U15 art and animation for computer games

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U15 art and animation for computer games

  1. 1. 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…
  2. 2. 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!
  3. 3. 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…
  4. 4. 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!
  5. 5. 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.
  6. 6. 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.
  7. 7. 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.
  8. 8. 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.
  9. 9. 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
  10. 10. 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
  11. 11. 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.
  12. 12. 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.
  13. 13. 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.
  14. 14. 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
  15. 15. 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
  16. 16. 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.
  17. 17. 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.
  18. 18. 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.
  19. 19. 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…
  20. 20. 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.
  21. 21. 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..
  22. 22. 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.
  23. 23. 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.
  24. 24. 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…
  25. 25. 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
  26. 26. 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.
  27. 27. 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.
  28. 28. 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.
  29. 29. 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.
  30. 30. 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
  31. 31. 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..!
  32. 32. 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.
  33. 33. 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.
  34. 34. 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.

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