Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Painting Lab: Inspiration from Mirror's Edge


 For this week I created a piece inspired heavily from the look of Mirror's edge. To start my project I created a PureRef for my references and payed close attention to how color was used. In Mirror's Edge there is a lot of different shades of blue to show depth while the main character is able to pop against the blue with her hints of red. 

Once I decided on the look of my piece I knew I wanted the Character to be the main focus.  I grabbed the mannequin's controller and put a parent and scale constraint on it to easily move and scale the rig.  I then brought in some reference and began to manipulate the character's joints into the position I wanted them to be in to give the falling feel. 

From here I then began to create my background with simple primitives and using extrusion to create some interesting buildings.  Because you would only be seeing a the one angle I created a small scene that is dedicated to only being in that one angle versus creating an entire city. 

Once I got my city set up I created my render camera.  The trick to getting the angle was to have the dual panel layout because you can see that your render camera is looking at in one and then use perspective to manipulate it into place. When I rendered I also rendered 5 different passes so I can set up my passes in Photoshop to create different effects. 

From here I brought everything into photoshop and used the different passes to create my fog, ambient occlusion and base colors.  I used the same technique demonstrated in the previous assignments to set the stage for this piece. 

I then began to hand paint in details in the midground buildings to give them a little bit of pop.  I also added the sky behind all of the buildings with a color fill layers so that the background buildings can be seen.  

From here I began to work on my character.  because the mannequin is mechanic looking I created a design that gives him some more mechanical areas.  I used a dark grey and red to pop him out from the background and left the color fill color as his main color to fil the other areas. For the extra design elements I hand painted them onto the mannequin. 

For the last part I worked on the foreground building.  The foreground building was difficult because I did hand paint over it and finding where the extrusions are became very difficult since they do blend in with where the windows are.  I colored in where I thought the windows were and made each window lighter as they got further away.  On top of creating different shades of blues for each window I also made a ground with the window pieces and made a gradient that went over all the pieces to blend them together. 

  To make the window more interesting I created some white lines that show the perspective and give the building a little design.  I also added a second gradient that effects the extruded parts so that they get lighter the further away they are.  Lastly I added a slight reflection of the character in the windows.  Using my ID map I selected the character and gave him a grey fill color.  I then used transform to flip him over the horizontal axis and then distort it a little bit. One I got the placement for the reflection I used the opacity and then used the gaussian blur filter to create it's final look. 


Friday, October 9, 2020

Spoopy Game Asset Crate

This is part three of creating my crate game asset!  This week I brought some color into my crate and brought it into Unreal Engine 4 to create a sequence.  To start my process for part three, I wanted to make my crate Halloween themed and thought about the colors I often see associated with that holiday.  I then came up with a purple and black base color for my crate.   Substance painter is very similar to Photoshop with working with layers.  So I created multiple different layers with different filters on them to create the base.  The base color on my crate is purple and then I created a separate layer that was on the multiply mode and have the 3D distance effect to create my dark parts and for the detail with the wood grains, I had a normal layer that had the effects blur, levels, and fill.

The next part I found to be very fun as I could actually paint on the 3D model.  I created a layer that was just for painting.  Looking at the colors on my crate I thought having a tortoise/light blue color would pop against it.  I selected the Dot brush and changed the size of it to have multiple different sizes of dots and painted them all over my model.

To add some more fun to the design of my crate.  I added some symbols that were in substance painter and I added a filter to one of them to give it the look of spray paint and then I added different handprints to the crate. 

After painting my crate, I created custom export settings and then I exported my color maps and checked them in photoshop. 

After I exported my maps, I Imported my crate model into Unreal Engine 4 and connected my maps to the crate so that it would appear in the world just as it did in substance painter. 

From here I created a new level and imported an infinity wall for rendering.  I also added some lighting by creating a spot light and environment light.  I also added some green fog for atmosphere. I also put in a post process volume to create a bloom effect. 

Once I got my render level set up, I created a sequence and animated the camera.  I also created a fade filler and added it to the beginning and the end of the sequence. 

Thursday, October 8, 2020

Perspective Study


For this project I worked on the concept of perspective.  I was heavily inspired by the idea of the way cities show perspective and used buildings from Chicago for inspiration for my building designs and then letting my own imagination to evolve the look and concept. 

After looking at some reference, I modeled four different buildings in Maya to create my city with. 

To make it easier to create my city, I exported my buildings as obj's and saved them in a folder that my content browser accesses. 

When I was building my city, I payed close attention to variety by scaling and rotating individual buildings.  I then explored one point perspective, two point perspective, and three point perspective. 

My favorite was the one point perspective scene and I added the unreal mannequin to add some fun!
From here I rendered an ID, normal, ambient elusion, z depth, and beauty pass to bring into photoshop. 

From here I brought all my renders into photoshop and used several filters and paint brushes to create my colored scene. 

Friday, October 2, 2020

Game Asset Creation: A Simple Crate Part 2


This week continued my progress on my crate game asset.  After creating a crate in Maya, I exported it and imported it into ZBrush to start my process of adding on detail.  When I started sculpting, I sculpted both the top and bottom part of the crate separately.  After looking at multiple boxes I decided to go with an old box design that is soft on it's edges and uneven on some of the edges but with detail on the main wooden parts.  For the brushes I used, I mostly used the DamStandard.

From here I created a high and low resolution crate using decimation.  The high resolution crate took longer to decimate than the lower resolution and it was definitely a lot of playing around with the decimate values to make the lower version still have enough detail from the high resolution. 

 After I decimated my crate, I exported my crate out of ZBrush and into Maya to create game resolution on my model.  

In Maya I did explore quadrawing, I ultimately did not use quadrawing but I though the process of quadrawing was interesting.

To create my game resolution crate I took my high resolution crate from ZBrush and made a poly cube the same size and placement and began to shape it into the high resolution model.  To do this I used the extrusion tool, multi-cut tool, and I worked with a lot of the faces for clean up and for quick duplications.  To make sure that the game resolution was the same as the high resolution crate I looked at them side by side. 

Once I checked my model up against the high resolution model, I began to create my UV's. The UV process did show some issues with my model that I cleaned up using the mesh cleanup.   The UV process was a lot of cutting and sewing the geometry and then I adjusted the layout in the UV editor. To UV I UVed the top and bottom crate separately and then selected both to layout the pieces together. 

Once I created my UV's I exported my game resolution crate into Substance Painter.  I made sure to rename my export into CrateTop_low and CrateBottom_low before I exported because I will be baking my geometry. 

After I exported the game resolution into substance, I opened up my high resolution in ZBrush.  I first named my two parts CrateTop_high and CrateBottom_low to match the naming convention on the low resolution crate.  I also created a color ID on my model for future easy selection.  To do this I simply shift selected the individual pieces and added a color to them.  In the Decimation settings I turned on Use and keep Polypaint and then re-decimated and exported my pieces as FBX files. 

I then I baked my game resolution model and my high resolution model in Substance painter.  With the baking setting it allowed me to select my high resolution pieces and bake out several different maps.  I then checked the different maps to see my result!

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Simple Ball Bounce with Maya and Renderman

This is a simple ball bounce created in Autodesk Maya and rendered in Pixar's Renderman.  For this animation I had a total of 5 passes.  The ball rig is from UCF's FIEA program.

For my first pass of creating my ball bounce it was all about reference.  Finding reference that had an easy angle to work with an gave a good view of timing and how the ball was moving.   My first pass really was all about getting the timing of the ball, weight, and rotation. 
During my second pass I tweaked my rotation and used the graph editor to show more weight in my ball. I also brought in more squash and stretch when the ball hit the ground. At this point I set up my rendering scene for renderman and created my lights, material, and camera.
In my third pass I adjusted my rendering angle and gave the ball some jiggle as it is rolling and coming to a stop.  
For the fourth pass I focused on getting the ball to have a little more jiggle while it is in the air.
For my final pass I added more frames to the end of my animation and adjusted a few keyframes so that my ball comes to a softer and slower stop. 

Use of Composition


For this piece I worked a lot on composition.  I was mostly inspired by the colors used in Destiny on the moon destination and the idea of someone waiting on a mysterious planet.  I also really wanted to incorporate a planet in the back ground.

When coming up with the idea for the kind of composition I wanted to do I found that the rule of 3rds brought it out the best and before I created my scene, I really tried to make sure that the mannequin was placed in a spot that caught the eye.

To start my project, I began in Maya with a scene full of space and mountain assets.  I moved the assets around and created a sphere for my background planet.  I also added some more lights and adjusted the lights that were already in the scene and created a camera for my beauty render. 

I then created an ID map, normal, AO, Z depth, and toon shader render layers to use in Photoshop.

In Photoshop, I began making different layers with the render passes.  I used the ID map for selecting objects to individually put color or gradients on them.  The AO map was used to bring out the shadows and a few highlights.  It mostly set the mood in the illustration.  I used my toon shader to create the lines and details in my illustration and Z depth was used to create a slight green fog over the environment.  I did not use my normal map but it was helpful for showing me where the highlights and shadows are. 

To bring more character into this piece I created some FX to give my building into the distance some light, rocket blast to my space ship, and heavier green fog or light to my environment.  For all these effects I painted them onto my scene with an airbrush that had color dodge and then I would adjust the opacity.

The last effect I added to my scene was the stars in the background.  To create my stars I applied it only to the background and under the planet.  To create this effect I used the noise filter along with the gaussian blur filter.  I then adjusted levels and on the effect itself I added outer glow.

Sunday, September 27, 2020

Game Asset Creation: A Simple Crate


This week I created a simple crate asset in Autodesk Maya. To start my project I had to adjust the scale in Maya so that when the asset is imported into the Unreal Engine it is in proper scale.  I set my length and width to 200 units and my grid lines to 100 units.  I also set y subdivisions to 10 for easy snapping and I put some simple coloring on my grid so that it is easier to work with. 

Then I began to create my proxy crate in which I made 100 units all the way around and checked it's scale to the mannequin.  The Mannequin is about 6 feet tall.  To create my proxy I did some simple extrusions. I then exported it and gave it a collider.  I noticed that the lighting on the crates were creating weird shadows so I brought it back into Maya and fixed it's UVs before re-importing it into the Unreal Engine. 

From here I began to create a more high poly crate that has details.  To begin I used a cube that was the same size as my proxy and scaled it down to that it was the same size but was thinner and fit the face of the proxy.  I used some simple Booleans to create the frame and beveled it and then created the smaller pieces and gave those bevels.  For the piece that goes across I duplicated my Boolean and created a face and from there I used my multi-cut tool and deleted the faces I did not need.  The I extruded it and beveled it.  I placed it and scaled it to fit on the crate. 

To continue, I grouped, named, duplicated and rotated the first face to create the other faces.  Some of the faces a bit different weather they don't have the middle piece or they need their edges snapped so there is no inter penetration.  This allowed me to create my gaming asset crate. 

I then began to prepare my crate to be exported into it's next journey into ZBrush! I duplicated my create and created a new group.  Within the group I merged the bottom of the crate into one geometry and then merged the top so that the crate has a top that can open.  I then created a simple layer so that I can change the color of the wireframe.  

Painting Lab: Inspiration from Mirror's Edge

   For this week I created a piece inspired heavily from the look of Mirror's edge. To start my project I created a PureRef for my refer...