Monday, 5 May 2014

The Result

Evaluaiton and Thoughts

                      So this was the outcome, I started out with a much larger vision in mind and maybe even more dynamic but time really got the best of me with this project. I also realised that this level could have been more interactive for the play and maybe better thought out in terms of setting. That being said I am happy to actually complete a large project such as this, 3 months is far too long to do one project and I did loose interest in it at many stages.

I learned tons about engine work and how important refference can be, especially in a situaiton like this when you are making something that pretty much exists in the real world. If I were to change anything I would definitely spend some time working out how to make puddles and cubemaps, I think that would have added to this level greately but I did not plan well enough to fit it all in.

Though I achieved what I set out to in a general sense, I think my work ethic can improve tons and doing something of this scale has definately iproved my pipeline and speed for making assets. I also wished I had spent longer on the surrounding buildings and lighting, I think maybe some more particle effects would have also brought this vision more to life but it has come to an end as it is and I will take these things on board on the next environment I work on.

Here is the finished flythrough!

Sunday, 4 May 2014

surrounding and skybox!

I managed to quickly make some tile textures and used VERY primitive shapes for the larger buidling blocks, I needed to have skyscraper's somewhere as this was meant to be Chicago, or Chicago esq.

The skybox was a pain but I soon discovered skypaint and that seemed to make life tons easier. I chose a daytime setting as I thought it would give a more natural atmosphere.

Saturday, 3 May 2014

Particles and Vegetation!

I managed to get particles working! This was too add some life to the level, I also managed to figure out how to make haze using a refraction shader and a normal map. This meant the fire and smoke will also show some heat haze that adds more realism.

I was quite dissapointed because I had to cut back on the vegetation and didn't manage to get the foliage on the buildings but I did make some grass and tree's, using the vegetation tab I dotted them around the level and gave them a bending figure so they would sway, the results were quite promising. The grass blades were modeled using polys and not using alpha's.

Friday, 2 May 2014

decals and the small stuff

I added some decals and managed to churn out some small populating assets, cones, barrels, bins etc. I also made a road crossing decal, although it wasnt super high rest but paints a good overall image for the level.

The crack decals were done using crack brushes I found for photoshop and some concrete textures from the buildings were reused on the road block and concrete block.

Thursday, 1 May 2014

The Vehicles

These are the final results of my vehicles, I wanted to do 3 but these took longer than expected. Although I was not completely satisfied with these results (more so the bus) I had to move on for times sake.

These were textured after baking ambient occlusions suing xnormal so this sped up my workflow, I also chose the tram from the moodboard I put together earlier on in the project, I found it to look the most interesting and it's colours really added to the level.

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Buildings, and stuff

Setting up the buildings was quite a pain, as I had to make them in modular pieces to save texture space and tri's. These buildings were made based off the reference I collected from Glasgow as I though they were far more interesting that the usual industrial or office blocks.

Collisions were not working for me through 3ds max and I tried countless times, so the solution to this was just to use the cryengine collision material, I found this to be less glitchy aswel.

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

FMP: putting it all together


After putting what I mostly have into engine and compiling it all together, a few thoughts came to mind. Blocking off the roads will now have to be prioritized in the coming weeks and the buildings need to be textured, this is what I will be working on next. The tram can remain untextured for now.

I also need to work on foliage to add tons of green to the level, to which I will dedicate a week. At this stage (a week or two past half way) I really need to work quickly in order to finish everything. I also need to create a secondary focal point which I am considering to be some sort of military vehicle. This could also assist in a vehicle portfolio which is a bonus.

Another week needs to be given to the smaller assets, some of which are modeled. Such as traffic lights, street lamps, fire hydrants, bins, etc. Reaching this level I feel that my speed has increased and I can definitely apply it to the coming weeks as I am developing a more consistent pipeline with every asset, now it is time to really apply myself!

FMP: The Road

It was time to work on the road, there were a few ways I could approach this. The most logical being to develop a tile texture, quite basic in detail, and then break it up with alphas. I did initially want to sculpt it but it would have not been as efficient, especially considering time. So I searched for quite a few reference images and ended up bashing quite a few together using overlay layers, the clone stamp tool and some grunge brushes, this was the result.

At this point I realised that adding moss only from alphas might be quite a stretch so I applied a quick layer pass of moss, quite randomly scattered so it would tile well. Now when I work in the alphas of cracks and other growth I can have something underneath as a foundation. 

I could vertex paint more in CryEngine but for now I will leave it at that, I am still unsure how effective that process can be, I am also debating whether I should make gloss maps or not, it might be quite interesting to set the level in a damp, rainy atmosphere, however that would reflect back on a more dull lighting setup.  

Here are the final renders from marmoset. 

Here are some screen grabs from engine, my tram rails do darken the ground quite abit, which I wasn't expecting so it may be interesting to put some vibrant assets under there. More to come!

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

FMP: Corner Slab

I realized that my tile texture/mesh for the path will need to be cut to fit the rounded corners of the street crossing. With the advice given by my tutors to save on textures as much as possible I decided to just rework the geometry and re use the same texture. This was the result.

This is what it looks like in Engine, I will be putting together the level in the next few days over the whitebox and hopefully that will present everything better!

Saturday, 8 March 2014

FMP: the tram - part 1

Instead of looking at random trams or underground trains I decided to look at the actual tram on the Chicago L tracks, however this created a problem. There are no blueprints that I could find for this particular tram, so I had to do everything from eye, I started with a human scale and built the door accordingly and worked from there going back and fourth with my moodbaord.  


This is the current progress, the wheel mechanisms were hard to get downs as my reference was not high res enough to figure out exactly what everything looked like so I did my best with a tri count of 15k including interior in mind. The current tri count is around 12k. I estimate using 2 x 1024 or equivalent to texture this vehicle. Now it is time to model the final details and then make a highpoly/unwrap everything. fun fun fun.

FMP: Crossing Path

For the crossing I was back on google maps to get my reference, back in Chicago. I found that it varies depending on where you go and generally there are around 6 to 9 slabs in rows of 2 or 3 at the crossing. I decided to make mine 3 x 3 as this fit well with my already made slabs mesh so I though it would be best to reuse it. 

I began with a basemesh in 3ds max. 

Continued it in zbrush for all the cracks and details. 

The final texture process was not too difficult as I baked an ambient occlusion so this helped with my diffuse map, and I reused my moss texture from the slabs and broke it up using custom brushes. There will be no need to design a shorter curb as I can take the one I already have and let it sink into the ground to create the same effect.

Sunday, 2 March 2014

FMP: Tile Slabs

For this tile texture I decided to sculpt all my details as I wanted it to be unique, also because the player will be predominatly quite close to it, it demanded priority. I started with a basemesh that I imported into zbrush to sculpt the cracks and noise.  I then retopologised everything and the final tile was 590 tri's. Although this may seem quite high, it will be instanced and I will be using alpha's to break it up.

The was the final result. 

Friday, 28 February 2014

FMP: curb 2, the corners.

I noticed that the streets in Chicago had various corners on cross sections and one way was the curb curving round creating a 90 degree angle. Instead of modelling all of the curbs to create this angle I made one two sided curb that can be turned over and mirrored to be used numerous times in engine. 

This is what the final curb looks like after baking and texturing everything.