Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Texturing Workflow

I started making some textures using a process where the normal map is a basis for the rest of the texture, rather than having a diffuse map being the driving force for the normal map to conform to. This technique means only a small amount of photo texture needs to used and keeps the texture fresh and prevents it from being muddy. The blue channel in the normal map can be used as a quick way of generating a basic ambient occlusion to overlay in the texture and works well in picking out the details directly from the hand painted normal map using custom brushes and the Nvidia filter plug-in for Photoshop.

Here is the result rendered out in Marmoset, 4 planes have been put together to show the tiling capability and how variation can be achieved using only a division of four on the original texture.

Looking at Playstation Home

I came across the Playstation Home plaza the other day and found it quite interesting as the entire area could be dressed completely differently depending on what game they might be advertising or a special event taht was happening for their gamers. This helped me to realise that creating some different tilable textures and using multi-sub materials could be an efficient and easy way to get a lot of detail with very little memory usage. It's nothing new to me as I have seen this type of thing used in loads of sci-fi genre titles great example being masss effect. Though looking at real world materials with the ability to change building textures easily and have only a few textures running could actually be a very viable option that would help in creating more memory and texture budget for some more unique things in the level.

Playstation Home :-


Killzone 3 Playstation Home Plaza (above) same environment just different texture variation and a tweak in lighting.

Monday, 20 February 2012

Feedback and Review, keeping on track.

I'm just going to give you an update on my current progress as I've been working with my feedback and have made some great progress. I found I had become distracted by some of the different parts of research I was doing and found that the feedback I had received from the presentation was very useful. I went back and really focused on what was important and what I was trying to acheive as I had gone a little off topic in certain aspects. I have gone back and looked into the original idea and starting point I had come from and reviewed what I had created and made changes based on the crit and feedback I had got.

I made a change with the blockout and found that my idea became a lot more clear. I have been working on the main area and have moved the blockout in cryengine 3 to 3Ds Max and have started work on the main frontage of the buildings. I had to clean up the geometry from the export and get it more game ready, not only that but make it easier to model over as well. The great thing about spending time in cryengine is that I know that everything that went into 3Ds Max will be to scale and eveything can be measured against that. With other engines I have used, the scaling can be awkward and take a lot of time to model even some of the more basic things due to the grid scales and having to make educated guesses in comparison to the player character scale and animations for going up stairs, ladders and jumping over etc. Now with a metric system the scaling of objects can be done more easily.

Screenshots of my progress in CryEngine 3:

 Screenshots of the cleaned up Export:

Friday, 3 February 2012

Blockouts Progress

Heres the blockout I managed to get together after my work not saving in the engine. I still want to make some changes as something is still not quite right hopefully after presentation and getting some feedback I can figure out what it isn't right.

Screenshots of the progress.

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Feedback on stand designs with interesting results

Got some feedback on the stand designs and the response was very positive! Though the design 2nd form the left in the stand designs was said to be more like a cash machine. So I went with it and ahve made the design into cash machine!

Here is the new cash amchine idea! I even created my own currency logo for the classic made up game and film currency "credits".

I might try desaturate them a bit more so they don't stick out in the level like a saw thumb.

Information Stands

I've concepted some information stands to go into the environment and help give story information about the plaza and tower. Here are the finished drafts of some of the designs I took through to completion. I'm thinking of making some colour variations on the one I want to take through to the level but I'm going to get feedback and see what the most popular one is.

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Progress Update

So I've been working quite hard recently, I've finally got  the block out |I want in CryEngine 3 and got something ready for working with. Concepting quickly in 3Ds Max has been really useful and productive as it as allowed me to experiment with the areas I wanted more.  The great thing with the cryengine is that I could create quick ideas in Max and replicate them easily enough with the engine. I've been through quite a lot of attempts and run throughs of certain quick swhapes and styles but mainly to practice with using the enigines tools. It's also interesting to see the ideas go into the engine to as some of the scale for buildings or layouts just didn't work with the player running around it.

It's been a largely lengthy process in terms of researching the engine and pipelines this week and some of last to, which is where a ot of my efforts have gone. Mainly due to the fact any complex models needed to be made in certain ways or needed a certain piepline to adhear to. This is mainly as the engine works in a very different way to UDK which is what I have been using. Though the research has been very useful especially for the signage and things, I have found out that I can actually create a lot of what I had in mind with the concepts I have produced.

Here are some more ad sign concepts and think I have some cool ideas to get going with. I will also post the Odyssey logo/ typeface stuff as well as thats been sitting on my hardrive for a while and thought I'd lost it (which was a relief when I found it!) also some ideas for the Typography of the company.