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  1. Week 7- Easter Holidays

    Wednesday, 27 March 2013

      Progress this week has slowed somewhat as it is now the Easter holidays and most of the group have gone home to be with their families. As well as this we have all been spending the week catching up with other Uni work, as for the last couple of months we've put everything else on a back burner to focus on the Crytek project. On top of this, we have stumbled across several issues with importing our new, fully textured buildings into Cry. Issues such as improper smoothing groups, wrongly named proxies, xforms that weren’t reset have inevitably slowed progress and set us back by a couple of days.
      Regardless, there are a few small jobs we have each managed to do for the project, and they are as follows:
    Joe Dempsey has spent the week finishing off the modelling of his buildings, as his job of creating gravestones a few weeks ago set him back from the rest of the group and caused his building models to remain unfinished up to this point.

      Dom Bell has also spent the week modelling extra buildings, as well as getting said buildings unwrapped and texture ready.
      Dan Hargreaves has spent the week getting his buildings ready for importing into Cry.

      Chelsea Lindsay has been working from home, creating concepts for props (unfortunately she is without a computer at home)

    Luc Fontenoy has spent the week helping us ready our buildings for import, and has also been figuring out how to create additional light sources. On top of this, he has been working on his church models and has been arranging what buildings we have been able to export into Cry.

    I (Dan Peacock) have been working on getting my buildings ready for import, and have also been working on other small jobs such as creating updated terrain textures and small props such as leaf piles etc.

      I can imagine that the next couple of weeks will also be a bit slow progress wise as we all have other work to be focusing on. But once the Easter holidays are over we will be back on form and working at full capacity.

  2. The main bulk of this week’s work was textures. We also made progress with props to fill out the environment. We also solved some technical issues with the engine.
    After the last few weeks of collecting first hand references from York and Leicester and a large handful of concepts we decide it was time to start creating the textures for the houses.  3 of us (Dan Hargreaves, Dan Peakcock and Joe Dempsey) divided up all the textures between us.

    I (Dan Hargreaves) as well as Joe Dempsey  took on the tiling textures. I produced the large bricks, small red bricks, rough stone and roof tiles. While Joe produced rough stone, zig zag red bricks, 4 types of wood and the plaster. As me and Joe had the same job, we had to constantly stay in contact with each other to make sure our textures stayed consistent with each other’s. We also helped each other with the tiling texture workflow and tools so we could both quickly produce the textures needed.

    Dan Peacock took on the task to create the non-tiling textures, such as the doors and windows. He produced 8 different doors allowing us to have a large variety to play with. Along with the doors he produced 4 different windows. He made enough room between the windows and doors  so he could create some general textures, such as concrete and metal.


    Chelsea has used this week to produce a wide variety of hanging sign concepts, and is making her way through producing the 3D models of them. She made several types of metal frames with several wooden signs. This allowed her to mix and match between all of these assets to create various unique signs . To be as authentic as possible she went through Samuel Pepys diary to get a list of actual business/companys around the time we are basing our level on. She also started work on posters which we can place on the sides of buildings which give a greater sense realism.

    Luc has been finishing off his churches, producing 2 different churches which we can place throughout the area to reflect how important religion was to the people of London at the time. He is doing a great job of learning all the inside and outs of the Cryengine which is allowing us to show our work at its best. He managed to get the Decals working which will let us place patches of dirt to break up the repetitiveness of the tilling textures. He has also made headway the terrain system.

    Dom has used this week to finish up his props. He has create various props which we can use to litter the streets with. Having these props in the environment will  change the city from a ghost town into a city which is being lived in and shows that quality of life of the inhabitants too.

    We are looking to have all our buildings fully textured and in engine next week. Check back for the update.

  3. More First Hand Reference - Joe Dempsey

    Thursday, 14 March 2013

    Last week I was able to find some time to spend a few hours in and around Leicester City center with my camera, on the look out for any reference that may be of value for the group, both with modelling and texturing.

    After being set with the task of modelling the modular church ground assets, I was quite keen on visiting various churches dotted around the city center, some actually quite close to the DeMontfort University campus, and not to forget Leicester Cathedral. Another area of particular interest, right around the corner from the Cathedral coincidentally! was the Leicester Guild Hall. The Guild Hall is a wonderfully preserved timber framed building, dating back almost 600 years and a perfect example of the type of building the team are hoping to depict on the 17th Century streets of London.

    After a few hours I had taken almost 300 pictures, some particularly for use as reference for modelling and plenty of images which will be a fantastic source of reference now that the team are beginning the texturing process.

    Below are a selection of images from the day's catch!

    Preliminary texture examples will soon be posted, shortly followed with examples of the textured models in CryENGINE so make sure you keep looking back for updates!

    Leicester Cathedral - Joe Dempsey

  4. Week Five – Back to the Map

    Tuesday, 12 March 2013

    After the trip to York at the beginning of the week the whole Pudding Lane Productions team was almost ready to burst with ideas. The twisting, narrow lanes in the centre of York, especially The Shambles at its heart with its overhanging timber-framed buildings sheltering the cobbled street below meant the group began week five with lots of new ideas and inspiration. One of the main points I think we all took away from visiting York, is that we got a real sense of just how tightly packed the streets of 17th Century London would have been, at some points on The Shambles street you could literally outstretch you arms and touch the buildings on opposite sides of the street, the tops of buildings were actually inches from touching.

    The following day we had our first team meeting of the week in which we had our first chance to share and talk about the work we had done in week four, we were able to discuss various items including how the work could be taken further as well as any improvements that could be made. I (Joe Dempsey) was also able to provide Luc Fontenoy our technical artist, who we also call our 'Cry Guy'! with the initial assets I had modelled for church grounds so that he could begin to import them into the CryENGINE in the week and provide feedback accordingly. Dan Hargreaves had taken his modular buildings much further adding smaller details, Dom Bell similarly had worked further on his prop assets. Chelsea Lindsay and Dan Peacock demonstrated some of the textures and concepts they had been working on.
    Preliminary texture sheet composed by Dan Peacock
    Small tomb asset for Church Grounds, Joe Dempsey
    Modular Church wall assets for Church Grounds, Joe Dempsey
    Dan Hargreaves showing the potential variety from his modular buildings
     After concluding any unfinished details/ issues from the previous week the group then went on to discuss our ideas for tasks to be carried out during week five. We now had a good bulk of the map laid out in CryENGINE using our initial modular buildings and other assets and with the inspiration and ideas gathered from the York trip we all felt we could go back to the map and begin concepting the individual streets including and surrounding Pudding Lane. There are a number of reasons behind our decision to do this, earlier in the week our technical artist Luc Fontenoy had talked about potentially colour grading different areas of the map within CryENGINE coinciding with the teams initial decision outlined in the Art Guide Document describing how we planned to give each area of the map its own individual colour scheme to add variety and to avoid everything looking too similar. To do this we decided that we would nominate a selection of streets, one for each member of the team. The streets selected are shown below;

    Fish Street Hill – Chelsea Lindsay
    Pudding Lane – Joe Dempsey
    Botolph Lane – Dan Peacock
    Love Lane – Dan Hargreaves
    Thames Street - Luc Fontenoy
    Crooked Lane – Dom Bell

    Luc Fontenoy would provide the group with screen shots of the individual streets from the whitebox at its current stage with which the group could then compose a variety of colour grading/ mood paintings using the Art Guide as a continuous source of reference for the specific colour schemes. At this stage Luc was uncertain on how to apply colour grading correctly to the level, but during the week he has had the opportunity to discuss this as well as other items with an ex DMU Game Art Student who has a good knowledge of the CryENGINE enabling him and the rest of the group to further expand their knowledge of the engine to ensure things are being done correctly at this stage in the project.

    Below are some of the screenshots taken directly from CryENGINE  Luc was able to provide the group;

    Below are examples of the concepts completed this week by some of the group;

    Concept of Fish Street Hill by Chelsea Lindsay, showing colour scheme and street assets
    Colour grading watercolour studies for Pudding Lane by Joe Dempsey, Joe decided to use watercolours to help demonstrate the sense of atmosphere the group hope to achieve
    Concept of Pudding Lane by Joe Dempsey, showing potential colour palette using watercolour
    Concept of Pudding Lane by Joe Dempsey, showing potential colour palette using watercolour
    Concept of Pudding Lane by Joe Dempsey, showing potential colour palette using watercolour
    Concept of Pudding Lane by Joe Dempsey, showing potential colour palette using watercolour
    Concept of Botolph Lane by Dan Peacock
    Concept of Botolph Lane by Dan Peacock, showing the griminess and plague ridden street

    Concept of Thames Street by Luc Fontenoy
    We also discussed continuing to develop ideas in relation to ensuring uniqueness within the individual street concepts as the next stage, including points of interest on the streets such as unique taverns, tailors, butcher shops, fishmongers, grocers etc. and of course The Kings Baker house, Farriner's Bakery on Pudding Lane. This would also mean that the group would again have to look back into some historical reference in order to gain an idea of certain specific buildings on the individual streets to maintain the level of historical accuracy the group hopes to achieve within the project, one source of reference suggested for this included the diary of Samuel Pepys in which he describes visiting specific places and buildings, including names of things such as Taverns during the 17th Century. The group would also like to begin looking into smaller assets/ props to clutter the streets, again some unique to specific streets, others such as crates, sacks, barrels, carts, hay bales etc. could be used throughout the level as well as being used to close certain streets off when the group have decided on a final perimeter. Right now this was less of a priority.

    Below are some examples of individual buildings, P.O.I., concepts completed by some of the group;
    Concept of The Sunne Tavern for Fish Street Hill by Chelsea Lindsay
    Concept of The King's Head Tavern for Fish Street Hill by Chelsea Lindsay
    During the meeting Dan Hargreaves was given the task of completing some preliminary terrain textures also. Dan has a good knowledge of ZBrush and was confident that he could complete a good tillable texture with reference gathered from the York trip. They are shown below;

    Luc Fontenoy also continued to develop his modular church buildings which are shown below;

    Again at the end of the week we were able to have a meeting with our head of studies, Mike, and what we like to think of as our Producer. These meetings give the group the opportunity to discuss with Mike the work carried out that week, the ideas from the week and the direction the group wishes to take into the following week. The meeting was again positive and highly constructive and the group mainly talked about their weeks work each in turn giving any appropriate feedback. One of the main points of feedback from the meeting was the fact that after Luc's unbelievable hard work building a large amount of the level whitebox to demonstrate to Mike during this meeting, Mike suggested that the actual streets appeared to be quite long and we conversed that we could incorporate smaller alleyways in-between buildings to add more connections between streets, enabling the player to move from street to street quicker and easier enabling us to keep the player engaged with the level. Some reference photographs taken in York shown below give an example of what these alleyways could potentially look like;
    In our first meeting of the week we also talked about starting to look into texturing and what textures would need to be applied and where. At the very end of the week the group got into a lengthy discussion on specific material Id’s for texturing the modular building assets. Nothing specific was decided but we did begin to compile ideas for texturing including beginning to compose a variety of re-usable textures, tillable textures etc. the layout of UV's and again we all gave our own opinions on how the modular buildings should be textured in relation to the number of material Id’s within their multi sub materials. Below is a suggestion from Chelsea Lindsay, team leader, for a texture/ material ID plan in order to make the discussion clearer. It was decided that we would be able to use this to continue discussing our ideas in our first week six meeting to come to a final decision which would enable to team to begin composing their high quality textures beginning week six.