Monday 24th April 2017 – Friday 5th May 2017
These weeks consisted of building the structure for the environment such as walls, floors and the roof. They utilised the same process used in previous models and were fairly simple to complete.
The overall Environment went extremely well and I am very happy with the result. The final environment can be seen below.
Monday 3rd April 2017 – Friday 21st April 2017
Due to being off for these weeks I was able to get a large amount of work done as I could really hunker down and not be disturbed. On the first week I completed several models, the first was the coin for use on the desks. This asset was fairly easy and was almost all normal map detail as appose to polygons. The basic shape was a simple cylinder and by using the NDO software in Quixel suite I was able to draw the normal map required for the asset fairly painlessly. I used images of the collectable gringotts coins as my reference when drawing the normal maps as the original coins were not detailed enough on my previous reference images to be able to make out the detail on top. Once completed I used DDO to create a gold texture and applied this to the coin. I used a constant 3 vector in UE4 to replace the need for the albedo map and a constant 1 vector for the metallic map, as they were just one single colour each. This allowed me to save the file size needed for the maps and also made the coin more simple for the engine to render, which was important since there are so many in the environment. A finished image of the asset is pictured below.
Next I worked on a gold bar asset for use in the environment. This asset was again very simple to model only requiring a tapered cuboid for the low poly. Again the detail was in the normal map which was drawn in NDO. Similar to the coin asset I used imagery of gold bars from other areas of the theme park to inform my model as the images of the environment were too low in detail to make out the detail on the bars.
The finished asset is pictured below.
The next weeks I worked on completing the chandelier which I had done a small amount of work on in a previous week. This was very challenging due to the large amount of parts it contained. However the process for its creation was very similar to previous assets. The crystals were the most challenging part to texture as I couldn’t find a suitable shader set-up in UE4. This meant that the crystals came out a lot less translucent than I would have liked however overall I was still pleased with the outcome for the chandelier. The image below is a Marmoset render of the chandelier.
Monday 27th March 2017 – Friday 31st March 2017
This week I worked on completing the ticket spike asset which sits on the goblin desks. This asset seemed fairly simple however contained difficult parts which I had not immediately noticed.
First of all the asset contained a lot of fairly organic paper, which I had to find a way of making low detail enough to achieve a suitable polygon count while also making it detailed enough to be close enough to the high polygon version of the asset to be able to render the normal maps correctly.
I tackled this by repairing a lot of rendering errors in Adobe Photoshop, this allowed me to by pass the need for additional polygons. Also by utilising the square nature of the paper I was able to fit the assets UVs closely, which improved my texel rate across the model and allowed for more detail.
Also by splitting up the paper into individual sheets while rendering the normal maps it allowed me to not need to detach each sheet and render them individually which would have been a nightmare. I was instead able to move each sheet in by using a new edit poly modifier in the stack and then apply this same modifier to the high polygon model. Since the low polygon asset had been create by using the high polygon asset as its base it utilised the same objects and so moved each into the same place as the equivalent low polygon model. This can be seen below.
I then rendered the normal maps and deleted the modifier which removed the modifications made in the sub object level. This returned the asset to its original state and since the models UVs were not effected the normal maps still applied correctly. This saved a huge amount of time over separating the asset into multiple assets and then re-attaching them.
I then textured the model using DDO in the Quixel Suite. The final asset is pictured below.
Monday 13th March 2017 – Friday 24th March 2017
During the first of these two weeks I worked on the white boxing of the environment. This was incredibly useful for gauging the size of the environment and it was also a quick way of making sense of the main structure of the building. From this I was able to prioritise assets of importance and ones of less impact to the environment. This will be useful if time becomes an issue at any point in the project as I will be able to make informed choices as to what is most important to include and what could be cut with less impact to the environment.
Due to the lack of technical drawings of the environment much of the scale for the white box had to be worked out in fairly strange ways. First of all using an image which I found that shows a roughly 6 foot tall man stood next to one of the desks in the room, I used the standard UE4 character (Which is the equivalent of 6 foot tall in the engine) to build the desk to a high which represented the image. I then used this to work out the relevant length of the desk in comparison to its height. (This stage was completed during the building of the desk in the previous 2 weeks).
Next using this desk I worked out the high of the pillars by measuring the desks in a separate image against a pillar in the same image. I then made a careful decision as to the additional height which was lost due to perspective and the cameras lens warping. once I had this information I divided the height of the pillars by the height of the desks to work out a ratio of how many desks high the pillar was. Then in engine I stacked the desks up to get a height for the pillar (As seen in the image below).
By then using this information I was then able to work out all parts of the environment in a similar way, by using images of the real life environment and gauging the size of each asset off of an asset which I had create previously. Using this process may have seemed rudimentary however it proved to be extremely effective.
The completed white box is pictured from several angles below.
On week 7 I worked on the pillars for the environment. While I have not finished them this week I intend on returning to them at a later date ask I feel more motivated by other objects at the moment.
I feel that working on objects which I currently feel more interested in is important at the moment as I am likely to make a better job of them over forcing myself to work on objects when I don’t feel like it.
I therefore worked on an ink pot asset for use on the tables. I managed to complete the high polygon version of this asset as well as the low. However after reviewing it I decided that I wanted to create a more detailed low polygon version as the current was too sharp. I therefore had to re-complete the low polygon asset and re-unwrap it. It therefore took the rest of the week to complete the asset.
Monday 27th February 2017 – Friday 10th March 2017
These weeks were assigned to working on the Long Goblin desks for the environment. These desk have so far proved to be a challenge to model in a realistic way, mainly due to the wooden spirals on the front of them.
The process I use for modelling works on the basis of creating low poly objects with supporting edge loop geometry which then utilise turbo smoothing to give the object its soft edges needed for effective rendering of the normal maps. Due to this process needing careful placement of edge loops in order to get the curves of the models edges to look correct it made it difficult to create the spiral, which also get smaller in size towards the end. This often caused artifacting in the high polygon asset which caused issues in the final render. As such I needed to spend additional time to find a new way of building the spirals which also allowed enough space in the spiral for the edge loops to work as intended.
Due to the complexity of the desk and the amount of experimentation which was required to create an accurate representation of it, this desk took two full weeks to complete to a stage with which I was happy.
The desk was rebuilt from scratch roughly four times before I signed off on it.
The final high polygon desk and the unwrapped low polygon desk are pictured below.
Monday 6th February 2017 – Friday 24th February 2017
These weeks I worked on researching my environment. My goal is to build the Harry Potter Gringotts Bank, but instead of creating the one from the movies I intend on recreating the Queue line from the “Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts” ride at Universal Studios in Orlando Florida. I want to do this one in particular because I have visited it on my holidays and I was awe struck by the architecture and the attention to detail that was put into it.
The environment itself is very large, however due to there being many modular elements to it I am confident that I will be able to manage it within the time frame of the project.
The first thing that I did was to look through images of the environment and create a rough asset list. This helped me to gauge the size of the project that I was undertaking.
Next I began to gather more images from online of the environment. I tried to find as many different angles as possible in order to get a full understanding of the structure of the environment. Next I tried to find any video footage that I could, hoping that it would fill in any gaps in my images. I managed to find three videos of the queue line, two of which were fairly low quality unfortunately, however they do help to understand some parts of the larger overall structure which were difficult to gauge from the images I had collected.
Some of the many images I used as research