Hey guys, I know I said the last blog was ... the last, but I have a little bonus section!
In my assignment, we get bonus if we can state how to export to a game engine, as this was supposed to be a game ready asset. Funnily enough, this wasnt so much of a problem with me!
Step one is to make sure all of my materials have been made, applied and named. I will be making these steps for Unity btw.
Then, export the finished model as FBX, then import this into Unity. Looking at this in engine, you will see the model, with the materials, but they may be grey. If so, you then take the material inputs you used in MAX, (Staff_base_albedo, Staff_base_specularity, etc) and apply these to the object.
If you wanted to sell this object, or export it to someone with the inputs already attached, follow step 2 and then "Package Asset", which will take your work, and apply it and make it into a single folder.
There we go! I believe thats the entire run line. Please note, this relied on me using Quixel, and exporting to Unity. The difference this makes is that I end up with Albedo, Specularity and Normal. If you hand make your textures then you can also do metallic, gloss and emission maps. These are applied in the same way as the first three.
o Hey guys, this is the final blog for my magic staff animation! Because I've made a trend, Ima follow the same formula as the previous two.
This week has solved some major issues, and a bunch of tiny ones, making production just that much smoother.
So, the main one is the issue from last week with the Lower Cage not being nice. After migrating to 3DSMax 2017 (AutoDesk, 2016), and erasing all the files from the 2016 version, it fixed it! Now the cages are nice and pretty.
Texturing went well, with everything UV mapped, and I even got a little tutorial from Cameron Dadd (a fellow animation student, albeit in trimester 6) about modifying dynamasks. All elements are now textured, and this went even better than expected. I have discovered a new technique of exporting from Quixel (Quixel, 2016) that slots straight into Max. All I have to do is export for Unity and adjust specularity and I have niceness!
Aside from this, I have finished most of the animation. I still need to get Camera animation finished, but the main staff is done to my satisfaction now. Once I get the Camera done, it will be ready for render and submission!
The background was way too boring, so I tried to skybox it. I, however, grew up in Unity, so skyboxes are a thing, but not a transferable one :P I have tried to teach myself how to make a good skybox, but with the pressure from my major project hanging on me, its not looking good for that.
I just CANT get the lighting right. I have tried multiple omni lights of different colours, targeted and free directional lights, but no matter what combinations i use it always looks ... off. Im sure im missing something here but I cant figure out what. Unfortunately, I'm not going to have time to fix this before submission which is reallly annoying me.
What am I working on from here to submission?
Get the render done, get it looking good. Make sure the resolution is right, I got that wrong last time. 1920x1080 in 720p. For some reason the editor isnt accepting my input but im going to look into it.
I'd like to do a special last thankyou for anyone that followed this series through. It was a bit of a slog, but its done now! Ill put up more photos than normal, of course.
3DS Max (Version 2017). (2016).
Quixel (Version 1). (2016).
Hello again and welcome to the third Staff Animation Post!
This week a lot got done, and I think I'm going to follow in the same fashion as last week with the formulaic structure.
A couple of these this week. Last week, I stated that I would be working on the UV mapping of the objects this week. Well, this went much better than expected. While it started off to its usual rocky self, my teacher Tim instructed me in some techniques for UVMapping splines, which came in VERY useful for the helix mentioned last week. Not only this helix however.
After I had done the staff and the crystal, I needed some way to connect them, which would work logically. So, I came up with a sort of cage that the crystal sits in on top of the staff. The idea is that when the staff is animated, the cage opens and the crystal makes itself apparent. I will mention this more in the problems section. The success, however, was in the decoration on top of this cage. I have used to intertwining helix's that end in sharp points. It has a nice effect, especially if you spin them.
Which I do! Animation has started and the cage is one of the main areas. The top of the cage levitates from the bottom, twisting as it goes. The crystal levitates at a slower pace and hangs between the two sections. I really like the effect, and with the twining decoration on the top, it looks awesome.
THE CAGE! For some reason, it is being very annoying in its UV production, and vertex snapping is just kind of ignoring it. My teacher has no idea what is happening, but we are going to try installing 3DS Max 2017 (AutoDesk, 2016), as I am currently using the 2016 version, which may help.
The above solution has had some problems however. Quixel (Quixel, 2016) uses a plugin called Color to integrate with Max, which makes the entire process easier. This plugin does not work with Max 2017, so now my UV process becomes just that much more complicated as I need to export the Material ID's required manually. It’s not particularly hard, just time consuming.
What for next week?
Well, I'm going to be continuing with my texturing and animation, and trying to get this cage to work properly. Then, working on my camera and lighting. Not long to go!
Thanks for reading. Last week’s photos seem to have worked so enjoy some more!
3DS Max (Version 2017). (2016).
Quixel (Version 2). (2016).
Hey guys, and welcome to another Staff Animation Blog!
This week was mainly focussed on modelling, with a bit of UV mapping chucked in there. I think I'm going to go a bit formulaic this week, and separate my production into successes, problems and things I’m doing next week.
A fair few of these! With all this artwork that I’m drawing off, the staff is getting its overall shape quite quickly. There’s a large focus on a "crystal based design". I like my magic weapons to use some sort of logic, and this weapon is purposed to focus the magi's power through the crystal for amplification and direction. So, I really want that to be part of my design. I am however taking on an almost sci-fi faceted look for some parts. I have been a fan of fantasy sci-fi for a while now, so that’s just leeching off my own personal preferences.
For the other main success, I managed to get another student, by the name of James Ball, to help me with my rigging for the staff. I've been dubious about the process since the Chest I made, but he cleared the process right up, and I'm surprisingly confident with it now. I'm trying to get this done early so that when it comes to animation stages, I can just go straight in with no worries.
Problems / Setbacks.
The staff is soooooo long. I keep measuring it, comparing it to human scale etc., but it just always seems too long. Increase the width, it looks fat, so increase the height and we're back where we started. I am going for a long thin design, I just feel like it’s too much on the high side. I'm going to keep working on it, obviously.
The only other real problem is that I hit a kind of mind-block early in the modelling. The treasure chest, when all was said and done was a modified square. Now that im going for rounder shapes, and more fluid design, I found myself at a halt there for a bit while my mind tried to reorient itself to the concepts. I have mostly found my way past this though, with the use of splines. Magical things splines. I've decided to have a kind of winding gild run up the staff. Its thick at the moment, and I have to choose whether the have it flat to the staff or out a bit. This isn’t too bad though, because all i used was a helix spline of a slightly larger radius than the staff base.
What am I working on next week?
Unfortunately, next week is UV maps. I’m not a fan of the process, to be entirely honest. But it’s necessary, so it will get done.
After that I will begin texturing on Quixel (2016) after that.
Well, thanks for reading guys! I will try to post up some pictures so you can see my progress, hopefully that bug sorted itself out :P
Quixel. Quixel, 2016. Print.