Friday, 30 April 2010

The end of another Year

So here we are again, the end of yet another year as a game art student, and what a year it has been. From the word go this year has thrown a lot at me. At onw point i almost dropped out but to be honest i think that was a case of the second year slums.
The highlight of this yearthough has go to be the group project, the case to experience what it really can be like in the industry, along with the chance to have some more freedom with the brief.

Another major part of this year has been the solidifcation of my future ambitions, The hopes of becoming a 3D environment designer. (I have already cover this is a preivous and crappy written blog)

Personally i dont really know what else to say about he second year, I got off to a rocky start, with poor projects and a total loss of the will to carry on. I think dropping out would of been the worst decision i had ever made. The last place i wanna end up is Tesco stacking shelves ( no offence but that aint for me.)

SO thge 3rd Year stands a head of me, the chance to go abosolutly nuts (well not too nuts). Also the end of my Era in education, after that its out into the place they call the world. To be honest i aint liking the sound of it to much, so i think ill be out with shotguns just in case.

Saturday, 24 April 2010

SO, where AM I going?

So the end of the second year is upon us, and I think its time that I looked back at a previous question, where do I want to go after my third year here is finished?

Before, I had only touched the tip of the iceberg, but after another year of study and practising my skills I have seen a lot more of what the game industry has to offer, and to be frank it can be a little scary. There are so many different areas of game art it can be hard to choose. But there so one area in particular that I always liked, and that is Environment Design

At first it was hard to choose between whether I to want to specialise in 2D or 3D . Being as I had spent my previous education focusing on 2D design I was initially drawn to that field of work. Always sitting in awe when looking through the environment concept art for games, thinking I would just love to be able to do that one day. Of course this was before I discovered how to actually make these concepts into an actual 3D environment.

When the time came around to work on the group projects, I was starting to get an idea of where it was I wanted to go, and 3D environment art was it. As we progressed more an more through the project, the more my ambitions solidified, 3D environment is where I want to go.

Monday, 15 March 2010

what do I think?

OK so the first proper review of the group projects is now only a few days away, so here is my view on how things have been going.

Do I think that my work will be ready for viewing?

hopefully, but with the sudden loss of my graphics tablet, "Rest in Piece", I am now limited to getting my textures finished during the time the labs are open. Still this should be plenty time, and to be honest I find it easier to concentrate on the work in there, a lot less distractions.

What is my opinion on the results so far?

Personally I think that the group project has gone better than i ever imagined. The group that i have been teamed up with, (go SPAAZERS) has been almost perfect. There have been no conflicts, thank god.

What do i think about the way the group is set up?

All decisions were not made buy a single team leader, we have all been able to put in our opinions and ideas. At first the decision to not have a team leader seemed wise, we all get along very well, there so no need for a person to fill the 'seat of power'. But after talking to both lectures and student we decided that if the team were to start to crumble, that person who took this 'Seat of power' would become the backbone of the group, supporting us all, helping move us froward through coming weeks to get the project done. Luckily there have been no brake-downs, everyone has managed to pull there own weight accordingly/

The Group was set up based on people strengths. I myself, at first wanted to concentrate on either concept side of things, or modelling the environment itself, but I was a little wiry about that though, because my texturing skills were still hidden in the gutter somewhere. It was my major weakness, in all my other game production projects, it was the one thing I despised. I could never get it right, texture would always stretch, I found Unwrapping more of a chore, than anything.

After analysing the queens building and working on the overall layout of our chosen area, i found one thing that way consistent throughout all of it. The pipe work, it is everywhere, no matter where you look there are there hanging above, like they are ready to drop on you at any second. There is was my mind was made, I found that the pipes held a lot of the character to this place and I wanted to be able to work on this. and by the time it got to unwrapping these, I was dreading it. but the discovery of Pelt unwrapping changed my mind. Life became so much easier, Select an edge, make a seam, and pelt. adjust edges accordingly and your done.

Anyway back to the question at hand, other people also focused on what the group felt was there strongest skills.
Mark for instance, is the 'Unreal guy' focusing on getting everything into the game engine, adding effects and more.
Andy was also worked on another consistent thing throughout the level and that was a stairwell, another daunting task. But he did a very good job.
Priya and Aby were the art directors focusing mainly on the style and colour scheme, there idea were in tune with each other and everyone else for that matter, Leave little conflict on ideas. They also worked on modelling repeatable assets throughout the level
Zongyi, well what can I say she was given the seat of power, and in my opinion she pulled it off pretty well. Did abuse her power from time to time but only to lighten the mood.
Mark and Zongi also worked on modelling the male and female toilets, tasks were set appropriately of course.

I didn't 'apply' for the role of team leader for the reason that I sometimes find it hard enough to deal with the work that I alone have, and I don't think that I could of coped with the weight of the others, if the group were to ever collapse. "Game over man"

Do I think that I have done enough work?

At first i have to say I felt as if I had not done enough at all, think about it Mark and Zongyi, had there toilets, Aby and Priya had there assets and visual work, Andy have three different stairwells and me, well I had a bunch of pipes. but with the level then later being split up for each section to work on for texturing, I found that what I think is pure coincidence I ended up with the area with the most assets, that hadn't been modelled.

If I could do this project again what would I do differently?

Well to be honest the main thing would have to be learning and experimenting with the Unreal engine a lot more than I have. the other thing is that with almost all my attention on this project I have nearly abandoned my visual design work. Leaving my hours of work for that module lacking a little more than I would like.

So there you have it my view on the 'Spaazm' project. Don't ask me why it is layout the way it is. Its more like one of those sheet you used to have to fill in at school for your conclusion to a science experiment.

Pictures of the project will be post as soon as I have finished my texture sheets.
You can also check the groups progress through our Blog

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Pipes, are they really enough??

So the group projects are under way and I have gotta say I think we are making excellent progress. Within the first week we had gotten our level location sorted, Ideas wee flying around so much you had to hide in the fridge with the cakes to avoid getting knocked out by them.

After studying the queens building I noticed that there was a large amount of piping, i instantly saw this as one the major characteristics of the Queens Building so I jumped in at the chance to focus my attention on these.

Now that i have nearly finished working on these, I have a feeling that I really haven't done enough work, but with most of the assets already built, and the unreal engine work already making headway. A sense of hopelessness is starting to set in. Will I have done enough work??

I am trying to get my hands on any little assets that need building, which wont take up to much time, but still go toward the amount of work that I have been doing.

After talking about this to the group yesterday they were saying the the piping system was a pretty colossal task as it is. But still I think that it I should do more if I can. But what, do i delve deeper into the Unreal Engine and hope that documentation and experimental pieces will work. Do I try to find more that I can actually put into the final piece.

Thursday, 28 January 2010

Presentation is everything

If there is one thing i have learnt, its that good presentation can make or break your work, and it is important to nail this issue quite early on. There I have been tasked with creating a 10 piece portfolio of my work.

For my portfolio I have created several designs, to use. (click to see larger image).

Each piece is numbered for votes, so please vote for a layout you think would work out best