High Poly Sledgehammer Asset: Low and high poly models

Over the past 3 weeks, I have been working on making my sledgehammer model in Maya. I never got around to making separate posts each week, so for convenience I will just make one big post about my progress on this

I initially started off by making a low poly model. To do this, I got my scaled concept sketches of the hammer, and used image planes to make a set up that would make it easier to design the hammer. I then created a cylinder, changed the subdivisions to 8, and extruded faces to make the main part of the hammer. I then used edgeloops to make a smaller section in the ‘middle’ of that main part of the hammer, and extruded out the handle part. After that, I extruded the small part out of the top and merged the vertices to make a small diamond for detail.

Low poly sledgehammer creation.PNG

I then UV unwrapped the model in preparation for normal mapping. outUV.png

I then duplicated the model, and began working on a high poly version. Initially, my plan was to sculpt some scratches, dents, or engravings into the model itself, but I couldn’t work this out properly and didn’t want to risk damaging my model for now. I decided to just bevel some edges on the model so that it would look neater.

I then tried to bake the high poly model onto the low poly model, and this was difficult. I followed the steps, and actually managed to make a normal map. I played around with the hypershade settings, and I think I managed to apply it to a lambert. I then decided to make some renders of the untextured model, because so far any renders are better than none.

sampledNormals.png

Looking at these renders, I think something is wrong with my normal map, but this shouldn’t cause any problems. These renders have the normal map on, and the edges are very prominent, so it looks kinda weird but it’s worth showing.

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So far, I am quite happy with the progress that I have made on my model. I’m really surprised that I actually managed to make a normal map, this is the most advanced modelling technique that I have used that has actually worked out right. I like the way my model looks, I am slightly disappointed that I couldn’t work out sculpting, but some good textures can make up for that. My next step is to make some textures for this sledgehammer.

Break the cycle: Walk cycle submission post

This is my submission post for my walk cycle.

 

 

To make this walk cycle, I made the pose to pose keyframes, then made it straight ahead between each pose. Links are below for all of my step by step posts on how I made this.

Overall I am moderately happy with this walk cycle. I feel like it need vast improvements but I’m not really sure how or where.


https://nextgenrachaelwingate.wordpress.com/2017/04/24/break-the-cycle-making-my-first-walk-cycle/

https://nextgenrachaelwingate.wordpress.com/2017/05/17/break-the-cycle-splining-my-walk-cycle/

Break the cycle: Splining my walk cycle

I spent today splining my walk cycle. Admittedly, this is a task that I have literally been working on for weeks, but only making little progress. However, today I got a huge portion of splining done, so I felt it finally warranted a post about it.

Last time I posted, I had my main keyframes done, and today I spent time making each frame inbetween these pose to pose frames. This was a long and arduous task, however I am now satisfied with these poses between. (I forgot to loop that cycle, so for now it is just two steps, however for my final product I will work out how to loop the animation so that you can really see it.)

My next step was to go into the graph editor and smooth out this animation. I set everything to spline and looked at it, and it didn’t feel right. I asked for some opinions from my friends, and the general consensus was that the wrists looked weird, so I went back and changed some of my key frames. Previously, I decided to use broken joints to make it look more cartoon-like, however when this was splined it looked really weird and didn’t look like it was properly splined. So, I put everything back to clamped and stepped, and I took out the broken joints and instead made it look more natural. I also removed the last frame, and frame 0, because it made the leg look like it was snapping down into place, so hopefully this will look better for the final product.

Overall, I am very happy with the progress I have made on this animation. I was stuck in a rut with it for a very long time, so my progress today feels overwhelming. Everything is batch rendered and ready to put into Premier Pro tomorrow, so I am pleased to be at this point. I like how this walk cycle looks now, before I felt like I was losing hope because it didn’t look like much, however now it looks much better because it has been fully fleshed out and splined.

 

Fantasy Character Design: The Lorithia family

A few months ago, I designed a character called Yumea Lorithia, a noble knight, and posted about her here. Recently, I designed the rest of her family, because originally I had planned to make a family of wood elves as a fantasy project outside of college. Lorithia family signatures.png

This is the Lorithia family. To the bottom right, I have a better detailed sketch of Yumea Lorithia, the youngest child of the family. Above her, is Ielenia, the middle child, and in the middle of the bottom row, is Aelar, the eldest. The lady in the top right is Enna Lorithia, the mother, and at the bottom right is Rolen Lorithia, the father. I decided to flesh out Yumea’s backstory, because she is the first character I have ever originally designed, and I figured it would be easier to improve her if she had some backstory.

The main reason I am making a blog post about this is to show how my art has improved over the past few months. My original drawing of Yumea didn’t have much detail to her face, so I wanted to draw her head, just to work out what she looked like. The drawings look quite messy, but this is intentional, because I wanted to show that these drawings are scans from my sketchbook, that I have taken into Photoshop and painted over with colours that had layers on ‘Multiply’ mode.

I am really happy with how these drawings have turned out. I am very very happy with Yumea, Ielenia, and Enna, but I feel like Aelar and Rolen could have been better. I think it is the eyes that need improving, they just don’t look right to me. This is the first time I have drawn an original male character, so I’m not going to judge myself too harshly.

Analysis of Game Design: Resident Evil 7

Resident Evil 7

Resident Evil 7 is a recently released title. With the hardware that is currently available, Resident Evil 7 was released on many platforms, including PC, PS4, and Xbox 1, and because of the current PS4 hardware, there is also a PS VR port available. This is the main reason why I want to talk about this game, because the VR port has significant changes and differences visually to the normal port. Because of the PS VR hardware, the game wouldn’t play the same with the handheld components, so Capcom made the mechanical choice of changing the fixed arm positions from the normal port, to separated models of arms that move wherever you move the respective controllers.

Resident Evil 7 is a survival horror game that is definitely aimed at late teens to adults. The demo that Capcom released really put across that this game was going to be scary and gory from the get go, and the poster and released images showed a scary picture of a girl’s silhouette in front of the destroyed house, which is also targeted to an older audience. The actual gameplay of this game has gone back to the original RE roots, after the series becoming a more run-and-gun orientated series, the series went back to it’s survival horror roots, and is currently a highly regarded scary game that is terrifying even to adults, and definitely not aimed at children, although edgy teens will also find appeal in this game for the scares and the thrill.

The overall games design of RE7 goes back to the survival horror roots with a bang. The game starts of with no weapons or defense, and you slowly build and find more weapons and ammunition as the game goes on. If you don’t look in the right places, you can miss weapons entirely, such as the shotgun and the magnum handgun. The gameplay is also more puzzle based, with puzzle pieces to find, and rotating sculptures to make the silhouette fit a shape. Fighting also requires more strategic thinking, and you need to use more environmental factors to assist in fighting, which mechanically makes the game more fun. Visually, the game well reflects the horror aspects of the game. The house is broken down, and the biohazard monsters climb out of moss on the walls, which for unaware players is terrifying when caught off guard. The house has a spooky and eerie air to it, and it has some uncanny valley to it, because the main house just looks like a normal functioning family house, however individual details like the broken stairs or vile post it notes in the fridge make traversing the house scary. The slapstick arms in the VR port do take the edge off the horror from an outside perspective, and this makes the game seem funnier to a viewer, however I haven’t played this VR port first hand, so maybe it looks better first person. The dlc for this game also takes the scary edge off, with games like Jack’s birthday party, Ethan must die, and 21 which all have funny minigame aspects to them like funny point score animation, funny voice acting and lighthearted arcade aspects, however the daughters dlc is a scary story heavy chapter that I personally would argue is scarier than the main game itself, which shows the family’s transformation into what they are in the main story. The game itself runs smoothly with the current hardware that we have in 2017, with next to no lag or slowness.

Analysis of Game Design: Final Fantasy VII

Final Fantasy VII

Final Fantasy VII was released in 1997 for the Playstation. It was the first Final Fantasy game in the series that was released on the Playstation, and this meant that the advanced hardware of the console allowed for new things to be brought to this series. FFVII was the first in the series to use full motion video for cutscenes, and use 3D models superimposed onto pre-rendered backgrounds in gameplay, which at the time was revolutionary. Even the 3 disks that the game was released on was a step up from the last title, because previous titles were released on the NES and SNES, meaning that they were released on cartridges as opposed to disks for the hardware of those consoles.

Final Fantasy VII was released and marketed for the teenage to adult audience, and this is greatly apparent from the gritty and action packed trailers, however this game has appeal towards people of any age because of the action packed fight scenes. FFVII is set in a dark dystopian setting that is targeted towards young adults to adults, and some of the overall themes of the game include dealing with loss, moral justice and misguided morality, power and the dangers of abusing it, the dangers of genetic modification, and to an extent, how being in the military can affect a soldier’s mentality, which are all adult themes that a child might struggle to fully understand.

The games design in FFVII is overall impressive. The turn based combat is similar to the games before, using the active time battle system to determine who attacks next and showing how long each character has to wait until their next attack. The use of pre-rendered backgrounds was new for this series, and at the time was a popular solution to creating an illusion of 3D space (for example, pre-rendered backgrounds can also be seen in houses in the legend of zelda ocarina of time). Visually, FFVII looks amazing for it’s time. The environments well reflect what their story and mood, for example the slums of Midgar look dark and gloomy, with areas like the train graveyard that look desolate and reflect despair and abandonment, whereas the Costa del Sol is a bright and warm beach resort, which reflects that everyone in this place is mostly rich and happy, and that they can live their lives in ignorance of the awful things that happen on the other continent. The full motion video cutscenes are even now amazing to watch, and they show the awesome moments of the game which couldn’t otherwise be done justice, for example the reactors blowing up, or pan shots of an impressive plane or action sequence that the 3D models couldn’t do justice. FFVII as a whole was so successful with it’s audience that Square Enix has even announced a remake for the PS4, which will feature a new combat system (which has changed to a real time combat system similar to that of Kingdom Hearts).

Break the cycle: Making my first walk cycle

For the last week, I have been trying to create a walk cycle. I hadn’t made much progress until today, so today feels like a good day to blog about it. I used the Jack rig to make this walk cycle, and spent today blocking and making the passing poses for this walk cycle.

Most of my time this week was spent on researching techniques and planning what I want to do for my animations. I planned a lot of the technical things for this animation, including the tempo for the walk, which I decided to keep realistic at walking on 12’s (even though this means annoyingly splining every frame), and I decided to make a happy upbeat walk, because it’s more fun to animate something that is full of life.

For my animation blocking, I made each 3 frames that were the frames where the model’s legs were most outstretched, because these are the most definitive poses in a walk cycle.

 

Then, I started to block out the passing poses in the animation. On frames 7, and 19, I made the model start to bounce up a little, and on frames 4, and 16, I made the model squish down a bit for authenticity and add a bit of vitality to it.

So far, I am confident about my animation and how it looks. I don’t think there is anything I don’t like about it currently, but I know that a lot still needs to be fixed with the graph editor, so that might be my next step, and I also might add in some more frames just to smooth out the arcs of the movements.