Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Teaset finished

..Okay, it took me way too long to complete this and I feel bad. But in any case i can finally proceed with other assets.

At our last presentation we received some really helpful feedback about the level not feeling cozy enough, and I definitely do agree that the walls and floor need more cool stuff. This week I'll do some quick paint overs and come up with a few more bits to add to the asset list. Will definitely work on the doors, as the current ones look shit. Sai has also suggested tweaking the lighting to make it softer. Putting a bit of fog might look cool, but i'll leave it for the post-production stage :)

Friday, 24 February 2012

Character Base Mesh

Just an update on le character.

I'LL FIX TOPOLOGY LATER D:< stop yelling at me Russian! <3

....I need to fix her calves. And hands. lolololol.

Cage Update

Just an update of le cage.
Obviously unfinished, but partially textured.

Bringing it into UDK caused a few problems - rooms needed scaled and repositioned, but nothing major.

Lets see how this works o_O

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Tea set: modelled

Done modelling the teaset. Took me longer than I had hoped, sunny weather isn't helping at all. At the moment the whole thing is 4,106 tris. Damn huge D: I guess I could bring the tricount down by having less polys on the masks - after all, it doesn't need all those loops if it's just an asset. But I do want to use the mesh for other purposes later on.
Anyway, I failed to finish it for the presentation, but I'll at least try to unwrap it and put it in the level to check the scale. I don't want to rush sculpting, as it's crucial to have it done properly. Should definitely get it all done by Monday though. No excuses then :)

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Coffee table

Did another little asset yesterday. I could probably polish it further, but I want to get more visible work done for the presentation this week. I've also started modelling a tea-set today, hoping to get it done by presentation. I'm kind of struggling to keep both the speed and quality of assets. I know all of the stuff I'd done could look better if I re-did it, but I don't want to fall behind. Guess it's a matter of learning to make the right choices on your first attempt XD
As of today, I've mostly been fixing things. Textured tassels on the ropes, tried doing recolours for existing assets to add variety, also added small skirting boards at the bottom of the main corridor. Started on another model.
I'll post more screenshots around the presentation time.

Friday, 17 February 2012

Chandelier ready

Finished the chandelier.  (also the trapeze and general chain, as it was on the same texture sheet) It's all in the level now, being blindingly shiny. So shiny in fact, you can't even see the actual asset-

But it's okay, because I've found an alternative use for it, too:
I'll make better marmoset rendender when I'm at home :)
Shiny Marmoset render:
..why can't things looks this shiny in UDK? >:C 

Chandelier wip

..Dem super wide shoulders..
Currently working on a chandelier for the level. This is just a quick bake I haven't even cleaned up yet. I think I'll add the lace in Photoshop, don't think modelling it would be worth the effort, considering that the asset will most likely appear as a bunch of shinies. Hopefully I'll get it done tomorrow, the hooks, chains and alphas are all prepared for texturing.
My first bake of this didn't come out at all. This is when I learned that extracted mesh pieces need to be re-meshed together, otherwise the rays don't seem to work, even if you merge all the subtools.

Also in the past days I've been learning to make Physics assets. Rigged all the ropes so they now move and react to weapons :) I keep having trouble with making the material appear on the skeletal meshes. That, and at some point one of the curtains went dark for no reason whatsoever. Oh UDK, why you mock me so ;__;

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Cage Size and Dimensions

Just wanted to ask about sizes.

I know you already stuck the twins room in the BSP, but do you think it would look better if we make it bigger? I think the cage will look quite cool if it's a big muthafucka.

Another issue I have is tri count - I figure if its going to be a big asset and the focal point of the room, then its okay if I put a few more tris in to make it look nice. Problem is it's already over 10,000 and I haven't even started with the details. Or put in the ruddy chandelier.

What do you think is a reasonable budget for this? D:

Twin's Room Concept

Sorry for being a dick again, but I've changed my mind. Tell me what you think of this design.
I was having trouble picturing the twin's room and deciding on a theme, and then as I was modelling the feathers on their chairs it came to me - birds.

Why not have the room like a big bird cage?
I intended to have them wear feathers, and the room will be a mirrored room (have you been around birds much? They fucking love mirrors. Vain little shits will sit and watch themselves sing and dance all day).

Anyway, sorry for the rushed sketch (art skills that cannot be beaten, Sai has them) but the idea was:

- Suspended bed inside a large circular cage.

- Poles that form the cage will meet underneath and a chandelier will hang from it.

- From the chandelier a swing will be attached, containing two chairs and a small table.

- Ribbons to climb onto this contraption.

I thought, if we could manage it, the cage & bed could be turning one way and the swing could be turning the other?
Because the room is mirrored, if we nail it the movements should be reflected and the whole room could look like clockwork.


Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Dat asset list

Sooo I did the asset list for my stuff. Did it in the most retarded way possible, but oh well.  Let me know if I missed anything :)
Google docs link
Even with the assets already made it only shows 36 days. It's a blatant lie though, it will only take 36 days if I'm 100% sure what I'm doing (and doing it non-stop). Let's hope 2 months from now will be enough. I'll try to minimise the impact of Zbrush and use more nDo for the sake of speed. Considering that we need sounds and a bit of particle effects (candles, steam from the pots), there really isn't that much time to waste. I also haven't included 2D art I need to draw (as in, portraits and posters). Not even sure about the character anymore, as much as I want to do it. This is something I'll really need to figure out this week.

 Sai, if you do the list for your room and backstage in a similar manner, we can spread assets more evenly if needed C:

Maybe I should outsource a project manager. I'm sure there are management students looking for unpaid placements. And we're totally legit employers and all, amirite? 8D

Monday, 13 February 2012


I was bored of doing the little things to put around the level, so I've made another bigger asset over the weekend. Mostly the same workflow as with the chair, except that I poly-painted it straight away. Unfortunately it still required a good bit of tweaking and overpainting in Photoshop afterwards. Also, no matter how tightly I packed the UVS, the curly bit looked still very blurry on the 512 sheet. In the end I gave up and left it with a 1024 diffuse and 512 normal. Wasteful? maybe. But I'd rather not spend another week just fixing that.
 ..Super-Shiny Zbrush preview

end result in the level. Needs more shiny :0

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Update (Sai) 12/02/2012

Right ~ I want your thoughts before I go mad.

We are having everything rather stylized, yes?
I wanted to make the twins tall and thin, but I'm not sure how far I should go with it. I've already elongated her legs in the image below, but I was thinking taller and thinner again? To be honest I almost want creepy and skeletal, but I thought I'd ask your opinion first xD

Also, I know anatomy is important, so I'm scared about distorting it too much. I know I'll get a poker up my ass if it's done badly -__-

Friday, 10 February 2012

Ropes and tweaks

Modelled some ropes, chains and a trapeze for the level. so far the texture is temporary, I'm still decided on the most effective way of using texture space. So far using a tiny tileable texture for the ropes works best and doesn't cost much.
Oh and the red curtain is now animated and looks a lot less stiff! I was trying to make a big curtain into a skeletal mesh as well, but the dynamic lighting was really out of place on such a big object. To be honest, the difference in lighting static and dynamic objects is very visible and extremely annoying.  The red curtain looks completely flat without lightmaps, so I might have to apply a non-tileable diffuse with ambient occlusion to make it look better. Le sigh.

Oh and another thing, today I attended a really cool lecture by Monica Herman, who has been working as a production designer/background artist. She was offering feedback afterwards, so I thought it would be a good chance to get some advice. It was a bit weird,as I was the only one who came in XD But we had a nice chat, she suggested to watch some German Expressionism films, as they had distorted sets back then. She also raised concern about the distortion and tilt of the walls, as it's one of those 2D methods that might not work in 3D. I'm considering redoing the walls and just making them straight, it would make the position of the doors a lot less awkward for sure.

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Curtains progress

Started working on the curtains last Friday. At first I was planning on using the Cloth modifier to form them, however, after playing around with it for ages, I found that modelling the cloth by hand gives me a lot more control.

During the weekend I forgot my laptop cable in the labs, so I only managed to Zbrush a large curtain for the centrepiece.Then I spent ages retopologising it.I thought creating a normal map for a huge asset would be a waste of memory, so instead I invested more geometry  into the mesh. The final mesh is around 3,800 tris, yet it still looked too undefined with just a tileable texture. In the end I quickly re-created the hipoly version and baked the Zbrush matcap from it (which was overlayed with stripes and grimy textures later)
At the moment it looks like a crinckled popcorn bag, but I'm leaving it for now. Today I must try and finish the rest of the curtains and ropes, and also look into making them animated.

Monday, 6 February 2012

Update (Sai) 06/02/2012

Before I run away to Paris for a few days I thought I'd update.
Sorry its not much =/ I'll get working like a monkey after this trip is done. Organizing people is not my forté at all *grumble.*

The twins chairs. I'll reduce tri count later - just wanted to get the shape right first. Legs are taking up a lot of the tri count at the mo.
Feathers will be added as alphas later. Chair still needs to be zsculpted. Ribbon needs added around the legs.

Worked a bit more on the character face. Fixed topology - shes not as lumpy as she was. Looking forward to Zbrushing <3 Started the body base.

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Our Project Overview (Again)

Apparently the lecturers were unsure of exactly what it is we are doing Marianna. They seemed confused at the presentation on Friday. They mentioned it being a bit of a mish-mash and they were unsure of what exactly it is we are doing (though, if they stopped giggling and quietly insulting their students from a distance, they might have heard better. Don't think we haven't noticed, you three >_>).

So, I thought I'd explain our intentions again.

The theme is basically a circus / a freak show. We will have an environment and some characters to place around the environment. The atmosphere is intended to be rather dark and humorous, with hints towards the circus doubling as a brothel. The project will be stylized, taking inspiration from all over the world (circus' tend to be like this due to travelling). We hadn't really decided on an era, but considering the concepts so far, it defiantly isn't modern. Perhaps Elizabethan / Victorian? It seems to be going alone the lines of "Alice, Madness Returns" and "The Circus of Horrors."

The basic idea for the environment is the back-stage area to the show. We were considering doing the stage, but we thought it would be such a large, empty space that would have a lot of repeated assets. Instead we thought the smaller, backstage area would be more interesting, especially if we had individually themed dressing-rooms.
So, the environment was decided:
The player would begin at the back of the stage (behind the curtain), then would proceed down the stairs into a circular room. This room would act as a waiting room or a main hall, and would have doors evenly spaced around it, leading to the dressing rooms of the characters. In the middle of the circular room would be a staircase (later changed to an elevator) which leads up to the ring masters room.

We decided early to take a character each. Mary wanted to do the Ringmaster, and I wanted to do a contortionist (which later turned into twin contortionists). The rooms for these characters will be open, and you will be able to explore them. Depending on time, we may have other characters rooms open, or perhaps even more characters.
We are trying to concept many characters just in case we have a chance to create them later. Also, we want a portrait of each character on their dressing room doors, so even if we don't have a chance to make them, the player can still view the rest of the performers. We talked about having a mermaid (perhaps with surgically altered legs), a midget, a drag-queen magician, a bearded lady, and animal trainer, a fire dancer/ eater, etc.

The Ringmaster is a very strong character. He is the leader (and somewhat the pimp). I think Mary had intended to have his theme (for his costume and room) to be very luxurious and over the top. She also mentioned having a connection to Mexican superstition / gang symbols and collection of whips and props, and hinting towards a supernatural and a rather S&M theme (before you start, they did an S&M room in Fable 3. We are allowed).

For my twins, I wanted a rather feminine and French feel, but I wanted to also play with depth. I intended for the twins to be tall and thin, and their room will follow this concept too. A high ceiling, mirrored walls and perhaps a suspended bed that would only be easily accessed by contortionists. The furniture in this room will be bent into strange shapes to fit the theme.

Right, that should do it.
If you have any questions, just leave a comment.

Oh, and if one of you doesn't read this and comes to me asking something I've covered in the post (after having us re-link you to this blog 6 times), you will be placed in my basement dungeon, and you will stay there forever with the other gimps.

And I'll let Bart have his way with you.
Polish love'n.

Circus of Horrors

The Photos from The Circus of Horrors :D

Sorry they are bad quality. It was dark and the performers didnt stay still for long =/

Friday, 3 February 2012

Lifts, textures and tweaks

Some progress from the past few days.

Finally an actual floor texture. The normal/specular map are half the size of the diffuse, just tiled twice as much.

Strengthened the normal map on the chair. Now it actually looks like it has one :/

Human cage/lift! Looks a bit weird in these screenshots though, too many lightshafts XD I've been struggling with making the doors move with the lift..they kinda do now, but still, they only open on the ground level. FML.
Also put in some skirting boards in the Ringmaster's level and the corridor downstairs, sadly the lightmaps make them have borders even in production quality, argh :C

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Update (Sai) 02/02/2012

Heres a thought - how about we use the blog to kind of do daily/ every couple of day logs? That way we can keep track of work, and it'll force me to do something every day lol. I know in design documents usually, you have to show progression and method, so I guess it will be the same sort of thing?

Just title it like "Update" then youre name and the date?

Anyway, just an idea. I guess i'll update.

Work on character was started, then put on hold for room assets. I guess it's probably best to get the scene set before we put in the performers ;)
Face so far:

She looks lumpy. I'll fix the topology when I come back to her later.

Anyway, I was working on the chairs for the twin's room, and as I was making them I had an idea: - turning the legs into bird feet. No idea why - I think it might look kinda cool, especially if I cover the backs of the chairs in feathers. What do you think? Or do you prefer my first concept?
Excuse the shite draw-over. I was too lazy to get up to get a tablet :D