So for the past 2 days I’ve been UV-mapping and baking the character. I think it ended up pretty well! I used xNormal for the baking, and tomorrow the texturing part begins – I’m looking forward to it! Haven’t decided which program I will use for texturing… Perhaps Mari or Mudbox. When texturing in Photoshop you always get visible seams, which I want to avoid. So here’s some pics:
After we redid our planning i decided to finish off the most needed assets and move onto the level creation in addition to UV mapping / Baking / Texturing until i have finished it for all of the models that i have ready.
First thing i started of with was to create a proper lightmap for my modular corridor pieces, which turned out to be a much larger hassle then i had anticipated. After two and a half days of testing, tweaking and searching around on the internet i have a decent result, not as good as i would like it though.
Some more features have been added to the game, such like pickup, sprint, flashlight.
Also some things that the gamer will never know has been changed. Such as the key input etc.
Haven’t posted anything for a while. I’m 2 days behind schedule but now the low poly model is done. A few steps remains before moving on to texturing… That is optimizing, rig/skin test, UV-mapping and baking. Right now the tri count is around 10 000, which is quite reasonable. I’ve been making the retopo in 3ds max, it was the only program that didn’t crash. Otherwise I would’ve gone for Topogun. Anyway here’s a picture:
When there are a million things that can go wrong, a few usually does. But hopefully, if things don’t work quite like you predicted there’s a workaround. And that’s where Handplane comes in, a nifty tool to get the most out of your normal-maps.
So I’ve finally managed to get a normal-map as good as is achievable in UDK, and thats using Handplane. Above you can compare the two normal-maps, while both where baked in Max the one to the right shows a subtle but significant quality increase. Jump over the the Handplane site for more information about how it achieves this.
FBX also seems a little busted, atleast the 2012/2013 versions I’ve tried recently. Importing tangents & explicit normals into UDK from a FBX of this version produces worse shading result, while it should be the opposite. The workaround so far seems to be to uncheck Import Tangents and Explicit Normals.
I’ve included a few more images to illustrate, jump below for more.
I’ve been focusing on the mood and atmosphere. To be able to iterate on the overall outdoor environment every aspect is assembled and added to the level in an early state. This screenshot shows off some of those things. Nothing is final.What you can’t hear is the ambient sound, but that’s for another update.
We didn’t quite meet our schedule at the presentation, we didn’t have a playable demo containing all of the game logic; working doors, win/lose conditions etc. So after the presentation we got a lot of great feedback, especially on what to focus on.
We hadn’t really laid out the whole level on paper and looked into the game flow, nor had we concentrated on the props that had to be in game for it to work. Nor had we really given deep thought to how to make the game scary, at least not on paper. Our individual projects didn’t really mesh together at the presentation, it was more like 4 different projects.
Today we redid our planning for this and the coming week to totally focus on the game play and mechanics. First of we’re going to discern which props we really need right now to make the game playable (and enjoyable) in addition to creating the atmosphere we want through in game events, effects and sound.
Hopefully we will have more of a game to show soon!
Since we had two tile sets, one for the interior and one for the exterior facade of the building we had to match these perfectly.When we started building the level this wasn’t the case, we had tiles that were to big and an uneven amount of tiles in place.
The solution to this was very simple, both sets essentially have to have the same corresponding tiles and we have to be very precise when building the exterior and interior. However arriving at this solution took a while longer then we would have liked, almost half a day was spent on trying to match everything up.
The result however is that we can build the level easily now.
Multiple people working on the same level
We had a lot of problems earlier in the week when we were starting to place all of the props inside our unique levels inside UDK.
While the levels didn’t create any conflicts with SVN due to being separate files we hadn’t realized that having only one package (file that contains all the .fbx files) would create problems, we assumed that the packages could be merged if two people had worked at it at the same time, this didn’t work though.
In hindsight it was a rather simple solution to simply create a package for each of us, one for me and Joachim plus one for all of the logic items (doors, the creature etc.) so that there won’t be any problems.
Empty projcet VS Example project
The reason we threw the empty project away and started to work with the Example project is because most of the tutorials and help on forums were using the example project as a base on the scripting side. Only the programmer really felt this change as the only thing that was different for the artists was getting access to the example meshes, materials and textures which they could use as references for their own work.
The only person this change effected was the programmer, the artist also have access to the UDK examples material and meshes to study.
So, the high poly model of the character is basically done. I’ve been working in Sculptris for two weeks now, and yesterday I jumped to Mudbox to add the skin details. Sculptris became very instable as the polycount grew over 1.2 million triangles, so since Mudbox doesn’t add new geometry automatically when sculpting, it worked fine there. Now there might be some details left that I’d like to add, but that can be done in the normal map later.
Next week a new chapter begins: low poly modeling, UV-mapping and baking! Looking forward to it. So, here are some pictures of the high poly model: