Hello, I’m Rose, a student at college. The course i am studying is Next Gen Games, Animation & VFX, and this blog will be where i keep track of what i learn and the things that i create. The area i am interested in is the art side of games design, and i will likely be doing a lot of concept art in my portfolio. I expect that my area of interest will expand since i will be gaining skills in other areas – such as 3D modelling, vfx, etc – so i may find aspects of the course that i enjoy doing, and which i could specialize in next year.
On Tuesday afternoon i went in college to do my portfolio presentation. I feel that it went quite well, especially considering that i have anxiety when public speaking. I did have a bit of a hiccup half way through, where i forgot what to say, but continued anyway. I think they liked my VFX project (where my dog Phoebe disappears through a fire portal), as i heard a chuckle or two.
Afterwards i was sent out of class for a minute while the lecturers deliberated. When i was brought back in, they told me that they didn’t know whether to give me a pass or a merit. In the end they decided on a merit, but i have lots to improve on and they gave me lots of constructive criticism. Since i like art, and it is the subject i will specialise in next year, they felt that i didn’t put enough of my artwork in the presentation. A lot of the art I’ve done are just sketches, so i was hesitant to include them. They also said that to get a distinction i should work to make everything the best quality it can be.
This is the turnaround sheet for my final monster design. Making this was a bit tricky, since it is difficult to imagine perspective when the creature doesn’t exist. Using a graphics tablet really helped me with this, and i enjoyed drawing the feathers/scales on the back. The thing that i could have improved is the front view – the monster is not turning it’s head to face the front, which makes the turnaround look a little off.
Below is the coloured and shaded version of my design, which i did in Photoshop. Even though shading can be a bit annoying, i enjoyed making this since it is a project where your imagination can run wild. Originally the creature was going to be a greyish black colour, but after messing around with the hue and saturation i found that a dark blue suited it better. I was a bit worried about colouring the eye, since it is an important part of the piece, so i practised a bit on an empty layer. The paint mixer tool became very useful when doing this; It uses an airbrush with an adjustable opacity, this makes it easy to mix colours and shade with. Overall i am happy with how the creature turned out, and i will make more of these designs in the future.
This is my project for VFX. To get the footage i went down to the clifftops with my dog Phoebe. For it to work properly the camera had to stay still, so i brought a tripod with me and set it up. I had to get Phoebe running from one side to the other without seeing the original ball being thrown, however it was tricky to get the right distance between her and the camera (there are a few failed footage attempts). The portal that appears, as well as the bursts of flame, are assets that i found on footagecrate.com. I think that this went quite well, vfx isn’t the subject i will specialise in next year but this project was fun to do.
This is the silhouette of my final monster design, made using Adobe Illustrator. The design was one that i thought of doing a while ago, after watching a playthrough of Keep In Mind. I was inspired by the creepy monsters in the game, each of which represented a negative human emotion like paranoia, guilt, and regret.
Now that i have uv unwrapped my model, and given it a normal map, the next step is to add texture to it. Before i start making the textures however, i need to know what colours to use. Using Google i did some research to help me – i searched ‘sci fi table’ and made a moodboard of the colour combos that i liked. Below are some ideas of colour schemes that i have considered.
Since last time i have made good progress on the normal mapping. The error i faced last time was the result of the low poly model not being uv unwrapped properly – when using a normal map you can’t have multiple texture files or it makes it a lot more difficult.
After using automatic layout to fix the uv problem, i tried the process again, but a few errors presented themselves. There were large yellow areas on the normal map itself, and i couldn’t figure out why.
Baking attempt with errors
It turned out that the problem was that the normal map had baked down parts that it should’t have, like the button panel and the lever.
To solve this i could have edited the map in Photoshop using the patch tool. An alternate method is to delete certain parts and redo the steps, so that’s what i did. I removed the table’s support, the lever, and the button panel. Then i redid the normal map and it worked correctly; the ridges on the sides look like they are actually there.
Successful baking attempt
After that i reintroduced the parts i had removed, and gave them a simple blinn shader to match the normal map. You can see what i have so far in the featured image at the top.
Today i worked on my asset for the group modelling project. Since i had finished the low poly version of the table, and i uv unwrapped it, i started making the high poly version. For the high poly version i added bevels to a lot of the sharp edges on the table. I then extruded sections inwards and outwards, and added ridges to the sides by using stretched spheres.
The Next thing i wanted to do was use normal mapping to physically bake the details from the high poly to the low poly one. I tried to do a normal map, and followed Matt’s tutorial exactly, however something obviously went wrong, as when it finished baking it looked like this:
The Normal Map
I am not sure what went wrong exactly, and don’t know what settings to change. So i will ask help from Matt next lesson, and in the meantime i will use google to try and find a solution.