Sunday, 24 August 2014

Compositional breakdowns

I thought I'd share some of the stuff I did last week, unfortunately its only going to be rough compositional notes rather than any images ;) you're going to have to wait for the pretty stuff. One thing I have learnt being here is that you need to use marketing assets to show the game as a finished product that you just have to wait for. In fact the marketing has to be really carefully co-ordinated with the game development so that you can show off some of the most impressive and stunning areas as if they are finished. The areas I've been working on have been far from finished and will likely change a lot before release but I've been working with the creative director and level artists to make sure the areas are up to scratch to the brand's name.

I've really had to improve my compositional techniques and there's been a lot of learning and critical thinking while finding the rough compositions to show to the creative director, Florent Sacre, who has given me some really helpful paintovers to improve the compositions. I've done some rough notes on some of the released ACU screenshots and I've done some notations of the compositions I've used.

Released screenshot annotated.
Released screenshot annotated.

The entire composition relied on something being in the red circle... there was nothing
Zooming in doesn't change a bad comp ;)
Here you can see the focal areas all sit on or support the strong Sinister diagonal including the perspective.
Here the focal points were all on the same line and that line was also the horizon... fool I am.
After Florent looked at it he told me to push the foreground character up. This broke that line on the horizon and creating a strong and well enforced Baroque diagonal.
This hasn't been used yet but I feel like it has potential to be a strong composition, we shall see.
Last week and I'm expecting this week I was fixated by checking Ipox Studio's Canon of Design and this really great pinterest board for ideas of compositional techniques and methods. I'll leave you with some amazing analysis of Blade Runner stills.

Sunday, 17 August 2014

24GB of RAM just isn't enough...

This week was an interesting one I was expecting a brief early Monday morning for some screenshots for Assassin's Creed Unity (hereafter ACU) but it sounded like it was delayed for a while so surprisingly I ended up doing some personal work, experimenting with some techniques for concepting and some ideas I had for creating a wind effect in UE4. Later that day I was sent an e-mail regarding some techniques and tools for taking these screenshots and getting the correct level of detail and how to use the tools which are almost camera simulators. This is really cool as I've become increasingly interested in the technical aspects of photography for the past year or so and can try and put the skills I've developed with my DSLR and youtube videos to creating some cool screenshots... Unfortunately for me there are some pretty amazing people who have made some marketing screenshots for ACU:

Stunning as you can see, I'm taking this as somewhat of a challenge to try and match this quality. The rest of the week was spent experimenting and exploring Anvil (the engine). You can see Ubisoft Montreal's look into Anvil for the public below. 

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Trees... argh!

So been working on some trees this weekend. The start always seems okay, making the trunk, branches and baking high poly leaves and twigs, but once I have all the pieces together dressing the tree always ends up really tough. I'm not sure how I'm going to continue but this is where my first tree for the project has got to so far, I am very unhappy with it at the moment and will be working on it more whether that is now or later I'm not sure, I'll definitely ask for pointers at work.

Final Texture variants

Render in max

The major problem at the moment in my mind is the lack of denseness and the incorrect silhouette, unfortunately its already at 3k tris so I'm going to be probably looking at a 5k tree if I continue as I am at the moment. This, plus the vertex painted wind effects I was playing about with on Friday really didn't look that great and so at the moment this is not vertex painted... I want it to be moving. Please note that the three trees are just the same tree copied and this will not be how it is in the future, I will also be making some foliage for the middle section just under the start of the branches which will improve the silhouette a lot.

Monday, 4 August 2014

Update on Caligula's Palace

Saw this the other day walking home from Ubisoft and decided that it would be pretty good for behind the painter/spawn point/camera of Caligula's Palace.

Made a horizontally tiling material (A,N,S,R,D) to create a tileset from.