Mini Brief: Creating A Shop Front

Brief:

the task of this project is to create a shop front for a building that would feature in the town centre. This building is based on the real world being realistic and common. It is to be 3d Modelled for use in a video game engine as part of a shoot ’em up game.

Pitch/My Idea

Since the buildings in this project are going to be in a town centre there are certain buildings which fit and certain ones that don’t. Food shops are a big part of a town centre as this is usually a place for social gathering. Therefore my pitch for this project is to create a bakery. The building will be semi-attached feature a side alley that acts as access leading to the apartment above the shop. This can be used in the game as a resource area or as a way to access the roof. The current plan is to have a garden roof, meaning that it will be flat, surrounded by railings and contain furniture and homely decoration.This would act as a good vantage point in the game that allows the players to get a bird’s eye view of the map. The player does not reach the roof using the apartment however it is still reachable via a fire exit ladder placed on the side of the building.

The shop front itself will technically be on the first floor rather than the ground as a downstairs storage room will be accessible from the outside via steps that lead downwards. This then means that the entrance to the shop will be small steps that bridge over the top of the downstairs. To make this clear that it is a bakery it will contain the typical feature of a canopy which will be out during the day. Just above that would then be the sign displaying the name of the shop to recreate the realism.

The appearance of the shop changes depending on whether it is day or night. When it is the day the shop is open with the canopy out and the products such as pastry and cakes can be seen on stands through the window. At night time, however, this appearance completely changes as the shop is shut. Since it is bakery it is likely that the shop would not be open on a night time. To show the canopy is now folded away and the window is no longer visible as a metal grate is pulled down and locked over it, adding security. The apartment above now comes to life, the windows are wide open with lights flashing on and off and lots of noise echoing out. The sign of the bakery is now hanging from one hinge revealing the name of a gambling club located on the floor above. To make sure apparent that it is an illegal gambling club certain indications will be visible such as cards and money will be stickers plastered on the windows.

If this building were to be used in a game it could be done in several ways. The bakery could act as a place where the player can regain health or possibly by more food for further adventures. The club above would act as a mission that the player can only access at night, where they have to infiltrate and shut it down.

Research

To help with this project I went out looking for unique buildings that could possibly bring something to my building. This included possibly window designs, roof designs, and canopy designs. As well as this I also looked at buildings that had the design which I decided in my pitch.

Sketches

I created initial sketches of my building that allowed me to possibly look at different varieties of the design. This was mainly to help me come up with a design for the side entrance in the alley as I wasn’t sure how it was going to work.  It also allowed me to combine some of the ideas that I had from my research into my drawings.

Photobash

Before taking my design any further I wanted to create a ‘photo bash’ in photoshop. This way I could see if the different designs elements actually worked together. When doing this I found that there were some tweaks I had to make to my design such as the alley entrance as there was no space for the ladder that leads to the roof.

Photobash.png

SketchUp

Before modelling my building I decided to go into SketchUp and create a quick mockup of my building. This way I could visualise what the final outcome would look like and what I feel needed to change. After doing this I could tell that the rooftop access didn’t fit in as it was too bulky and looked out of place. Therefore now the only way to reach the building will be via the ladder down the alley.

Mock Up

Scale

To make sure that the building was the correct scale I looked up what the minimum height must be from a floor to a ceiling. This helped me create the three stories of my building. As well as this I found out the average size of a brick and a door so that I was able to create the width of the building that looked in the correct proportion. Since the maximum width limit was 7m I decided that my building would be 5 metres, this way I would have plenty of space for the door, its frame and the large window looking into the shop.

3D Model

With my measurements I had found for my door I was able to create the basic shape of my building. I added all of the details for my building simply using the bevel and extrude tools as this allowed me to create the trims and roof of my building. For things such as the canopy and the windows, I did them as separate objects so that they would be easier to edit later on. I added a little detail to the side of the building as its only purpose was to allow access for the player to reach the roof, therefore I simply added a ladder onto the side, as well as a train pipe which went all around the building. The overall building turned out really well and looked similar to my original drawings and my photo bash. The final poly count was 5000 with this building and the reason for that is the railings. Since the railing contained lots of cylinders it had a high poly count, even though they had a few sides. Without the railings, the final poly count only came to 1500. To make sure my window would be transparent I also made sure that I cut out a full behind them using the slice tool, this way the inside of the building could be visible. However, since I wasn’t doing an inside to the building I decided to place a small box around the inside of the window. Therefore the non-existent back of the building could not be seen. For this project, I decided just to model the daytime version of the building as it contains the most detail and would allow me to add texture to the windows.

Texturing

This was my first large-scale attempt at texturing and also my first time using substance painter. At first, I found it extremely hard as I didn’t understand what I was doing. However, after seeking the help of my fellow group mates I now have basic knowledge of the program. When texturing I tried to show a good contrast between certain parts of the building so that it was broken up and added more depth. A good example of this is the window frames. I decided to do this in a dark brown wood texture to add separation into the wall. I also did the door and frame a completely different colour so that the door is clearly visible. When in substance painter I made sure that I exported my material as a PBR, giving multiple layers including roughness, metallic, and emissive. I separated each component of the building and UV mapped them separately as this was easier for texturing. I then brought the textured versions all back together in a single 3ds max file so that it could be imported into Unreal Engine.  I didn’t texture the windows as this is something my fellow student would help me to create when in Unreal Engine.

Texture Maps

Here are all the base colour maps for all the different textures that I used for this building.

Unreal Engine

Before texturing I imported my model into Unreal to make sure that it was the correct scale. at first, I found that my player was nearly 4x the size of the building and clearly that was wrong. I found that the problem was when exporting the model as an FBX in 3DS Max I had to change the units to match those which I worked in. This worked and my building was the correct scale.

In Engine.png

After importing my textured building into Unreal I was able to add the other PBR maps to the different components as they were set as different material ID’s. This was fairly easy to do and made a huge difference to the final outcome.

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The Street

In unreal the whole group imported the FBX of their buildings so that we could create the final street for this project. To help with the layout I decided to create a road in 3ds max as this would allow us to easily figure out what buildings were meant to go where. It also filled out the gaps between the buildings. The centre of the road appeared empty so I decided to add a railing in using the options available in 3ds max. This forced the player to run on the path instead of cutting across the middle. Even tho my building was textured I imported my untextured version into the street as I felt like it looked odd being the only building that was textured.

Evaluation

Overall I am happy with the outcome of this project especially since it was my first time texturing a larger scale model. This project allowed me to experiment with new programs such as substance painter and unreal engine and grasp a basic understanding of how they work together. In my previous attempts at texturing I have simply done the entire model as one UV map however by separating the individual components like I did with this project, I found it much easier to keep track of what part was what in the UV map. It also made it simpler when actually texturing in Substance painter as there was no chance of the texture spilling into another part of the model.

Low Poly Model

 

For this task, I had to recreate my computer that I have at home. This included the computer itself, the monitor, and the mouse and keyboard. The only limitation I had was that each model could not be more than 256 polygons. This was fairly easy as most of the components were samples boxes with insets and bevels.

The hardest to create was the keyboard as the buttons caused the poly count to exceed 256. After a while of trying to lower this, i was able to get it down to 240. The mouse I am fairly proud of even though it was easy to create. I simply used an FFD to gain the rough shape and then used a turbo smooth which gave me the exact shape of my computer mouse.

As the final poly count (including rendering items)  is 447 that means all the items are far below 256 polygons

 

 

 

Mini Brief: Boxer

The brief

The aim of this project is to design two different boxers. These boxers have to contain a narrative as well as a use of how hey could be used within a video game. The narrative could possibly be shown by a pose that they are placed in. As well as this one of the characters must be human, the other can be whatever I desire.

Research

Arnold Tsang

Arnold Tsang is a character concept artist from the United States mainly known for his art on Overwatch. Looking at the different pieces that he has created i is clear that his style is cartoon/animated rather than realism. Using bold black lines to highlight specific features of the character. A big inspiration that I can gain from this concept artist is they way the characters are designed. Each character has been designed so that if they were just silhouettes they would easily be recognisable. For example, the character ‘tracer’ could easily be recognised due to her long spiky hair and ‘McCree’ could be recognised because of his large western cowboy hat. When I starting my sketches this is something I need to think about.

Marco Nelor

Marco Nelor is a character concept artist that has worked on successful games such as Mortal Kombat X. I thought that it would be a good idea to research a fighting game character artist as these characters will be the most similar to the ones that I create as the boxer would most likely in a fighting game. Looking at the different pieces that Marco has created it is clear that he goes for the realism style, making the characters look as close to real life in possible in terms of the characters figure and proportions. Since this is a fighting game, all of these characters have a large figure with extremely defined muscles so that it is obvious that they are a warrior. I feel like this makes sense but makes all the characters too similar. None of the characters is skinny or just larger in body fat. However, one piece of inspiration that I can take from this artist is that the clothes the characters were given a narrative and backstory about the character. A good example of this is a piece showing a female character wearing dog tags and military equipment. This obviously shows that this character has a military backstory but also that they are a diverse range of characters in this game and not just ‘ninjas’. Another good example is a concept of the main villain of this game. The clothes of this villain appear to by of ancient fashion due to the colours and abnormal shapes of the shoulder pauldrons. This then gives the narrative of this character making it appear that he is possibly magical and thousands of years old.

Initial Sketches

Starting off this the design stage of this concept I began drawing simple ideas for my characters. immediately knew that I wanted one of my characters to be a robot as this would give me lots of design choice and they are rarely seen in fighting games, or just as a playable character in games in general. looking at the techniques I have learnt in the past I found that one of the most useful for designing my robot was the silhouette technique. This was similar to the scribble pareidolia, however, the shapes are more controlled and can be more like characters. The pareidolia technique would be better if designing a prop or vehicle. When doing this I took my research into consideration and tried to give my designs key features that would make them stand out.

Scan_20170307.png

Sculptris Idea Generation

For the human character, I came up with my idea using a different technique. I began using a program called ‘Sculptris’ and creating shapes giving very little thought to what the final outcome would be. After a good hour using this program, I could see an idea within my working. An old man with a long thin moustache, reminding me of the Sensei from the kill Bill Movies.

Sensei Model

Development

With my sensei character, I then began sketching using the Sculptris file as a reference for how I wanted my character to look. I used the head and scale of the character off of this but then wanted to add traditional Chinese robes so that it was obvious that he was a sensei. I used reference images found on the internet as a guide to designing the clothes. The key element that I noticed was that the clothes appeared to be ‘baggy’, hanging loosely on the Senseis. I tried to imitate this for my character.

My initial sketches had led me to come up with an idea for my robot and I began to develop him further creating variations that showed him as a boxer and as a warrior. To make him stand out as a silhouette I decided to give the robot abnormally large shoulder pauldrons, similar to how they do it in ‘World Of warcraft’. This way the silhouette would show a tall skinny robot with out of place shoulder pads. Since the brief stated that the character could not use weapons I knew that the variant showing him with a shield equip would just be an alternate design. For this character I knew that I wanted it to be obvious that he was a boxer, therefore I added boxing gloves to my sketches and make it look like they were crudely attached to the robot using tape. This was so that it appeared as if the robots original purpose was not to fight. I wanted the robot to be related to the Sensei and I came up with the idea that he would be a training bot. Since the Sensei would be in a guild it is most likely that there would be students that needed to train. The purpose of this robot would be to be the opponent of these students. I wanted this to imitate into my design, therefore, I thought it would be good to have engravings on one of the shoulders of the robot that read ‘training bot’ in simplified Chinese.

3D Model and Posing

I then drew my human character in multiple poses showing a stance for fighting and him meditating. I used an image off of google to show a typical fighting pose of a Sensei. The reason that I decided to draw my character meditating as from my knowledge of films and animations that have contained a Sensei, the main thing that they seem to do meditate to try and find piece. A good example of this is Kung Fu Panda.

Finishing off the design of my sensei I then created a robot arm using 3DS Max and attempted to merge this with the existing Sculptris image to create my final character design.

3d Modelled Sensei.png

After developing my robot I wanted to create a 3D model so that I could easily pose him. I did this using the drawings I did as the reference for how he should look and stand. I also used a boxing stance reference picture off the internet to help me correctly position him. When creating my robot I had an accident within the software which was that my character duplicated. Most of this looked extremely weird and was deleted however it duplicated the arms and ended up improving the design of my robot. Making the final idea a four-armed robot instead of two like I had originally planned.

Final Images

Finally, I took the drawing of my posed Sensei as well as the 3D image of my posed robot into photoshop and began recreating them, refining the design and adding colour so that it was obvious what material the clothes of the Sensei where and what material the robot was made out of.

Development Sheet

I made a development sheet for both of these characters so that it was easy to see where I started and how I got to the end of this project.

 

Evaluation

Looking back over this project I feel like there are certain elements where I have exceeded my limitations, especially in the 3D area of designing organic models. I feel like I have researched more than usual into the subject of my project and then used this as inspiration for the final outcomes.Using 3D software for character design Is something that I haven’t done in my past character design projects and I feel like it is certainly a technique that helped me extremely well. It enabled me to pose the designs of my characters easier as well as show them from different angles easily.

I still feel like character design is the subject in Games where I am lacking due to my drawing of anatomy. However, by practising sketching and comparing this project to my previous character project, I can clearly see an improvement in the shape of my characters and how they should be positioned.

 

Mini Brief: Motorbike

Starting this project I was given the task of modelling a motorbike. However, I couldn’t just go on the internet and find one that I liked. I had to go out and find a bike which I could then take pictures of and use later for reference. The reason for this is because it gives me real world experience of the source material that people in the gaming industry have to get and how they have to get it. It also meant that I could get up close with the vehicle, giving me a better idea of how each part fits together.

With these reference shots, I then Identified the bike so that I could go on the internet and gain even more images that would help me model this bike. With these, I then began my model by drawing out all the different component of the model. I did this in a way so that I could model it all separately and then bring it all together. This way I would be able to concentrate on one part at a time without other pieces being in the way.

Using my sketches I began 3d modelling. I made all of the pieces using cylinders and boxes. This was to ensure that I was using quads at all times. To create the correct shapes I used a technique which I had previously learnt from my Iron project which was to use the FFD modifier. This allowed me to easily create the shapes I needed for the bike. A little trick I used when creating my model was to allocate different material numbers to different parts of the bike. For example, the bodywork would be green whereas the wheels would be blue. The reason I did this is so that it was easy to separate all the pieces from each other.

With my model finished I rendered it in multiple ways. I made a rotation sheet so that all the sides were visibly seen. I then rendered two other images which showed just the bike, which I could later go in photoshop and texture over the top, and the other so that I could add realism to the bike. I rotated the bike and moved the side stand so that it appeared like it was properly stood up.

I also created a development sheet so that it was clear how I started this project and how I got to the final model.

development sheet

This project has been the largest that I have done so far and I have used a lot of techniques learnt from past projects. A good example being the use of the FFD modifier to shape the panels. However, there are some techniques that I have learnt which I didn’t find too helpful with this project. One of the most recent techniques that I had learnt was to chamfer corners so that they weren’t as sharp when it came to texturing. However because of the shape of my model it meant that I didn’t have any corners which needed to be chamfered as most of the bike had either straight or rounded panels. Overall this project has allowed me to increase my 3d skills. I am glad that I had one of the harder models as it enabled me to push my limits and caused me to plan out how I was going to create this model.

Vehicle Concept: 3D Model

 

Before completing my model in photoshop I wanted to create a physical model. This way I could look at it in different perspectives and see if any of the design needed to be changed. This may have been a long process to do but I feel like it benefitted me as it made me consider the function of the vehicle and if the parts would work realistically. For example how the vehicle would land.

Texture Maping

For this task, we had to create tillable textures. We did this by first going out and getting pictures of things such as leaves, bricks, and gravel. We specifically got these textures as they are not simple. Once we had our textures we then had to take them into photoshop and fix them so that no seams could be seen when the texture was duplicated.

Firstly we made the size of the texture 512×512 as it is optimal to work with a power of two. We then added an offset so that the texture wraps around creating a horizontal and vertical seem in the middle. To remove this seem we then used the patch tool and the clone tool so that parts can be replaced with another part of the texture. The good thing about using these tools is that it tries to blend in around the edges of the part you are trying to patch meaning that it is more likely for that part to blend it. One rule that we had to remember when using these tools was to avoid erasing the seem at the borders. this is because the texture has an offset which means that it will wrap around.

I felt like I did an okay job at removing the seams on my first attempt however due to the different lighting on the texture it means that it didn’t line up when they were connected as the light cause a line through the middle.

 

 

 

 

3D Modeling: Cart

To practice using 3DS Max we were tasked with creating a wooden cart based on a piece of concept art that we were given. We did this using quads and cylinders as the cart was very basic. When making the wheels we had to first cut out the middle so that the triangular polygons could be replaced with quads. The cart didn’t need to look exactly like the concept art but had to resemble it.

To reflect on this I feel like I need to continue practicing with 3DS Max as atm I can only create basic shapes however this is a good start. I may even recreate the cart in the future to show a comparison of how I have improved in 3DS Max.