Self Initiated Project: Evaluation

In terms of this Self Initiated Project, the primary objective of the semester was to create a playable level that would in time, house this game concept. This objective was achieved, although the level doesn’t have all of the assets and elements I would’ve liked to fully implement in the sense of assets and general population but still ascertains to the objective. The secondary objective was to look into the mechanics that would supplement the level and kickstart the inevitable game aspect of the project, this objective wasn’t achieved due to the primary focus being the level but I have personally researched the topic and how to do it in Unity so that may prove useful should I continue the project on within my personal time. The tertiary objective was to implement interactable objects and enemy AI/character models. This objective was partially achieved as I had the opportunity from another unit to combine work efforts and create something for both in regards to the people character models that will be used by the enemy AI.

There was a relatively sizeable period of time within the project whilst I was working on the people that my attention was turned away from the building the actual level and I think that because of this, the overall quality of the final product didn’t reach my own personal level of satisfaction that I would’ve originally wanted to attain.

Numerous amount of the assets shown within the level tended to be relatively rushed in regards to their quality. I feel like this was a result of my personal tendency to disregard their importance until nearer the deadline which definitely impacted their overall look. If I were doing this specific project again, I would most definitely look into utilising more project management tools to keep me within the parameters of my own objectives.

During the progress of the project I became self aware of the mistakes I had made during the start of the project, which meant that I would continually negotiate with the notion of restarting the entire building again, or attempting to piece together what was there. In hindsight I probably should’ve started again, knowing that I could’ve easily rectified the results in less time than it took me to adjust specific parameters of the project to it.

Overall I thoroughly enjoyed the project for the most part, regardless of the issues had and the grasping of Unity. It allowed me to pursue various avenues of development whilst sticking to a core concept and has given me the insight to see improvements that I can make in my work but also how far I have progressed in doing so. I would’ve preferred to have an actual game product as my final product but this project is a demonstration of how best to utilise my time and unfortunately I was unable to make that a reality.

Self Initiated Project: Biped In Unity

After completing the people to a relatively satisfactory standard, I wanted to use one within the level to demonstrate their potential in walking a route. I found this tutorial useful for handling Biped’s in Unity but it didn’t particularly help with the specific action I wanted to take as the individual recording was using far older versions of the software I was currently using.

Self Initiated Project: Final Level Update

The lack of updates from the previous to this one, in regards to the level, are a direct result of the character model inclusively taking a large portion of my attention to complete and I wanted to do that for personal reasons aside from and including an aspect of the project. I did ensure that the level was completed to a relatively satisfactory standard that would meet the primary objective of having a playable level at the end of the semester. Below are screenshots including the various assets I have created and also the completed architectural structure of the house.

Client Related Practice & Self Initiated Project: People Progress #10 – Animating

After achieving a reasonable weight to the character that didn’t produce too many deformations, the thought shifted towards animating the character in 3DS Max to be used in UDK (And Unity, in relation to the Self Initiated Project). To do this I would have to mimic basic human actions that would be required by the populace of the level, i.e walking and being idle/standing still. Going forward from this I looked for tutorials primarily that based around the walk cycle, solely because I’d had no prior experience with walk cycles and it has peaked my interest previously to experiment with animations of this caliber. Below are two tutorials explaining the basics of a walk cycle.

The above tutorial wasn’t particularly helpful for me seeing as it’s a tutorial using Maya and I was using 3DS Max, seeing that they are two different pieces of software, the instructions didn’t translate well into one another. But it was interesting witnessing the smoothness of the animation, achieved by the instructor.

This particular tutorial helped me a lot with understanding how to get the best out of 3DS Max when creating a walk cycle. As a visual learner that tends to learn more from being visually taught things through the use of seeing someone do something and I mimic it, this was very useful in catering to that learning style.

Client Related Project (Content not related to the Self Initiated Project)

Moving on from this after attaining a walk cycle, I started looking into how to get the character model and animations into UDK as a precaution to prepare myself for implementation, even though I had yet to do the idle animation. For this I again looked for a suitable tutorial (or three)

As the first tutorial on the subject, this one was fairly informative for a newcomer to the topic of animations within UDK. It was relatively basic but did cover an array of topics, such as; animations sets and animation trees, things I had not had experience with prior.

In particular, this tutorial went through a relatively basic outlook on Kismet within UDK and how that is used to govern animations and movement within the level. It was helpful to me as I’ve had very limited experience with Kismet before and it was somewhat

This tutorial went through a more in-depth look into Kismet, but I had difficulty in following this at times and couldn’t get my animations to work in accordance to that what had been shown.

In terms of the work I have produced, there’s a couple of images and a brief preview of the walk cycle below that shows the result of following the previous tutorials. I think this experience in terms of animation and character creation overall has given me the inspiration to look and delve further into this subject as a potential career pursuit.

The screenshots and preview:


Client Related Practice & Self Initiated Project: People Progress #9 – Template Texturing

After ‘completing’ the animations for the model, I went about texturing the model to make it look like it was intended to, human. To do this I used various images sources I had found to appropriate the; head, hands, torso, legs and feet.

Using the above sources, I created these textures below. Along with that, using the NormalMap filter within Photoshop I created a normal map to add detail to the model once placed in UDK/Unity.

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Client Related Practice & Self Initiated Project: People Progress #8 – Rigging & Weight-Mapping

So having no prior experience with rigging and weight-mapping, it was obvious that I needed to find a tutorial to help me achieve this. The tutorial covers a basic overview of the concepts of rigging and weight-mapping within 3DS Max. It doesn’t however provide a step by step as it’s just an individual rigging their own model, instead it’s more to be used as reference for things within rigging to do. The tutorial below:

I found this to be a highly useful and informative tutorial and gives a lot of personal insight into what can be done towards character rigging. The only downside to this tutorial is the authors constant skipping towards a more finished version, that leaves a big gap logic gap between the model and the finished version in regards to mistakes and errors that could arise. Below are the results of using this tutorial in regards to my own personal work, including; rigging, weight mapping and testing the deformation of limbs using the skin modifier.

Client Related Practice & Self Initiated Project: People Progress #7 – Model Pre-Rig

Thus far after going through the various tutorials to model; the face, the ears, the torso, the legs, the feet and the hands. I’ve reached the point in which the model is relatively complete and ready for rigging. But before I delve into the animation, as a progress update it’s relatively important to see the model as a whole before pressing on towards potential changes that may occur with the weight mapping of the model.

As noted previously, the geometry sacrificed for the bottom half of the model will look relatively rough up until the texture is applied and it will appear smoother.