Monday, 31 March 2014

Propper Jobs

This week Dan and I have been busting out all the props, amongst other things. We've got a lot to get through, but we're about halfway through the list we set ourselves last week.

I spent some time tweaking the mood and lighting of the level last week to better suit our vision of a grimey, wet looking city. I also added in placeholder cityblocks either side of the wall which REALLY helps sell the scale of the place already, they are very overbearing and it feels like a city already.

City blocks, before lighting tweaks

Added raised highways, fog and a nice wet sheen
Bin designs to push the futurism a little

Starting to litter the area

We're kinda of tweaking the lighting as we go at the moment. There are definitely areas and elements that are suffering at the moment, (that tree looks horribly green in the courtyard) and we'll have to do multiple passes and make sure the lighting suits the composition of elements in the scene and leads the player around the level nicely.

Cryengine's hologram shader does a nice job for the futuristic advertisements. I've also made some animated textures for the pulsating glow on certain props, which could be applied to ads and tv broadcasts with scrolling text.

Next up, more props and signs! And hopefully an animated monorail...

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Level Building

Since our last update we have started to slowly replace the original white box with designer boxes. These designer boxes were original planned to be used as a base so we could import the designer buildings back into max to make the final buildings. But due to a bug in cry we couldn’t export the designer buildings, so we’ve made the decision to make these buildings purely in designer. While this has made things difficult as we can’t use vertex painting to blend between 2 different textures, it’s has allowed us to build the level very quickly and because we have a lot of modular models to break up the textures it has worked out surprisingly well. Using these designer buildings as bases we used all of our props and modular assets to start building loads of unique buildings.

To make building the level as efficient as possible between the 2 of us we started to use the layer system in cry. We did have a few problems at the start of the project when trying to use the layer system with models and textures showing for one person but not the other, but we resolved it by making sure we had the same file directories.

We have a layer each to work on which relates to a certain part of the level which we are responsible for creating. Luc is focusing on the courtyard area, while I’m focusing on the commercial/police area. This has allowed us to produce the level very quickly.

As we started to build up the level we felt some small things we’re missing which would give us a lot of atmosphere. So to get a better idea of things we started to use cry engines default models, such as particle effects, water effects and vegetation.

We are moving onto the props this week, so we can’t start adding in the much needed character for the level. We have come up with prop list and divided what props which are doing:

Monday, 10 March 2014

Attack of the Shacks

The past two weeks we've focused on getting more large pieces finalised and in engine. We decided to go back and block out the bigger forms in cryengine, as the whitebox we initially used was one big mesh imported from max, we couldn't move things around and change scales of objects.
The modular sci fi assets are done. Some prefab buildings have been made ready to populate the levels.

 We've since decided to scrap the playable sewer area because it felt unnecessary, and also due to time, but will still keep the sewer pipe spewing out waste into the slums

I gathered some more ref to get a better feel for how the streets feel at eye level.

Dan's road is in place, making the level look 100x better already.

He also made a new cinderblock texture that resembles the brickwork in the Rio slums more.

 I've been working on a series of favelas to be placed around the sewer/low end areas, and using the blend layer system in cryengine we get a really nice worn plaster look using vertex paint modifiers.

Quick blockout of the monorail system above. The next stage is trying to get the path constraint animation that the monorail car follows into Cryengine, which has proved difficult because Cry only accepts TCB controllers
I've drawn up a quick sketch of the wall and am in the process of texturing