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  1. Over the last few weeks our level has grown significantly in scale and in quality, but one problem we have encountered that has been mentioned in previous posts is the majority of the level looking very similar. There has been multiple suggestions for trying to combat this issue such as colour grading specific areas of the level, the inclusion of smaller prop assets should help break areas up and finally modelling a selection of unique buildings.

    Chelsea Lindsay has already begun this process by building a selection of unique tavern buildings to place around the level as well as various unique signs based on actual documented buildings from various sources souch as the diary of Samuel Pepys, and whilst it has been my job throughout the project to plan and produce concepts for Pudding Lane I was happy to take on the important job of designing and building the model for Farriner's (or Faynor) bakery which is located on Pudding Lane. The bakery bears some significance to our project for a number of reasons, first of all our teams name 'Pudding Lane Productions' and the fact that our level has expanded outwards from Pudding Lane. As well as this Thomas Farriner was actually the Kings appointed baker, but most importantly Thomas Farriner's bakery on Pudding Lane is the location in which the Great Fire of London is said to of started.

    More information on Thomas Farriner can be found here;

    The team wanted the bakery to be unique but not stand out so much that it looked out of place in our level. That in mind I tried my best to design the bakery using the materials and textures we had been using. I also wanted to the building to have an interesting shape, although not unimaginable, as well as considering the inclusion of some important elements such as where the shop sign would be placed, chimneys,  large display windows etc. Thankfully I had managed to gather some invaluable reference during our visit to York as well as throughout the project. Below are my initial sketches, final concept, renders of the model and examples of the model in the engine.

    My initial sketches of Farriner's Bakery building designs 
    Final concepts for Farriner's Bakery including various ideas for props to be placed outside
    You might notice from the renders of my final model below that the bottom right window is slightly different. This is because I've also included an alpha channel in this one window with a simple interior inside, including doors, stairs and a simple oven. Once in engine, Luc Fontenoy has said he will be able to place lights inside the room and inside the oven to give the impression that the bakery is being used during gameplay.
    Orthographic renders of the final model

    And below is a selection of the final bakery model in engine in our level. The team struggled to find any reference in relation to where the actual bakery was situated on Pudding Lane so when Luc Fontenoy put the model into our level he placed it about half way along the street. In the screen shots you can see some of the bakery specific props starting to populate the surrounding area built by Dan Hargreaves and Dom Bell as well as the unique bakery sign that Chelsea Lindsay has designed.

  2. Propulating

    Friday, 26 April 2013

    Hey all!

    Despite having street upon street of our London fully built and explorable now, the level is still looking a bit empty and similar  So to avoid creating what is essentially a very pretty labyrinth right now, our top priority was cranking out more and more prop assets again this week.

    I've (Chelsea) been making a bit of an assorted collection of smaller assets to add a little bit more interest to some of our streets.

    Farriner's Bakery Board - I made the texture with composite layers, so  I left my  layer details on the render for Luc. But since we're not really sure how to translate to Cry, I'm probably gonna have to remake this simpler. Doh.

    Stray planks - Tudor streets were lined with these for use as pathways amongst the mud and filth.
    Tavern signs and the sign for Farriner's Bakery. Based off real documented taverns.
    Market Cross

    Fish Stall Set-up - I've started merging my produce assets with our stalls to create individual merchants
    Joe's been on building duty this week, tackling the docks area in particular as we had yet to replace our warehouse placeholders.

    He made two more wooden textures for use on the warehouses as well as any of our other upcoming props

    Storage shed

    Warehouse building

    Full selection of Dock buildings

    Dan Hargreaves has been focusing on ground details in particular, such as remaking the cobblestones and making grass.

    New and improved - The previous cobblestones looked a bit more like beach pebbles in our level, so this new texture was a much needed upgrade
    Planes of grass, which blow in the breeze and add a little more movement and life to our level.
    Misc - Guts and Manure. Nice surprises to find in our streets.
    A standard crate - for use basically everywhere.
    Dan Peacock has been working on butchery assets in particular such as meats and carcasses. In particular, he's been spending a lot of time making a high detail pig to draw a bit more interest to our butchers.
    Draining pig - appetising
    Dom's been on smaller clutter props, such as various tools and utensils to scatter around some of the corners of our level and outside specialist buildings.

    Bakery goods


    Blacksmith utensils

    Luc's mostly been improving our lighting and importing/placing our props as they are made, but he's also took up the responsibilty of constructing London Bridge and the gate in particular.

    Concept of London Bridge - The gate.
    He also made a brick texture especially for the bridge.
    Lighting upgrade - new shadows and cubemaps are making our level look a lot more atmospheric and a lot less flat.

  3. 'Prop'erly Equipped

    Thursday, 18 April 2013

    A couple of weeks ago the streets of our level were empty, making it all seem rather bland. But now the team has produced a variety of assets; some of which have already been imported into CryEngine, making a tremendous change.

    Luc has produced a variety of assets; starting with a couple of trees with varying foliage, a series of lanterns, a rope texture, and best of all: created dynamic cast shadows and flickering light! This is a big boon for us since we have been wanting to create some artificial light to Illuminate our streets since we're going with a dull bleak sky.

    Prior to the holidays I (Dom) had made 32 initial props which were divided amongst myself and the Dans. My chosen props were three market stalls, two four tables, two baskets, one birdcage, one hutch and a kegstand.

    Dan Peacock went for two wheelbarrows, two boxes, one cart, a set of gallows, one crate and a brazier. Furthermore a rat has been modelled as we hope to animate swarms of them to scurry across the level.
    Dan Hargeaves chose three sacks, two barrels (with much enthusiasm!) one haybale and a bucket.

    Chelsea has produced merchandise for the crates, boxes and stalls; in the form of fruit and fish.
    Furthermore after we received feedback from third years, we have concluded that we not that pleased with the lighting currently in the level, so the global lighting and the time of day settings shall be edited. While this is for the better, personally I think its a shame since that sky we had really set the tone for that period of time.
    Now excluding a week for tweaks and bug tests, we have two weeks worth of modelling time remaining. With the streets assembled and the asset production coming to a close, our priorities are now on the docks and the bridge entrance; we have said throughout the project that we want to include them. So we're buckling down and making these last few weeks count.
    Also on a non-work yet still project related note, last week during a stay up in London I achieved what we as a team were unable to do whilst there due to time limitations: Visit the source of our level for real, Pudding Lane and the Monument.