Bioshock - Fountain

Making Of / 15 February 2019

Our next uni project was to create our own brief for a specialism to be completed over 3 weeks and if possible keep to the theme of Bioshock London. My chosen specialism was Environment Art and I really wanted to develop my skills in Zbrush and storytelling in environment art. Knowing that this wasn't a lot of time I decided to keep my scope small so that I could achieve something to a high standard.

Research

 I wasn't sure what I wanted to do straight away, keeping within an Art Deco style I did a lot of googling until I could find something I liked the look of. 

I stumbled across the idea of a water fountain, the Chicago fountain pictured above and thought it was something ornate enough to stretch my muscles in sculpting with zbrush. However it wasn't really London. I later researched the below Diana Fountain from green park. 

I really loved the materials used in this, a combination of gold and bronze and of course stone. This is a communal drinking fountain and became the spring board for my idea. 

I wanted to take elements that reminded me of London or in general English pride and apply this to a type of communal drinking fountain. Lions were my main draw as this is a symbol of England and there are a lot of lion statues around London! I settled on my my lion inspiration the Marylebone Lions as they are Art Deco already and there are a lot of references available to use of these. 

Using these main references for inspiration I created the below concept to start from. I sought out feedback for my idea as I worried it was not enough. I was told that it was quite ambitious, but also doable provided I do the right research. However I may run into scheduling issues if something goes wrong. 

As I want to specialize in Environment Art I really didn't think this alone would be enough to display my abilities in storytelling, it felt like just a prop. I researched a little more on things like propaganda posters from the War as there was a lot of propaganda used in Bioshock, and again the world wars are a big part of London and its history. I hoped that if there was enough time towards the end of the project I could apply some of this to aid in the storytelling which was an important aspect for me. 

Concept to Sculpt

I really wanted to get to grips with zbrush in this project, so I spent the majority of the first week and a half to working on the sculpt of my Lion and Fountain. I used the first half of the London Lion reference and tried to mimic this as closely as possible but still fitting into the prop I had created. Considering details such as making it believable and functional. 

After sculpting more I noticed that the placement of the drinking funnel itself looked wrong. So i researched more art deco drinking fountains and discovered they were more often towards the side so I re positioned this and made sure there was a visible tap to the side. This immediately aided in the design.

I was really content with the final sculpt and was eager to move onto the next step as I wanted to make sure I had enough time to do a good job in texturing. Initiate quad drawing in Maya. This was exceptionally challenging for me and I had about 3 tries at this before I got my head around it. Unfortunately in hindsight I still did this far too low poly for what I wanted. After this project I intend to go back and give it another shot. 

Texturing

I used substance painter to texture and had a lot of struggles with baking. I had a lot of issues with the ambient occlusion from all the different meshes I had used. I looked up exploded baking to help with this. I learnt if I had everything labelled correctly in both Maya and Zbrush scene, and exported them without merging them together I could do this easily through substance painter by baking as individual meshes. 

This dramatically increased the look of my texturing. 

However this was where I realized that my Lion was far too low poly in places. It was here I did re-quad draw once or twice. I was able to adapt the topology around there ears to make them look rounder and give more geometry around the feet which helped a lot. However it wasn't until I had my scene set up towards the end I realized I could have added a lot more geometry. This is a big lesson I learned as I still struggle with making everything too low poly, I'm slowly getting my head around this.

Setting the Scene

Learning from past mistakes I took a break from texturing to see what this model would look like in unreal. I created a basic lighting set up as I had intended to just display this in a blank scene. However it was at this point I realized the error in thinking this way. Creating a mock lighting set up early like this allowed me the time to re-think how I wanted to display this ahead of the last minute deadline rush. 

Doing this highlighted that I would need to create some kind of environment around this prop to make it look interesting. It would also give me that ability to do some storytelling. Not only that but because of a lighting artifact in the image above I realized the original lights I had planned would look unimpressive so I decided to model entirely new lights. 

I found the art deco lights above, which matched the shell look of the faucet I created earlier. These I would eventually use to link throughout the scene. 

As I didn't have the time to create my own textures from scratch, I found tiling marble tiles, wood, concrete ceiling textures from https://www.textures.com/ however these alone I didn't think would make the scene interesting enough. 

I quickly modeled some windows based on Bioshocks windows which are of a heavy metal material and thick glass. I also remembered that there was always a starfish on the glass in the first game so I quickly mocked one of these up to resize and place throughout the scene, a small nod to the source material.

My original brief included decals and I had not forgot about this. I went back to the propaganda posters and focused on the ones emphasizing silence, some of these were quite sinister and I thought this could aid in the ''secret society'' that Rapture was. As I had a violent bloody texture job on my Fountain I wanted to aid in the belief of a scene in downfall. I created a specific blood decal texture and made these decals lead from a point of action and lead to the fountain, as if someone went to clean up after an attack. 

I wasn't quite sure what to do for Graffiti but when I stumbled across a biblical reference to Babylon in Rapture I decided to find the original bible reference and quote a later section of this bible story myself. 

The key part that drew it all together was the view through the window. Unfortunately I did not have the time to make up my own London sky line, so for this university project I found a promotional image used in Bioshock of Rapture. I used this as a background plane and then applied a bump node to this to mimic a small parallax.  I set this image to an emission as well and it helped make it look like a live city. 

Lighting

I'm really glad that I did a mock lighting set up early on before I had everything in place as it made it easier to make the big decisions later on. I placed the key lights where they would be lighting up the fountain, which was a common lighting set up in Art Deco. I added a few point light to illuminate the details, as well as light up around the space. But the main focus was still the fountain, the white graffiti helped draw focus. 

The rapture background helped with some illumination and I set my main directional light to a dark green. Finally I went back and used the same method I used in my diorama to create water caustics. I set them quite large as we would be very deep underwater and this effect would not be very clear if at all visible but it helped the scene feel like it was breathing in the end. It was subtle, but effective. 

Below are the screenshots of my final scene. 



Diorama - Foliage, Particles and Errors, oh My!

Work In Progress / 19 December 2018

The last two weeks I've been focusing on fine tuning my scene with more details. In particular cleaning up my scene, adding the leaves and some particle effects. After one week we had a presentation of where we were at and this gave the class and tutors time to give feedback to work on for the final week.

Ivy

I did a quick bash together of ivy. Ideally I wanted to vines to wrap around certain parts of my ruins but as I was conscious of time I did these in the same mesh manner to the tree leaves. if I have the time I'll go back and tweak these a little more to be more realistic and like they are more attached to the objects. 

Tree Material

As you can see I also textured my tree. I created my own bark material from Get Learnt tutorial which I deviated from as there were nodes used that I didn't have access to. I was surprised that I was able to quickly find a work around to get a similar result so I'm picking things up apparently!

Since this shot I have gone back and tidied up the seams and made sure all the roots have the texture facing the right way. 


Fireflies

As a test I quickly followed this tutorial and edited the inputs for my own needs to see how long it would take me to create a particle effect. I really wanted to get falling leaves working so the fireflies was a simple introduction to this process. The tutorial was surprisingly short which I wasn't expecting and I am pleased with my end result as it was just what I needed.



The fireflies help lighten this corner of the scene I was worried about being too dark but it isn't quite enough.

Water Lights

Although not necessary I added some lights underneath the water surface to project a rippling effect. I watched a tutorial on water caustics for an idea how to do it and made a very simplified version for my needs.  Its not necessary natural but it helps add depth and life to the scene. 

Falling Leaves

Next up was my falling leaves. I felt confident about doing this after the firefly effect and followed Dean Ashfords falling leaves tutorial to make sure I cover the basic necessary parameters to make the particle look realistic. I didn't like the settings used in the video, so set up a lot of my own using the tutorial as a guide, in particular I didn't like the suggested the orbit of the leaves so changed this significantly to make a calming leaf fall in my scene.

Leaf Piles

I had my single leaf texture on the same texture files as my piles of leaves. These were made in the same manner I made my tree leaves and made sure I had a variety of distribution to have some spread across a surface and bunched up. The ones spread out across the surface was particularly important to add to the surface of my water. 

As an extra detail I added the grass wind node to the material of the leaves that were on the waters surface to help them look like they were floating on the water. This really enhanced the realism of the scene. 


Presentation and Feedback

We had an end of week feedback session where we presented our work so far. I had a positive feedback over all, my feedback included making sure the edges of my ruins reflected bricks, to make sure my tree had roots that felt like it was grounded and more realistic into the dirt mound as per my concept art and to also be aware of the unnatural shape of the mound. A final touch I had not overseen was the edge of the water.

I have since changed the parameters of my water to be more transparent and this looks much more natural. I've also vertex painted my base using my two mud textures which helps the transition of the water and looks a little more natural now. It also breaks up the edge of the water with the puddles in the mud texture.

I've created a separate root mesh for my tree which helps the scene quite a bit. I modelled this in zbrush and created it's own material so that the bark texture goes in the right direction. We had a couple of sessions using speed tree in class. I tried to make a tree similar to the one in my scene so I could replace it came out ok. I wasn't quite sure how to change the leaf shape, I'm sure with a little research it wouldn't been too problematic, therefore I decided to keep the tree I already had. Instead I used the speed tree as an invisible mesh to help aid in the dappled lighting effect and my god rays in my lighting.  

New Ruins

I had started working on remodelling my ruins which I rushed through just to get a better looking shape around the edges. This was very difficult to UV map as I had zremeshed it which creates loops rather than tidy topology to separate UVs with. I did try modifying this in maya too for cleaner topology but this was not much better. I ran out of time and hoped that maybe the old arches would suffice and resizie them to cover the gaping holes. These are by no means perfect, but give a better representation to what I wanted to achieve, unfortunately the final textures are not where I want them to be and this is due to running out of time. I would like to re-do the whole asset in my spare time and produce something much better. 

Errors

I wanted to spend the extra few days on the ruins however I encountered an error Worldinfo_0 in unreal. I didn't realise how severe this error was until our studio assistant saw it. Basically my lighting was not baking properly. Even though I had baked the lighting this error continued to pop up. 

I spent the last 2-3 days trying to fix this error, from migrating my assets to a new scene, switching on and off lighting settings etc. It took a couple of the studio assistants/higher year students to put their heads together and figure this error out in my scene. It turns out it was a combination of my grass mesh, a directional light and a lightmass setting. We had to delete all these and start over to fix the error, a solution only found out on the last afternoon of class. 

This resulted in my lighting looking completely different to what I had been working with and I spent the rest of that afternoon trying to fix it as best I could to look somewhat similar to what I had created with the broken lights. 

Conclusion  

In conclusion, I'm really pleased with my end result despite its flaws. I did not think a few weeks ago I could create a passable sculpt in Zbrush or create a scene as pretty as it is in unreal. Of course it is not perfect and there are plenty of things I need to work on, I'm really disappointed my lighting was not baking properly and I didn't realise this for so long as this has greatly affected the final result. I am more than happy with the idea of continuing working on this scene in my free time. As I worked through this project my models and textures became better and I believe I could easily go back and create a better mesh or texture for the items I had started with first in the project.

This project over all has helped build confidence in my abilities to pick up and apply new software and information and also my skills as a game artist. I'm looking forward to creating more environments in the future and more personal dioramas to experiment and practice my skills.

  

  
  


  

Diorama - Materials, Foliage and Texturing

Work In Progress / 03 December 2018

Tasks

This week I was aiming to have everything textured, including some foliage for my tree and making brand new materials to use in my scene. I managed to do most of this, get a water effect in place and start on my lighting! 

Tree Foliage

So far this has been the most satisfying thing for me. It was a bit of a learning curve after the class introduction and after doing a bit of research, I went off and experimented a bit. 

Once I had the base of my tree trunk and branches in place I was toying with the shape of how to place the leaves. I found that an overly dense sphere shape using the shrink wrap tool in Maya looked really unnatural, instead I used shrink wrap for only a couple of bunches of leaves and then used my various plane meshes to flesh out the fanned like shape of the tree. This was a lot of experimenting and went through a couple of versions but I am content with the current version.

Initially I used a lot of different meshes to build up the leaf density, however this made my poly count way too high (see bunches of leaves in middle of image). I saw how I liked to group these together and then made a new photoshop image file that mimicked this and then distorted the plane (bottom right of image). Using this new lower poly plane I made the base shape of my tree and used a variety of the smaller branches I made to make the shape more interesting to look at. 

The leaves themselves were all made in photoshop, including AO, SSS and I still need to add my normal map to finish it off. I placed them all in unreal and added a grass wind node to make the leaves look like they were blowing in the wind slightly. 

Materials

I followed along with a few more tutorials by Get Learnt to create my base grass texture. I went back and tweaked my settings to be more suitable for my scene, in this case more dense grass. I'm still not 100% happy with this but it will do for the time being, if I get time I will come back and edit this more as after analysing how grass textures are approached in games like Red Dead Redemption 2 I would prefer to go this route. It tried to colour match my grass tufts from previous blog as much as possible as well, but the styles are quite different so something will definitely have to change in one or both of these. 

from tutorial with more grass

Edited for scene, less rocks and brighter colour. 

I noticed in the Red Dead grass the under-layer is not as detailed or outlined, allowing the grass on top to do most of the reading that it is grass. 


My next base material was the limestone for my ruins. I chose to stick with limestone because it had the bright contrasting colour choices I wanted and I decided to make this brick to make the object look more interesting. I started to make this texture by myself with the brick tutorial in the background as a reference point to see if I was on track, turns out that although I had the right idea, the way they did it seemed much better so I changed it as I went and edited thing to suit my needs for this project.

Using some of the base information from the brick material I made a worn limestone material to use as an in between rubble look for my ruins. This was a bit more tricky for me as I was working more solo and only referencing my previous texture to make sure they looked like they were the same kind of stone. In hindsight I think I went overboard with the deterioration of the stone and there could be more variation in the colour. 

Texturing

This was a bit more complicated. I  went into zbrush to try and sculpt what I needed, but I quickly grew frustrated with this and felt like with the limited time I have left I would be better off sticking to what I felt comfortable with for this particular mesh. I therefore tidied this up and combined it with the grass plane of my scene. Taking it into substance painter I used my grass and a modified mud material from my previous blog post to make a new mudslide.
I used a hand drawn height map to create the look of the mudslide and a little bit of hand painting to lighten these areas to look like exposed ground and patches of grass that have been caught up in the earth. Although not perfect I think this will do for my scene at the moment. 

As mentioned in previous blog, I was pleased with my ruins UV map layout, but I was worried that my resolution would be too low. After a quick test I can confirm that my hunch was right and I had to re-think. I still wanted to try and get them on the same UV as suggested previously. My shapes didn't match up perfectly but where I could I stacked similar UV maps and again tested these out. At first they didn't look too bad but the more I worked on these in painter the more disappointed I became.

In hindsight I should have kept the main ruins separate to the arch and pillar. That way I would have plenty of room to keep it separate and I would not have conflicting AOs and textures all over this. I have some weird anomalies that I can't quite explain either (after some investigation I believe this to be a levels node in substance painter) which looks like sections have been squared off which doesn't make sense. If I have time this will be my top priority to re UV and re-texture as I am severely disappointed with this result. However I did learn a lot through these errors and will be more prepared in the future. For now I will continue working as planned and hope that Ivy I intend to add will cover the worst of these texture errors for this project.

I also realise that it would have probably been more beneficial to distress this object in zbrush first and use that as a normal map rather than relying entirely on textures to do the work. Although i won't have time for this project I hope to come back and re-do this perhaps over the Christmas period and see what kind of difference this makes. 

Water

Upon hearing we were having a guest lighting artist come to give us a demonstration I rushed to get a water texture in place in my scene. I knew that with my bright contrasting ruin texture and the water would be key elements in brightening up my scene and therefore effect the mood and lighting. I followed Online Media Tutor - Water in Unreal to do this quickly and I'm really pleased with the results for this little scene. It will eventually be covered in leaf decals anyways!
Although using an instanced material and parameters seems over kill for this small diorama project it has been really useful to me as I have been able to quickly make changes to my water in scene as I have played around with lighting etc to help enhance and change the mood and atmosphere.

Lighting

We had guest tutor Oskar Woinski a lighting artist from Splash Damage come in and walk us through lighting a scene and his work flow. I was lucky enough to have him check out my diorama and although all I had was a sky light in place he started to walk me through how to create god rays for my scene. This was really excellent and reassuring as his ideas and suggestions were things I had already outlined in my concept art and were similar to what I had in mind so I felt like I was on the right track. Now it was a matter of how to achieve these results!
When I got home I started playing with my settings more and using fog and hidden tree meshes to create god rays throughout my scene. Oskar had suggested I use a directional light rather than what is usually used because of the shape and size of my scene. My only issue at the moment is the light seems intense and the fog too dense whilst walking around the scene but if I tone these settings down I lose the god rays. So it's something I still need to work on.

There is still a lot of contrast which isn't helped by lack of final textures. I will focus on finishing this first before more lighting tweaks but hope to maybe add some water reflections on the underside of the grass plane to brighten up that area a bit without distracting from the main focus. 

The Troll

After the lighting lesson I knew it was really important to get the troll in. I cleaned up some of my zbrush sculpt but decided to leave putting too much detailing in the hands and feet for this particular project. I needed to get him posed and in the scene asap!

I used the rigging tool to build a rough skeleton inside my troll. I put in a little extra such as individual finger bones and rib cage and legs just in case and I'm glad I did! This warped the sculpt more than I expected and I had to do a lot more sculpting afterwards to fix it. I posed him to something similar as the above image. 

This was my final high res sculpt and pose of my troll. I used Zremesher to reduce the polycount down to around 12k polys and then projected this high res sculpt onto the low res in substance painter. It wasn't very pretty as again I struggled with strange AO's that made it look like things were sticking out where they shouldn't. In particular around the hands. If I were to do this again I would keep the hands in a block like shape instead of individual fingers like above, the feet actually turned out better than expected. I also had some weird patches in the armpits from overlapping geometry and the eye balls disappeared.
As I am on a tight schedule at the moment I had hoped to hide as much of this as possible with textures.

Once in the scene though a lot of these flaws are hidden because of the lighting and looks better than expected. 

As my eyes have disappeared on him I'm thinking about using spheres in unreal and create an emissive texture with a gemstone alpha to make it look like it could wake up at any moment. This will also help direct more attention to him in such a dark area of the scene.

Now my troll was in the scene again I toyed around more with the lighting and fog. 

The fireflies are currently small point lights just to test the idea. I think I would prefer to do this as a particle simulation but it will be the last thing to add as I still have a lot of other things to achieve first! 

This weeks conclusion....

I'm pleased with my current progress and hope that I can bring it all together and focus on fine tuning it's composition this coming week. There are still some textures I need to apply and fix up that need seeing to before I do anything else. These are the rocks, the diorama base and the tree trunk.

Other important items needing doing:

  • Texture rocks - plan to use similar textures to troll to make them look like part of same scene, not confident this will look good though.
  • Texture tree trunk - create bark material. A bit nervous how lining up material for tree trunks and how difficult this might be.
  • Ivy - I plan to create some meshes of ivy similar to how I did the leaves for the tree to apply to the ruins.
  • Fallen Leaves decals, to use around the scene and along the water
  • Fallen leaves particle effects
  • Add leaf normals to tree. 
  • Firefly particles if time/water effect under mound to brighten up that area.


Diorama - Sculpting and Meshes

Work In Progress / 25 November 2018
Block out turn around views from previous week. 

Tasks

The goal for this week was to get all my 3d modelling done. I started off by deconstructing some of my block out meshes simplifying and cleaning up topology. Some meshes were beyond recoverable and I had to restart from scratch, most notably the ruins, troll and the mudslide section holding up the grass.

Ruins

Using my references from the ruins at painshill park I re-created what I had in my block out, but added more aesthetically pleasing arches based on references from this location. They look much nicer and more believable and they are more what I was visualising.

I decided to build the arches separately so that I could put them in individually in Unreal. I thought this would help save time in UV mapping and use a little bit of modularity in my scene. I'm still not 100% sure if this is a good way of going about it but for the time being works as intended.

I feel like after using zbrush I now have more of an appreciation of what I can achieve in maya and feel a little more confident in my 3d skills in Maya and have to remind myself that as I get used to zbrush, this will become easier too.

As the main ruins, pillar and archway were to be made out of the same kind of texture I put in the effort to keep these all on the same UV map. This was also recommended in our presentation with Anya, to keep things of similar colour on the same UV map/texture file. As the ruins are so large I am a little apprehensive about this not working as well as I would hope and am concerned the texture will come out looking low resolution. I will continue as is for now until I seek another opinion or try it out for myself.

Troll

In regards to zbrush my troll made a lot of improvements as I worked on this slowly throughout the week.  I spent a lot of time trying to make sure my anatomy was believable, even though it's not perfect. I struggled a lot because I was treating this like an illustration, so where one view would be OK to look at, when I turned it around it look horrific. I sought out a lot of advice from a friend in class who is an ex-sculptor so knows sculpting techniques and anatomy and this was much appreciative in retraining me to work differently.

I focused on the base muscle landmarks to help start the basic build of my troll. I focused on the front and back views initially for the key large muscle and bone landmarks.

This meant when I got to the side, things looked a bit off in general and I would spend a long while trying to fix. I started working on hands and feet as well but struggled to build up the mesh in those places that I wanted. Switching off a setting with my brush helped to prevent spindly topology I was struggling with when i tried to remove ''clay'' and flatten planes. 

With some persistence I slowly worked on cleaning up anatomy and thinking about adding how fat and flesh sat on top of the muscles. I felt more confident to add details to the sculpt that made it look more troll like. In particular the rocks protruding from his back. 

As I build up everything in mirror when I get to the point I am happy with anatomy etc I will switch this off to add independent and A symmetrical rocks and details.
I predict I will probably be chipping away at this model more throughout next week. I want to stop working on this by Wednesday and hope to have everything posed and re meshed by then. I know it won't be perfect looking but I still will need to texture this as well which might hide some glaring errors. 

Grass

As we were learning about creating foliage and grass in class I was able to make some grass clumps to use in my scene. I thought they seemed a bit chunky and cartoony for what I had in mind, but for now I think they work ok. If I have time I will go back and fine tune these but I do want to focus on the other material creations before I go back and re-do the grass.

Tree

I researched more about the type of tree I wanted to use. I was very set on the Maple Leaf design and so looked up Acer trees - turns out there's a lot! I whittled down the trees by their shape and trunk design to find a suitable candidate to use as a reference to make my own. I then used the curve tools to create my tree trunk using the reference as a base but tweaking them as I went to be appropriate for my scene. 

Some of the curves I had set up were not working as hoped. I therefore duplicated a couple of branches and tidied up the topology to create a wider spread branch network for the tree. The base of the tree seemed to cut off suddenly so I added a few roots going into the ground too. Over the summer I tried making a tree for a personal project which I struggled a lot with, I was therefore a little intimidated by doing this again, however this method was much more effective and the UV map creation less painful. 

Setting up Unreal

Finally I put together my scene in unreal using the first person shooter template as I would like to be able to walk around a little in the scene, then tested out my mud texture. Turns out my mud texture appears too churned up for the needs of this scene. I'm planning to go back into the material and tweak the base shapes and noises in order to soften the extreme of this texture. I will save it as a new material to have a variety and will try and make another more appropriate texture for the mudslide in the process as well.

Finally I began putting my objects in unreal so I could see how everything was scaled. Initially I felt like despite using a human reference point in my mesh creation that the scene seemed a bit small, but as I added more objects to the scene it didn't feel too small after all, so I will keep working at the current scale.

I'm glad I got to this point at least this week. Seeing it unreal is making me re-think my lighting choice to go from Golden Hour to more of a midday bright airy scene. But I may change my mind about this after my ruins have been textured. They will be a brighter colour which might lighten up the scene. I only have the regular skylight in at this point too and acknowledge more lights will help the mood of the scene when the time comes. 

This weeks conclusion...

I'm not totally satisfied with the amount I achieved this week. I still have a lot of modelling to finish but they are small scale models. I can appreciate that I have put in a lot of work and got a lot of the really hard stuff out of the way. I can now focus on tidying up the ground plain to add a river/pond dip, make 3 variants of rocks (small, medium, large) and finish off the troll. This could all be done by tomorrow evening I hope. My next focus will be on starting to texture key elements to help visualise how the scene will look when finished so the final week can be polishing last minute effects such as lighting, vertex colour gradients, falling leaves, water, etc.
 
Next week I want to achieve: 

  • Foliage for tree
  • Grass texture
  • Ruins texture
  • Research water effects
  • Research how to do Ivy; Decal vs Mesh like grass. 
  • Tweak mud texture to be more appropriate for scene if time

Diorama - Artbible, Materials and Trolls, Oh My!

Work In Progress / 18 November 2018

Art Bible

This week has been particularly busy with learning about materials. Before all that I managed to finish my art bible which outlines what I want to achieve and a guide for me to follow through this project. The photos of Painshill are my own however I do not claim to own any of the others. The art bible also includes my concept art and paint over for my block out. 


A better look at my paint over of the block out. Most notably I have changed the size of the troll so his head peeks out from underground and is more exposed which looks better as a composition and makes a little more sense why he would have been turned to stone. Also draws more attention to smaller details such as moss on the Troll and mud on the rocks around it. After the project is done I may clean this up more to make a proper illustration out of this but for now it will do as a guide to work from. 

The Troll


Shortly after the art bible I had a whirl at zbursh to start fleshing out some ideas for my troll. I also did a few sketches to go along with this to help me visualise how he'll look. At this point I had not completed my paint over so was unsure of his appearance.  I decided it would be better for me to build a rough full figured base first before starting with just the head like I did below. However this was just practice to see if I was even a good idea for me to do such a complicated sculpt considering I'd never done this before. I was happy with this test run. I watched a couple of flipped normal videos for the basics in zbrush and sculpting. Next time I sculpt I will have an anatomy book close at hand too.

I was looking at sketches 2, 5 and 6 for inspiration on the practice sculpt below. Due to the story behind the troll I want him to have a slightly sad expression on his face in the final sculpt. As I sketched more I wasn't completely 100% on squashed facial features, so I will probably lean to a concept similar to number 5, but this is still a work in progress.

Materials

Throughout the week during class we were learning about materials. The classes were very intense and where I thought I was following along fine, suddenly I had missed a step and took a long time to figure out where I had gone wrong. However I know if I am able to do these textures well I will be able to achieve a lot of what I want with a simple texture.
The main materials I want to focus on for this project are:

  • Mud
  • Smooth brick/plaster for ruins 
  • Grass  
  • Tree bark
  • Stone used for my troll

Moss I could probably recycle the grass material with some exposed parameters if I am successful. I have seen Eric Wileys amazing fallen leaf materials which was really inspiring for what could be achieved in designer. I'm not sure I could go to this length but it was useful to see his breakdown. 

I really liked the idea of switching on parameters to adjust whilst the material is in in substance painter and I know this will be incredibly useful in project as I would like to have the mud on a sloped surface, like a mud slide, as well as near water so there will be bigger puddles. If I am able to adjust these parameters on the different surfaces this could be a more efficient way of working in my scene. The same if I can use the same material for the grass and moss. 

Here is my first attempt at my own material outside of class for the Diorama:

I closely followed the tutorial by Get Learnt which came over several parts. I'm glad I did because not only did it reiterate a lot that was said in class at a much slower pace for me but I'm also really pleased with my final result. I deviated slightly by adding a blur to soften the edges of the mud. Mainly from following along with this tutorial I am now more confident I can go back into the materials I created, such as the twigs and instead create some fallen leaves. I already have a parameter set for the water, and bubble bumpiness on the mud by itself, but I could go further to add another parameter for the leaves too if I can do this. I also have a separate mud texture I can use to paint over the edges of my Troll and around the edges of other meshes in my scene. So over all it was really  worth following this tutorial through to the end for my project. 

Back to Trolls

Finally here's a work in progress of the new troll sculpt. I'm using references from several sources for the anatomy and build. At the moment I've been focused on blocking out the pose more than anything else. I initially started making a mock skeleton using Zshperes as my base, but found this a bit tedious. I then Started sculpting from the regular Sphere shape and moving and building up areas as I went.
At the moment it doesn't look like much, in fact it's rather hideous. I've been struggling with simple controls such as moving around the scene to sculpt and what may look OK in one view, looks nothing like intended in another. Its incredibly challenging for me as I struggle to think in a 3d space anyways. However I'm confident with an anatomy book at hand and a lot of patience I can complete this to a satisfactory standard by the end of next week.

When I started the base sculpt again I decided to keep the arms and legs out. I hope to re-pose as needed once I finish the sculpt with Zspheres and this will reduce the likely hood I'll get frustrated at adding/removing geometry when I didn't mean to in such a closed off pose as above. 

I'm pleased with my progress so far. My project has a lot of reference materiel to work from and I have a very clear idea in my head what I want to achieve. Although not feeling as confident with Zbrush, I'm quite excited by the power behind Substance Designer and I am looking forward to getting all of the 3d modelling out of the way so I can focus on the textured work as this is what I have been enjoying the most so far.

My goal for next week is to get the main assets that build up my scene modelled. I'm pretty confident I can achieve this if I chip away at the troll model alongside the other more straight forward meshes. I may break this up with a texture or two for the ruins brick and maybe the leaves/grass.
  

Diorama - Initial Ideas and References

Work In Progress / 10 November 2018

"You should feel two emotions when approaching a Grotto; fear and desire. You should fear what may be inside, but desire to discover."
- Leonardo da Vinci


Our next module for university is to create a 3d diorama with the intention of making it as detailed as possible. Not really knowing where to start I did a quick google search for interesting places and buildings around my area. Eventually I fell on the area of Painshill Park which is not too far away from me so easy to gather reference material when needed and offers something a bit different and unique.

Initial Sketches

Before gathering references I created a lot of thumbnail sketches inspired by Painshill Park to just play with what kind of story I would like to tell within the diorama. I also wanted to nail down an interesting composition which would let the eye travel around the scene, but with a 360 scope in mind.

Starting with crude sketches in a notebook these just toyed with architecture and didn't really tell any specific story.

I created even more that tried to have more of a narrative of an underground cave/grotto beneath the ruins of a tower or abbey. In one thumbnail I got the idea of having a troll living underground and for this particular piece he has been turned to stone due to being exposed to sunlight through a sink hole from above. Although it still felt like all these ideas were maybe too big for the project.


Reference Gathering

From here I went to gather more references in person at Painshill Park to flesh out the idea more and make sure I can create a highly detailed and accurate scene. I was also open to the concept of being inspired by anything new I might have encountered to aide my scene.   I had a few back up locations in mind in the area if I felt dissatisfied with what I would find. 

I really liked how the leaves have massed together on the waters surface. Because it was muddy I gathered a lot of mud references around the grounds too.

This bridge had very aesthetically pleasing brick work and arches. It would match with my troll idea as troll are also associated with hiding under bridges and presented a new concept for me to explore. 
  

The colour shifts in this scene really drew my attention. I loved how some of the leaves were still green transitioning to a very rich red. The grass was still a vibrant green and there were hints of yellows. It gives a very fantasy vibe. This warm colour palette I would like to try and use as a guide in my scene. 

Underneath the trees above there were a lot of fallen leaves which coated the ground with this rich red colour which was also present in the water. The combination of roots and rocks also break up the ground making it look interesting. 
  

My main inspiration for choosing this location was this ruined abbey. I thought it looked very elven and I really liked the pale colours of it which makes it stand out from the surrounding environment. 

The other side of the ruins shows the raw brick work. Although I will probably want to stick to the pale brick in my diorama, the shape here and the layered brick work will help create something more interesting and it  shows where mud and foliage would form. I particularly like the creeping ivy. 
  

Another interesting and fantasy/elven looking building on the property. I particular like the arches in this and the windows. The turrets could also be an interesting addition if I feel its necessary. 
 

What I did not realise existed on this property was a man-made grotto. It is constructed of crystals put together by hand to mimic stalagmites in a cave and surrounded by oolitic Limestone or sponge stone. This really unique structure, although not natural, could be a very interesting contrast to use for textures on the troll in comparison to the smooth elven ruined building. I was able to get more close ups of the sponge stone throughout the park.


Although I may not use this reference I thought it was interesting. The ceiling to the white building overlooking the park. I particularly liked the colours as this was roughly the idea I had in mind, but also the delicate details in construction of the pattern. I had an idea of placing this motif under the troll to make it look like it was once part of the crumbled tower and the troll had an emotional attachment to whoever once lived there on top of having to be there to guard the place for some reason.

Concept Art

Inspired, I went back to creating some more sketches. I explored a few more ideas in regards to the narrative of my project, exploring a bridge troll idea as well as the grotto troll. In particular I stumbled across a quote shared on the grounds near the grotto which I have used for the heading of this blog.
The final few sketches were just pushing past the idea I was focusing on to see if I could come up with something better. I also focused on making my diorama a bit more contained so I'd have the opportunity to focus on the detail whilst creating this. I also played with composition.

It wasn't until I saw things in colour that I really knew for sure what I wanted to do. I even started a concept which was a slightly different idea to all the others but I just couldn't see this working well in a 360 view. I have decided to go with the concept on the left for my diorama.
  

Sidescroller - Final Count Down

Work In Progress / 23 October 2018

This evening we submitted our final builds. This meant for me I needed to rebuild my lighting as although it was kind of ok in Mobile it looks horrific in PC. I therefore went through and re-did almost all of my lighting and now the PC build better reflects the type of mood I was going for. I also managed to get around to my rug for a final touch in the living room scene however didn't get around to achieving much else.

I would have liked to have got round to changing the camera angles in blueprints to better reflect the mood and atmosphere I was hoping for as well as sound effects. I have therefore created mock up ideas of how I would like to have had the cameras be shown in the screenshots below.

Screenshot of in game of final lighting set up in main entrance.  

Alternative similar to how I would have liked to have set the camera for the game opening.

Close up of staircase:


The staircase is made up of textures created in substance designer using images from textures.com and then further edited in substance painter.

Close up of some details of the opening hall way.  


In game flash light on to light up window frame.

Close up of Window Frame:


The same as the stairs, I created my own materials for substance painter in substance designer. Then went and edited them further in painter. The wood texture along the window panes and the skirting boards are actually a hand painted wood texture created in photoshop and then made into a material in substance designer. Initially created for the wardrobe but used throughout the scene for consistency. 

Alternative camera angle to bring attention to portrait. 

Close up of painting and chandelier. Using height map to draw on melted candle wax look.


In game wardrobe interaction. 

A preferred angle for camera of same section.

Details from around the scene.


Showing downstairs through broken floor. Could have had a camera following wardrobe down. 



Key pick up scene. 

Alternative camera angle. Almost forced perspective, drawing attention to portrait to indicate something that might happen later on.
 

Scene details. An unfortunate light anomaly.
   


Living room scene.
 

Alternative cutscene POV.



Close up of Cauldron details:


The textures in here were mostly modified versions of default substance painter materials and then using height maps to draw on and stamp additional details.
  
  Alternative view of scene.


Current final unlocking of door scene.


Alternative camera angle. Mimicking picking up of key from earlier in the game.... what will come through the door?   

Scene details.

Current end level/safe zone. 

Alternative. Not as shallow camera, more warm and welcoming.


 

Final level in it's entirety in comparison to the initial block out and sketch drawing in the following blog entries: Starting to Texture and Art Bible

SideScroller - Textures and Storytelling

Work In Progress / 21 October 2018

It's been an intense week of mainly texturing and squeezing in a few extra props.

I put aside trying to do a hand painted textures entirely and tried to lean into the more realistic side of texturing. Some note worthy large changes from last update was completely changing the wallpaper and finishing up the texturing on the windows. I also panicked a bit about the modularity of the whole thing and actually re-imported my ceiling and floor meshes to be back to single squares. Although this turned out to be a bit of a waste of time in the end, it did mean I had the freedom to experiment with the layout a little bit later on. I think if I were to do a project like this again I would keep the squares for this freedom to change easily alone.

I had also replaced the floor texture with something a lot more fitting and looks more seamless than my previous texture. I also applied this same texture to the skirting board of the walls to help everything remain looking consistent. I experimented with a more elaborate ceiling using normal and height maps, however this did not look right at all so I swiftly changed this to a more simple grungy moss filled ceiling that doesn't distract much from the rest of the environment. 


I had a bit of a eureka moment whilst texturing the window mesh and things finally fell into place on how to use substance painter effectively. I have created nearly all my own materials in substance designer using images from textures.com. Using panelled wood from the door texture and applied this to the window for a consistent look throughout the scene. It was here whilst experimenting that I started to think of mould and rot growing on the wood so from here on I continued with a mouldy mossy feel to the environment to make it feel like the mansion was very run down and stood empty for a long time.
I previously used this panelled wood to the staircase so if I decided to position it a certain way it would look interesting and break up the wallpaper a bit. If I find the time I would like to go back and tweak the staircase texture to match that of the windows with more moss/mould.




Seeing how the light from the player torch reacts to the mouldy wood in game.
  

Something still made the scenes feel really barren so after looking at some more reference images I realise that a lot of pillars were used to break up the interiors in old gothic mansions. I therefore decided to make my own simple pillar and once again used the panelled wood design to keep the look consistent throughout the scene. This really helped my environment be more interesting to look at and helped hide troublesome seams.

testing pillars in the safe room. I have since positioned them better in the environment. 

Example of gothic mansion as inspiration for  panelled wood design and pillars throughout scene. 


Most of my week was spent catching up with texturing elements I had been leaving to one side. This included the chandelier with candles, where I have used the height map to paint on dripping wax and used emissions to make the flames look like they were flickering slightly. However as I progressed, although I liked the strong colour choice of the red wallpaper it did not fit in with my original image of the game.

Once we learnt about material instances I jumped on this opportunity to change my wallpaper to match the colour variations I had outlined in my initial art bible. I will now have 3 different colours, Blue = referencing the house as a whole, Red = Dangerous zones and Yellow = the safe zone to recharge in.

Up to this point I was struggling with light leaking through my meshes and realised that a simple fix of making my geometry and materials double sided would fix this issue. However I was a bit worried about the performance on the tablet device I wouldn't test this until I had added a bit more that I wanted to my scene. 

Although the safe room may look slightly sickly I feel that I am ok with this setting. The light in game helps the room look very warm, but its off putting enough to subconsciously allow the player to believe they are not entirely safe in this environment yet!


Contrast of blue wallpaper to emphasise darkness and then the red for the dangerous zone. Still using the stain decal to emphasise growing rot and water damage.

I was worried I would not have the time to get around to creating paintings for 9 different witches to add to the storyline. So instead I googled a bunch of stock or very old unclaimed photographs from around the internet or paintings of either famous or unknown witches in history. In particular is a painting of  alleged witch Katharina Guldenmann, by an unknown painter in the 17th century. Because of her look in this painting with headdress that looks like horns I have used her as my ''Head Witch'' and added a quick blueprint so that when you pick up the key and return in her direction, she disappears from the painting. As if you have angered her from accessing her home! I would like to add a painting swing to this if I am able to within the time limit left.

It was important to me to not use overly ugly witches and not use images showing them being tortured as this would have been their home where paintings would have been treated as family photos and shrines. The idea of these portraits was to give an indication that these would be bosses/malevolent spirits you'd have to face later in the game.

Katharina Guldenmann 

Twin witches, a little off putting to pick up the key.


The painting on the left is a rather famous one by David Waterhouse titled ''The Magic Circle'' not only is Waterhouse one of my favourite classical artists but this particular painting really romanticises the idea of witchcraft which I think they would want to have associated whilst living in the building. 

At this point I tested my game on the tablet how it was. I was running at a solid 60fps despite everything I had done, so I felt confident to power through with what I was doing.

Despite starting to clutter the area with portraits, this was not enough to help tell the story and the rooms still seemed rather barren. This was feedback I also received from my tutor. Puzzled for a little while on how I could enhance the storytelling through visuals I decided to revert back to my art bible to re-focus.

Initially my idea was to have this from a child's perspective, as if they were dared to enter the building by friends or to search for a missing friend or family member. However because it's unlikely I'll get around to finding an appropriate child sized playable character to use in this project I decided to switch this theme up a little bit.

I made a mock up missing child poster and added this to dirt piles to spread throughout the mansion. I am hoping that it will now be a little more clearer upon walking into the mansion what your character is in there for. 

However I kept pushing this step further, again referring to my art bible so I did not stray to far from my initial idea. I wanted to build the fireplace for my safe room to emanate warmth, but another idea struck me which led to the below environment make over.

The original fireplace I built, despite trying to build to a scale figure, didn't seem quite the right size. So I increased it to a massive proportion and decided to make it big enough to fit a large cauldron within. Large enough to fit small children in at least. This plays on the very old folk lore theme of witches stealing and eating children, and hopefully now makes the story telling in the environment more obvious. I added smoke burns to around the fireplace to indicate that it was once used for this purpose.

Unfortunately I got a bit carried away with texturing the cauldron and a lot of the story telling details I added to this mundane object was lost in the scene. This is mainly due to the lighting I chose but also because the player will never really get close enough to see.  I've used basic materials in substance painter and modified them to rust/dirt and scratch up the surface. I've also used the paint brush tool affecting only the Height map to add dents and other scratch and erosion damage. Finally I also painted small child sized bloody hand and feet prints.


This large focal area was still rather barren and my feedback previously was also ''what's stopping you from walking around the hole in the floor?''. I therefore decided to clutter this area entirely to look like a scene of chaos and block off certain paths. I had from the start wanted to include a witches circle on the floor, but with the Modulate mode for using Decal materials this made it ideal to create a blood stain on the floor. I smudged this in photoshop to look like someone was dragged or crawled out of this space.

To further break up the area I also re-added my broken floor tiles here. Although they do not fit exactly I really hope to find the time to create a rug mesh I can use to drape half way over them and the floor to make it look more like an active scene, then re-use the rug material on a new flat mesh to use in the ''safe zone''. I feel like the broken floor panels here add to the disruption of the scene as if whatever went on here ripped a hole through the floor. 

I've added extra items such as upturned tables, chairs and paintings. I would like to do one further decal here of something that simulates water or a burn mark on the floor.

Additionally a small extra detail is I resized a table and chair in the background, as if someone of more importance was observing the scene.

To add to the ''why don't I just walk around this'' I've also added the summoning circle- as it's blood red- to the damage dealing zone where the darkest shadows are in my scene right at the start. All smears lead to the death hole.

 I am hoping by this positioning throughout the game the player will learn that these are dangerous areas to be avoided for as long as possible! If I had more time I would have really liked to have modelled a goats head particularly for these dangerous areas.

I finally, only just in time, remembered to texture the roof and exterior wall which appears in some views in the upstairs windows. These were both on the same texture maps. As were the Pillar, frames and ''in between'' parts to the floor.


Although there is so much more I would like to add to enhance the scene and game play experience I'm not sure how much more I could cram in by Tuesday afternoon. Despite this, I do feel like I have achieved a lot, considering I've never used unreal to this extent and I am brand new to substance painter and designer. I'm really pleased that I used designer to make my own primitive materials from images which work well within my scene and I'm looking forward to learning this software in depth.

I'm glad I was more or less able to stick to my art bible making only a few design sacrifices for times sake and I am surprised I was able to achieve so much in blueprints.

However I still would like to try and add some sound effects before presentation as well as an end screen in the safe zone to indicate some sort of achievement to the player. I do wish I had more time to play around with camera blueprints as this would have enhanced the experience I've created so far, I hope that I might be able to do something at least in the introduction of the environment at the start of the game before presentation is due.

I was also given feedback that my door does not really fit in with the scene. Which I do agree, this was initially because I was going for a more stylized look but as the project progressed it just didn't work out this way. Although I would like to go back and re-do this I'm putting it to the back of my priorities as I would like to get the rug, one or two SFX and endgame screen done before I re do the door model and texturing. 





    





SideScroller - Starting to Texture

Work In Progress / 12 October 2018


Level Wip.

I can now confirm that my major blueprints now function how they are supposed to! This was through a combination of tutorials and trial and error. The final step was to add damage over time in a collision box and then whilst inside the box, if you turn on the flash light damage would stop. I struggled to get this function to work so had to get studio assistant Juriaan to help me out with this one. After a while it stopped working again for no reason, but today I managed to fix relatively simply.  Now all I need to worry about is making sure there's a button to press on the screen to make the flash light work on touch screen devices.

In preparation of texturing I spent last weekend catching up with UVing and merging all my floor pieces in my block out. Adding a couple of meshes including a roof mesh to enhance the scene. In hindsight we had a class that explained more in detail what working modular meant...so now I will be un-merging sections of floor pieces. Whoops!

I'll be relying on tiling textures for floor and walls. I was a little frustrated with my experimenting in substance painter as the textures were very generic. I am therefore very excited we got to experiment with substance designer and I hope to be using this a lot in the future.


Although not perfect I did quickly experiment and whip up a tillable floor texture in designer. It's not as bad as I thought it was going to be! But I will be replacing this with something better. 


Temporary test of grass texture in game just to see how this would look in theory. Grass texture was a hand painted texture I created over the summer. I intend to replace this with something less dense looking so its not so distracting to look at.

Choosing a mouldy ceiling texture to make it look rotten or damp. Will be adding light to certain patches to make it look like mould is growing where light sources are.

First pass at creating the wallpaper. I forgot to add a different texture to the outer walls. What I have since done instead is remove the outer faces altogether. I will be texturing the exterior walls separately. I think the wallpaper was a bit too bright so I am going to change the colour to something darker like a red or purple to be more ominous.

Hand painted wardrobe and wood texture. Wood texture was created in photoshop and the imported to designer where I adjusted normal maps and roughness. Then imported to substance painter to apply to my wood objects and add grime etc. As I thought applying a 2d shader would be too ambitious for this project I tested out using hand drawn black lines overlaid in substance painter. This helps enhance the shape and design of the wardrobe. I'm not completely convinced if this style of texturing will be entirely successful throughout the environment, but it is a simple layer to switch on and off if it doesn't work.  

Before adding a constant node to the roughness.

After adding constant node to roughness.

I had to add a constant node to my roughness for the wardrobe as it came out extremely shiny. It also appears a lot darker in unreal. I am still not quite sure why but might have something to do with how I export it or just the way my lighting is done. The black lines don't really show up in the scene, but I don't necessarily think this is a bad thing because they do add depth to some areas, it would be boring without these details. 


Practicing different kinds of decals in class. I intend to use decals to break up my walls (which will have texture changed) to show ripped wallpaper/wall underneath, damp sections etc. I may use the same method for the posters in this demo for my paintings which will appear in frames around the environment. If it doesn't become too expensive.

I had some feedback to not worry so much about getting a hand painted look. Most likely for this genre of game working on something more realistic will probably work better, especially in the time we have at the moment. I'm sure there will still be some hand painted elements to my work but it will not be the focus anymore.

This weekend I will continue building the materials I want for the scene and finish texturing all the major elements to the level. I'll be gathering resources to populate the scene using some new meshes and decals to break up the modular wall and floor panels. I also want to build the picture frames for a couple of small blueprints to add into my game level to emphasise the spooky atmosphere and make it feel like the house is alive rather than a static thing to explore.

Although I still have a lot to do I'm currently feeling confident in my progress so far. I was able to trial run the level on a tablet  and it seemed to work ok, so all things seem to be going in the right direction!

Hopefully Sunday I will begin to collect some sound effects and the final week of the project will be about populating the level and fine tuning the game experience. 

SideScroller Project - Blueprints

Work In Progress / 04 October 2018

There are some basic mechanics that I wanted to achieve in order to make game play interesting. This week I dedicated myself to trying to figure out the best way to implement these mechanics. The answer was a lot of trigger boxes.

First of I started with the basics for the flash light mechanic thinking this would be the more difficult of the bunch to implement. I put up some primitive placeholder lighting to see how dark the scene gets and how much the flashlight effects it, it may turn out that I decide not to use this light system after all. I still have to do a stress test on how expensive this is in game.
I used this tutorial to help me along: Flash Light Blueprint Tutorial My final blueprint for the flash light, as well as a battery drain looks like this:

 


Next I went onto the doors. I wanted to make these work first so I'm using the same opening animation for both open and closed doors. I will re-animate this later. This was basically following roughly what we did in class. Later went back and added the ''Can only open with key'' function. Instead of creating an inventory I used a system where again using a trigger box, then destroying the key, would be what triggered the door to open when approached it. This is the final door you go through so I hope to make this so that you can't go back the way you came once you've gone through the door.  


I also added a ''spooky'' effect door where the door slams suddenly when you only walk past it once. I will later be adding sound effects to emphasise this.


I did attempt a stair blueprint where the character would animate its way up the stairs in the background. However I couldn't get this to work and I'm still not quite sure why. In order to get a semi-workable blackout in the meantime,  I created a ''Broken Floor'' mesh which makes the scene look likes its caved in for the player to use as a small jumping puzzle to get to the second floor. I actually prefer this as it is more interesting to look at in the very first part of this level. So I've decided to leave it and use the staircase I built as an interesting mesh in the background.


For the rotten planks falling, even though we were shown how to explode a barrel in class, I decided to animate the falling boards. Apparently this is a cheaper way to do it anyways as there is no physics involved on lots of little pieces. I have set up a simple trigger box to initiate the animation when something moves over this. Ideally I would like to make this event only happen if the wardrobe triggers it but I still need to figure out how to do that.


One of the things that I thought would be the most simple to achieve I actually had the most difficulty with! I wanted the wardrobe to be an object that would have collisions turned off until you chose to click on it and interact with it. Then push it along and trigger the planks to fall. However just getting the wardrobe to fall was hard in the first place! I watched a couple of tutorials but I couldn't get a similar effect going. I ended up with a very complicated blueprint that looked like the below. However the wardrobe only moved along the Y axis. 

 
  With help from our Teacher and Assistant, Juriaan…. it turns out non of the above was needed and a simple Physics mesh and collision just needed to be turned on. I felt a bit silly...

Finally I decided to try and create a health system and HUD. Currently this is hooked up to a key press in order to do damage, but this weekend I intend to work out how to use trigger boxes to create damage in certain points in the scene so that the player will eventually die and have to respawn. I created a primitive HUD for the health bar which I hope to eventually attach a battery bar and flash light button since this will be for a mobile/tablet game and my current key bindings will be a bit useless. I used the following tutorial to help me figure out how to make a working health bar: Health Bar Tutorial



With all the exposure I have gained over this week with blueprints I'm starting to find my way around them better, however often what I believe is logical isn't necessary the same kind of logic blueprints use. So I do encounter a lot of trial and error, but I'm starting to feel more confident with it and it is really fun seeing things eventually work. I am happy to announce that I have a somewhat naked but workable level to a certain extent.
Once I implement the damage/death system and create a workable HUD with button press for the flash light I can focus on the other aspects of my project.

I have finally started UV'ing my assets however I wish I had done these earlier as it's hard to go back to them sometimes. Some meshes were horribly rushed and therefore aren't optimised well. My goal for this weekend is to get everything major I need UV mapped ready for texturing. Clean up my unreal scene so everything snaps to where it's supposed to and make sure my animations all work with the new UV mapped models. If I have time after all this I will begin modelling the extra assets I could use to flesh out my scene more. But I hope to get all my major blueprints and UVs done by Monday at the moment.