Art Test – Development

With basic research done and a general idea in my head. It was finally time to start creating my 3D character model. With Planetary Annihilation as my main source of influence, i looked at the design of there robots and used part to create my own. Of course i wanted to make this my own robot, so i adjusted the design to make it my own (and i needed to keep it under 1500 triangles so i would be able to make it that detailed like the robots from the game).

I built my robot in sections, starting with the torso and head, then the legs, and finally the arms. This was the order i decided to create the robot in but it did mean that the last piece being the arms would have far less triangles than the rest of the character because i had used most of the triangles on the other sections. I did manage to keep the model under 1500 triangles.

It was generally simple to make, it just used a lot of extruding and pushing of faces to form shape and size with the pieces. This did add more triangles however, but it did make the design of the robot look better and more complex for a low poly model with a low triangle count. You may also notice that the claw arm is not that detailed on the character, this was because i was running out of triangles and was unable to make that part look more detailed.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I will say that i enjoyed making this robot. Of course the time pressure and limited triangles annoyed me a stressed my out, but i enjoyed the challenge and i believe that this has pre-pared me more for an Art test in the future. But there was still the UV un-wrapping to do before adding it in to substance painter.

My UV were just… just… There was a lot to do! When i first saw my UV’s i was just shocked that i had so many and i started to regret my decision in making this model. It was a lot but nothing that i couldn’t handle as i told my self “There will be bigger, more complex models in the future with UV’s like this, gotta get use to them”.

UV Layout Before

With a little bit of work and some inspirational music. I managed to re-size and complete my UV’s. It only took me a few hours (those hours that i’ll never get back. So much clicking. So much repetition. It’s like playing Mafia 3 again).

UV Layout Done

With that done, it was off to Substance Painter 2…

Art Test – Research

Now for the Art test. Now i was a bit worried when i first found out about the Art test because the word “Test” really makes me and other’s start to panic. But i knew that if i put my head down and kept focused that i could do it.

On Monday i was told what the Art test was and it was to create a character model. Now when i heard this i started to get a few ideas but the one thought going through my head first was “Oh no. Not a character. How do i? Oh god!”. I reacted like this because a character seemed like such a big jump from a simple barrier and barrel but after thinking about it, i started to see ideas in my head of what character i could make and the first thought in my mind was “Robot”. It was just simply the most obvious one to make and with the limited time we had, i thought that i would go for it.

So to start with i did some research. I looked at many images of mech’s and robots to get a general idea of what they would look like with the detail and designs that i could go for. But when i was looking at the images, i noticed that a lot of theses images had a high triangle count than the budget that i had. My budget was 1500 triangles when they most likely had a bigger budget and a better resolution. But it did give me some ideas.

Mood Board 1

Mood Board 2

After all the looking at images of robots, i found a game that used robots and what seemed like, a low poly count for them or from what they looked like. Planetary Annihilation is a game about robotic commanders and controlling armies or robotic units to fight over multiple planets in a star system with multiple planets of different environments and materials to extract for the armies. But what i took from this was the design and look of the commanders. I liked the way they looked and it looked like they were low poly with some detail but no too much. This allowed me to use them as my main influence for creating my robot.

planetary-annihilation-screen-1

Game Studies, Year Fifteen

This article was interesting by some of the points that were made. I thought some had more meaning and i managed to understand them better than others. But i found Philistinism, Fundamentalism and Resolutionism to have the best points and quotes that i found useful.

Philistinism

This section of the article tended to talk about games and who is guided by materialism and is usually disdainful of intellectual or artistic values, one uninformed in a special area of knowledge. A quote from this section sums it up as “Right. But here’s the thing: to talk about methods of creation and critique in games as if the history of art, literature, painting, cinema, and whatever else never happened, but we thought it up all on our own, this is also a kind of philistinism.” I found this section interesting by how the way he describes games as something new in today’s modern society but still taking influnces and ideas from other forms or literature and art as said “everyone working in games is guilty of this, because it’s been possible to get away with it. Why? Well, by and large game studies has failed to create the field it laid claim to”.

Fundamentalism

This section went on to talk about the connection between the design and play of a game as understanding hardware and software in a game. A quote from this sums it up “How can you talk about computer game design or play as an abstract practice separate from an understanding of the hardware and software systems that facilitate it?”. I like this point because it goes in to depth of how games are not different and should not be seen as any different from other subjects and studies. They are not separate, just because the design and the way we function with them does not mean that they are different. It sound a lot like stereotyping in the modern world.

Resolutionism

This section had some excellent quotes that support games and they way we view them. Like “In fact, it might be worse to pretend that we agree on the right, best, most pleasurable, or most aesthetically redeeming aspects of games (or anything) rather than to acknowledge that real differences in motivation, aesthetics, and political concern are at work.”. I like how this quote really sums up the way we as gamer’s in this study and others who view it see and view this field of study. It’s easy to agree with others but if you look deeper, games are more than just an atheistic virtual world but filled with talent, motivation and real life political reasons influenced from real world events and trying to give a legitimate point.

Another quote worth saying from the article is “We have to stop with this obsession of putting games and story in opposition to one another. We have to look at what each game is trying to do on its own terms, instead of making broad, sweeping generalizations about how all games should work.”. This quote really sums up the way we categorize games and how we compare them to other forms or literature and how this should be stopped as games need to be seen as there own area of study and class.

Barrier – Substance Painter

Now having successfully completed the Oil barrel in Substance painter, i then made it my next task to do the same to my Jersey Barrier. This would involve going through a similar process like the barrel but changing features and generators to apply better to a solid rough object unlike the smooth and slightly damaged Barrel.

I first imported my LP mesh and backed my HP and Cage on top of the barrier to get the LP to look like the HP without the use of so many triangles that the HP Barrier had. When the bake was complete, i was then free to design and paint what the Barrier would look like. I looked online for some reference imagery to help and found a fixed look. Most Barrier’s like my model would be mainly grey with a yellow hazard strip around to be easily noticed in the day and night when lights from cars would reflect off them. But i didn’t personally like this so i decided to keep looking and i did find some Barrier that used a darker colour scheme of only black and white and it looked better in my opinion.

 

 

To start, i looked for a material that i thought looked like the best texture for a barrier and look like the reference imagery i got from the internet. Concrete seemed to be the best texture for the barrier which was obvious as most Barriers are concrete. I painted on a horizontal stripe on the barrier similar to reference imagery but the images had most of them vertically with multiple stripes. I thought that it looked better horizontally in my opinion. Using the mirror tool made it quick and simple to paint the strip saving me time. I next added on a generator and tried to make the Barrier seem more dirty. I did this because I made the barrier in Z brush and added on damage to make the barrier seem like it had seen some action or been in the world for a while. The dirt complimented well with the barrier. I lastly, added in a steel rough texture that allowed me to add some damage and bumps to the barrier to give it the affect of damage. Well more damage.

5

I would say that i am pleased with the end product of my barrier and putting it in Marmoset and Unreal 4 will be fun and interesting. I’m looking forward to it. I’m also still liking this software and can’t wait to upload more models so that i can add in high quality textures.

Computer Game Studies by Espen Aarseth,

Having read this article, i now have a better understanding of how the industry had been seen as in 2001 and comparing to 2017 and the way it’s changed. This article is from one person’s perspective an opinion and i believe that they were on to something.

Espen makes a lot of good points about game studies and how back in 2001, they weren’t really considered it’s own field yet the genre has been around for thirty years, “Arguably the first modern game, turns forty this year, and commercially the genre has existed for three decades. So why not something like this before?”. He makes a good point as other industry and studies have evolved and grown but game studies hasn’t. I believe that this could be because of stereotyping as games use to be seem as a nerdy and as uncool leisure   time. However, times have changed and the industry is massive and game studies is bigger and stronger.

Espen also talks about the way games are different from movies and how they are different. One point made is how we interact with games, “Games, however, are often simulations; they are not static labyrinths like hypertext’s or literary fictions. The simulation aspect is crucial”. This goes on to talk about how game are seen and used more physical in a simulated world unlike a movie which is more observant and non-physical. This continues to clarify how games should be seen as is’t own field of study by Espen Aarseth.

 

Substance Painter 2 “Barrel”

With the LP and HP versions of the barrel created in Maya, I now needed to create a cage for my model before putting it in to Substance painter 2. This was very simple and didn’t take too long to make. All i had to do, was create a duplicate of the LP model of the barrel and ten transform it so that it becomes slightly larger than the original model. This helps bake the model in substance painter so that we get a LP model but it looks like the HP model without the triangles. An illusion you could call it.

1

With the cage, LP and HP now created, it was finally time to go in to Substance painter 2 and thank god i’m finally here, I’ve been waiting for this part. This is where, it starts to get fun. The reason being that the amount of tools at my disposal can create some many outcomes and designs for texturing an object like the barrel which i did at uni in my workshop session.

2

It wasn’t too difficult to add my barrel in to Substance painter 2 because it was latterly just adding in the files that i saved. The only problems is when i move the object in Maya, it might effect the object when it comes to Substance painter 2. Just don’t move the LP and HP from each other. Especially the Barrier.

With the Barrel in, it was time to learn the basics. I learned many things from the Monday session which really opened up my eyes to the possibility of Substance painter 2 can do. The ability to paint was kinda obvious but adding on dirt, winkles and materials blew my mind away.

The amount of stuff that u can do to an object, and i have only scratched the surface. But it is important to remember to always put layers in to folders within more folders to help with the model and space (and name the properly). Just looking at the images, you can see how the objects changes from a coloured barrel, to a coloured barrel with rust, crust and dents to make the object look more realistic. Even adding on an image like the shell image we added on in the Monday workshop, just makes it look better. I’m really liking this part of the process and can’t wait to do my Jersey Barrier and more.

7