Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Second Attempt at importing a 3DS Max model into the Unreal Engine Editor

OK after yesterdays effort i decided to start again and try another tutorial that John Dwyer had kindly provided me with. Although yesterdays effort wasn't a success i was determined to get it right today. And I'm happy to say Ive finally cracked it :) I do realise that i did not do all that i was supposed to do i.e. like UVW Unwrap the 3DS Max character model this is why the Material/s in the Unreal Engine did not sit right on the character. However even just attempting to importing the model across has helped me greatly.

Learning outcomes:
  • Never use spaces when naming the characters head, torso, arms, legs and boots

  • If there is no Published folder in the C:\Documents and Settings\Steven Chabeaux\My Documents\My Games\Unreal Tournament 3\UTGame copy and paste over the Unpublished foledr and rename (I dont know why there was no Published folder present ill have to work that one out?)

  • Very important to name the shoulder pads with meshname_LShoPad01 all other meshes are not that important

  • Texture sizes no bigger than 1024 x 1024

  • Ensure all sections of the character conform to the Unreal layout when setting out your UVW Map

  • Here is the tutorial i followed that was kindly donated by John Dwyer http://www.veoh.com/collection/HouseofUnreal/watch/v3378005eMBr65b9

Below is a screen shot of the custom character imported into Unreal Tournament 3 and also some videos with the character actually in-game.

video
video video
video

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

First Attempt at importing a 3D Mesh from Max to the Unreal Engine

After having a meeting with my mentor John Dwyer he suggested that i should firstly try and just import a already setup mesh into the Unreal engine. So i downloaded the UT3_Male.max file found on this page at:

http://udn.epicgames.com/Three/UT3CustomCharacters.html#Skeletons



In order to import the mesh i needed a plug-in for 3DS Max called Actor X found at: http://udn.epicgames.com/Two/ActorX.html

Having done this i began to follow a online tutorial: http://www.ut40k.planetunreal.gamespy.com/unreal-Dateien/ut3tuts/UT3_Character_tutorial_1.htm

I decided to start with importing the left shoulder pad and i immediately encountered my first problem. In Max with the left shoulder selected and under the Actor X plugin i called the Mesh file name: Left shoulder pad (See image below)



Upon entering the Unreal Editor and attempting to import the left shoulder .PSK file the Unreal Editor would not allow me to do it and would show me the following message:



I eventually over come this problem through trial and error and looking at the online tutorial correctly found that when i was naming the Mesh file name i was using a space in between so having erasing the spaces the left shoulder imported correctly. However following the tutorial i noticed that i had to Call the Mesh name correctly so i changed this file name to: testshoulder_LShoPad01

The tutorial explained that without doing this it simply wont work correctly so eventually i got the left shoulder imported into the Unreal Engine Editor (see below)



I decided to leave this for today and would try again tomorrow although i was unsuccessful in importing the character into UT3 this gave me a good idea on the task ahead.

Friday, 11 September 2009

The Epic Games Forum Community

As part of my assessment i mentioned in my Rationale that i would share my work with the UT3 community at specifically the User Maps & Mods sections. Not only would i be sharing my work with them i shall also be posting threads keeping them updated with what i have been producing and getting feedback back from them as this would be my target audience after all i thought it would be a good idea to keep them informed of my work.

http://forums.epicgames.com/forumdisplay.php?f=335

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Good Time management needed

In order to complete the course on time i will be following strict deadlines that i will be assigning myself. To keep myself in check i have created a Gantt Chart like i had previously done in Pre-Production. This Gantt Chart would be placed on the wall next to my PC so that i can make sure that i am on schedule with my work and make sure i don't miss anything out. This Gantt Chart will be under constant revision and updated throughout the year ahead if any delays or problems arise the Gantt chart will be changed to ensure all work is completed before the Handin date.


Pre-Production Gantt Chart:



Production Gantt Chart:

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

A little bit of guidance goes a long way

During Pre-Production and Production along side seeking guidance from my tutors i was fortunate to get to know someone within our building at Sony Computer Entertainment Europe in Wavertree. His name is John Dwyer and throughout my course i would be attending regular meetings with him to show him my work. In these meetings John would give me valuable information on where i was going wrong and also to help me rectify problems that may occur through the Production process.

I also had 2 other people who work within the Sony development team and i would also seek their opinions on my work in progress on a regular basis here is a brief history about them all:

John Dwyer - Senior Artist

Johns Role:

Everything

How long in the Industry:

John has been in the Industry for 18 years

Titles worked on:

John has worked on various formats these include PC, MegaDrive, N64, MegaCD, PS 1, 2 3. Various games such as:

WipeOutHD
F1 ChampionShip
John Cannot advertise current title he is working on for obvious security reasons

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Nick Sadler - Lead Artist

Nicks Role:

Nicks role involves assuming creative responsibilities for the work of the people in my team. He leads a team of 9, including animators, designers, and Visual effects artists. The business of leading these people is about marshalling the creative input, and to some degree managing their day-to-day tasks, getting estimates, chairing meetings, brainstorming, and holding design-discussions about features of the game.

How long in the industry:

Nick has been in the computer games industry for almost 7 years now.

Titles worked on within the 7 years:

Nick has worked on the concept/prototype phase of 3 games that weren't announced or released.
- The released titles he has been credited on are:
F1 2004 - PS2
F1 2005 - PS2
F1 2006 - PS2, PSP
F1: Championship Edition - PS3
Wipeout HD - PSN/PS3
Motorstorm: Pacific Rift
Wipeout HD: Fury - PSN/PS3
Unannounced project for release in 2011.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Rob Hannah - Designer

Rob's Role: Robs role involves the design, implementation and tuning of numerous aspects of the game, from defining 'what the game is' and simple gameplay mechanics, through to defining values of, for example, handling of vehicles, number of bullets a weapon can carry, number of hits to kill an opponent. Not forgetting standard features such as controls, menu system, online matchmaking systems. Its an almost endless list that can vary quite a lot depending on the game.

How long in the Industry:

Rob started in the industry in QA six years ago, moving onto development a little over 2 years ago. As an amateur though said he has been designing games since the 80's :)

Titles worked on:

To date the only released title Rob has worked on is Motorstorm: Pacific Rift. Since working on that, he has been involved in prototyping various concepts, and is currently in production on an unannounced title.

I would just like to thank John,Nick and Rob for taking time out of their busy schedules and for giving me such vital feedback that not many other people would have access to.

Finished Concept Designs

At the Pre-Production stage i was also asked to produce final concept designs of all the models that i will be producing in Production. Below are the finished designs i come up with

Character:


Weapon:

Vehicle:

Monday, 7 September 2009

Vehicle Rough Sketches

Vehicle Rough Sketches:

Again like all my proposed models i produced a series of rough ideas for the vehicle i intended to build.

Weapon Rough Sketches

Weapon Rough Sketches:

Here is a series of pics i done to get some good idea on how my weapon was going to look i found silhouetting very useful here to create basic shapes and form.