Friday, January 28, 2011

Modulation takes time...

So as promised by the few that are following here is an update of the project I've been working on for the last couple of evenings.

I'm working on the modular building blocks to import into the engines of all engines, the UDK. Since brushing the cobwebs that had formed on the Maya icon on my desktop I realised that I was actually half decent at modelling. As Scott reminded me, I had downloaded the wrong version. And every icon had switched functions. And there was no multilister. And I couldn't unload the files onto someone for help. And there was also a funny humming noise emitting from my machine every time I clicked an button named 'Boolean'. But putting all the small issues aside, I came up with 16 reusable assets that could be quickly duplicated around an Unreal level to create variations of buildings.

The process was pretty straight forward, I started off by changing the grides lines in Photoshop to match the grid spacing in the UDK, this meant that every square in PS represented 1 grid space in UDK (using the standard 32unit measure). I decided what assets I wanted and went on the hunt for some nice photo references. Now, I'm no texture artist and nor do I have even the smallest amount of patience for texturing, however, I came up with some pretty interesting looking assets adding bits of grime and rust where I thought necessary. Afterall, the majority of how the texture will look will use the Material editor of the UDK.

I then went into Maya and changed the grid spacing again to UDK units using a tutorial on WoLD. I then created a plane that was 1024x1024 so that I would fit perfectly the texture I had created in PS. It was then just a case of extruding off the plane and creating the individual assets UV'ing where necessarly. I also changed the pivot points to the bottom left of the asset so that they could be easily duplicated in Unreal (Thats what the Epic guys do) and also create a separate UV channel to hold lightmap information and then exported!

That's my progress is as it stands. If anyone wants any links to the tutorials that have been guiding me on this emotional journey I can link you. Once in Unreal I'm hoping to add effects in the two window assets so that I have different coloured lighting, maybe a few blues and reds so that it breaks up the repetition a bit. I also want to mask out areas of the wall and other assets where I can add a snow overly to give the scene a nice cold atmosphere. All of this is theory for now and will probably result in a warm sunny beach in Fiji.

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