For the client related practice module, we will be continuing with our Paragon group project and I will be further increasing my technical capabilities in order to help progress the project to meet the clients needs.
First I am going to build the Theater De-Luxe, which once stood on the corner of Anlaby Road and Ferensway (now Europa House).
This photo shows how the theater looked like around 1920.
This is the model I made in 3Ds Max, next I will be adding some form of interactivity to the model and then importing it into the UDK engine.
With semester two of our second year under way, we are looking to progress our project by adding animated animals and people into our environment. As our project is set in 1914; horses would have been a common sight on the streets of Hull.
To start with I downloaded this horse model from TurboSquid and then added bones to the model in 3Ds Max. I linked the bones that I needed to move together using the IK solver tool in the animation drop down menu and then added Dummy controllers to the IK links; this helps me to easily grab the part that I need to move.
Next I applied my own texture to the horse and set up an animation using Auto Key to give the impression that the horse may have been startled.
I was also able to export the horse and its animation and then import them int UDK where I set up the animation to be a triggered event, I added a horse sound to the animation too.
To achieve a realistic interactive environment for our group project I looked into adding a static human asset into our environment; this was achieved but the end result was too mannequin like. So to push the project on into the second semester I will be looking into the development of animated human characters which will populate and move around our environment.
To be able to move the limbs, head, etc., of an animated character or object bones have to be added to your model. To get me started I followed this YouTube tutorial by CG Swot that showed the bone tool being used to move a desk lamp.
First I made a model of a desk lamp with three pivoting joints (much like a human arm).
Then in the animation tab I selected the Bone Tool and then selected Create Bones.
I then clicked at a joint to start the bone then clicked at the next joint to end the bone and to start a new one.
This gave me a total of three bones for the lamp, the same as a human arm (upper arm, lower arm and wrist).
Next I connected Dummy helpers to the parts of the lamp that need to be moved and rotated, the Dummy helper helps keep objects connected to it move with it without becoming detached from each other. I also added some quick materials to the lamp and a lighting set up in order to render out an animation of the end result.
To make our environment more interactive for game play purposes I have started adding interactive elements. To the front of the Royal Station Hotel I placed a ladder volume onto the side of an archway, this will allow access to the balcony area to provide in-game refuge and give a good vantage point for ambushing the enemy. At the moment there is no visible object to climb up, so I will be adding a drain pipe or a rope so that there is something to give the suggestion that it can be climbed.
I will also be adding a jump pad on the balcony area that will propel a player onto the roof of the hotel, this will allow access to the roof areas of other buildings. Because this environment is set in 1914 i intend to make the jump pad invisible and place something there like some tar-poling or suitcases there that can be use as a launch pad.
I have added smoke to the chimney stacks of the hotel and I am going to add triggered sound and lighting effects to the surrounding areas of the hotel to give more interaction to the environment.
Building the model in 3Ds Max is only half the job, the other half is texturing. This can be achieved best by using photo textures, but this can require some manipulation in Photoshop.
This is just an in progress render of my model in 3Ds Max with a few rough textures placed just to give a little feel to the model.
This is the Paragon Station entrance to the hotel modeled and rendered in 3Ds Max, the textures use a combination of photo, drawn and downloaded textures as well and an ambient occlusion overlay which provides a shadow fall effect.
As well as populating our environment with buildings, trams, car and scenery; people will also have to be included. Trying to model a person from scratch in 3Ds Max is would be a very time intensive task for my limited skills, so I have chosen to approach the task by using a piece of software called Makehuman.
In Makehuman a 3D model of a person is available to alter and manipulate in endless configurations.
Models can be exported in various formats, for a pose-able model for 3Ds Max I exported in Collada (dae) format.
The pose-able dummy can be seen under the skin of the model.
Our people will need clothes, to do this i simply converted the skin to an editable poly then copied a region i.e. body, then I pulled and moved vertices to resemble a shirt then extruded the whole are so that it was slightly larger the the original and added some colour to distinguish from the skin-tone.
This was my first attempt so isn’t brilliant, but I am happy with the results.
This is the texture free model imported into UDK Editor in which we will be making our environment in.
This is a video made in 3Ds Max showing my finished letters.