vision. For this new area I used some of my assets to produce a hotel. 
      Before the change, I was helping to produce props for the bar area of our level, as well as the corridor area which I was set. I managed to get quite a lot of the models done for these two areas.

There’s been some issues with the team working in our group. Two out of four of us are only in all the time being from 10 till 5. Originally I was at fault for this too, but after I was asked by a group member to stay in, I did so but, still with only two of us in, it didn't really help, especially when it came to communication issues. It does get quite frustrating, when you’re not able to communicate with someone your working closely with. A lot of the time, I didn't want to move forward without input from other person because I wanted to know their ideas and implement them into the area. 

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Week Fourteenth: Oh God another group project

       I honestly don’t mind group work, but with my marred experience of the first project, I do have a lot of apprehension for them. It turned out, I had no need to worry from this first week. The people I’m working with, are acquaintances. I never really spoke to them, but when I had they were fun to talk to. We came together in a group because we pretty much had no one to go with. I was part of a group of five, but we were told to split, so I volunteered to leave. I didn’t want the original people in the group to split, so I left. For the first couple of days we were only a group of three, and we went off concepting for our own ideas relating to this.
       This project is based on creating a city made out of shipping containers, which we could change the appearance of as long as they retained the basic shape, and function of the container. We had to base our city on one of two genres. The Sci-fi genre or the dystopian genre. We also didn’t have to produce a city, but could produce corridors of containers as long as it was made to look like people lived their daily lives there.
       My idea for this was to base the container city in a crashed slaver transport ship. The corridors through the ship would be based off weapon containers and containers filled with cryogenics pod were they put their victims in the pods for transportation. You would have started in the bottom of the ship and worked your way up climbing through containers to reach the ships core and shut it down. As you go through the ship, water would run down from above, illuminated by the chemicals from the ship’s core, and the walls would have almost cave painting on them showing how the ship got into this situation and how the prisoners lived until it became too dangerous and left.

       When we came back together to reveal our ideas to one another, 2 out of the 3 of us, went with a sci-fi theme. We decided to take elements from each other’s ideas and decided to produce a mafia controlled area, where you would wake up in a place with sleeping pods were the lower members of the mob would sleep and pass through a drug lab area, to a black market area, and then into a club ran by the mafia. We then were given areas to work on, I was given the corridor area with the sleeping pods, as we went later on into the week a fourth member joined us who was tasked to help me out. Most of this week went to concepting the areas and some slight modelling of props and mock-ups of the area blockouts.

I do have a major worry though, everyone I’m working with are so skilled at what they do, and I fear that I might let the group down. I’m not good with texturing at all, and it’s becoming a major issue for me now, as I do consider texturing to be incredibly important in the asset production.