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Project-imp Report 02

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  • 1. Project Report Introduction The client Indiespring is in the process of producing a first person pc game called Cannon Blast. They are a small start up games-company whose skills lie in games engine programming and require a 3D model to be developed to help progress with the games production and the promotion of the game. AIM The final outcome for Indiesprings is a fully functional game which can be played over all pc platforms and will be able to accommodate large amount of synced players online. The aim for this project is to provide the company with a 3D model which can be used in the production of the game as well as being used for promotional products such as videos and posters. OBJECTIVES There are several objectives which must be met to fully achieve this brief, some of which rely on other objectives being completed before. • To identify the style and image of the overall model in reference to the intended game theme. • To create in 3D studio max a working model. • To research and try new modelling techniques, for 3D fabrics. • To produce a number of results which will can be tested and evaluated by a number of students. • To integrate the chosen method to the model • To finish the model by rigging it • To test the whole product I will render a sequence which involves the model to insure the character is built correctly and doesn’t have any faults Rationale The main objective of this project is to define and produce a working 3D model which will later become animated and used within a games engine. The desired result of the project is one of the reasons for selecting this brief but it is also because of the responsibility of designing a suitable model for the game which I find attractive with this brief. Not only will I need to look at the style and theme of the character but I will need to look at how detailed the model needs to be and what is the best way to achieve the final look I design. The project will require research into several topics, such as polygon counts and rigging methods but my main research will be in creating materials for 3D models for games engines. The materials, which will require most attention, will be clothes and fabrics, which are required for the character.
  • 2. As the research was carried out the topic of creating cloth was challenging, yet rewarding when created correctly and the reason for this project started to change. The project became more about producing a realistic coat mesh than it was to create a working 3D model. The techniques required to build the 3D meshes were also proving to be more time consuming than expected and creating an ideal mesh was becoming more of a focal point than creating the model for a games engine. Research: Modelling Mesh Modelling Research into creating basic model was carried and tutorials on how to use the program 3D Studio Max were followed to allow the modeller to familiarise with the program. This was because the modeller had little experience with the 3D programs. The program 3D studio max was chosen because looking over the internet it had the most tutorials and help resources. A tutorial by Emuel3D discussed the process needed to create a low polygon model which the modeller felt confident he could change into a suitable model for the projects needs. Image Above: Lara Croft tutorial by Emuel3D In preparation of creating the clothing needed for the character, research into several methods of creating clothing was conducted. Mesh clothing.
  • 3. “By giving a character a built-in costume, you can pick and choose where you need a full-on cloth simulation.” Jim McCauley This method of creating clothing mentioned by Jim McCauley is the most basic method of creating clothing, or to be more precise the image of clothing. What he is referring to is creating models with clothing prebuilt into the mesh. This method is a very common form of creating clothing and is used in some form for most 3D models. The method involves designing the model with the clothing on and building the clothing onto the mesh; this is demonstrated by Eumel3D and his Lara croft tutorial. The advantages of this method is that it lowers polygon counts because un-necessary polygons, such as the polygons which would be covered by clothing wouldn’t be needed and simulations and renders of these models will be quicker due to the lower polygon count. The disadvantages of this method are that it doesn’t provide dynamic clothing effects. The clothing would be suitable as tight or rigid clothing but effects such as stretching and flowing movements will be hard to achieve. Garment Maker and Cloth Modifier “Having the edges aligned with the strands of the fabric that you are simulating can be helpful in achieving a more natural, realistic end result” Jim McCauley This is the method which is stated to create the most realistic clothing simulations; this is because the clothing is actually created using the method clothing is created in real life. The method requires the clothing to be built with “sewing patterns” and with the use of “springs” the panels are pulled together this is similar to how clothing is built with the “sewing patterns” and joined by sewing the seams together. Image Left: Garment maker tutorial but Chris Ollis The tutorial created by Chris Ollis documents the using the sewing springs to pull the clothing panels together. The result will be a high polygon mesh which will provide a good base mesh for the cloth modifier to simulate into clothing. The clothing modifier is “an integrated cloth-simulation engine that enables the user to turn almost any 3D object into clothing” Autodesk 3ds Max — Detailed Features 2008
  • 4. and so by creating a mesh with the garment maker, it ensures that the topology is correct for the simulations. It will also be animated by separate forces such as the mesh and other forces unlike the “Mesh Clothing” method which relies solely on the rigging within the model. Push Modifier and Cloth Modifier There is a simpler method of creating cloth which is to use the cloth modifier without the use of the Garment Modifier. The Garment modifier is used to create meshes for items of clothing but another method which has been researched is the use of a Push modifier and the Cloth modifier. The Push modifier will duplicate the polygon structure of the model and retain the same topology and produces a mesh which fits the model perfectly and still editable to allow for minor changes, such as longer sleeves or collars. Once the new mesh (which has been created by the push modifier) is finished, adding the cloth modifier will result in a similar result as the Garment maker method but with a mesh which fits the model better, because it was initially created from the model. A better description of this can be found in Chris Ollis’ cloth tutorial Looking over three methods of creating clothing, a combination of the two will be used. The first will be “Mesh Clothing” which will create the pants, boots and gloves of the character. These items of clothing will generally stay close to the figure so will not require extra simulations or rigging and by creating the clothing meshes within the model it reduces the polygon count which will speed up animations. The second method of creating clothing will be using the Push modifier and the Cloth modifier together. This was the third method mentioned in the research and was chosen because it will reduce modelling time which can be spent on areas and still produce a similar result to the Garment maker. Rigging Physique Modifier “One advantage of Physique is that it has more control over envelope editing.” Adobe Creative Team The Physique Modifier is a method which allows a mesh to be attached and controlled by a biped. The modifier attaches the two items together and can be control using the “envelopes.” These envelopes can be altered to change the amount of effect each bone has on the mesh.
  • 5. Image Left: Screen shot of Rommerboy55’s tutorial More information can be found at Skin Modifier “Vertex painting and the Skin Weight... as well as the ability to mirror skin weights” Adobe Creative Team This is a modifier which is similar to the Physique modifier but has a different method of attaching and representing the “envelopes” the focus is on the “weight” each evolope has on the vertices and not the area of effect. Image Left: Screen shot of 3dmoddeler’s tutorial More information can be found at Visual Requirements After effects The final result of the project is a games trailer which would require some video editing and visual effects to bring the clips together, so research into the production of visual effects in After effects was also carried out and the website http://www.videocopilot.net/ was found to the the most useful with clear video tutorials which the video editor could follow. Photoshop A range of Photoshop tutorials were viewed and analysed to help with the production of suitable backgrounds and to aid in the texturing of the models.
  • 6. Image Left: Alain Descamp’s landscape Landscape paintings and Photoshop tutorials such as the one by Alain Descamp will be used to further the skills of the designer and will improve the quality of the models textures. Communications Basecamp “Basecamp tackles project management from an entirely different angle: A focus on communication and collaboration.” Basecamp Research into different methods of project management was conducted to compare against current methods of project tracking. BaseCamp was an online tool which allowed for a range of media to be uploaded and discussed within the program. This resulted in instant documentation and visual record of the discussion and items in question. It also provides a milestone system and a logging system which records the amount of time spends on each task. All these features were simple and more importantly automated. Simply by uploading and logging in the hours meant that miles stones and time logs were created as well as a basic version control system. Wordpress “A state-of-the-art publishing platform with a focus on aesthetics, web standards, and usability.” Wordpress The platform is a blogging tool which is made up of a combination of HTML,CSS and PHP. The web languages combined together allow the user to upload posts and comment on the items uploaded. The posts can be tagged, categorized and even locked from public viewing. This was another form of project management which was researched. This tool was not built as project management tool but it does meet some of the criteria’s needed Methodology Modelling To achieve the objectives the model will be created following the tutorial by Emuel3D. This tutorial took the viewer through several stages of creating 3D Mesh and would provide enough information to create a basic model for the trailer. The program used within the tutorial was 3D Studio Max and
  • 7. it was also the most commonly written for 3D program so it was decided to use this program, in case extra assistance was needed. The Emuel3D tutorial resulted in a low poly model which resembled a 5ft 9in, woman who wore her hair in a braid which was very different from the designed character who was 6ft, Jamaican man who had dreadlocks (Benito Herrera). The modeller would have to alter certain aspects of the mesh as the build went on such as the size and proportions of the figure. Similar to the tutorial the Benito Herrera model will have clothing built onto the mesh (“Mesh Clothing” method) Once the model is complete the hair and the coat will need to be created. The hair will be created using a similar method of box modelling while the coat will be created using the Push modifier which clones the selected polygons of a mesh. This creates a shell which can be converted into the coat so that it fits the model. Once the coat mesh has been created the Cloth modifier will be added which will allow 3D studio max to simulate the structure as if it were a fabric. (“Push and Cloth Modifier” method) The Garment maker method was not chose due to the extra time needed to build the sewing patters and extra polygons for what would result in similar simulations. Rigging The rigging will take place once the model has been built and will use the Physique modifier method, this method was chose over the Skin modifier because the “envelope” editing was less complex. The Physique Modifier’s envelope editing envelope consists of increasing and decreasing the area of effect where as the Skin modifier was a similar method but more complex due to the colour indicators and editable vertices. Although we were picking a method which provided less control over the mesh it was a method which the rigger felt comfortable with. Visual Effects Texture Mapping Combined with the UVW un-wrapping method the meshes will be textured using image files created in Photoshop. The UVW textures will be exported from 3D studio max and imported back before rendering of the shots are conducted. This method of texture mapping is more efficient that the standard method of assigning polygons standard colours in 3 studio max. Environment Production The scenes will mainly be created in 3D studio max with the exception of backgrounds being created in Photoshop. This will reduce the polygon count in the scenes and improve the speed of rendering. The image environments will be similar to the environment created by Alain Descamp and resemble faded scenes in a background which set the theme but do not contribute a lot to the actual game. Certain objects and environments will require modelling, such as the Coin and the Cliff because these will interact with the model. Title Sequences The trailer will require several titles scenes which will consist of several words and it will be up to the video editor to make these look interesting and follow the theme of the trailer. Using the After
  • 8. Effects tutorials the editor will be able to create these and also edit the rendered clips from 3D Studio Max to create the final trailer. Communications Client and Supervisor The client and supervisors will be informed of current updates via a blog. This blog can be updated by anyone involved and will be updated as the project progresses. This method of team management follows the style created by Basecamp and is considered to be more visually friend and will be more consistent than creating regular action plans and Gantt charts. This does not mean that Gantt charts and action plans will be replaced but it is an alternative system which the team is willing to try. If the blog is failing to work as a management method Gantt charts and Action plans will be created and added into the blog.Regular methods of communications will still be in place such as emails and meetings where necessary. Target Market Feedback Feedback from the target market involving the correct cloth method was suggested in the research report. It suggested creating questionnaires and rendering videos to allow general feedback on the method to be used but after looking over the amount of tasks and timeframe this was to be replaced by an internal creative decision. The work would be uploaded to the video hosting website Youtube and comments and feedback on the work in progress would suffice. Working with others Client At the start of this project the client entrusted the team to create a 3D module for them which would be used in their games engine and would also be used for promotional materials. There was basic communication at the start with methods such as phone calls and Twitter messages. Once the brief had been drawn and the project was given approval the communication stopped. The team went on to create the storyboard and basic model with out referring back to the client. This was because they thought that they had full understanding of the situation and preferred to just work on the project. When they tried to contact the client asking for advice they realised it had been a couple of weeks since they had contacted the client and felt it was awkward to ask for help and felt a little negativity from the client. The help given didn’t help the team and so instead of speaking to he client they tried to work through it on their own again. “The autocratic leadership style should not be used when..employees expect to have their Opinions heard” http://www.essortment.com/all/leadershipstyle_rrnq.htm This lack of professionalism and minimal communication resulted in several months of not contacting the client and once again, when feedback from the client was needed they didn’t respond. The team had realised that this lack of communication had put a negative spin on the
  • 9. working relationship because the client had been kept in the dark for so long. The conclusion was later reached that it was in the better interests for both parties to go their separate ways. Supervisor The communication with the supervisors started of similar to the communication with the client, steady and the start but started to lessen as the work was being produced. It was at the “Work in Progress” Presentation which the lack of communication was confronted and evaluated. Realising that by not updating Gantt charts or speaking to lecturer’s progression towards the wrong path was over looked and unrealistic deadlines had been set. It was assumed that by meeting the self created targets the project would have been produced on time and to the desired quality. This method of project management was not beneficial for external parties such as the client and the supervisors but more importantly it lacked an unbiased or critical view. This process of acquiring an unbiased view generally keeps the self created targets on track and can highlight errors such as progression away from overall goals and unrealistic deadlines. The advice to move on was taken but and work on an alternative method of creating the cloth was being researched but help requests were also being asked within the 3D community. This was the most logical way of proceeding with the project as a lot of time had already been spent due to not fully understanding the modifier and method. Industry Professionals Rock steady- idea for mesh model (basic cloth) Iwyka – lookinging into the 3d studio file. Using team view, skype Time Management The time management of the project had been fairly poor. Looking over the initial Gantt charts and plans it can be seen that several stages of work had been skipped and that the Gantt chart was flawed from the start. This was combined with a poor project management style which focused on one factor of the project and ignored the rest of the tasks resulting in the project falling behind. The actions also showed poor professionalism, by ignoring the lack of communication and carrying on with the work. “As a manager, you have to regulate the pressure and work load which is imposed upon your team” This was later rectified by constantly updating a blog which allowed for supervisors and clients to provide feedback and monitor the quality of the work. After expressing that Gantt charts were a good management style a blog was preferred for its simplicity, in creating new projects and monitoring visual media. The blog posts were a basic form of an action plan allowing for quick referral to the last update and moving on from there as well as providing a simple minute of meeting format for the viewer and writer.
  • 10. Results Following Methodology Modelling Problems When creating the mesh for the character slight errors were found in the topology and the physique of the figure. Whilst creating the mesh the proportions of the mesh were to be changed as the tutorial was followed and due to inexperience the characters arms were created disproportional to its body, resulting in elongated forearms. Image Left: Screen shot of the different arms Additional Research was carried out to find a tutorial which could guide the modeller in creating a more complex mesh so that it could contain more detail. More information can be found at Scenery Modelling When creating the models for the scenery the model for the smaller objects such as the coin and cliffs were carried out without any problems but it was suggested that extra scenery could be imported. There were some free models which were available at Turbo Squid and the modeller decided that it could save time to import some scenery objects and use them in the shots. The coin was created without any real problems, there was an issue with creating the symmetrical object and the UVW texturing of the object but but the modeller created a work around by using the information learnt in the Modelling tutorial by Beuavisor and the UVW tutorial. The final out come can be found at Problems due to poor initial research resulted in reworking the method (garment and cloth/ size issue) Understanding full process eg. Model sizes need to be understood when changing model. (physique cloth/ skin cloth/ cloth)
  • 11. “Starting with solid foundations such as the proper resolution and topology for the mesh, and establishing the correct scene scale, will help achieve more consistent and predictable results.” VFX BY DANIELA CALAFATELLO - http://www.3dworldmag.com/page/3dworld? entry=40_clothing_simulation_tips Thursday June 11, 2009 Further research required. (plugin) Product is basic, working Pre visual, needs time for more special fx. Conclusion Reflect on how I would have improved my work: The success of a project will depend critically upon the effort, care and skill you apply in its initial planning. blair Due to lack of communication, and dropping client the objectives weren’t met. The product isn’t finished yet. Needs sound fx’s Looking to BVH, and motion capture Bib Jim McCauley Thursday June 11, 2009 http://www.3dworldmag.com/page/3dworld? entry=40_clothing_simulation_tips Eumel3D, Modeling, Texturing and Animating low-poly Lara Croft in 3ds max [internet] Available from: <http://www.3dk.org/tutorial/Modeling-Texturing-and-Animating-low-poly-Lara-Croft-in-3ds- max-Part-II-.html >
  • 12. [Accessed 23rd October 2009] Autodesk 3ds Max — Detailed Features, 2008-03-25 Available from:< http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/pc/index?siteID=123112&id=13567426> [Accessed 23rd October 2009] Alain Dechamps Available from:http://www.cgarena.com/freestuff/tutorials/photoshop/landscape/index.html Basecamp http://basecamphq.com/ Wordpress http://wordpress.org INSIDE 3DS MAX® 7By Adobe Creative Team ...............................................Publisher: Peachpit PressPub Date: April 20, 2005 (http://3d-studio.org/Peachpit.Press- Inside.3DS.MAX/0735713871/toc.html) Gerard M Blair http://www.see.ed.ac.uk/~gerard/Management/art8.html? http://www.ee.ed.ac.uk/~gerard/Management/art8.html

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