An eventful start to my 2020. It all started with a mountain of error messages in Unreal, followed by a 3 day migraine and as soon as I recovered from that... I got a cold... I'm surrounded by tissues and lemsip.
All of this set me back hugely on my project schedule. I was so frustrated. Although 3 days doesn't seem like a lot, because of my long commute to college getting as much done before we go back was really important as I can't guarantee I'll be able to put the hours in after college. (Especially since we have a deadline for our group project coming up too!)
Regardless I did make some exciting progress this week. As always you can see my live updates as I work on things with screenshots on Trello.
The first major milestone was my trim sheet! Sculpted in zbrush using some great free for use brushes by Fredo and Andrew Averkin and then textured in substance painter. I used some base materials and material shaders to set me off and then edited/removed/added layers to get the look I wanted. Currently I'm not liking how the metal has turned out so I am planning to push the oxidisation further by making it a lot greener and not as noisy.
I got some advice from Viktor Pecsi on how to do some intricate Iron work, and he suggested using an Alpha on my trim-sheet. Although I would have loved to have sculpted something for myself, I really wanted to get this trim sheet finished before going back to college. So I found an alpha stencil online which would fit into the Victorian aesthetic. I jazzed this up a bit and slightly altered the design in substance painter and now I have this simple iron work design which I can re-use throughout my scene.
Then the fun started....
When trying to test out this new material in Unreal I got these two fun errors...
It seemed to be an issue with Unreal and the way it was processing anything to do with shaders. As soon as I opened anything to do with Materials this would happen and it would shut down. So new years eve I spent uninstalling and re-installing unreal and this fixed the issue! But if anyone knows what else this could have been I would love to know in case it happens again!
Once in I could finally test my trim sheet!
Revisiting the Mesh
When testing the trim sheet it was important to see how things looked from the inside as this is the focus of my environment. However when looking up the metal bars just looked really weird and messy. I decided to try and make all of these much narrower to see if it would give the more delicate look I was aiming for.
I generally wasn't happy with the over all look and I was still getting some baking errors. I guessed this was because my light map UVs were too small. Going back in to maya I added some extra decoration using my trim sheet where I could and separated the mesh out into different pieces to help the light maps. To save on time for the moment I also UV'd the pillars to the trim sheet as well, however I would like to do their own texture if I get the time.
I also made a start on the door which makes a huge difference!
Just noticed I have a missing texture on my bar here! There are also some strange seams showing up which I think is where I have struggled to UV spherical shapes. I can go back and fix this at a later date but I really feel like I need to move on with other objects at the moment. So most likely I will try and hide these with strategically placed flower pots.
I've also added some of my grass I created for my advanced specialism to help visualise my intention whilst I'm placing these assets.
Revising the Project
A bit deflated because of being sick I am suddenly very aware of my lack of time. Although I am not giving up on my over all look of the project in the long run, for the competition deadline I'm going to have downgrade what I want to achieve. As much as I want my statue I think I'm going to have to do the Armillary instead, which I can use the trim sheet to texture some of it. But I am not giving up yet! The bulk of the hard work is done and now I can focus on the smaller props to build up a narrative in the scene. I'm also excited to work on a new tile material in designer!