Project Development: Places of the Mind update ♯9

Today I have continued the warrior character creating the belt, the gloves, the bracers and the shirt. In order to do the belt I used a cylinder and modelled it till I had the belt shape around the waist, then I have masked the form of the end of the belt to make the part where the buckle should be. I added some holes to the belt in order to give more realism. With the band of the belt finished I appended a cube, flattened it to get a plate and the using the Boolean process to extract a square from the interior of it in order to do the buckle. I have used another cube, this time stretched, to make the flap of the buckle. Then I used dinamesh and move to merge these 2 components and rounded its shape. I used move too to bring a bit outward the belt where the buckle sits.  To do the gloves and the shirt I used the edge loop technique and repeated the belt’s process to do the straps of the armband.

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Project Development: Places of the Mind update ♯8

I have been thinking that some parts of the model as the shoulders pads and the feet’s armor should be necessarily made in separated pieces because they are solid and they should bend and fold layer over layer of metal plate. As I did them all in one mesh they would deform when the character moves. In the shoulder case, I fixed this problem importing the original state of the shoulders that the metal plates were made in different elements to be merged after with dynamesh. On the other hand, the feet’s armor were made from an appended cube and worked with dynamesh during all the process. In this case I have decided to cut the model in two pieces, one for the toes another for the rest of the foot. I retouched both objects so they cut one the other and adapting the foot piece to have a proper curve to allow the bending of the toes piece without  stick out. I have comprehended that the best way to work with several pieces is to work them separately, for example, in the case of the shoulders I wanted to put a relief on them and some horns. I did the relief over the shoulder with dinamesh but I used a sphere in a different tool to make the horns. In order to stretch the sphere I used the move brush with a small brush.

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Project Development: Places of the Mind update ♯7

I have continued the warrior model giving more detail to the legs’ armor. Using dynamesh, I gave some relieves to the lower leg armor with the Demian standar and trim dynamic brushes. Then I continued with the upper leg armor giving it a dragon scale shape with 3 spikes in only one piece. I didn’t like it because it hasn’t to detail and didn’t look as an armor so, I decided to use the lower part of the plate to make duplicates and make a layered plate armor by putting one over the other. I have used the upper part to make another layer that would be the connection to the belt. I have also modeled the shoulder pads to give it relieve in the border of each plate and extruded some spikes to give more evil look to the armor. In order to do this I have masked the borders and used the move brush with a big size and for the spikes masking where I wanted the spikes

Project Development: Places of the Mind update ♯6

Back to the Places of the mind project, today I have modelled the General shape of the leg armor. As I didn’t like too much the panel loop technique to make armor, as it’s very difficult to use if you want to deform the mesh or sculpt relieves on the armor I have done the armor from basic forms as cubes, using Dynamesh and giving them a basic shapes with the move brush and more detail with the Damian standard brush, inflate and trim dynamic. In the case of the pants I used the Edgeloop tool because it was a piece that follow the shape underneath and I only give it a bit of deformation to make folds. As armor I have done the basic shape of the feet, knee guard and lower and upper leg armor. I modeled the feet piece as it was made by layers of plate. Tomorrow I travel to Spain to be with my family during Christmas and I will be back the 5th of January. I don’t know how much time I’ll be able to expend to work in the project as I will be with my family most of the time. Even though, I will carry my laptop with me to try to work and advance the projects. The laptop I have is very old and I don’t know which type of work I’ll be able to do, I doubt I be able to do the retopology of any model but I will try to finish the modeling on Zbrush and try to do the retopology and the texturing when I go back. I hope I’ll have enough time to finish the retopology and texturing of the projects’ models.

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Project Development: Red chases Blue update ♯12

With the low poly model finished I started the process of extracting the maps on Zbrush. First I have opened the low poly OBJ file and the high poly model project and I have appended the lowest model to the high poly project. Then I have split it to parts and reordered each part to have the low poly next to the high poly in the subtool window. Then I have used Project each time I divided adapting the new definition and approximating the high poly model’s detail. I divided the low poly model 5 times, then I saw have seen that the model have almost all the detail so I decided to stop there. I did this process to each part. Having then the subdivisions being the lowest one the low poly model and having the detail in the higher subdivision I was ready to start extracting maps from the model.
The maps that needed this comparison between the high and low poly model are the normal map and the displacement map.  In order to extract this two maps I had to put the model in its lowest subdivision level and use the proper sub palette, In the case of the normal map I configured it with the default settings but adding the adaptive option. For the Displacement map I used the default options. For the Ambient occlusion map and the cavity map I used the respective options under the masking tab. With de maps exported, I wanted to see how it looks in Maya.I have been able to put correctly the normal map, there were some odd graphical errors in the seams of the UVs but the rest looked good. Nevertheless, when I tried the displacement map it created some error in some vertexes giving them an incorrect displacement and height. I do not know why this is happening but I will look if I can find some answer on internet.

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Project Development: Red chases Blue update ♯11

With the topology finished, I have started to make the UV maps of the model. The process I followed in order to create the UVs of each piece is the next: First I select the object I want to make the UV maps hiding the rest of the elements, then I do a planar UV projection in the best orientation possible for instance, In the case of the body I take a frontal view. Once I have the projection on the UV Map I look which would be de best edge loops and lines to cut to unfold the UV and if the model needs to be cut in several pieces or not in order to have enough space to unfold. In the case of the body had to separate it in several parts (Hands,feet, head, ears and the rest of the body). Then to separate them I have selected the edges of union in the model and using the in the Cut UV edges tool in the UV map editor, then I have moved the separated pieces to work better in the UV map editor space. After this, I have done the same process to cut the edges to unfold the piece, selecting the edges on the model and then cutting them. With all the pieces prepared to unfold I used the Unfold tool in the UV editor to automatically unfold the object. During this process I have active the Display Distortion option to see if the mesh was properly unfold or not. If this tool show any problem I tried to cut the mesh in other way or make more pieces to give it more space to unfold. I have done this process to all the objects. In the case of the body I had some problems in the edge flow lines in the armpit because the selected edge line that go over the body till the side of the ankle ended in a pool instead to go through the arm till the wrist. Therefore, I had to redo the area of the armpit to fix this problem. I have also a problem in one of the legs where the edge flow didn’t match the position of the other leg at the level of the ankle, It was twisted 2 polygons. In this case I have deleted a loop of polygons over the ankle and using soft selection and selecting the last edge loop, I have rotated the polygons on the leg to match the edge flow on the other leg. In the case of some elements as the eyes, instead of using a planar projection I used the default UV maps of Maya, in this case a sphere. Finally I save the low poly model as a OBJ file.

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Project Development: Red chases Blue update ♯10

I have showed the low poly model today and the professor told me that it was too low poly. It had 7000 tris and he recommended me to double this quantity to increase the resolution and define better the silhouette of the model. In order to do that, I had to add loops and redoing the mesh in some cases. He also told me that the belt’s buckle as ha hard piece it should be separated from the model as it would be deformed when the character will be animated.
He also told me that the quad density should be more even along the body so I tried to put more edges where was less edge loops and separate them where they were closer. It took me a lot of time to complete the retopology because I had some issues due to the use of a live object with multiple layers of elements. The quad draw tool sometimes used a deepest layer to snap the vertex and was very difficult to work with it after convert it in a quad, because it don’t let me use or move some of the edges and the vertex again having to go out of quad draw mode, move the vertex outside the model manually and then, back in quad draw, soften the edge to put it in the outer layer. For future retopologies I will import models without multiple layers of elements to avoid this problem. All the process took me a lot of time because quad draw is very computer’s resource demanding.

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Reflection ♯10: Overwatch

Overwatch (Blizzard, 2016) is a team-based multiplayer first-person shooter developed by Blizzard Entertainment. I played it on PC but it was also released for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

It has very good playability with considerable and growing list of available characters. Its playing system have a very high and smooth curve of progress that gives good times to both, casual and hardcore players. In general the game is very polished and it has been a great success on the genre.
I have chosen to make an overview of this game due to the amount of references about Blizzard and others’ videogames that it has, linking this fact to one of the topics of the article I chose for my critical analysis, nostalgia.

First of all, it shares the game mechanics with the famous Team Fortress 2 (Valve, 2007) which was a great success and it is still played by a huge amount of players. Also, there are others elements inside the game, like the character selection screen with illustration of the character’s faces which portraits reminds character selection menu from fighting videogames like The King of Fighters (SNK, 1994). Moreover, inside the maps we found lots of references to other videogames, videogame’s culture and others Blizzard’s games. There is a map where we find an arcade full of machines as initial point, each one of them with references to blizzard’s characters in videogames that look like Metal Slug (Nazca Corporation, 1996) a classic space battle game like Halley Wars (ITL, 1991), Golden Axe (Sega, 1989), Arcanoid (Taito, 1986) and Street Fighter II (Capcom, 1987).  There are character’s designs that also have lots of references from videogames community, like D.Va which personality and phrases are related to videogames behaviour and jokes. Moreover, she wears a jumpsuit with Brand logos that remembers Professional Videogame players. There are even a direct reference to the Dark Souls’ Bonefire (FromSoftware, 2011).There are also gaming mechanics, like Soldier 76 or Widowmaker’s ultimate, which design have had inspiration on videogame’s cheaters behaviour like auto-aim or to seeing through walls.

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Another thing that I found interesting about the videogame is the animation of the characters and their design. Are very well characterised, the aesthetic have its own style and the animations are smooth and very fluid. It seems that they used a type of rigging that allows squash, stretch and deformation of character’s bones which allows a closer approach to how classic cartoons are animated.

Video from Youtube made by InorashiLoL (2016) about Overwatch’s Character deformations:

Conclusion

This game is so packed with Videogame and media references that I could continue adding examples for pages. As the article I read for my critical analysis say, it is obvious that part of the appealing of Overwatch is the use of references from other nostalgic videogames, thing that, at the least brings a smile to old gamer’s faces. The use of other videogame media or videogame world’s facts as references may bring appealing ideas to the design of characters creating new mechanics or concepts in some cases which can benefit the game as a whole. It is interesting to have this in mind when I am creating characters and environment designs so they will look more appealing to players. Also, it would be interesting to look how to make and use the type of rigging used in Overwatch which allows character deformation.

Bibliography

Overwatch (n.d.) [Online]. Available from: <https://playoverwatch.com/es-es/ > [Accessed 13/12/2016].

Overwatch Wiki (n.d.) Easter Eggs [Online]. Overwatch Wiki. Available from: <http://overwatch.gamepedia.com/Easter_eggs > [Accessed 13/12/2016].

PCGamesN (n.d.) Overwatch Easter Eggs – StarCraft, WoW and More [Online]. PCGamesN. Available from: <http://www.pcgamesn.com/overwatch/overwatch-easter-eggs > [Accessed 13/12/2016].

InorashiLoL (n.d.) I Have Seen The Face of Death [Online video]. Available from: <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-OMGog_W-2c > [Accessed 13/12/2016].