Thursday, 28 February 2013

Supervisor Meeting Diary: 28/02/13


So been a busy week for me after recovering from the cold, i have also became deaf in my left ear and it hurts from time to time. Also celebrated my 23rd birthday party on tuesday so that was fun and pretty hectic.

But now things have settled down and the realistation of hand ins has came crashing down on me and now i am in a state of panic.



Today I had a meeting with Ryan which was good, we talked about my results and what i was planning to do for my final project.

We came to the conclusion that the reason why I am struggling so much is that I am still not sure what i am doing.

so here is my meeting agenda:

  • presentation ( since we couldnt meet up the week after my presentation and i had some questions to ask about it i wanted to discuss things then )
  • Semester 1 results: damaged my motivation and im struggling to inspire myself to do work

Agreed action points

after discussing the agenda we came up with a few but very important things for me to do,

  1. Get an idea for the final project
  2. Conceptualise that idea to show to Ryan  on 07/04/13
  3. Tell Ryan, Why are you doing the project and how are you going to do it

Also as a side project i keep laying it off but i MUST make a start on this dissertation by the end of this week i plan to have it blocked out at least

Monday, 25 February 2013

Personal Development: animjam2013


So its been a while that i made a post due to being relatively busy going back and forth to my hometown for my birthday and coming down with some sort of illness.

Now however I am starting to recover and feeling more ready to get back into things, I received my marks last week aswell for last semester and I have to be honest and say I am really not happy with my marks atall feels like I put in alot of effort for no reward. Which has had a huge negative impact on my workflow. which I am aware I will need to find a way to get myself back into the swing of things, planning on it being the main focus with my meeting with Ryan on Thursday, also hopefully when we get our feedback sometime this week , I can go talk to Brian and Lynn to talk about why I was marked (what i feel) so harshly.

Anyways back to a more postive side of things, today i managed to get my animation that i made on the 15th - 17th in Abertays first Animation Jam,

we had 48 hours to conceptualize and create from scratch a short animation with a theme "a pleasant surprise".

As a one man team I decided to make my game in the style of retro 2d pixel art most notably the Gameboy aesthetic.

However since it was just me to make everything alot of shortcuts were made to simplify the story and animation to make it possible for me to get finished in the time constrainst given.

Thats what i was left with,

Due to tiredness I forgot to turn up the quality when exporting so thats why it is all wobbly/shaking and has the black boxes at each side. but i guess in a way it works with the retro aesthetic of the animation.

I dunno if i like it though, think im getting to critical about my work...

let me know what you think, would you like to see more animation base pixel art or do you think it should stick within the relms of games?

Monday, 18 February 2013

Presentation: Evaluation


So I had my pitch on friday the the 15th and it seemed to be reasonably good I managed to keep my nerves somewhat in check (think the darkness of the HMC helped)

I think, I may have brushed over somethings to quickly ( i always  keep notes of things i want to say but only actually remember to say 2 out of 5 notes )

however when it came to feedback,

Ryan, was quiet which I dont know whether that can be considered a good or bad thing he is my supervisor so i thought he would have said something, I thought he would be rather impressed to see that i have found a relatively effective way to make 3D pixel art considering he was rather ethusiastic about the stuff i showed him at one of our presentations.

Lynn, seemed to be rather happy with what i discussed i didnt get nothing rather negative, she did talk about how i could make something of pixel art that isnt focused on games yet still get people to react all warm and fuzzy as if they had seen something from their past that they enjoyed.

Robin, liked my rather personal opinion on why i think pixel art holds value to us, and thats of it abillity to not feel outdated games still look good because they arnt trying to be anything else, whilst realism games age badly because they are trying to be realistic yet get succeeded by better more realistic looking games when superior technology is used.

(i shall post up a more detailed post later on to explain this )

unfortunately for this presentation i thought it would be a good idea to record my presentation on my phone so i didnt have to take notes of the feedback (since im hopeless at it) unfortunately the recorder on my phone had a hard time picking up lynn and robin and couldnt pick up what brian said atall.

In my next presentation i will prob leave my phone up nearer to where the lecturers are rather than bringing it down with me.

David M

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Personal Development Portfolio: 3D Pixel art character


So following on from my previous attempt I decided to try touching up my renders in photoshop, with flat colour textures.

I wanted to move away from the lorry and try with something thats flat textures and a bit more complicated like a character.

Not wanting to spend my time with modelling etc, I decided to go with a model from team fortress, following from my previous attempt:

reasons behind this is they are already modelled and uvd and textured with a flat colour cell shaded texture.

So yeah using the rendering methods stated in the previous post i rendered out the model at 128x128 pixels

As you can see by the enlarged image unfortunately i havnt snuffed out AA completely. However I sorted this as best i could and gave the image an outlines and added highlights and shading.

As you can see this gives a 3D model a pixel art look.... couple of issues:

  1. the model is still more complicated than necessary.
  2. more time will be saved when i find a way to get rid of the AA in my renders completely

So next up would be model my own simpler character and possibly a spritesheet/model rotation animation. something like this from,

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Personal Development: 3D Pixel art progress


So I have made further progress in making my 3D models render more like pixel art,

Following on from that thread posted on polycount I have been playing with my render settings to achieve pixel art rather than making Pixel art textures and leaving it at that. Problem with this is that it didn't look like pixel art to me.


This is how my stuff looked originally.

Top : Pixel Art render techniques on
Bottom : original model

So this is whats changed along with the alterations made on the texture filter etc I have reduced the render resolution, added an outline and turned down the AA as much as I can.

The pixel art looks far better however there is a few issues,

  1. The pixel art texture may now be too complicated
  2. The AA is still on this is what is making the strange jaggies most notably on the lettering.

So, possible fixes, I could give the texture flat colours then doctor each render image to add detail etc advantages of this is i could add more detail in the model disadvantage is having to doctor each frame ( for a simple turnaround animation that would be like 255 frames. Finding a way to get rid of AA completely would help greatly and there has to be an option in there somewhere.

However, with all this editing and altering after render I dont see this working in say a game engine, however im not giving up yet and will prob work on this method further to see if I can improve my results.


AA has been improved upon in render,

As you can see the texture has came out better less jaggies or what i have started to call them 'teeth' on the letters etc has been significantly reduced however the ones that are there can be removed due to the positioning of the camera. annoyingly the outline still gets AA no matter what i do it appears. this could be sorted by removing it then doing it in the Post render stages. however this might increase the time, it would take.

Friday, 8 February 2013

Supervisor Meeting Diary: 08/02/13


So today I have another meeting with Ryan at 14:30 heres what i have planned:

Meeting Agenda

  • Questionnaire: questions?
  • Presentation
  • Ethics form got rejected 

Progress Report
  •  Project ideas
  • critical framework

Agreed Action Points

  • can 3d pixel art work in a game engine
  • presentation -show briefly where you were , where you are and where its going (prove that you know what you are doing

Will edit after meeting

A quick side note, I keep forgetting that despite all this stuff I have also got this dissertation to worry about. NEED TO MAKE A START SOON!!

Exposition: hand-in

This is going to be a small entry, 

I submitted my infrastructure form and also the showcase layout, heres what i have in mind: 

So yeah, self explanatory really, i kinda wanted to mount my ipad so i can display more pics using less space but for safety reasons (dont want it stolen) i decided against the idea.

A side note: also got an email saying my ethics form was rejected because, how can i guarantee that the people im using were 18 or over, even though i said i would be using peers from the same year. Dont think its possible to be in 4th year and be younger than 18 =/

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Personal Development Portfolio: Explosion


Well today I wasn't really up for doing some 3D stuff and wanted to animate something,

This ended up me doing an explosion, heres the gif:

original size

In second year for my animation module i created this short animation:

I was really happy with how it worked out made it worth the 6 hours to draw/animate.. one bit i wasnt too happy was with the initial explosion.

needed more "punch" 

I really like this animation by Ryan woodward,

I really liked the explosion it looked kinetic and smooth, so i used the first part of the explosion to use as reference,

Anyways back to my explosion, i think it went well but the smokes flash too much between each frame... this was a mistake on my behalf and if i organised my frames properly.

anyways, thats my explosion

David M

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Honours Project & Personal developement: environment development Improved texture quality


Well today I have been doing more of my 3D stuff,

So first off we will start in the beginning with my skyscraper and truck,

So as you can see if you zoom in the model the textures are blurry, I thought this was just due to the texture size and the higher the texture the crisper the image would be.

However this was not the case the texture on this is a resolution of 2048x2048 which is a massive texture (thankfully my pc can handle it perfectly fine) but this would not do,

So i went to google and searched for answers...

I came across this post from a forum,

In summary this was a method to produce crisp textures etc by playing about with the texture & render settings but in 3Dsmax i needed similar options in maya..

further research brought me to making these setting changes:

  • Switch off AA 
  • In your texture settings in the file attributes turning the filter off in the filter type option
  • Change your hardware texturing settings and set the texture filter to nearest (unfiltered)

This makes your texturing crisp, 

Like so,

This is zoomed right into the trucks headlights,

After that I started to texture my environment,

so apart from a few areas the texture is ok (not too happy with the leaves might need more detail)
you may notice that if you zoom into the tree model it still blurs, that just seems to be something to do with not supporting it, not sure.

Anyways, im going to look into getting my pixel art onto 3d models more effectively now that i can see its definitely possible, also get a nice pixely outline around my models

EDIT: ok I have found out you can also turn it on in the P3D settings haha, i kept it off for the truck just so you can see the difference

Friday, 1 February 2013

Honours Project: Environment Development


So I decided to revise my environment to make things a bit easier, so I am going to make it so that my environment can be tiled so that when it comes to the animation i can keep the tiles i want (loop them) and then for the poster/fly through or however else i try to show it I can put on the extra tiles and then al be sorted. so firstly i thought it would be good to start off with tiles i need to do the animation.

so the first tile is just simply half a road skyscraper, trees and lamposts.

other tiles for the animation would be:

Road corner
skyscraper big

Critical Framework 2.0: New update


Well after my meeting with Ryan I wanted to get one of my action points done so I wanted to have a revision of my critical framework.

So i shall explain,

each game is scored on 3 different aspects if its classic stylised or realism

green box indicates what of the 3 styles the category falls in which earns that style a point, half way boxes are a half point to each of the 2 surrounding styles.

Then there is the last section the Aesthetic and nostalgia box.

if the game uses refrences to old games runs on an old console then the green box will be placed towards the nostalgic side and vice versa for the aesthetics

charts will be made to make the outcomes more visually apparent and easier to recognize

there also a section for if a game uses 2D/3D this has no effect on the overall score though

Each game/image etc has accompanying notes discussing positions.

Passage Notes:

Passage uses a low resolution and colour count so it can run on an Atari 2600 since the resolution is so low there is no outline, AA or more complicated shading techniques. Because of these reasons the style of pixel art could be considered as Classic and appeal more towards Nostalgia.

Violent Storm Notes:

Violent Storm uses a low resolution and lots of bright contrasting colours to make it stand out characters alone would be too much for old consoles to run, the use of a bold outline etc give the image a stylised and aestheticaly pleasing look.

Robots Notes:

Robots Imagery focuses on the realism fine detail in the texturing of the objects and characters and use of AA to give the impression of smooth corners this sperates it entirely from its gaming routes. Because of this its more focusing towards the aesthetics

crical framework charts&notes: