Friday, June 19, 2009

Polished Fabrication Contribution

As we began our team work I soon found myself in a role not discussed or assigned to me by my team mates formally. I slowly progressed into a project manager. Not because I had any more capable skills then my team mates, but because it was needed for a team manager to delegate roles and define what responsibilities were going to progress the project further. As the project continued I found I had to spend a lot of time on my own working out what was needed during the next immediate week so that our team didn’t become stagnant or inactive. I was constantly assigning tasks, creating suitable times for team meetings and managing work and overlooking project developments and quality assurance.
I did not mind doing this although it was very time consuming and labour intensive, because it showed me how to tackle these sorts of skills. Working effectively with my team and not labeling myself as anyone other than an equal team member was an important skill I learnt. My contributions to Team Urbans was a regular task and my team mates worked diligently throughout the process without any in house conflict.

Even though having a team mate residing in Perth, we were able to work together as a unit effectively and efficiently. It must be said that at times it was frustrating not to have face to face contact with Gordon and having to continually transfer large files across the country through upload softwares. But Gordon and I began to bridge some successfully effective communication skills. It was sometimes apparent that email, msn and txting were not nearly effective enough to communicate particular ideas. During the last few weeks of the fabrication, we were constantly speaking to each other about issues of the design over the phone.

Now that it’s done and dusted, I can say that I thoroughly enjoyed working with my team on this Crysis adventure and would to thank them for teaching me some valuable business collaborative skills. I would also like to thank my tutors for an overall crazy and challenging course. But my utmost respect and gratitude go out to all my class mates, who helped, collaborated and endured as a group our "all nighters" in labs and ordering take out food at godly hours of the night.

We really did portray the true essence of this course. By constantly assisting each other, and supporting anyone who wanted help, I felt we epitomised exactly what a collaborative studio represents.

My contribution to Team Urbans Final Polished Fabrication:
  • Manage and organise team
  • Write team Polished Fabrication Plan
  • Team blog (95% of all contributions were mine)
  • Work out new design – (research, sketches, modelling in 3dsmax etc.)
  • Modelling building in 3dsmax (Working along with Pui Pui)
  • Recreate Sun/light fixture animation in max then Crysis
  • Create sarcophagus in Sketchup
  • Source and export gargoyles from max
  • Create vegetation for model
  • Export all components of the model into Crysis
  • Research relevant custom materials
  • Develop textures for model inside Crysis
  • Internal Lighting
  • Record videos for trailers
  • Research music and other trailer precedents for presentation videos
  • Create Information/presentation boards using max and Crysis
  • Assist Jo in creating Presentation Vidoes
  • Capture "stunning images"

The Cenotaph Images

Final Polished Map Fabrication - File Fronted Level;13908894;/fileinfo.html

If you would like to place our map into the Crysis editor:

  1. Place the "Objects" folder in: C:\Program Files\Electronic Arts\Crytek\Crysis\Game
  2. Place the "Levels" files in: C:\Program Files\Electronic Arts\Crytek\Crysis\Game\Levels
  3. Launch map called Urbans2.cry

Final Polished Map Fabrication - Trailer and Extended Trailer

Final Polished Map Fabrication

Our final “polished” fabrication of The Cenotaph has finally come to fruition. A progress of constant assessment and development has enabled our team to produce a combined and cohesive environment and structure. This stage of our design has produced a product that has based itself upon closely depicting the intent of the original architect Boullee’s design. He’s simple drawings and plans have been scrutinised with much debate and we believe our interpretation of he’s Cenotaph has been upheld and honoured with much effort and caution.

Through continuous design re-evaluations we’ve managed to realise our basic outcomes and design goals that we set out to achieve from day one. We understood that the emphasis of our project would eb directed to our basic design of the building, because essentially this is the hero of the fabrication. Its size, design and context have all contributed to effectively create a classic and elegant building. The buildings context as a monument, a landmark and also a place to honour one Sir Isaac Newton has encouraged us to push for a design that depicts and illustrate such a structure. We’ve incorporated elements that have merged to relate and complement each other.
Examples of this can be seen in :
  • the buildings overall elegant design (including structural vegetation, textures, shape, lighting and scale)
  • the emphasis of a spectacular light display (holes in the dome ceiling, generating stars, our sun/light feature and virtual night sky)
  • our theme of a graceful memorial resting place for Isaac Newton (sarcophagus, light display, monument)
  • Our environment context (Set in a significant place in Regents park, London.) This location portrays and demonstrates a series of divergent worlds. A huge classical landmark in the centre of a central business district, a parkland that encroaches into a populous city and a virtual night sky that is create inside during the day.

Up until now Boullee’s vision has forever been left unrealised, leaving this pivotal work in the imagination of all those who admire it. Here we have tried, at least in part, to realise this buildings virtually in a contemporary context so that it might finally have a life in the virtual world even if currently, it is still practically impossible to realise physically. We’ve illustrated this productively using Crysis as our paintbrush/pencil. We hope that with our design, we’ve encapsulated what was intended by Etienne Louis Boullee but also push the boundaries of what a real time environment can be.

Capturing Video for Trailers

Collaboratively, Gordon and I decided to split up some of the video capturing so that we could have a wide range of videos to choose from when editing.
We spoke about who was capturing what and we succesfully split up alot of the workload. Because Gordon would have to send large avi's to Sydney, it was very time consuming for him upload and so we evetually decided that some videos would have to be re-recorded by me. I also used a plugin called real lifesis that worked with the Crysis editor to accentuate terrific samples of some "time of day" settings.

I used a combination of recording techniques to capture our video clips. I used Crysis camera's and assigning paths to them. I also used a screen recorder much like a more advanced version of fraps called "Snag It". I recorded a total of 7 videos:
  • bridge/water scene
  • circular ending shot
  • exterior sunset
  • interior light and sky display (in presentation room)
  • lake exterior shots
  • zoom out from building to landscape
  • character looking out from upper tier to surrounding environment

Team Blog

Added to team blog:
  • Design Progression
  • Team Meeting
  • Project Issues & Amendments
  • Exporting and Texturing
  • Project Progress
  • Final Polished Map Fabrication
  • Final Polished Map Fabrication - Final Images
  • Final Polished Map Fabrication - File Fronted Level
  • Final Polished Map Fabrication - Trailer and Extended Trailer

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Project Progress - Model

Final images of complete model that has yet to be placed in our evironment map
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Information Boards

This process was creating the information boards that will be eventually displayed and placed in our upper presentation room. I found it was easier to manouver and create the boards in max and so this was how I started. The boards were created in max then imported into Crysis.
One issue I found during my process of texturing each board with an image, was that because they were exported as a group as 1 item. The Crysis material editor would assign the same texture to all of the boards. So to solve this I had to delete every board but one and copy them in Crysis.
Fig 1.) The circle of presentation boards

Fig 2.) Finding suitable images to be placed on the boards as custom textures - Here changing the jpeg to dds and defined pixel ratios.

Fig 1.) Applying the image as a texture in Crysis

Applying our Textures to the Building

Applying our textures again in the Crysis editor. We've chosen to use a number of different textures that would keep with the classic theme of the building whist giving a feeling of ambience inside. The textures choosen were from a mass of examples found thought archtexture catalogues and internet images. We came upon these textures as a group. My task in applying the right texture was time consuming and frustrating as most textures would not work with the main face of the building.
Because of the buildings scale it was vital to use a texture that would define and illustrate the buildings sheer size, whilst still achieving a old style look. I found as some textures would look terrific from a far. As you get right up close to the wall it would look unappealing. And this would sometimes would be the case vice versa. It was difficult to find the perfect texture that both looked realistic up close and from a distance.
Even at high spec's, the textures would distort and create a grainy and inferior texture. We also used a lot of Bump maps giving the texture a realistic feel and look. After many modifications, we came upon these textures and I believe they work with the design exteriorly and interiorly.
Fig 1.) First design of a sandstone block material that we felt looked terrifc up-close
Fig 2.) The jpeg of this material sourced from

Fig 3.) Modifying the image to black and white and then inverting the two, so that it could be used in the textures Bumpmap settings. By applying a "diffuse map" together with a "bump map", one can achieve quite a visually realistic look. All of the white coloured areas extrude much like material made from stone

Fig 4.) A screen shot illustrating how the texture did not look as good from a distance (as like many other textures I tried)

Fig 5.) A camparitive look of the sandstone block texture with a person.

Fig 6.) Perspective of all exterior textures

Fig 7.) Texture of archway dome into the building

Fig 8.) Staircase and walls

Fig 9.) Main room, Sarcophagus and platfroms

Fig 10.) Ceiling texture

Fig 11.) Sun/Light Texture

Fig 12.) Interior room texture with applied interior lighting

Fig 13.) Circular platform textures

Fig 14.) View below of interior textures

Fig 15.) Dome texture

Fig 16.) Front elevation without cast shadows on to show the true colour of each texture