This Blog Post is a representation of the work I have done through the course of UNIT 1.

1.1

Apply understanding of a range of processes to support media activities.

Limbo Paper cut

Intro:

The key focus of this small project was to use paper to create sounds for a 10 secound Limbo game play sequence that was provided to us.

Key Processes and Techniques:

Analysis of the Video:

Our first task was to Identify the sounds that would be required to be recreated to the limbo game play dubbing, from closely analysing the sounds that we could here we dotted down a quick list of those sounds.

The sounds needed are as follows:

The precise footsteps of the boy, The boulder rolling down the log, the log sliding along with the boulder, the log crashing into the cliff, the boulder smashing against the wall (and child), the settling of gravel and sand after the boulders impact, ambient sounds of various animals and eerie noises.

Recording our sounds.

Our second task was to record those various sounds using only 3 pieces of paper, we where then placed into groups of 3 or 4 (I was in a group with 2 others), in our groups we theorised on how we could create the various sounds and practiced as well making sure to keep notes on this. We then needed to actually record those sound we where instructed on how to use the recording hardware, we then where given a time limit to go in our groups to find a place that we thought would be a good place to record sounds locating within the college grounds, after a few ideas the toilets came to mind, due to it being an enclosed area with decent (not perfect) noise isolation within the room we then recorded our sounds.

Editing the sounds within Audacity:

We then retrieved our sounds from the recording devices using a USB stick and distributed them to each member of the group, this is so that we each have a copy to then edit within Audacity. After being taught the basics of Audacity such as clipping the tracks, how and why to use the envelope tool and various other things. We proceeded to edit each individual track, adjusting gamma reduces the overall volume of the track and reduces distortion in doing so, I only did this to those tracks that needed to be quieter, I used to envelope tool on some of the tracks to soften the endings such as the gravel getting quieter as it settled, and I mixed together various random sounds that we recorded to create an ambiance track.

Syncing the edited sounds to the game play clip within Adobe Premier:

Next was to actually Dub the Limbo game play clip, we started this once a copy had been distributed to us. After being taught the basics and layout of the application Adobe Premier we where to open up the clip in the application and only extract that video from the clip and not the sound, we then one by one carefully placed and synced our sounds in the various sound channels so that when we where to play the video our sounds would play out at precise moments within the video, sometimes I needed to have multiple of one sound in order to have intervals between them, I did this with the footsteps due to at some points the child’s stops moving or is in mid air where he would not make any foot steps, Once we finished syncing up our sounds that was it our final video was complete.

Evaluation:

Overall I think the results of the limbo paper cut where pretty good, I admit I could do a whole lot better such as perfectly syncing every foot step and so on but overall i’m happy with the result.

Continuation:

For this task I was to create an ambience track from various free library sounds by mixing and crossfading the tracks in audacity.

I started of by going onto Freesound.org and searching for some ambient sounds such as animals and music. I shall link all tracks below.

Snowfall Music Track

Bird Sounds

After I gathered some tracks that may or may not come in use I opened them up in Audacity starting with the main music track, my intention was to allow for the track to loop properly, in order to do this I needed to soften the ending of the track using the envelope tool, I then duplicated that track by pressing control + A then Control + D, this created the duplicate which I then moved to the end of the previous track. Now I needed to soften the start of this track using the envelope tool, this is called crossfading. Once I had a listen to the music and was happy I then pressed Ctrl+A and then went to the top underneath the Tracks tab I selected Mix and Render which mixed the tracks together.

I then mixed in other ambient sounds edited using similar processes giving me a finished result.

Extension Task:

For this task I am to find two additional music tracks, One to compliment the Limbo sequence and another to contradict the mood and atmosphere. (Without Lyrics)

To do this I first needed to find the 2 tracks that I wanted to use, for this I used the Free Music Archive website to obtain these tracks, I already knew that Limbo itself is a weird and creepy game, same goes for the clip so I needed to follow that in order to complete this task.. the 2 tracks I found where as follows;

Complementary; Creepy Atmo              Contradictory; Happy Times

Reflection:

The addition of my Ambient Track I feel added to the scene although it may not of fitted perfectly with the clip itself I still think I did a good job at creating it, as well as it being a vast improvement on the original Paper made ambience of the original that was difficult to create compared to this one.

The complementary track I sourced really added eeriness to the game play and made you feel threatened from the mood and atmosphere of the clip making it fit perfectly with the creepy atmosphere of the Limbo game as well as a vast improvement over my paper cut.

The last audio track of the contradictory music somehow added a cheery mood to the clip although its clearly not fitting with the theme of the game play due to the vast difference in settings but still an improvement over the paper cut despite that.

Finished version of my limbo paper cut:

Hansel And Gretel Project:

When using 3DS Max their where a few things I needed to do before starting any model, The first was to change the Unit scaling, I do this by going to the Customise tab along the top, then into unit cell and simply Ticking the Metric box setting and changing the drop down box from its default to Centimeters.

Textures that are added into the Compact materials editor are to be named appropriately.

During the process of creating assets I commonly saved during intervals.

All models needed to be moves to the center of the Grid and be as close but slightly below the horizontal grid.

Gingerbread Man:

For this task I am to create a gingerbread man using various tools and techniques in the 3DS Max software.

To get started on creating a gingerbread man I first needed to reference, I did this by searching across google images to gather ideas, I then needed a template to go by, so I located a front facing flat image of a gingerbread man or outline of one to use, Once I had found one I created a plane inside of 3DS Max changing it’s height and width segments to just 1. To texture the plane with the template I opened up the material editor with M on the keyboard, Under the 1st tab at the top I selected Compact material editor which brings up a new window with several spheres, I dragged my Templates folder onto one of these spheres and then dragged that sphere onto the plane to texture it with the Template.

I then changed the angel of the Perspective view to be looking from the front at the template, once I had done that I created a Box over the width of the head from furthest left to furthest right, I then added the Editable poly modifier which then allows me to use the Extrude tool which I used to extrude the box to the Height of the gingerbread mans head as well as down to his neck area, however doing this covers up the template, to make things easier for myself I made it so that the model is transparent using Alt+X, Now it’s time to shape the head, to do this I selected the Vertex button (pressing 1) and turned of ignore back facing, I highlighted each vertex on the model and shifted along the axis so that they roughly lined up with the shape of the head.

When creating the rest of the Gingerbread mans body I needed to extrude the bottom poly at the neck downwards to around the crouch area making sure the poly at the chest area goes from the shoulders to the under arms of the gingerbread man, When adding the legs of the model I needed to add a edge in the middle, I did this by changing from vertex’s to edge’s (press 2) and selecting the front and back horizontal edge’s, by using connect this added a new horizontal edge splitting the bottom poly in 2 allowing me to extrude them to create the legs, I then smoothed the edges by moving the Vertex’s into place.

Once that was done I needed to Round out the model, to do this I selected one of the side edges and used the Loop tool, this selects all the parallel edge’s, using the connect tool I added additional edges to each poly like what I did with the legs, doing this for the entire body and adjusting the vertex’s so they aligned with the template behind.

Currently the gingerbread man was very cubic and needed to be smoothed around the edges, to do this I selected all the front facing poly’s and extruded slightly forward, I then used Bevel to round of the shape, I repeated this about 2 more times. I did this twice for the back of the model as well. I then went to the smoothing groups, cleared them and added a smoothing group to the model.

Now it was time to decorate the Gingerbread man, to create the buttons and eyes of the gingerbread man I first created a single sphere, squashed the sphere (back to front) using the scale tool and then duplicated that sphere and placed in the locations of the buttons and eyes. For the bow of the gingerbread man I created a tube in the shape of a heart, copied that tube and flipped it and added a button in the middle. Finally for the icing I used the a capsule, I then used soft selected to pull parts of the icing up and down to create a wavy look to the icing.

Once the shape of the Gingerbread man was complete it was time to texture the model, We started out by exploding the model to do this I simply selected all the additional shapes and moved them forward. However I needed it so that all the different shapes where all One model, to do this I selected the main body and under edit poly I used the attach list to select all the other relevant shapes to the model.

To texture the model I added the Unwrap UVW modifier to the model, underneath where it says open UV editor they is an Axis button, I needed to change this so that the model’s UV template is at the Y axis, I then opened the editor giving me a template, however if I was to texture it it will stretch at the sides, to avoid this I needed to relax the template, to do this I went into the tools tab and relax, I lowered the iterations to about 30 and changed it to relax via polygon angels, and I started the relax until it was of workable level I only did this to the front of the model, I then searched the template for any overlapping edges and used vertex’s to move so that they didn’t overlap I did this in the editor not on the actual model.

I then rendered the template and opened it within Photoshop CS6, I needed a gingerbread texture so I went onto Textures.com, due to their being no Gingerbread textures I had to improvise, so I searched for Sand and found one that can closely resemble a Gingerbread man Texture. To be able to see the Template in Photoshop I needed to add a new layer and fill it black, placing it behind the template layer in the list, I then created another layer and transferred my new found texture into a new Photoshop file, I then copied that texture over onto my gingerbread man template and layered it over the template making sure that the texture is seamless. I used a paint tool over the decorations in a bold colour. Because the gingerbread man must of been baked at some point it would be a good idea to add a slight burn to the back of the model, To do this I used the magic wand tool to select the outside of the edges,  I then inverted my selection but I needed to soften the edges by going to Select, then modify, then contract and set it to around 12 to 15, I then went back to modify but instead went to feather and set that to around 5 to 8, Opening the levels editor allows me to adjust how prominently the dark’s and lights are visible on the image, I adjusted it so that the dark’s are more visible giving the burnt edges on the texture.

UV template Texture File:

Now that my model is textured I needed to collapse the model, to do this I first needed to enable movement by right clicking on the Unwrap UVW modifier and selecting collapse all, I then used element (5) and moved the decorations back to the main body of the gingerbread man.

Finished Result:

Gingerbread Man Screenshot.JPG

Overall I’m happy with the result, I do think maybe I could have found a better texture or used a noise modifier on the icing to make it look more natural, as well as on the bow.

 

Cookie:

I am to create a cookie using various tools and techniques in 3DS Max.

Before starting to create my model I first looked at various reference images on the internet to determine the type of cookie I would want, I decided in the end to go with a chocolate chip cookie.

To start of with creating a cookie I started of  with a Champfer.syl which is found within the extended primitives tab, To make the shape more round I increased the amount of sides up to 24  and the cap segments was also increased to 3 as well as the fillet segments as this gave a nice base shape for my soon to become cookie. To edit it further I used Edit poly and had poly selection on (3) to remove the lower layer of poly’s of the model, I then used Border selected the edge of where I deleted the poly’s and selected cap to create a single poly covering that deleted space, however now the cookie has a really flat bottom so to round it of I used the champfer tool on the same edge and rounded it of only slightly.

Using vector selection on the center of the top of the cookie with soft selection turned on with a fall off so that adjusting that vertex will also affect up to the edges of the top of the model, I also adjusted the bobble within soft selection to create a more rounded curve in the display, doing this will mess with the fall off slightly so I just adjusted back to how I wanted it before hand, I then moved the selected vertex only slightly upwards to give a rounded look to the cookie.

When looking at the various reference images I noticed it was fairly common that a chocolate chip cookie was bumpy, now to have this look on my 3d model I needed to use the Noise modifier which I adjusted only slightly, when using the noise modifier I made sure that only the top half of the cookie was selected this is due to a backed cookie usually having a flat bottom from resting on the baking tray.

Now that the Cookie base was finished it is time to create the chocolate chips for my cookie, for this I simply created a single basic sphere and pointed the top with vertex’s only slightly with soft selection turned off, I then deleted the bottom half of the chip and used border to cap of the bottom, I then used champfer to round it of slightly, Now it’s time to place my chocolate chip, when placing each one I duplicated the original and used move, rotate and scale to give variation in the chocolate chips covering the entire cookie, Some where even embedded slightly into the cookie.

Now it’s time to texture the model but before that I need to make sure that all shapes that I have created are registered as one single model, to do this I added the Edit poly modifier selected the main body the model and then used the attach tool to connect each of the chocolate chips to the main body. Now that’s done I now need to Explode the model by moving the chocolate ships above the cookie just like what I did with the decorations of the Gingerbread Man before, I then added the Unwrap UVW modifier split up the template to have clear distinctions between the top and bottom of the cookie as well as half of the chocolate chips and then relaxed the template ever so slightly as well as checking for any overlapping lines. I then found a texture of Textures.com that even resembled a cookie even a little bit. I rendered the template, opened it in Photoshop and added a new layer in the background that I filled Black, this helps make the UV template stand out, to texture I simply copied the texture into the texture as a new layer and layered it so it didn’t overlap with the other half of the template, I then painted a regular and Milk chocolate colours respectively for the chocolate chips.

UV template and Textures:

To apply my texture I press M on the keyboard to bring up the materials editor, I then accessed the Compact material editor and added my texture onto one of the grey spheres, I then dragged that onto the model to apply the texture. Now that the model has been textured it is now time to finish things up, The only thing left to do is to collapse the model, to do this I first needed to enable movement by right clicking on the Unwrap UVW modifier and selecting collapse all, I then used element (5) and moved the decorations back to the main body of the Cookie just like I did with the gingerbread man.

Finished Product:

Cookie Screenshot.PNG

Evaluation:

Overall I think my cookie is as realistic as I could get it, I may of liked to have some sort of Crack in the cookie as well as maybe a bit more noise added to the model to look more bumpy.

 

Low Level Foliage:

For my forest environment it is natural to create some Low level Foliage to add later on, I will create this low level foliage by using various tools and techniques within 3DS Max as well as Photoshop CS6

 

When starting of creating a new model it is always a great idea to first reference images, I quickly scanned the internet and created a mood board out of the various images that I could take inspiration from.

Mood Board Capture.PNG

Mood Board Bibliography Links:

Top Left image:
Bill McCarthy [06-JUN-2006] New forest grass Gowin Woods, Standish Maine PBase.com http://www.pbase.com/image/61442358 [accessed 03/11/2016]
Top Center Image:
Found By Hellyo Luce [Original author unknown] [Date Unknown] original name unknown, Found on woodmark.com http://www.wookmark.com/image/142350/nature-green-green-nature-trees-forest-grass-1920×1200-wallpaper-nature-green-green-nature-trees-forest-grass-1920×1200-wallpaper-grass-wallpaper-desktop-wallpaper [accessed 03/11/2016]
Top Right Image:
Author unknown, 26th December [year unknown] Trees, forest, grass wallpapino.com http://wallpapino.com/trees_forest_grass_75195 [accessed 03/11/2016]
Middle Left Image
1st autumn forest http://zoom.nl/foto/natuur/herfst-2013-voorsterbos.2183759.html [accessed 03/11/2016]
Middle Center Image
4th Green forest https://stockphotos.io/landscapes/forest-grass-field/ [accessed 03/11/2016]
Middle Right Image
5th Green forest with path http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-106334114/stock-photo-dirt-path-through-forest-nature-landscape-background.html [accessed 03/11/2016]
Bottom Left Image
2nd autumn forest with path http://miriadna.com/preview/entrance-to-the-autumn-forest [accessed 03/11/2016]
Bottom Center Image
misty Horror Forest http://apkdownloadget.blogspot.co.uk/2015/03/horror-forest-3d.html [accessed 03/11/2016]
Bottom Right Image
Winter Forest http://www.tommayphotography.com/2016/01/03/into-the-winter-forest-at-kirchschlaglinz/winter-forest-11/ [accessed 03/11/2016]

 

When starting of creating my Foliage I simply created a Plane in 3ds max, which had both height and width segments set to 1, I then needed some actual textures to use for my foliage, For this I went onto Textures.com and found 3 different low level foliage textures, such as; Grass 1Grass 2 and Grass 3, When downloading these I downloaded 2 files from each, the diffuse map which is the file with the Green (unless otherwise) backgrounds and the Opacity maps with the White silhouette of the plant over the black background.

However with these new Maps I can’t simply texture my planes like I usually could, the maps needed some edit work before hand, to do these edits I opened all the Files I had downloading into Photoshop, I then made them all into one file by adding them in as layers. When I was working on of the Plants I needed to hide the others by using the Eye shaped Icon next to the layers, once all other layers where hidden I selected both of the layers I was working on by Ctrl+Clicking on each layer in the list I then changed the Image size into a perfect square at 520 by 520 pixels, using Ctrl+T I then scaled the images so that they fit into the image but the base of the plant was only slightly cut of. I then needed to fill the background of each image in a new layer that is the same colour as the original background, so Green for the diffuse maps (using the eye drop tool to get the right colour) and black for the Opacity maps with some acceptions, I then repeated these for each foliage file, When saving each Foliage document I made sure to hide the layers for the other types of foliage when doing so and saving as Plant_001 etc.

Finished Maps:

Once I had saved the Maps, I took it in turns to first apply a Diffuse map to the plane using the same compact material editor as before and then I added in the Opacity map under maps within the same editor underneath each Diffuse map texture, Once I did this for One of the foliage textures I saved the file as Plant_001 etc and then simply replaced the material to save the others. To finish up I needed to make sure that the planes themselves where just under the horizontal axis’ and in the center of the grid.

These foliage plans will be used later in the project.

Finished Planes:

Evaluation:

I found this process pretty straight forward and easy to do however that’s likely due to how the process was taught. I can’t think of anything I would do differently in the process.

 

Tree:

For this task I am to create a 3D model of a Tree using various tools and techniques In 3ds Max.

 

As usual when creating a New model I need to look at references for tree’s on the internet, It was a good idea to find an Image that I could use as a template just like I did with the Gingerbread man before hand, For this template image however I needed to have it in full detail and to be at least see or be able to guess when the Main branch’s of the tree will lead, I saved this image below as a PNG to use as the template in 3DS Max.

 

A tree.jpg

Once I was In 3DS Max my first priority was to have a character reference box, this is because the tree is going to be used later in my environment and I want everything to scale nicely, The dimensions of this character reference box is 84 Cm in length and width and then 192 cm in height, These are the dimensions of the default Unreal Engine 4 character model.

Now that’s done it’s time to start on the tree, I first needed to get my template within 3ds max, for this I simply created a plane with the height and width segments set as 1, I then textured this in the compact materials editor with the PNG file I saved earlier, I then scaled the plane so the Image of the tree looked proportional to the size of the character reference box, due to Hansel and Gretel being Children I scaled the tree more than I usually would to relate to their childlike size.

After creating the plan it was then time to start on the bulk of the tree, to do this I started of creating a cylinder about as tall as the tree itself going by the reference image the cylinder needed to have a total of around 28 height segments as well as having a radius that fits the thickest part of the main trunk, to make the image of the tree visible through the model I simply pressed Alt+X to make it transparent, The grid on the plane was  also Distracting so I selected the plane and pressed G to hide it.

To make the Cylinder to be formed like the main trunk and branch of the tree I first needed to create a line that followed the shape of the tree trunk and one of the main branch that leads to the highest point in the tree, I needed to use some guess work to see where the branch would lead too. Now I selected the cylinder and went over to the modify tab, I then added the modifier called Path deform (WSM), this will allow me to move the cylinder I previously created to follow the line, to do this under the path deform menu I simply turn on pick path, I then select the line and to move the cylinder over the line I select move to path under the path deform menu.

However once this is done the cylinder still remains it’s dimensions all the way to the top, all what I needed to do to change that is to use the Taper modifier, this allows me reduce the radius from any point in a similar way to how soft selection works, I used this on the top of the tree so it fitting the shape of the tree, I then adjusted the curve, If it ended up not matching the line I was to go back onto path deform and adjust the stretch to match up.

Now it’s time to texture the branch I have created, this is so that when creating additional branch’s later on I don’t have to texture them each time I do. I added the Unwrap UVW modifier onto the original Cylinder but when I do the cylinder resets to it’s position before it was moved to the path however it’s not permanent, all what I needed to do was to click the small test tube icon underneath the modifiers list, this allows me to see the finished product.

I opened up the UV editor and noticed that the very far left line of shapes where jagged with triangles, this needed to be changed so to do so I highlighted them all and right clicked, bringing up a menu, under this menu is the option to weld, this fixes the issue by making those jagged triangles instead be a full rectangle shape. A few things need adjustments for the UV templates, 1st of which required me to use Vert selection to select all the vert’s, and with snapping turned on with Ctrl+S to be moved so it snaps into the frame of the UV template (checkered box) The next thing was to scale the template in height so that the checkers that appear on the model are now roughly perfect squares at eye level, to enable the viewing of the checkered pattern on the model I simply select checkered pattern twice under the tab at the top.

My next process was to find a bark texture on Textures.com of wood bark, after searching I came across this Wood Bark Texture which I quite like due to the green texture, I downloaded the 512×512 resolution of this texture and then applied it to my tree trunk within the compact material editor.

Tree Bark Texture:

treebark_diffuse_map

I then repeated the steps of creating lines, and moving my duplicated branch’s so that they follow those lines using path deform and adjusting it with the taper modifier, but during this process I start to notice the tree is looking fairly flat from other angels, so to change this I did a close analysis on the image of the tree to determine what way the other branch’s twist and turn in a 3d space, and to put this in place what I did is in the modify tab with Edit poly I enabled vertex selection and enabled soft selection, adjusting the settings slightly and 1 vertex at a time on the line of the branch I moved it forward and backwards, In order to make it look that the branch had grown out from the main trunks/other branch’s I adjusted the percentage so that they slightly overlap with the main trunk.

Now it’s time to create the branch’s with leaves on. to do this I needed to create an additional branch but this time not attached to the tree just yet. Once again I needed a texture, for this texture I needed to find a branch with leaves that the entire branch was present on the image, after a small time searching I found this Texture, I downloading the original texture, the Diffuse map and the Opacity map, I then opened these files in Photoshop and just like the foliage combined them all into 1 folder as separate layers. Selecting all layers I pressed Ctrl+T so that I could re-adjust the image so that the orientation of the branch was as close to perfectly vertical, and the size of the branch covered the majority of the canvas, it also needed to overlap slightly at the base of the branch. I also changed the canvas size so that it was the same dimensions on each side (same as the largest dimension size).

Branch Maps:

I created additional layers and filled them the same colours as the different types of maps, so one was filled black and with both black and white layers shown and the rest hidden I saved it as Branch_OpacityMap, I repeated this for the diffuse map  with the opacity maps hidden naming it Branch_DiffuseMap, Because I wanted an Autumn setting for my environment opened the Hue scales and changed it to a more orange.. Once that was done I returned to 3DS Max and created a small plane of 100 x 100 in dimensions with it’s height and width segments set to 3, using the material editor I placed the Diffuse map onto one of the grey sphere’s, now underneath the sphere’s in maps I placed the opacity map into the opacity channel with the box ticked. Adding the bend modifier and setting it to bend along the X axis and bending it downwards only slightly, I then bent it slightly downwards but this time with the Y axis.

Using the 3rd tab next to modify (motion) I ticked the affect pivot only option and moved the pivot point of the plane to just about the beginning of the branch but not perfectly. I went to select path, animation, constraints, path constrant and then I selected a branch to move my leafs too. I changed the orientation of the branch each time as well as it’s scale and position along the branch, I duplicated the branch each time and adjusted it as well repeating this process until the branch was to a standard that I liked, I continued by right clicking Path deform in the modifier list and selecting collapse to and finishing with OK. to then fill out the tree’s various branch’s I copied that separate branch with the planes of leaves attached to it, I then went back into the motion tab, deleted the path in order to add a new path along one of the branch’s, I then adjusted each branch every time until I had covered the majority of the tree so that from all angels it looks full and fleshed out.

I then cleaned up the model by removing the lines and the character reference box as well as the reference image of the tree, I saved this as another file.

Finished Result:

Tree Finished.PNG

Evaluation:

Overall I’m happy with the result.  I did actually miss a step where I was supposed to use soft selection on the branched leaves to add some curves to the model so it wasn’t so flat. The process was simple yet quite repetitive.

 

Gingerbread House:

I am to create a  Gingerbread House inside of 3ds max by using various tools and techniques that are available to me.

As usual with creating a model I first need to look at reference material on the Internet, I found this:

Gingerbread House Reference.jpg

I loved the design of this gingerbread house and thought It would fit perfectly in a Horror setting. However due to our limited time it needed to be simplified, so the Tower at the top as well as most of the decoration needed to either not be done or modified.

In 3ds max I started of by adding a character reference box at the usual dimensions of 84 in width and length and then 192 in height. I also changed the Unit set up to metric centimeters.

When actually creating the gingerbread house  I started with the walls at first, creating a Champfered box found in the extended primitives tab,  I removed  the back of the box due to it won’t be shown so those poly’s not only would they ever be seen or loading but their increasing the amount of poly’s in the model and that is unnecessary. I then textured the model after looking on Textures.com for a texture and ended up on settling for the same texture I used for the cookie beforehand, I also looked for other textures for other parts of the house, however the textures that I wanted where not on Textures.com so I had to look elsewhere. The textures I needed where Wafers for the roofs, and Chocolate for the flooring, as well as something to use as the Windows and a texture for the Fences

 

I cloned and placed all the walls in place, they didn’t directly attach too each other because that is where the Icing will come into place, To make the Icing I first created a capsule, I increased the height segments of this capsule to allow for me to add a noise modifier to make it look a bit more natural. I placed these icings at the borders as well as half way up the walls.

When making the roof all what I did is create box’s, I set the box’s at 45 degree angels and used edit poly vertex selection to move the edge’s inwards, cloning the roof to line it. I also used Champfer box’s and regular box’s to create the porch’s of the building, the fences are also champfer box’s and the pillars are cylinders where I created my own texture and added the twist modifier to make it look like a sort of candy cane looking material. When creating the windows I used Pro bullion to create holes where you create a shape, in bedded it into a wall, use pro bullion and it will make a hole where that shape was, I however encountered an issue where it would create poly’s bordering where the shape was apart from the from, however this was OK because the windows I was going to create was simply just a plane that I could place within that In bedded area.

When creating the door I also used the Pro Bullion tool however the shape I used to create the hole I had cloned beforehand so I could use that to fill the hole in order to texture it as the chocolate bar door. (I cannot find the texture to Add it to the blog)

Finished Product:

Evaluation:

Overall I would say I’m not happy with the result of my gingerbread house, I think I was a bit too ambitious for this size of a model, I left a lot of the detail and the overall quality of the model is poor, and for some reason whenever I load this file up one of the fences doesn’t seem to have a texture despite me putting one on their and saving every time I load this File. (I’ve now fixed it) In my opinion it looks like cardboard, glue, cardboard tubes and sugar paper. What I could of done to improve this is put a lot more time and detail into the model, for one I should of decorated the walls and roof more, as well as had something decorating the front porch such as some pillars with something like Ice gems on top.

 

Unreal Engine 4:

During this task I will be finally creating my environment in Unreal engine 4 using various tools and techniques such as importing my models, using foliage painting tools to add my tree’s and grass models, adjusting lighting to my liking and adding sound integration using blueprints.

First time set up and adjusting settings and camera:

For my first time using unreal engine 4 I needed to do it in a specific way to make sure everything goes smoothly later on, I launched it from the Epic games launcher however I started in Offline mode. I created my New project as a 3rd person game and with no starter content, when saving I created a new Unreal Engine 4 folder called UE4 and I named the project appropriately.

I needed to set up my File infrastructure, within the UE4 folder I created a Hansel and Gretel Folder, and within that folder I created several others that go by; Landscape, Map, Material, Models, Sounds and Textures.

All files depending on their type of file have a colour coded bar at the bottom of their thumbnail, this helps sorting so I just saved files or moved them into the related files, the key is as follows;

Red=Textures, Green=Materials, Light Blue=Models, Purple=Sounds, Orange=Maps and Pale Blue=Landscape Materials.

Due to how long it takes to save my file I wan’t to change how often it auto saves to do this I go to edit, editor preferences, loading + saving and changed it to 30 mins.

Once I had created my map I needed to change my default map to the one that I’m working on, to do this I go to settings, project settings, maps and modes, default maps and I changed it to my map.

To change the camera’s position I go onto the 3rd person BP folder, Blueprints, 3rd person character, View port tab,To make things a bit easier for me I turned of real time with Ctrl+R as well as movement snapping then I dragged the camera so it is inside of the character model but also forward enough so the camera does not clip with the model during game play, I also set it so that the camera is fixed to the head, by going to sockets and searching for Head and selecting it. On the right hand side I rotated the camera by it’s X axis so that the attachment on the camera’s body was pointing upwards, I also enabled use pawn control rotation as well as controller rotation raw under components, 3rd person character. I then compiled and saved.

Moving Camera.PNG

Creating my environment within Unreal Engine.

Now it’s time to start my environment, First I went to File, New level (Ctrl+N), Default and saved in the Map folder. I then went into the Landscape Tab, in this tab I changed the section size of the landscape to 31 by 31 and pressed create.

Now its time to Paint my landscape, to do this I needed to go onto Textures.com and find a Grass or Dirt texture, I found this one, I downloaded the 1st one and named it Grass_Diffuse_Map and saved it into the textures folder.

Now I need to apply that Texture to the landscape, to do this I went into the Landscape folder, Right click to bring up the menu and created a new material names Landscape_Material, I then double clicked the thumbnail for the file to bring up the blueprint for it. I dragged over my texture, I right clicked to search, I added a Landscape_Layer_Cords, I then added a multiply, I used the links to link up the landscape to A of multiply I then linked that to the texture, I continued by adding a landscape layer blend, and I selected that box pressed the + button along the side menu gave the layer a name (Grass) and then I linked the texture to blend and then linked that to Landscape base colour, saved. To paint I went to the landscape tab, selected paint, and painted, I then saved using the save all button and reloaded the map. under the landscape tab and under the details panel on the right side of the screen I dragged and drop the material into the layers, pressed the + after right clicking anywhere first selected the top option and I saved this into landscape. When painting the material I used the paint tool under landscapes and set the tool strength to max and the brush size I increased as well as removing the fall off and I painted the entire map.

I noticed that once I had painted my grass material onto the landscape that the texture was painted on just way too small, to change this I opened up the grass material in the blueprints and reduced the Chonch B number in order to scale the texture and built the map.

Now it’s time to add a secoundary layer to create the Path and later the river bed but the way it’s done is in the same way. To do this I go back into the Grass material, I add the new textures as well as a new Multiplier as well as a new layer in the layer blend, and link accordingly. I then paint the textures onto the landscape by adding the texture with that + and top setting just like with the original grass.

Now it’s time to sculpt my environment, to do this I choose sculpt under the landscape tab and just sculpt like I was painting. using various other options such as smooth and flatten. However the Surface of my landscape had a weird shine to it and I didn’t like that so in the material blueprint I held the 1 key and clicked once, I then linked it to the specular in materials.

I opened my textures in the 64bit version of Photoshop, I saved the file as Grass_Path_Riverbed_Specular_Map, changed the quality to 12, pressing Ctrl+U+Shift and then Ctrl+L to change the levels, I dragged the middle one across to make the image very dark, I then saved.

I then saved that again as a Normal map, pressed Ctrl+L and dragged the Right one along so it’s dark but not too dark, I went to Filter, X normal and Height to Normal, I adjusted the swizzle so that Y+ is now Y-, I then imported them into the Unreal Engine 4 textures folder. I then opened my grass materials, I moved each box around to make room I copied the layout and linked it to specular and changed the texture to my specular maps, and I then copied that replaced the link to normal and replaced the textures with the normal maps and repeated this for my other textures as well and saved.

Importing ALL textured models:

Before Importing my models I needed to go through all other files that Have a path deform in them and Collapse too, I also needed to attach every branch together so every shape and plane are considered as one model, this only applies to the Tree.

I needed to make the tree taller so I selected the base poly and enabled soft selection and simply dragged it down, it did require me to add an unwrap on the main trunk using element, and scale the template so that the checkered pattern is less distorted at the bottom half. I also used soft selection on the bottom of the tree to add a more realistic look to it.

To import files into Unreal engine 4 I first need to Export my files from 3ds max, to do so in 3ds max I go to file, export, I created a folder within the UE4 folder and saved them in their as exports, before it fully exports I will need to change a few settings in the menu box that appears, the 1st is to tick the smoothing groups as well as the tangents and binormals options, then I go to media and tick Embed media and press OK, If any error’s appear such as incompatibility I need to fix them and then export again.

Now in unreal engine 4 I go to import, I find the folder, I deselect auto collision, I expand where their is a small arrow, under their is normal import method and select import normal and tangents. If materials are checkered (missing) I delete the bog map, go to material and delete the normal channel texture sample.

When scaling up the house I decided to clone my player start and move it to the house’s location to get a reference for the size of the house. If their are any checkered materials I select the model, on the right their is a materials list, I replace the checkered spheres with the correct material.

Here is a blueprint for my landscape materials:

Landscape Material Blueprints.PNG

Importing the tree:

Once I had imported the tree I noticed that the Planes for the leaves where invisible from below, so to fix this issue I needed to go find the branch’s material and open it, click on the background and change the material from translucent to Matt as well re-linking the opacity map to the opacity mask I also enabled the 2 sided option.

However the Tree was not allowing light to pass through to the bottom at all. I went to shading model, changed to default to subsurface (not profile) and I fixed the links by alt clicking the opacity input link. I also held 3+clicked to bring up a subsurface colour, I linked it and double clicked the vector to add a colour, due to the leaves being orange. I choose orange.

Using foliage painting tools to add Trees and grass to the environment:

Under the foliage tab (4th one) I simply drag my foliage and tree models into the foliage types, To paint the tree’s I had plants ticked off, I also changed the density so that it will only paint 1 tree per click, I also changed the scale range so that smallest trees are 1.2 and the largest are 1.8, I painted 100 trees in total.

When painting the Grass I had all plants activated and the trees turned off, I increased density and also added a sway to the grass so that it swayed slightly like in the wind, (Don’t remember how I did this though) and I covered the map with this foliage, I removed foliage where trees where to avoid a ugly looking clipping that happens because they are over laying.

 

Adjusting lighting to suit my style:

I am to adjust the lighting in my environment to my liking using various tools and techniques within Unreal engine 4.

The 1st thing on my priority was to make the time of day close to twilight hours, so late sun set, to do this I first needed to delete the current directional light, I then went onto the Sky sphere and adjusted the sun’s position so that it was just about under, however when I did this the entire map was just way to dark and I could only see the silhouettes of the environment. So I created a new directional light, I then placed this High up into the sky and reduced the power of it as well as I gave it a red tint to add that red sun glare. At first I thought it wasn’t working when I built the lighting and clicked play because it would go back to the black silhouettes but actually all what I needed to do is click on the game play feed and after a short delay it fixed itself.

Lighting.PNG

 

Adding sound interaction using blueprints:

I had previously created an audio folder so now it is time to import my sounds into my game. I then placed them where I wanted, the 2 ambient tracks where placed above where the player would would and covered majority of the map. their where some settings that needed adjustments however, In the details tab I needed to change it so that under the sound drop box to attenuation (Override), I unchecked specialise, Distance algorithm needed to either be linear or natural, I choose natural because well it’s natural. I adjusted the decibels until it was at a safe level. I also changed the attenuation shape to a sphere and adjusted the radius and fall of radius’, I also double clicked the sound file to open the options and to enable looping.

Creating a box trigger:

To add a box trigger I went to the place tab and scaled it to a good size where the player when they enter the box the sound will play, I opened up box triggers blueprints, I then added my sound and added an Overlap in the blueprint, I linked it to do once and add audio in turn creating a box trigger.

Adding in Footsteps:

When Adding In footsteps I needed to have footsteps sounds, I found this however I only needed 2 single footsteps, so I opened this file into audacity and found a quick sequence of 2 footsteps that I liked, I then selected both and copied, selected the secound step and cut that section and pasted as two separate tracks, This then allows to me to closely edit each step and then export them by selecting one, going to file and then selecting export selected as Steps_001 and 002.

I then imported my foot step files into Unreal engine 4, I then went into the Mannequin folder, then to animations, then I double clicked to open 3rd person walk. This then displays the walking animation and 2 time lines, I paused the animation and found out where the 1st footstep starts when the heal touches the ground, I then right clicked the top of the 2 time lines, went to play sounds and then added the 1st of 2 foot step sounds, I then found the secound footstep in the same way and added the secound.

If I needed to adjust the volume of the footsteps inside of Unreal engine then all what I would need to do is double click the sound file that is too quite and then change the volume settings within the menu that appears.

However when playing the game the walk speed of the character is too fast to feel natural so to change that I needed to go into the 3rd person BP folder, go into blueprints and then 3rd person character, I found the walk speed setting and reduced it till it felt right, the number I ended up setting it too was 300

However the rate of the sounds playing was also too fast so I needed to change that, going back to the animations with the timelines I found the rate scale settings and adjusted that too my liking. I set it to 0.3.

Timeline.PNG

Sound Production:

I am to create an Asset list of all the sounds that I could end up using in my 3d environment, I will plan the one’s that I will create, where I sourced sounds from and how will I create the sounds.

Here is the Table Showcasing my Asset List:

interactive-sounds-asset-listambiencemusic

Using Foley to create my sounds:

When creating my sounds or sourcing them I needed to make sure I included different types of sounds, such as locational sound so my ambient tracks as well as  sounds that play when a enter a specific location on my map, Interactive sounds such as the sounds that play from trigger box’s and sounds that play when the player does something, And voice acting such as anything that includes the human voice in it’s production.

 

Sound Post Production:

I am to edit and clean up the sounds that I have created by using various tools and techniques within the Audacity software.

When editing my sounds for use in my project I considered many things, 1st of which was is the audio track too long? then I would use the trimming to to edit it down, Is the noise interfering with the track? then I would use noise removal to fix that. Are their too many peaks in the audio that create issues? Then I would equalize the track, Do I need it to be One simple track? Then I would use mixing to blend multiple tracks into one. Do I want to customise the audio in my own way? then I would add some unique affects to my audio tracks.

 

 

2.1

Critically compare a range of communication methods used to convey meaning in creative media production.

In this task I am to compare a range of ways 3D models convey methods of communication to an audience.

What is 3D modelling?

3D modelling to me is the creation of 3D assets that are to be used in a game, sometimes the assets that are created are used to convey story such as an old ruin found in a forest tells that their once was a building here that was complete and so on.

I am to pick at least two contrasting 3D games aimed at different audiences and compare the uses of 3D for both audiences, as well as answer the question of how 3D models used to communicate meaning in these games? I am to be specific by explaining how lighting, atmosphere, theme, textures, model style and others are used to do this. I am also to explain how 3D is used to make the player feel when they are playing through a 3D environment.

The 1st Game I have chosen is; Dead Space

Dead Space is a sci-fi horror survival so generally you will have an audience that likes those genre’s, The assets within the game are usually quite grimy, either covered in dirt, grease/gunk or blood, this is mostly to show that it’s old, abandoned, and to sometime portray story such as a corridor is textured so that blood is splattered across that walls usually tells that a grim event has happened before your presence in time. Various assets in the game are interactive, their are assets that when interacted with act as shops customization stations, others can be looted and even enemies that you have killed can be brutally finished of with your feet.

The game environment is generally set on a space station that has been overrun with necro-morphs, the assets portray this in their textures like I mentioned before, the horror theme and atmosphere are enhanced by the use of lighting as well as any other special effects like smoke, broken machinery, The general art style of the game goes for a realistic look.

Playing inside of a 3D game entice’s the player, enables them to relate because it’s more closer to what the human eye see’s rather than 2D and that helps to immerse the player in the game, and with dead space that is perfect because it places the player in the game and when a jump scare comes along it’s all the more effective due to the player being so enticed. However 3rd person games don’t quite do this as much as a 1st person game does.

Image source:

Unknown Author, Unknown Year, Dead Space 3 review: engineering violence, Google something or rather, anyway this is the link to the closest source due to the link is blocked.[Accessed 09/12/2016]

 

My secound game I am going to compare to Dead space that’s on the opposite spectrum is; Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy 13

In Lightning Returns their are 4 major area’s, Luxerion a city full of residential, religious, clocks and a cult then you have Yusnaan, a city always holding a carnival you also have the wild lands, an area where people who didn’t like the way of life in the cities go to live an agricultural life style and then the dead dunes, full of old ruins, sand and bandits including the Fal’cie Atomos who you see in the 1st game of the 13 trilogy.

each having a different feel to them, the audience who play Final Fantasy are more in it for the story and JRPG aspects however some are also in it for the adventure, 3D is used to convey the physical representation of these area’s, the 2 cities are bustling with people, Luxerion has it’s large yet fantastic cathedral that display’s the importance of religion in the city, yusnaan as firework shows during the later hours as well as a coliseum, trade and cuisine is also a big part of the world so 3D models help emphasize this.

The wild lands is full of farms and grass lands but also ruins to show that the place has history where as the dead dunes is the opposite, the ruins are their too but instead of grass lands its just barren desert.

The style of Final Fantasy is a semi realistic anime style so the light textures but also one’s that have a slight realism to them such as the warehouse district has a lot of rusted walkways and paint that’s faded away this shows the age of the building. The lighting is usually bright, however some area’s will be on the opposite side of the spectrum, Final Fantasy is of the fantasy genre (obviously) so 3D needs to portray that however this game is in a way an reason to break that rule, their are a lot of advanced technology in the forms for fully automatic guns and mechanical machinery as well as magi-tech. The use of 3D effects and models help to portray the excitement of exploring this world that is soon to be covered in chaos (chaos is the main threat in the game) seeing the chaos appear during the world invokes a sense of desperation to the player.

Image Source:

Snow Villiers (actually a game character), April 22 2015, Yusnaan crystal Pillar, Google+.com, https://plus.google.com/110676585862077147109/posts/3pYjKaSnmD4,   [Accessed 09/12/2016]

How have you created meaning by using 3D in your own environment?

To be honest when I was creating my environment I wasn’t really thinking about creating meaning apart from clearly showing that this is supposed to be the story of Hansel and Gretel, I read one version of Hansel and Gretel and it said that their was a river that they could not cross, so I added a river with no bridge’s however it’s dried out due to the horror setting and Water being difficult to add to the environment with my skill level, I version I read also mentioned that only the house was made from sweets and nothing else so I decided to not add any additional sweets located elsewhere within the map. The autumn setting is shown via the orange colour to the leaves of my tree’s and some plants looks almost dead.

 

Final Evaluation:

Final Recording:

I am to explain what I did ensure safe working practices when creating my environment?

several things I took in mind when using the computer to create my environment, 1st of which is that I didn’t have any food or liquids nearby that could possibly spill and damage the computer software and have a chance of causing harm, the secound is that cable’s should be out of the way so that I won’t accidentally damage then. 3rd is that I sat up straight, the top of my monitor was at my Eye level, this is to avoid repetitive strain injury. and of course I am to act sensibly while using the computer.

I am to explain how I used audio and visual language (objects, textures, lighting, colour and sound) to create a particular meaning in my environment?

Using the ambient track that I implemented into my track gave this creepy feel (and weather conditions) to my environment as well as the growling of some presumably feral dogs in a dark area imposes a warning to the player (although nothing else happens). I use of dimmed lighting to create vast amounts of shadows and limited light also adds onto that horror factor. The autumn leaf textures I used clearly (hopefully) created the response that the colour of the leaves indicates the time of year to the player. Hopefully the sight of the gingerbread house portray’s that this area is supposed to be a rendition of Hansel and Gretel.

My thoughts on how my work compares with examples from the industry.

Well theirs is of professional standard and mine is my first major project so theirs would be far better quality compared to mine, however I would like to see what this would look like if I took more time and effort to create this and to see if I could match their quality.

 

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