Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Evaluation - Closing Post

Members of the group:

Sam was our group leader for this project. He was the one who set out the project outline and an idea. He also was responsible for the story boards, concept art and the inside modelling of the windmill. As the leader Sam did do a good job, he had a place for all us to met up and he did try his best to give us roles we could cope with.

I think on the downside Sam is a good leader, but he needs a bit more practice. He did get caught a bit with the pressure, but in time he could be better.

Russell was the co-leader with Sam. Helping Sam make choices and also worked on the mock animation, the outside of the Windmill, plus various other small pieces. Russell generally was good too have in the group cause he helped place the pieces Sam could fit within our group. He switch between other jobs well and helped us all out too some extent.

Aaron was responsible for the outside land, sea and lightening for the shot. Aaron done his work perfectly, gave advice to us when we did our models and when it came too his finished shot he had it all ready. In short worked hard and got on with everything.

JJ worked on the insides of the windmill with Sam, doing more furniture and objects. Sadly JJ was rather ill over the later part of the project and missed a lot of work time. So I can evaluate him well enough, fact that he did still work whilst ill and even came to a meeting in that state shows he did put a lot of effort in.

As for myself I worked on the main set piece, the Windmill. Looking back what I would of done different is work on each level of the windmill and gave myself a personal deadline for working on each level. Instead of just working all over the model. I could of shown noticeable progression in my work. How I built the Windmill was a bit off too, I should of made a mock version within a few weeks then built a new modle as a reference for the new one.

I feel that the Windmill has still been a great achievement for me. As when I first took it on I was unsure about if I could manager it or not, giving it my best I am proud of what I can achieve, but I do know it can be improved. We have suggested as a group too maybe go back and finish it during the summer so we can add it too our showreels for when we leave college.

As a group we function okay, but not well enough. After having a talk with our Tutor about the state of things, within the time we had we worked more effectively than we had been all term. If we had worked like that from start to end then I believe would of been outstanding, but due to worries from the other course assignment and our lack of communication at the start. We didn't achieve what we possibly could of.

I have enjoyed this assignment and learn a lot of things. From modelling tools, to research topics and general management skills. I do want too come back and make additional changes too the Windmill too bring it up too business standard.

Lighting Effects!

One of the main set pieces we had too work out was the way the set would be lit. As we could make a fantastic set filled with all the best textured, high detailed models, but yet without out the correct lighting all that would be for nothing.

In our set we had our Windmill on the edge of a cliff over looking the sea and a large field behind it. The front of the Mill was turned too face out towards sea. The Windmill it's self has more objects and the sails on the front of the mill and has little going on behind it.

With all this in mind we chose too light the Mill from the front, where all the detail is and allow for shadows too be around the back, as there is little going on here.

From the photo you can see how the light hitting the front of the Mill really gives it more of a dramatic impact and improves the detail on the mill. Also by having the light hit the mill we will get a long shadow casted by the mill. In a high rendered sense the shadow will look great and add more too the set.

Too achieve the effects in Maya, we need too create several lights. A Lambert, which we will set too a light colour too imitate natural light and a Point light too create the shadows. The point light would be set in front of the Windmill too achieve the right effects we want. The lambert will just be set in the set for general lighting.

Finished Product!

There you have it folks, one of the many frames that have been rendered out for our projects final movie! I really do like what Aaron did with the surround area and the lightening, Russell also did rather with the textures on the windmill, admittedly the textures weren't completed as there are whites parts left, but they do look good in the final piece, also as if they should of been included from the start.

Goes too show some mistakes can turn out for the better, so we decided too keep the white sections as they look good and still match with our theme.

How I did it

The Windmill started out life as a simple Cylinder. Which was extended too the height of the Windmill. Using Insert Edge Loop tool I added where the Windmill levels were meant too be. Using the scale I was able too pull the Cylinder in making the basic shape of the Windmill.

Using the extrude face tool I was able too shape some rooms into the side of the windmill, plus make the windows. I also added the roof and the doorway in the same manner, cutting in too the side of the Mill for the door and making an archway, the roof I extended upwards then pulled the vertices down the side and pulled the middle one up too make a point in the roof.

Using the smooth tool, I smoothed the bottom of the windmill out, too give it a curve. I extracted some more faces too add some detail too the outside, such as a band around the mill which were including in the design.

The prop was built using the same techniques, it started out as a Cylinder. Which I applyed the loop edge too and extract faces too make it into what it looks like now. I encounter some problems with the props, faces doubling up and hidden inside the shape. So I went into wireframe mode and deleted all the faces that weren't needed and sovled the problem.

The other problem I encountered was with the Booleans. When I went too use Booleans on the windmill too either cut into the mill or combined the meshes together I had all the selected objects, including the Mill, just disappear. I found out the reason for this was cause the Windmill had holes in it's structure. Which I did put there myself. Booleans can't deal with holes in a polygon when doing any boolean commands. So I had too manual cut into the Mill and combind objects with the mill. This problem did set me back a bit time wise, but I managed too get around it.

Windmill Playblast Turntable

Adding a Playblast of the work me and Russell have done for the Windmill. I made the bulk of the windmill and a few add in props. Such as the coat pieces and buckets about the place, The outhouse down outside the hotel and the steel chammies. I also did the mill's sails and the prop that spins.

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Animatic - Windmill

Here is the video of our Animatic for our Wind Mill Project

Storyboards done by Sam Matthews and Put together by him, as he is the project leader and the wind mill has been his idea, with us adding too it.

Progression Screenshots - Windmill Structure

A closer shot of the Wind mill from a better angle. We have started too apply a little bit of texture for trials purposes. I will get screen shots of the completed wind mill, textured fully, when we have rendered out all the scenes.
The windmill as it currently looks, we have added loads more rooms, floors, roofs and general clutter. I think we are achieving our idea of a Howl's Moving Castle / Steam Punk themed windmill now. We have yet too texture it in this picture and the lightening is currently being worked out. For the lighting we are thinking about having the front of the mill facing the sun rise, this will cast a long shadow behind the light house and will make for a good camera shot.

We want too light the front of the mill as the most detail is there and we don't want too high it all in shadows. Around the back of the windmill is less detail and not as much going on, so using the shadow there won't detract much from the shot. I will talk a bit more about lighting and show examples in my next post.
Coal and Bucket, once more just more clutter, as the windmill is meant too have a coal burner this was the most needed kinda of clutter.

An outhouse, added and made for more on screen clutter.

The roof tiles, used for the roofing on all the outside 'rooms' that have been built on to the side of the windmill.

Steel chimney, used for a extra prop too add the clutter effect we want for our wind mill.
The sails added too the mill prop. These were a bit tricky too model, due too wanting too match the ref pictures I posted in the pervious post. I feel the outcome was quiet close and I am happy with them.

Sign and door are made, the door way into the mill is also placed and shaped roughly.

The front section of the Wind Mill, shaping the front door in.