Make It and Show It – Week 5 (23rd March)

Since the model I did last week ended up not working out so well, I decided this week to start from scratch this time altering the base model enough so that it would look a little less… wrong?  The face needed to be pushed in a little more then it was previously.  I also ensured that the top lip was fully detached from the bottom one.  I have also made the decision to make sure that all clothing items are separate from each other, this way I can control the amount of polygons that are used on the model to make it more efficient.

ZBrush DocumentAttempt No 2 Full Body Render 2

My main focus to start this model off was trying to make the anatomy of the character look good.  I did this by looking reference material for a woman that has the same build as the character that I am attempting to create.  From there I observed how the her muscles looked and how her body looked as well.   While there is still work that needs to be done, most notably on her legs, I feel that this is a great starting model for the character

.Character_Face_Design_2

I started working on the face by loading the image I had of my characters face design so that I had some kind of reference to use when creating the character.

Attempt No 2 Face Render 2Attempt No 2 Face Render 6Attempt No 2 Face Render 11

My main goal was to try and ensure that the characters face looked as I had designed it in my initial concept art.  I also used the moodboard I had created earlier for reference of how the characters cheeks, nose and neck should look.  Above are three progress shots from the work I did on the character model.  As demonstrated, I attempted to try and define the characters cheekbones, jaw, lips, jowl and head.  My biggest mistake was attempting to make the characters skull a little more narrower.  I also feel that the characters lips need to be moved a up a little bit.  I also need to focus on trying to define the characters eyelids a little more since they don’t look like eyelids.

Shirt_Renders_1

I also decided to start trying to create the characters shirt.  I started by taking a low poly model of the characters shirt then using the move topological brush to try and get the shape of the characters muscles.  Afterwords, I increased the amount of polygons that the the shirt model had and started to apply additional detail like the way the shirt opens in the front, buttons, the seams and creases.  While trying to add creases I started to realize that the seams would get erased as I would smooth the model so I decided to remove them from the model so I could add them later.  I then tried to make the character collar more triangular to try and get the shape I was going for with the characters collar.  Overall, I am not too happy with the way in which the creases look on the characters shirt and feel that additional work needs to be done on it.  It may be worth while getting some reference material for the characters shirt of the internet.  Untitled-1

My final model for the week was getting the characters skirt shape done.  Unlike the characters shirt and body model, this time I decided to try a different technique where I extracted the polygons needed for the skirt directly from the model its self and then used ZRemesh to lower the polycount to make it more manageable.  Overall, this was a really effective and quick way of creating the characters skirt.  I also added some texture to the skirt using the clay build up brush and using the spray feature to build up a cloth texture.

Overall, I feel that this week has been fairly successful when it comes to my work on my character models.  However, at the same time, there is still a lot more work that needs to be done.  I still need to work on the characters eyelids and making them look more like eyelids rather that what they look like right now, define the characters nose more, fix the shape of the characters skull, work on adding more detail to the characters shirt, work on the characters ears, give the character gloves, work on the characters hair, work on the characters jumper and work on the characters shoes.  I feel that this is going to take a lot more time then I initially planned.  I should have done more 3D Modelling experiments to ensure that the overall project was viable.  I think it may be a smart idea to try and ensure that the next two character models are a lot less complex.

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Make It and Show It – Week 4 (16th March)

 

My goal for this week was to start working on the first characters model since I needed to start actually developing from my idea and create the model otherwise I would be far behind my stated goal.  This week I have tackled trying to create the Characters face to try and get it to look more human like, while also working on the characters shirt and skirt.

ZBrush Document

I started this week by first creating the base character model in 3DS max and then exporting it to ZBrush as an OBJ.  My goal was to add additional subdivision levels to the characters model to ensure that I can add additional detail to the model.  The base model for the character is show above.

Characters Face 1Characters FaceCharacters Face 3

From there I started to work on the characters face to try and define the way the characters face should look.  Like I have previously stated, the goal was to make the character look realistically human.

Clothing 1Clothing 2Clothing 3

I also got to work on the characters clothing.  More specifically the characters shirt and skirt. My goal for these clothing items was to try and create clothing that looked realistic with the seams and folds on both the shit and the skirt.  I first created the skirt model in 3DS max as a low poly model and then added more subdivisions to the model to allow me to add more detail to the model.

Clothing 3

I tried to create the seams on the characters shirt however, upon reflection, the seams look a little too defined.  I created the seams by looking at some reference material and highlighting the area in which the sleeve meets the characters shoulder.  Afterwards, I alternated between both the sleeve and the shoulder and added clumps of polygons to create the seam.

This is a turntable of my first attempt at this model.  In the end I decided that I didn’t like how flat the characters face was, how the characters nose lacked definition, how the characters eyes looked and how the characters clothes were one model.  I also didn’t like the shape of the characters collar.  So, I have decided to start again which will cut a significant amount into my current plan since this is around a week’s worth of work.

 

 

Make It and Show It – Week 1 (28th Feb)

For the first week of the final major project I have been gathering together reference materials, setting up different art pages and working on silhouettes for the main protagonist, along with developing some artwork to try and get an idea of how I want the main character to look.  Since the character is based around the 1950’s ascetic, I have decided to bring together a collection of different reference material from the internet to help create some concept art for the main character and arrange them into two separate mood boards.

Clothing_and_Hair_Moodboard.png

This is the Moodboard I have strictly used to help develop the characters clothing design.  I have used the research I did during BAGA301 to help gather images of clothing that relates to the time period the character is based around.

Face_Moodboard.png

I created this Moodboard so that I could get a sense of the different hair styles of the 1950’s, even if some of them are more modernized.

Main_Character_Silhouette_1.jpg

From these two different files I have created a set of multiple different character silhouettes and designs based around the character silhouettes.  Overall, I wanted to tr and get an idea of how the character may look in universe by trying out different character designs, some more futuristic then others with some characters having a space helmet on.

I then moved on from the silhouettes to start trying to create a few different character designs so that I may start being able to create the 3D model of the character.

Main_Character_Design_1_(21.02.2018).jpgBasic_Character_Design.jpg

I wanted to keep the first character design relatively simple and straightforward, which is why I decided to make the give the character a button up shirt, Perls, a skirt and flat shoes.  With the second character design, I also wanted to keep her reletively simple only this time to use a silhouette of the character that shows the characters face.  The biggest change for the second character design is the fact that instead of a Perl necklace, she has a blue scarf.

Overall, from these designs I feel that I need to add a little extra color.  The flat blue makes the images look rather static and flat.  It may be useful to think of another color that could be used for the character designs like pink.

character_Design_3_UnfinishedCharacter_Design_1_UnfinishedFinal_Character_Design_UnfinishedFace_Design_Unifinished

This is some of my unfinished work that I will need to finish before I can finally start on the 3D Model.

 

 

 

 

Pro Indie Dev Conference – Day 1

The first day of the Pro Indie Dev online conference had Mike Bithell (Tomas was Alone, Volume), Ryan Clark (Crypt of the Necrodancer, Incredibots) and Eduardo Lamhunt (Holodrive) give talks about their experience in creating video games.  The talks were fairly informative and packed full of advice for an aspiring Indie developer.

The first talk was given by Mike Bithell who talked about his experience creating the game Tomas was Alone.  The main points I took away from the talk was that it is a good idea to have some kind of constant revenue stream like a job rather than to go fulltime indie expecting to make money off your projects.  He also mentioned that there really isn’t much of a winning formula when creating games because of how over saturated the indie market currently is.  If you work in a team, you need to be useful. Another is that you should clean up your twitter account to avoid looking like an asshole online tarnishing your reputation as a professional.  He also mentioned that you should find spaces where there aren’t really that many games however, the drawback on that is that the platform you have built your game for may fail commercially.  Overall, the points he has really made is that you shouldn’t make Indie games to be successful, you should make them because you want to make them.  Also, that you shouldn’t wait around for someone to tell you to make games, you should just make them.

The second talk was by Ryan Clark who said things in contrast to what Mike Bithell said.  Ryan Clark believes that there is a winning formula and that you can make games that you know will be successful.  An example that he gives is of Darkest Dungeon and how the Art Style stood out to him as something that would make that game successful.  He talked about Crypt of the Necrodancer and the many reasons why perused the project which he described as ‘Hooks’ to draw the player in.  These were the name is a pun, it has a soundtrack by someone who has made successful music in the past, the games art has personality, you can play the game with a none-traditional control setup (a dance pad) and it has a good catchy trailer.  He mentined that it is a good idea to observe trends and figure out what is currently popular or what is going to be popular in the future.  He also mentioned to avoid marketplaces where people only play one specific game like MOBA’s.

The final talk was done by Eduardo Lamhunt who talked about the inner workings of his company.  He mentioned that the company, Bitcake, is a 7 person team.  He talked about how he and his workers both work on the game and do contract work in their spare time.  He also mentioned how he has a PR person who is competent enough to get PR done for the company.  Like Bithell, he mentioned that you shouldn’t just abandon your job to work as an Indie and that you shouold get another job.  He mentioned that games like Undertale is a complete outlier and that it doesn’t represent the entire industry as a whole.  Finally, he mentioned that you should test the game idea before making it.

Overall, the first day of talks has been really useful in terms of informing me on how the Indie scene works.  It will definitely come in useful when it comes to examining whether or not I want to peruse a future in Indie development or if I want to go with a Tripple A company.

Pro Indie Dev Conference

Recently I have found out about an online ‘conference’ which will take place for a week form 26/02/2018.  The stated goal of the conference was to allow people who could not afford to go to professional conferences such as GDC to have a chance to gain a better understanding of how the Indie development scene works.  The conference will take place on Twitch and will feature multiple different indie developers who have chosen to talk about their experiences in the indie games scene.  I have also payed money to get the videos on demand so that if I miss out on a specific web seminar I still have access to it at a later date.

Final Major Project – Project Goals

During BAGA201 I have explained that my main project for the final major project is to create three 3D character models based around 1950’s Science Fiction B-Movies.  The deliverable will be:

  • A Video showreel of my 3D models rendered as a turntable
  • A concept art book/booklet containing the artwork I have created during the project (silhouettes, early design work)
  • Hand made models of the characters to be placed on the table next to the concept art book/booklet
  • Two printouts of the final character models to be displayed on the walls

Overall, to ensure that the artwork is done for the Summer Show, I will have to ensure that I stick to the plan that I have created during BAGA201.  I will also have to ensure that I update my reflective journal to ensure that I can explain how the project worked out and the challenges that I have faced during the project.

Practice Character – Fallout 3: Lone Wanderer

After creating the artwork based around the character I created in Grand Theft Auto V, I decided to work on a piece of artwork based around another character I built in a game, this time from Fallout 3 (Bethesda, 2008)

Fallout_3_Character_(01.09.2017)-Recovered

Overall, I think this is the best piece of artwork I have produced so far.  I think that the shading I have done to the character looks fairly good.  My only major complaint would be that compared to how the armour looks in the game, the boots are a little small and the glove doesn’t have as much detail as in the game.

 

Practice Character – Woman with a Gun

As part of the summer break, I have decided to take the time and work on my personal skills designing and developing characters, while also trying out some different ways of creating characters.  While this is the second character I have worked on so far, it is the first that I have actually finished.  Originally intended to be an idea generated for my final major project, I have decided to class it as my second practice character because of how I tried out a different technique to make it.

The technique I used was inspired by the video ‘TOP FIVE TIPS for Digital Drawing and Design’ by the YouTube channel ‘Draw with Jazza’ where he detailed some of the steps he took from other artists to create a final product.

silhouettes.png

I started by creating a bunch of different Silhouettes and deciding which I preferred.  I found numbers 1, 3 and 4 to be the ones that court my eyes since they were all fairly dynamic and showed the personality of the character a lot better than the rest other 3.

character_designs_1.png

The next step I took before deciding to try out the technique I later used was to create a bunch of identical line drawings and to add colour to them.  However, once I did this I decided to change techniques to see how fast it was to create a final piece compared to work I had done previously.

Black_and_White.png

silhouette.png

I started by taking a silhouette I liked (silhouette number 3) and placing it into another file.  Afterwords I drew a line drawing over the silhouette to give an idea of how the features of the image should look such as eyes, nose, mouth and bow.  I also decided to alter the image so that the character was holding a different weapon to the one that silhouette previously had.  Afterwords, I started to apply different shades of grey over the silhouette to try and define the characters shape and to add additional detail the silhouette.  Once I was happy with shading, I started to place colour over the image and then applying a linear burn.  Finally, I added some some shading to the background to cause the character to stand out.  Practice_Work_1

Personal Reflection and Going into Year 3

Overall, I feel that the work produced this year has been to a better standard then what was produced last year.  My skills with creating characters has definitely improves, so has my use of character silhouettes.  I also feel that if I was to put more work into my level designs, they would look much better then they currently are.

One major aspect about this year that needs to be improved is my time management skills.  A large portion of my problems coming from this year is a lack of planning when it comes to creating artwork for games.  While I say this every year when it comes to time management, it may be useful to set up some kind of document to help manage the amount of time spent working on an aspect of the project.

Another major setback for this year was the lack of home access I had to vital programs such as ZBrush.  With how much time I spent working on the character models and not on the level, I wasted a good few weeks not doing anything constructive to the level work.  This is something that needs to be resolved going into Year 3

Something else I need to start doing is frequently uploading my work to my social medias to expand my audience reach.  It may also be a good idea to actually work on ensuring that my personal development blog is continuously updated and worked on.

Plans for Summer

Given we have around 18 weeks or 126 days, over the Summer break it may be useful to work on some of my skills for next year and to teach my self the software I will need for the project I am planning on.  Some of the tasks I need to do next year are:

Practice Conceptual art for characters and environments

While I am mostly interested in the character aspect of game design, it would be useful to be able to design environments too.  Some of my plans as to how I could improve both of these are:

  • Draw characters with randomly generated character descriptions
  • Draw real people
  • Draw real landscapes
  • Draw character T Poses

Overall, by practicing over the holidays, I will hopefully improve on what I have already done this year.

Practice modeling characters and environments

It may also be important to work on my 3D modeling skills since it seems to be a requirement for the job that I am planning on doing in the future.  This may mean that I will have to buy ZBrush so I have been looking around for the cheapest price for the program.  So far, I have found it going for around £345 for an Educational License and £550 for a Personal Licence.  Getting ZBrush will be useful since I could also use it to help create assets out of classes since that was one of the major setbacks I had this year.

Learn more Unity

While my plans for the future aren’t going to involve much use of Unity as a program, it Character_Ideawould be nice to know the program so that I could create something to display any work I do next year in, rather than just having a static model for people to look at.  I could do this by looking up tutorials on the internet and using them to help build better characters

Work on my ideas

Overall, I don’t have much of an idea of what I would like to build next year.  I have something in mind but nothing concrete just yet.  That is another task I could spend the holiday doing; refining the idea that I currently have.  I have already worked on a little bit of art work based around the idea but aside from that, I still need to work on it.