Blog

Ideas

During my first year of university, I had an idea for an RPG set in the medieval era. As a class, we looked at Dark Souls 3 to help us start off our ideas. I brainstormed a few ideas that consisted of mechanics such as stealth, leveling systems, cover systems, and resources. However, due to my limited experience at the time, this was out of my depth as I was just starting game design. I started to create some weapons that might help me think about the idea more broadly. I thought of what Treyarch did in Call of Duty Black ops 2 with the Blundergat, this is a weapon on the Zombies map Mob of the dead. In an interview one of the modelers was given two images of a minigun and a shotgun and was told to make something unique. Thus, the Blundergat was created, I wanted to create something like that.

Dark of the machine was an idea that came to me when I started University. The game consisted of two characters, Rufus and Charlie. Rufus was a demonic cat and Charlie was a demonic human hybrid. These characters were best friends and set out on a journey to find a talisman that contained the power of immortality.

Initially, I wanted to create everything but with certain situations and the scale of the game, it was not possible to complete every task on time for one person. I had to scrap the idea and think of something else.

Final Idea

I always wanted to create a space RPG game because I am a huge fan of both genres. It was difficult to create when I first started university because I was unsure where to start. As my skills and experience grew I became more ambitious with the idea and I wanted to add more to the idea. This is where the spaceship idea came to me as a 3D modeller.

I want to create spaceships and land vehicles such as space rovers because this is a challenge I can see myself overcome with the recent models I have been designing. This idea came to me when I was creating my previous idea for year 2 but I was not sure it would work. I am trying this now because I feel confident I can pull off the complications I came across last time.

Justifications

I am going to compare my project idea to games that are similar to games such as Star Citizen and Mass Effect. According to websites such as Metacritic Mass Effect 2 is the highest-rated game in the series with a user score of 8.9. I don't care about the meta score because some of the critics can a little shady sometimes. The users are the real audience I want to impress because these people are just ordinary citizens. The high score shows that this genre of video game is played and enjoyed an awful lot by players. My idea is to be an RPG in the far future because it is my personal favorite genre and Mass Effect is also an RPG and this is able to help me sell this idea in the market. Mass Effect is so popular because of the storytelling, characters, and environments. The quest system has been praised a lot over the years they aren't just generic fetch quests, they have their own stories too and these can affect the main story especially in Mass Effect 3. Players can also help their companions with their own quests which affect loyalty like in Mass Effect 2.

I did, however, have my doubts about this project, in 2016 Hello Games released No Man's sky which was poorly received because the game had many missing features and was advertised with elements that were not in the game at launch. Elements such as multiplayer were not in the game and most of the planets looked bland and generic. The User score is very poor with a 3.3 rating and the comments are full of angry players. This allows me to make sure I don't make the same mistakes Hello Games did back in 2016.

Mass Effect 2 Metacritic.jpg
No Man's Sky Metacritic.jpg

Tools for the product

In my development of this idea, I am going to use a variety of different tools and software. To create my models I am going to use Maya which is my main modeling software because it's what I use the most and have a lot of experience in. Zbrush will be used for smaller details such as corroded metal and damages. Further down the line, I may use it for other things such as shaping interior models like chairs and consoles. 

Texturing will consist of me using Photoshop and Substance Painter. Photoshop is going to used for adding logos and writing like ship numbers and brands. Substance Painter is the main texture source for baking texture sets, adding metals, colours, glass, and all the essentials. I will also use the renderer in Painter and then transfer it over to marmoset tool bag as the renderer is better than Painters.

Production Log

Week 1:

Before this year started I created a few things, this includes my Koenigsegg One:1 and my first spaceship. The untextured version of the car was the first render without materials because I wanted to test to see what it looks like in a render and if I could spot any mistakes I made. It was a low poly model and it didn't look great, so I had to trackback and fix these mistakes.

Continues:

 

I made a rough spaceship model of what I wanted and this was not going to be the final one because it needed a lot of work done to it. I was looking at different types of spaceships from games such as Star Citizen, Mass Effect, and No Man's Sky. The first model is a mixture of a ship from Star Citizen and a ship I found on Pintrest.

Koenigsegg One Idea.png
MicrosoftTeams-image.png

Week 4: 

Today I started a new project, I'm creating a brand new car and it's the Toyota AE86 Trueno. It doesn't look like muhc right now but I am confident this will be one of my best models, I am hoping it can surpass the Koenigsegg as it my favorite model so far. I spent many hours trying to find references that worked because a lot of the ones I found were not proportionally correct which caused me problems. I found a video on YouTube which had the same reference they had and I followed how this person did it. This person also had the same issues I had but they decided to improvise and I did exactly that. 

My Model

Reference Image Used

Toyota-AE86-Sprinter-Trueno.gif
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Week 7:

Now begins the texturing process of the new spaceship I decided to make. During my spare time I managed to research on how create my own maps because I wanted the ship to be authentic and make it my own. I learned how to create panels for my ship by creating my own height map but using the brush to design them so I can make them inconsistent, I wanted them inconsistent because the ship is hand made not machine. It creates a uniqueness for the model. I wanted to have fun with this and create exactly what I am visualising in my head. 

I did run into many problems with Substance Painter, the software was constantly crashing for me and I could not figure out why. It seemed to crash I when applied certain textures and generators. I updated my drivers in Geforce experience and then the crashes frequently slowed down and did not interrupt me as much.

Substance Ship.jpg

Week 10:

Started posting my work on social media sites and this includes Facebook and Linkedin. I am going to post on Artstation soon but I want to gather more models first so I can spend a day putting a bunch of them on there and see what feedback and results I get. So far on Linkedin I have been getting a fair share of likes and 1 comment from someone.

When I feel more confident that my work is to a standard I will start posting different types of work rather than just vehicles. I want to start posting weapons and other types.

Week 14:

After a few days, I got some feedback on this model and I was recommended to remake it as it was not a quality model. My initial intention was to compensate for the poly count but I was told to throw it out the window and got for the higher polycount. I remade this model a few times so I can get smooth curves and higher details. I scrapped all but the Floyd rose bridge as I thought it wasn't too much of a problem. I did however improve it a small amount as I noticed the string compartments were not long enough and did not have the fallen screw on the ends. I finished it and used a few different renderers to get the result I wanted. The render below is using Marmoset Toolbag 3

Week 17:

I have created a CV and I am currently getting feedback to see if I can make it better or to if it is okay for me to use. I used a website for the template because I wanted it to be presentable as well as filled with information.

Week 20:

Added some of the models even the WIPs onto my portfolio and I will replace them with the finished ones as soon as they are done. I have started my new project which is going to a Bugatti Veyron Super Sport Hypercar. It will follow the same principles as the Koenigsegg but this will be better in every way. I also plan to do the interior as well this time because it makes my journey look like I am improving that every small step. I wanted to get the rundown of the exterior first before starting the next because it would take me way too long.

Week 23:

The basis of the car is finished, I now need to unwrap it and create its own texture sets so that it will make texturing easier for me to group. When that's finished I will check for mistakes, create bevels where necessary, and smooth or harden correct edges. Finally, I have to smooth the whole mesh into a high poly and then export both the low and high into substance painter.

MicrosoftTeams-image (5).png

Week 26:

After analysing the car and going through it more, I found more issues than I anticipated and I decided to fix the issues and redo some of the mesh. The main issue I had with the car was the door as I did not like how I did the handle so instead of extruding from the door. I used a separate box model and used that instead and it looks far better than before.

Lambo_Door.jpg

Week 28:

Car is fully finished and is ready for the FMP along with my Spaceship and Koenigsegg. I used many different techniques and textures to perfect this model as best as I could with the time I have left. The Main Body was just an orange layer which I copied and pasted throughout the car so it saved me time. The interior was a mixture of fabrics and leather. The wheels were a steel texture with a black coat over it along with a rubber textured for the tires with some minor details. The brake calipers are a steel textured with colour and an alpha made of the Brembo Logo which I made in Photoshop easily. I only have two more models to go and I'm finished.

Front_Side.jpg
Interior_Closer.jpg
Wheels.jpg
Interior.jpg

Week 30.1:

The M4 is done and textured, it was an extremely tough job to do because I wanted to use a variety of textures, filters and techniques to nail this and best as I could. I did not create a high poly because I don't much time left for the pistol model to do. But I did what I could with model because I rather like it a lot and I think in the future and I can create the high poly and make the textures look much better,

Front_Side.jpg
Back_Side.jpg

Week 2: 

I have made some changes and added extra details to the spaceship, I had to mirror oneside to the other and merged down the middle to finish the overall shape. Adding rocket boosters to the back and nuclear fused raidiators on base back. I also added extra vents for ventilation and cooling. I plan on creating miniguns and cruise missles on the wings. The bottom compartment will have a bomb drop and rocket system to fire nukes and special portals for immediate travel. A few problems I ran into was that there is excess clipping on certain parts of the front.

I finally finished a first render of the Koenigsegg and I decided to make it my own. I chose colours and materials the real life car wouldn't usually have. I did receive some feedback, the feedback had one thing in common; it was that the windows and mirrors weren't reflecting properly and the material itself didn't look great. In the future I may have to go back change everything as I wasn't happy with the product.

MicrosoftTeams-image (1).png
Orange.jpg

Week 5:

After a long time designing the Toyota, I decided to scrap the car and just continue with the spaceship. I was extremely unhappy with the overall design and I went off a tangent when modelling it. I have speaking to peers asking them what other vehicles i could do instead of just doing cars and spaceships. I was suggested to design trucks, jeeps, and vehicles from movies. I came up with the idea to model the Tumblr for the Batman Dark Knight series. It is an extremely complex model to make as it is half way between a tank and an off road vehicle. This will most likely be the last model I will design as it will take up the most time.

I did manage to finish modelling the spaceship, I ran into many problems such as making small and critical mistakes that almost ruined the entire model. I was checking over the bevels and realised that some of the polys didn't bevel properly. I either had to, remodel a certain part or just delete the bevel and redo it until the problem was fixed.

Ship screenshot.png

Week 8:

I have been researching different types of models I could possibly make on the side of my FP. I have been looking at designing 3D props so Barrels, Lamps ETC. Down the line I would like to design my own guitar as a 3D model because I think it would be a fun idea for me to do whilst keeping my skills sharp.

Since I uploaded the drivers from my previous session, Substance Painter has been running smoothly and I haven't faced any issues since. I started to play with Marmoset Toolbag so I can have better renders and create turntables for my models.

screenshot000.png

Week 11:

Have a new project which I have been planning for a while now, I have been modelling my Fender Stratocaster guitar using Autodesk Maya. Its in early stages so far and I have only just finished designing the Floyd Rose bridge. This has really tested my modelling skills and I have overcome challenges I would have struggled with a few months ago.

Here is the bridge finished but not textured.

The right one is my model and the one below it is the real thing

Floyd Rose.png
Floyd Rose Original.png

Week 15

I was given more feedback on the previous render and I was told I can still improve it with better lighting and backgrounds. I thought of the idea to put it in Unity Engine and use a rotation script to act as a turntable. I also knew that I could add lighting and a particle system that would make the model look presentable. when I was in Unity I added a few lights on the light models that I created in Maya to make it look realistic. The render below is using Unity Engine in 4K resolution with max quality settings and HDRP.

Week 18:

Received the feedback but the CV needed some small changes and I have finished them but I am still waiting for the final input to see if its perfect or not. I am considering looking at my spaceship again because I have been recently receiving feedback that the glass looks bad and it needed to be changed.

Week 21:

I have been in debate with myself about my Final Project as I have come to the conclusion that a space type of game does not sound that great to me with the assets I have. I have a brand new idea that was inspired by a video on YouTube called Unity Engine vs Unreal 4. I got the idea that I could create a small environment and with high quality assets like a modern American villa house, cars, and all round furniture. The intention is to have it as interactable as possible, with easter eggs being teasers to the future development of the project. 

Week 24:

Here are the final renders in Substance Painter's IIray. I do plan on making a road with many details and then making a turntable in Marmoset Toolbag 3. The final renders will also be on the portfolio pages as well in the future. I did research on how make high quality textures for cars and this is what I came up with in the end. I did use filters to enhance the quality like sharpen helped with the tires because the details are difficult to see from a distance.

Week 3:

After so much trail and error I managed to finish a final render of the Koenigsegg and I am happy with the final results. This time I changed the whole material idea and colours. I did like the Orange and Black but I prefer the version with the silver, black ,and the orange stripe. I created more texture sets so I can have more UV layouts than before because this really negatively affected the quality of the previous render. I managed to make 5 sets which consists of body, rims, tires and smaller things such as windows, grills, and lights. It was difficult to create this render as Substance Painter kept on crashing for reasons unknown. The file got corrupted but luckily I made a back-up, the final result is on my portfolio page.

I received critical feedback today about my spaceship, it was that I should remodel because I should have created it with seperate polys rather than extruding everything. I agreed because I thought how difficult UV mapping and texturing would be. I started to redo the design but keep the original as a reference as I liked the shape and scale. So far it is much lower poly than before and there is no obvious clipping. I think it looks better than the old version and this shouldn't take much more time to do.

MicrosoftTeams-image (3).png

Week 6:

I managed to fix all the problems the ship had I began to unwrap as most of the quality will be presented in textures rather than modelling. Unwrapping was a very hard task as there are many complex shapes on this model and the smaller details like the fans and the vents, they are not difficult but time consuming and do become tedious after the first few unwraps. To make the quality higher on this model, I had to create at least 10 texture sets so that the UVs aren't small and the squares on the map are not huge. I did this by learning from my previous mistake on the Koenigsegg. For example: by combining the engines and creating the same material for all of them, in this case it is Lambert Green. This creates a texture set which helps me when I export the model into Substance Painter. In Painter it will come up with Engines in the texture sets because I combined them and nothing else will come up with that particular set. So, everything else like the body won't overlap or get in the way.

Hierarchy Shot.png

Week 9:

Started posting my work on social media sites and this includes Facebook and Linkedin. I am going to post on Artstation soon but I want to gather more models first so I can spend a day putting a bunch of them on there and see what feedback and results I get. So far on Linkedin I have been getting a fair share of likes and 1 comment from someone.

Week 12:

The Guitar is fully modelled and I fixed any issues it had. The unwrap took way less time than I though. I was surprised by the poly count as well. It is only 16.3K polys and I was hoping to aim for less than 20K. Maya's texture sets behaved properly this time. I had issues when I was creating my space ship but it actually worked better this time.

Strat.png

Week 13:

Ran into a small issues with the model when baking my texture sets, I did not layout my UVs properly which caused bleeding and horrible baking. I fixed it and textured the guitar and it looks pretty good from my point of view. I learnt new techniques, I learnt how to add letters and numbers onto my model and I also learnt how to create and add my own stencils. I did this by adding the Fender logo and wrote Stratocaster myself with the font options.

Fender_Stratocaster.jpg
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Week 16:

My confidence in myself has started to grow a lot and I wanted to start creating a proper professional and industry-standard CV. This will boost my chances of finding the job I always wanted. I am going to ask for some help with it as I have not written one for a while. For fun, I was also thinking of doing some other things like environments and possibly a character even though it is not my area of expertise. I am willing to get as many skills as possible because this will also increase my chances of getting a job.

Week 19:

I went back to the spaceship model and finished it but I am still unsure about the problem I have with the glass. I have tried countless amount of techniques but I cannot get the result I need but I will continue to try other things

Finished .png

Week 22:

 

New car has officially started development for the project and the model is a Lamborghini Hurracan supercar. I am very confident in the design of this car as it is easier than the previous one and I now have the workflow to proceed with it. On the side I have been finding ideas for the type of environment I would like within my project. I am trying to compensate for the style which includes elements such as luxury because of the cars I am making. Putting super cars in a broken down environment wouldn't make sense and would look out of place.

MicrosoftTeams-image (4).png

Week 25:

I received helpful feedback but most of it was that the car wasn't really in the position to be better but there were some extra things I could add like tire branding which I did by creating a stencil in photoshop using the Pirelli logo which is an Italian tire brand.

PS The Pirelli logo was added on the tires after the previous render. I

Front_side.jpg
Pirelli.jpg

Week 27:

Continuing to make changes to the car and I came up with the idea to create an interior and it was one of my biggest challenges I have ever faced because I have never done it before. I realised that the extract tool in Maya was the most useful option for me to use. It allowed me extrude straight from the side skirt of the car and inwards towards the other side and when I finished this I extracted the car floor from the side skirt so it can be its own mesh and this allow for easier unwrap.

Interior_Lambo.jpg

Week 29:

I have had a slight change in my FMP because I decided that I no longer wanted to create another spaceship. I went back to what I like making the most which is weapons. At first I was thinking of creating a minigun but due to time I wanted to create a 1911 Colt pistol and an M4 Carbine. I started with the M4 first and made that in 1 day because I found a workflow which was incredibly easy to follow. 

MicrosoftTeams-image.png

Week 27.1

Here are a few images of the entire car with the work-in-progress interior.

I also created the engine during this stage as I wanted the car to feel more complete.

PS. The car is not smoothed so expect it to have blocky mesh

I still need to make improvements to the mirrors as they are extremely blocky even smoothed. Also the seats in my opinion are bad so I will remodel them when I finish everything else. For now, these are just a placeholder.

Whole_Car_1.jpg
Car_Engine.jpg
Interior_With whole car.jpg

Week 30:

I had remake certain parts of the model because I used Booleans which caused me far too many issues so I remodeled all the holes by using loops instead. I did run into many issues when unwrapping because it took a long time because of how complex certain parts were and this my job difficult but I did manage to finish all them.

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Week 30.2:

The 1911 Colt pistol is finished and it was a quick model so I did not post any progress on here because it would have been a waste of time when I can just finish it. I did the similar texturing process as the previous model as they are both guns. Only difference was the use of height maps which I created in Substance using brushes for the grips.

Front_Side.jpg
Back_Side.jpg