Sunday, 2 June 2013

End of Project Evaluation

I have to admit i found this project hard, i did find it difficult to work alone of the same project for almost four months. I am proud of the result, and am excited to put it in my portfolio. I achieved what i initially planned and more but not without having to make some changes and rework  the design.

My time management was well structured at the start of the project, but in the last two months i have been involved in part time work experience. I was always confident i could keep up with the work, but it did put pressure onto me and my fmp.

The size and scale of the floor plan i drew up at the start of the project became an issue. I had always planned to build a concise but detailed environment. Yet when i began to model the base mesh i felt as though the courtyard would be much more impressive at a larger scale. I started building a wide open expansive area which would lost the atmosphere i achieved in my concept artwork. I was reluctant to reword the design again but after a snap decision i worked as fast as i could to rebuild the mesh closely referencing my artwork. This decision changed the project massively and brought the environment to a fresh direction. Toward the end of the project i felt i had time to extend the design further and added a lounge area and balcony/vista. This was a great decision, gave the environment an outdoor area and the contrast of a vast open space to the narrow corridors. If i were to extend the level further i would take the player down from the balcony and into the city streets.

My direction of lighting and asset placement was to try and create atmosphere and a variety of colour palettes as you move from area to area. To bring attention to focal points and lead the player to the next space.

I did have problems lighting my environment: overlapping shadow errors reducing the frame rate and creating strong artificial shadows without over exposing the scene. I am happy with the lighting in general, but i would have liked more freedom with my lighting options.

The blog has been really helpful to keep track of where i am in my timescale, and to look over the projects development. Is nice to have the record of this uni project saved online to look back on too.

This marathon of 3d modelling has really shown me my passion is 2D design, conceptual work and general painting. I am so thankful to have learnt everything i know about 3d modelling. I have a few great portfolio pieces from my university project work and i hope to use my understanding of 3D to help me as a 2D artist.

I will post a draft Flythrough on the blog, as the servers are down for the last few days. When they come back up i will post the final (smooth) rendered flythrough :)

Ornaments of patterns
The Mosque
Islamic Art and Architecture

Programs used: 
Cryengine 3
3DS Studio Max

Sunday, 26 May 2013

Replaced Lighting

The lighting had caused a lot of problems with overlapping shadows. The shadow folsom reduced the framerate badly. I cleared all but a couple of lights and started again, being much more careful about the lights placement and properties. I increased the frame rate by 20 frames and generally lit the level better the second time. I do however have several remaining shadow issues

Concepts and Picture Frames

The walls were bare without any decoration so i modeled some low poly picture frames and collected some suitable images to frame. I included some my concepts to be dotted around the hotel which looked great.

Almost all of the pictures were repeated around the hotel so i had to be considerate about the placement so as not to cause obvious/unrealistic repetition. I tried to vary the sizes of the pictures to break the repetition.

Balcony + Vista (city backdrop)

In my last presentation i shared the addition of the lounge to the courtyard, i discussed the possibility of having a balcony out from the lounge to give the player access to an outside area. I was interested in making a vista background for the payer to look out upon. It gave me a change from making small props and gave the level and new element. 

I build some collision boxes around the balcony to stop the player from jumping down into the courtyard. I think if i were to extend the level further i would have the player continue down into the courtyard and proceed into the mosque/ city

I built a set of low poly buildings and roof pieces to be placed in the background. Amongst the buildings i populated the vista with palm trees and towers/mosque domes i had previously built. The background mountains were made by manipulating photographs and then applying the alpha texture to a curved plane. By having a curve to the mesh the mountains would be light by the sun. By scaling the planes to huge sizes and pushing them into the distance they could blend into the distance fog and be blurred by the depth of field.

Doors - Animated Doors

Up until now i had only built the large mosque doors and wooden shutter doors. Looking at the reference i had seen many ornate designs on paneled doors so i build some modular door meshes and door handles. By centering the pivot to the right r left side, the Animated door entity in cryengine allows the player to open and close the doors with the "F" key.

Fountain Remodeled and Candels

After some critique from coursemates i wanted to remodel the courtyard fountain to have a deeper/thicker base as it didn't really have much presence in the center of the courtyard.

To decorate the fountain and generally light areas of the level i modelled a low poly candle that could be easily duplicated and re-scaled for different sizes


The chandelier is a really important asset in my environment because it is the centerpiece of the stairwell, and because a lot of the ceilings of my rooms are bare and boring. The chandelier is an iconic item,  common in lavish moroccan design.

The model is quite high poly, which i think is justified because of the intricacy of the components. The model is almost entirely cervical and has hanging strings with modeled glass/diamonds. To save on some aspects i reused an existing glass texture for the diamonds and the lantern texture for the chandelier base with some wooden candle plates