Technical Framework Overview.

Throughout this trimester, I have used a technical frameworks that have allowed me to create work more efficiently and effectively. This blog post is a summary of the framework that I have used and is partly made up of blogs that I had written throughout the trimester.

In regards to the Worldbuilder Project, creating a set technical framework and and file structure was my main strategy to avoid issues that I have faced in the past with file corruption and data loss. Using a proper file structure saved time by keeping my files organised.

Below is a screencap that shows the file structure I used for the Worldbuilders project:

file management

This system was described to my class by Brett, one of our facilitators.

This is how it works:

You have one master folder, for ease of copying the entire library for backup purposes. Inside the master folder, you have folders named as the assets, these contains the asset master file, that is used as the source for all referenced files, as well as the textures, and a final folder containing the iterative versions of the asset.

Using this system in combination with the Unreal “reimport” feature allows for quick and easy updating of files.

How I used this system:

I used this system for all assets but will use the garbage can as an example:

  1. I created the asset
  2. I incrementally saved it as “GarbageCan” with version numbers
  3. And gave the most updated version of it the file name “Master_GarbageCan”
  4. I then brought it into the Unreal engine
  5. And placed it where I want it
  6. I then looked to see what needed changing – it was too small and the lid shape was wrong
  7. I then fixed the asset in 3DsMax
  8. Saved it incrementally
  9. And saved over the “Master_GarbageCan” file
  10. Back in the Unreal engine I simply clicked on the garbage can and selected “reimport”
  11. This reimported the “Master_GarbageCan” file (which had just been updated)
  12. This quickly swapped the old version with the new version without changing the placement of the object in the Unreal scene

My thoughts on this workflow:

Using this system allows me to quickly and easily test my assets in-engine and then fix them and reimport them without having to exit Unreal or reposition them. By having both 3DsMax and Unreal open at the same time, I can quickly jump from one program to the other and quickly create, test, fix and reimport assets. This system is much more efficient than the one I had been using previously and I will definitely be using it for all future projects.

World builder Post Mortum

OverView

The word builder project was a seven week project were we were tasked with creating an environment piece as a personal interpretation of a place in a piece of well known literature. The catch: this piece must not have been turned into a film or series, as to not be able to use that as a starting point. For the project I chose William Gibson’s “Neuromancer”. For my environment I decided to create a street in the night city.

Here is my 2D concept:

Consept

After Testing in engine, I decided to remove the road, street lights, and narrow the scene significantly.

Street 1 Street 2

Then testing the post processing effects, and atmospheric effects.
Fog and Lighting Once I had settled on all of the effects I set out to do the leg work of creating the assets and setting up the scene, you can find more information on this here.

result

Here is the final video footage of the scene:

I feel the project was successful due to the positive reaction that I received from my facilitators and my peers. Along side this, the project accomplished most of the susses goals that i had planed the project to achieve.

DOCUMENTATION

A large portion of the success for this project was due to the volume and effectiveness of the documentation that I created to ground this project. Mainly the art bible and the work break down structure, as they were used to focus the visual narrative, and reinforce progress with the production of the project respectively.

Here are some screen shots.

Scene view 3 Scene view 4 Scene view 2 Scene view 1 Scene view 5

 

 

 

Engine

Using Unreal Engine 4 was great, as I already had quite a bit of experience with the engine from personal works in my past. The greatest learning curve over the course of this project came from using the material editor but with my now found knowledge using the material editor I can quickly and effective make complex materials that can be used in a variety of future projects.

Technical frame work

Creating a set technical frame work and and file structure was my main stratify to avoid issues that i have faced in the past with file corruption and data loss. Using a proper file structure saved time by keeping my files organised.

Here is an example of this system:

file management

This system was described to my class by Brett, one of our facilitators.

how it works:

You have one master folder, for ease of copying the entire library for backup purposes. Inside the master folder, you have folders named as the assets, these contains the asset master file, that is used as the source for all referenced files, as well as the textures, and a final folder containing the iterative versions of the asset.

Issues

Out of all of the projects that I have taken part in this project had the least issues, the largest problem that I encountered was purely time, being the sole contributor to the project. By the time that I had settled on a concept and had completed all of the documentation, it was already week four of seven. Production was hampered by getting sick, an inevitability in any solo project.

future considerations

The main considerations I will make in the future are to do with the way I approach the documentation and how I setup my asset references. The documentation that I developed over the course of the project was a huge learning curve that will positively impact the way I plan projects in the future.

Modularity: Production, and Practice.

The world builder project has been the first time that I designed assets to be modular from the beginning. The success of the project and the modular design has changed the way that I will approach projects in the future.

So what is modularity?

Modularity is the degree to which a system’s components may be separated and recombined. The meaning of the word, however, can vary somewhat by context:

 

  • In Industrial Design, modularity refers to an engineering technique that builds larger systems by combining smaller subsystems.
  • In Manufacturing, modularity refers to the use of exchangeable parts or options in the fabrication of an object.

Before I begun constructing my modular pieces I devised a set of simple rules that I would work by in order to ensure all my models would function in a modular fashion.

  • All parts must be built a one meter grid.
  • the origin point will always be in the bottom, left, forward corner.
  • The Center of mass should sit along the X axis.
  • All parts must have square edges.
  • All parts must be multi functional.

After devising these rules I begun to concept the kinds of pieces that I would be building. I took the research into the culture and style of the overall scene.

 

My pipeline:

  • Write up an asset list, naming and describing all of the assets I would be creating.
  • Setup my file structure.
  • Setup the game engine settings.
  • Creating all of the assets out of basic shapes, with no detail, in my chosen 3d package.
  • Import all of the assets into the game engine.
  • Test the assets modularity, through arranging and rearranging different structures in engine.
  • Fix issues with modularity.
  • Begin iterative workflow.
    • Define the shape of all of the asset.
    • Test In engine.
    • Quick unwrap.
    • Check engine materials.
    • Repeat.

Here are the finished assets without Materials in my chosen 3d package.

Steel Tower Center Steel Tower Bace small Sign Office Building Outcrop Office Building Wall Office Building whole Restarant Shopfrount Mid Sign MetalWall_long MetalWall_corner MetalWall Large Sign Concreat Tile Concreat Tile_m8

Thank You for Reading.

References

Creating Modular Game Art For Fast Level Design. (2016). Gamasutra.com. Retrieved 13 May 2016, from http://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/130885/creating_modular_game_art_for_fast_.php

Jones, S. (2016). Investigation into modular design within computer games. (1st ed., pp. 7-12,30-65). Retrieved from http://www.scottjonescg.co.uk/FYPResearch/Investigation_into_modular_design_within_computer_games_v1.0.pdf

Modular design within games.. (2010). polycount. Retrieved 13 May 2016, from http://polycount.com/discussion/78444/modular-design-within-games

Modularity. (2016). Wikipedia. Retrieved 13 May 2016, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modularity