Monday, 23 February 2009


Well after having a well earned weekend away with my girlfriend and after the group crit last week ive taken everything on board and i have separated all my small thumbnail sketches and tried to explore them in further detail. Dave ive considered not just the front of the character but also the back and also ive experimented with the actual physical shape of the character. I think its alot better more ideas being shown etc, what do you think?

Im now going to use this one post to upload all the drawings i do from now on, today in work i have produced a piece of A4 paper with loads of ideas on what my character is going to look like facially so ive produced nearly a hundred different faces that im going to explore in more depth like i have done for the body sketches below.

Friday, 20 February 2009

More diary then useful stuff

Hi to you all

This has been one of those weeks where you feel progress has been made, I have still to take an image but my diary is full of opportunities.

The scale of my final work though not completely finalised has been informed by the display space made available. I had a meeting with a printer who went into panic mode when told the overall size, I tried to reassure him by saying that I would keep the file size under 4 gig, yes! you read right 4 gig for one flattened image. The printing costs are astronomical and as the banker of last resorts I like the printer am starting to worry.

As a theme, the reminiscence work I am doing with the dockers looks likely to be replaced by a group of people who suffer from dementia. The construct I developed in the pre-production module which you gamers can think of as an engine allows for such changes without compromising the outcome.

Lets hear a few more voices on the blog, it would be interesting to know how you are faring.


Mess about Concept for Pitch Bible

I know im still at the very early start of my concept designs but when i got in tonight i produced this piece of work just trying to work out how to show off my design process for the pitch bible really didnt take no time at all. Dave i know im jumping the gun just wanted to experiment and try it out :) Im still doing my other looser concepts and i shall update my previous post when they are done on a regular basis.

Thursday, 19 February 2009


Doing some research into the ureal engine ive come across this for anyone who is doing a character in their project so i thought i would share it with everyone. If anyone has any more info please let us know?

Typical Content Specifications

Here are the guidelines we're using in building content for our next Unreal Engine 3 based game. Different genres of games will have widely varying expectations of player counts, scene size, and performance, so these specifications should be regarded as one data point for one project rather than hard requirements for all.


For every major character and static mesh asset, we build two versions of the geometry: a renderable mesh with unique UV coordinates, and a detail mesh containing only geometry. We run the two meshes through the Unreal Engine 3 preprocessing tool and generate a high-res normal map for the renderable mesh, based on analyzing all of the geometry in the detail mesh.
Renderable Mesh: We build renderable meshes with 3,000-12,000 triangles, based on the expectation of 5-20 visible characters in a game scene.
Detail Mesh: We build 1-8 million triangle detail meshes for typical characters. This is quite sufficient for generating 1-2 normal maps of resolution 2048x2048 per character.
Bones: The highest LOD version of our characters typically have 100-200 bones, and include articulated faces, hands, and fingers.

Normal Maps & Texture maps

We are authoring most character and world normal maps and texture maps at 2048x2048 resolution. We feel this is a good target for games running on mid-range PC's in the 2006 timeframe. Next-generation consoles may require reducing texture resolution by 2X, and low-end PC's up to 4X, depending on texture count and scene complexity.

Dave has asked me to put the URL in here so everyone can see where i got it from so here it is. It lists everything that anyone needs to know what is required to importing your finished models into the Unreal engine.

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Rationale stuff

Hi part-timers,

Tony asked for clarification on his rationale. I thought I'd feedback via the blog so that everyone can share the info.

When you do your 'When will it be done' section of your rationale don't just add your gantt chart here but just list the key tasks you will be doing and dates when you propose to do it. Remember these dates stretch into April next year.

Hope that helps…

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Huddersfield University

For all of those who have not signed up as a student of Huddersfield University, the process is simple enough, phone Admissions and Records (Tel: +44 (0)1484 473969), tell them who you are and the course you are on and they will provide you with a user name and password, simple as that. This allows you full remote access to their facilities.

The benefits truly outweigh the time and cost of the call, for those who are still doing research you have access to zillions of online journals and papers, a whole community is out there waiting to share, help, commune. Make the call and explore.


I read somewhere that an experiment was conducted where they attempted to give away twenty pound notes, no strings attached, surprisingly this proved difficult as most people refused to accept the money.

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Part-timers Group Crit

Hi Part-timers,

The next group crit is next Wednesday at 9:30 in C431 focusing on the rationale. Everyone will discuss their rationale to get feedback - @10 mins each. Look at Tony's post "Rational work: am I on the right path?". It is a good example. Check my comments back to him as it explains how he can improve it.

Post your drafts to the blog before the crit and I'll advise ASAP.

After the crit I'll happily see everyone individually to support Pre-production planning, rationale writing and dissertation support. Hopefully starting individual tutorials about 11:00 I will see you on first-come-first-served basis. Hit comment below to request a slot. I'll see you in order of requests.

Tutorial Order: 1st=Ste Chabeaux, 2nd=Scott Tasker, 3rd=, 4th=, 5th=

Steven Chabeaux rough Rationale

Hi Dave here is what ive done so far for my rationale ive still got to finish off: Who is involved? Intellectual Property Rights? and Who is my audience? Is that all that's needed Dave?

What is my project?

My project is to create original high polygon models of a human character(Main Character), his weapon/s and his vehicle that could be implemented into any next-gen console out on the market to date, PlayStation3, Xbox 360 or Nintendo Wii.After the models have been built i shall implement them into the Unreal Engine and share it with the Unreal Mod community.
I shall be creating a totally new I.P.set in the future where humanity is struggling to survive on earth and must start to colonise other planets.
The reason why i chose this is because i wanted to create a brand new I.P. that after the course i can carry on building on and build up a portfolio of work ready to show to an employer.

Why this project?

I have a keen interest in character modelling and hopefully one day will be working in this area at a later date in a development studio. So i have chosen this as my project as i believe that this learning process will help me alot in the future. I also chose this project to acuire new found techniques from concept designs through to the actual building of the 3D models and also how game engines work.

How will this be done?

My project will be split into two sections:

The first year will Pre-production where i shall be doing all my research from various sources i.e. internet, books/magazines and taking photograhs myself. I shall then start on loose designs formulating as many ideas as possible, before moving onto more finished pieces of work. I will then create blueprints of the 3d models ready to be used in the second year.The applications to be used for this stage of the project will be Photoshop along with my drawing tablet. I shall also be using paper to create the initial ideas with pen and also using my digital camera.

The second year will be production this is where i shall actually build the 3D models using mainly 3DS Max along with Z-Brush to create textures, Normal and Specular maps that will be required. After my models are built i shall implement them into the Unreal Engine and share it with the Unreal community for them to enjoy.

See what you think ive got to go out for abit but i shall finish it later when i get home so ill check back later.

Monday, 9 February 2009

Over to you…

As you can see I've posted some samples of full-timers work. These are only a taster of the work that has been done by them so it is over to you all to make the blog more visual…

Miles Turner Work In Progress

The lowest level of the map is going to consist of the basic platforms and subway tunnels. This section of the map is going to be the gloomiest of them all. There is going to be very few strip lights lighting up the platforms themselves but only in certain areas.

The image gives a good idea of how I would like the platforms to look, once again with pillars creating obstructions and cover for the player. The lighting would be changed because it should be dark to create anxiety. The platforms will have waiting rooms which will create more obstacles and wont make the platform just be long and plain with no objects.

The tunnels themselves will be lit quite well, a few lights will be turned out but generally it will be quite bright with some different coloured lights like red lights indicating that there is something wrong in the subway tunnels. In the subway tunnels I will add a fog effect because this will help with the atmosphere, and with the lighting being quite bright and a different colour, the fog should make the view quite distorted.

Finally to add to the perimeter of the subway tunnels, I will need to have something to block the player. I hope to achieve this by creating possibly a train which I will have overturned. I may also have a train which will just be halted at the station because of the pandemic, and it should be enterable and would serve well for weaponry
spawns. The enterable carriages will serve as a bridge to get the player from one side of the platform to another.

Karen Costello Work In Progress

Jenny Swann Work In Progress

For the human building I originally was going to have them inspired by Saxon design since I wanted them to look similar to old historic settlements. I then decided to step back a little further back in history and choose round buildings similar to Celtic huts. Originally I was going to make them out of stone but there something not aesthetically pleasing. Looking at some wooden and stone modern buildings and found out that maybe having the panel/wooden log style. I decided to create the building to that style, and also make it so it mirrors through the other buildings. I also added some decoration with stone/rock, this is to make it have a bit more of a feeling they have been settled for quite a while. The way I’ve done the building is to have them designed fully, then destroyed.

Dave Roberts Work In Progress

The images are from a play that I photographed and the music is Clair de Lune, it is a test piece but it helps me with judging what scale the final image should be. The image represents 1/8th of the musical composition, to complete this composition would require 2,500 images.

Sunday, 8 February 2009

Note Taking

If like me you are swamped with notes from research for your dissertation help is available (well sort of). Follow this link;

The 'surfulater' looks good and if I could find a pirate version I would definitely use it. I am using trial copy of 'NoteScribe' which is pretty good and I will most probably keep it (cost about £20).

Would be interested to hear from fellow scholars what note taking software they are using and what they think of it.


More loose concepts

I met John on friday again and i showed him my looser smaller thumbnails he said that it looked too methodical as all in a straight line and to try to not concentrate on being too precise on where the drawings go on the page. Also he mentioned to me to think about the actual physical body more and to experiment with different body shapes. He said to really experiment as this will be the only chance ill have to do exactly what i want because when you get in the industry you will be told exactly what is needed. So anyway ive gone away and here is some new sketches ive knocked up thinking more on the body shape more than anything with some other ideas thrown in.

Thursday, 5 February 2009


Hi all,

Remember to see Kate if you're having issues with your dissertation. Email her to request a tutorial.

I'll happily support you and her with tutorials about structuring (or getting started if that's bugging you). Email me.

Full-timers Work

Hi Full-timers

Don't forget to share you work on the blog. If you won't I will :-)

(that goes for part-timers too!)