Health Warning Please remember that the Exam Board doesn’t provide MAs for anything beyond U4, so this is my best interpretation of the markgrids and other paperwork…
Scenario A small games company is trying to break into the more steady education market using a health education game. The ones they’re thinking about are focused on healthy eating. NOTE that for this Unit you need access to and familiarity with3D animation software! On your own head be it!
Task 1: Know the lay of the land Here you need to be clear about the components of game art. Like many things, the surface that the user/client sees is w-a-y off the reality. The less they are aware of, the better the craft of the composing team. So let’s break down the components of game art, and you do some serious research into each of these elements…
Task 1: Know the lay of the land Game art components: environments characters objects, including vehicles and weapons interface graphics basic texturing lighting rendering In your research, think the basic 5Ws!
Markgrid – AO1 PASS Candidates provide a brief description of game art components, covering environments, characters, objects and interface graphics. They use examples from existing games, these may be limited.
Markgrid – AO1 MERIT Candidates provide a detailed analysis of game art components, covering environments, characters, objects and interface graphics. They use a range of suitable examples from existing games.
Markgrid – AO1 DISTINCTION Candidates provide a comprehensive analysis of game art components, covering environments, characters, objects and interface graphics. They use a wide range of suitable examples from existing games.
Task 2: Getting the lookright So in this section we’re looking. Literally. Here’s the concept art section- you need to create some concept art for our healthy eating game. There are – as always – a range of elements that you need to consider here. You can use a tablet or good ol’ pencil and paper for this one, because this will be concentrated: this is the basis for your game. And it needs to look good.
Task 2: Getting the lookright What your concept art should communicate: visual style example environment terrain/ landscape/ cityscape/ spacescape/ abstract characters: player and non-player objects: vehicles, weapons, props, devices interface design, iconography and layout
Task 2: Getting the lookright Me, I’d do this in layers: Where is it set? What happens? Who’s involved? What tools do they use? How do they travel – if at all? What does it ‘feel’ like (communicated through colour, surface style… you know this…) Do LOTS of sketches. Keep them ALL
Markgrid – AO2 PASS Candidates create simple concept art for most of the game aspects, although they may not have achieved these to any degree of artistic merit. The concept art produced may not be appropriate.
Markgrid – AO2 MERIT Candidates achieve a good standard of concept art that will effectively communicate most of the elements of game art and how it is created. The concept art produced is appropriate.
Markgrid – AO2 DISTINCTION Candidates demonstrate an extensive understanding of all elements of game art and how it is created They have an original approach to the creation of concept art that is executed to a near professional standard. All the concept art produced is appropriate and effective.
Task 3: Back to the techie stuff So you have the images in your head, and hopefully on paper as close as you can get. How do you get them to ‘act’ on screen? And before you can think of copping out with ‘tweening’ let me remind you this is Level 3… no gain without pain… Check and research the list on the next slide
Task 3: Back to the techie stuff The elements with which you need to be comfortable include: Key frames and between frames (tweening) Loops and cycles Different animation techniques: ○ vertex animation ○ cluster based ○ bones driven ○ morphs and morph targets ○ Others you can find (extra Brownie points!) Character animation: bones-based and body parts
Markgrid – AO3 PASS Candidates demonstrate a basic knowledge of animation, both in general and as specifically applied to computer games. They use examples to illustrate this, these may be limited.
Markgrid – AO3 MERIT Candidates demonstrate a detailed knowledge of animation, both in general and as specifically applied to computer games. They analyse existing animation examples.
Markgrid – AO3 DISTINCTION Candidates demonstrate a comprehensive knowledge of animation, both in general and as specifically applied to computer games. They analyse a wide range of existing animation examples. They show an in-depth understanding of relevant techniques and concepts.
Task 4: Knowing your limits While in your games the characters can do all sorts of stuff (think about The Matrix!) the practicality of creation has a number of limitations placed upon the process. And not all of them are anything to do with me, you, or the network! What are they..? Check out the next slide…
Task 4: Knowing your limits The three main ones for you to look at are: Realtime 3D rendering Polygon counts and texture sizes Comparisons between different engines and platforms Get yourself a definition, and a sense of how they affect the process and the final product.
Markgrid – AO4 PASS Candidates demonstrate a general awareness of the technical constraints of computer games art and animation. They understand in principle how to create optimised art and animation assets..
Markgrid – AO4 MERIT Candidates demonstrate a detailed awareness of the technical constraints of computer games art and animation. They understand how to create optimised and efficient art and animation assets. They understand some of the technical requirements of various platforms.
Markgrid – AO4 DISTINCTION Candidates demonstrate a comprehensive awareness of the technical constraints of computer games art and animation. They demonstrate the ability to create optimised and efficient art and animation assets. They fully understand and explain the main technical requirements of various platforms.
Task 5: Create one Level Well, let’s steal some ideas… err… be inspired by the work of others in this field. You need to use examples from existing games to understand/ explain/ demonstrate the concept of game level. How? Well, I’ve run out of space here… check the next slide for the downlow…
Task 5: Create one Level Two parts to this one: Simple game level sketch: ○ draw a plan view or map ○ use image or photographic reference if appropriate Simple level model using 3D package: ○ create floor area, terrain, track or course ○ add features and/or simple buildings using box modelling and texturing Got it? Design, then build. Look back at your earlier concept art sketches to help with details. Like a good writer – stick to something you know to get best results
Markgrid – AO5 PASS Candidates conceive and create a very simple game level using rudimentary objects and textures. The game level may not work as intended.
Markgrid – AO5 MERIT Candidates create a 3D game level using properly modelled surfaces and textured objects. The game level is based on a coherent and well planned structure and map design. There is some evidence of original and creative design.
Markgrid – AO5 DISTINCTION Candidates excel in their creation of a 3D game level, demonstrated through a highly detailed level design map and executed using fully modelled and textured terrain. They include other appropriate elements plus additional objects and details which may well be derived from a candidate’s own investigations and research into level creation through analysis of existing titles and resources.
Task 6: Who’s on first? So you have your context: where your character(s) will live, fight, search, whatever… Now we need some serious detail on the main character. Now nothing in the world is wholly original – as you know every time you watch TV and someone predicts the ending. So you don’t have to be wholly original – just inspired.
Task 6: Who’s on first? Think about your character’s character… examples from existing games appearance, styling, moves and behaviours Reference material character image reference Photos cartoon and graphical characters Game character - initial techniques: Sketching marquette modelling modelling reference: front and side views Modelling and animating a game character: torso, limbs and head bones, joints and skin creating a simple walk cycle basic character controls
Task 6: Who’s on first? For ideas – most of the animated DVD’s have sections on how the team created their world – the Toy Story one is brilliant, for example. Equally a lot of the Wallace and Gromit stuff is useful too – and for a small fee (paid in chocolate, of course) I’ll let you borrow my copies! Think about how your character stands, moves, how they hold their head, limbs, how their ‘face’ changes as they talk… You’re down to the minutiae here: and you’re gonna find some of your concept art needs ‘refinement’ as you go..!
Markgrid – AO6 PASS Candidates achieve a basic standard of character design. They conceive and create a simple game character. Candidates produce artwork and animation and demonstrate some knowledge of techniques and concepts of computer game animation.
Markgrid – AO6 MERIT Candidates achieve a good standard of character design, both in conception and execution. They model a simple game character with at least one animation cycle. Candidates produce artwork, modelling and animation competently and demonstrate good knowledge of techniques and concepts of computer game animation. There is some evidence of original and creative design.
Markgrid – AO6 DISTINCTION Candidates achieve a fully realised 3D game character of a high standard, with animations incorporated. They model a simple game character with at least two different animation cycles. Candidates produce artwork, modelling and animation to a high standard in both 2D and 3D. They show a high level of aesthetic and creative flair in character creation and animation The work is completed to a near professional standard, with original ideas and designs fully executed with pleasing aesthetic qualities and evidence of technical prowess.