Analysis of video game design: Crash Bandicoot: Twinsanity

Ahh the good old days of our favourite Bandicoot whom goes by the name of Crash and the evil nemisis, Cortex.

Crash Bandicoot, released in 2004 by Activision and carried on by many developers over the years such as Travelers Tales who were founded in 24 Jan 2005 · Knutsford, England & Naughty Dog. The development is quite simplistic, but the overall art style overcoats the simplistic mechanics` to make everything look amazing. On a lighter note, the game was designed with the PlayStations dual stick functions. this made the games movement a lot controls easier and add an additional movement to the camera giving the player the best perspective and a way to control what they see.

Twinsanity introduced to the players to what it was like to roam around an environment alongside interacting with external assets, platform puzzles and gather hidden collectables.

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I will agree that in comparison to games nowadays, the graphic capability was pretty mediocre but still aesthetically pleasing. overall, crash bandicoot still makes its way through the years adding ever so slightly to the franchise with amazing games alongside the re-master which is set to release later in 2017.

All boxed up

Working under restrictions can sometimes call for planning, compromise and creativity…

I have been set on a task to create a 3D model as a practice project leading up to the world skills event; a treasure chest is my first and by the time you are reading this I am still making progress with this model, just need to start texturing.with the Uv maps and hopefully learn more about PBR texturing.

The use of spikes and a large set of horns gives a hint of character to this model, but the horns could also be vines or tentacles which consequently can lead to confusion upon the eyes of a player, modeler or mere inspector.

CHEST
To create the horns, I had a chance to try a new tool which I had looked into. The NURBS curve tool, this tool allows me to draw out a more accurate line for my polygons to follow through elevation. Additionally, these lines allow me to be more interesting with the wackiness of my poly’s…

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moving on to the Texturing in Photoshop… after an hour of unfolding the entire model including the external assets. I learned these new skills/tools;

  • Automatic unfold
  • Sew/Cut UVS
  • Layout
  • Snapshot UVS
  • Unfold
  • Smooth Unfold

After I finished the UV editing, I found that with the new tools and skills I developed during that time and that UV unwrapping doesn’t take the duration that people take it for. It mostly consists of a lot of prior planning and is easier to do when there are external assets which leaves out the worry of having to cut out odd seams where you can alternatively have more straight forward UV layouts.

 

Autodesk Maya – NEXT GEN IDENT

I have been progressing ever so slightly with my I dent animation developing and refining it with minor changes by using the motion graph editor to help me with ‘block animation’ which also means step-by-step animation to help me get those main poses or key-frames just right…

I’ve also been meaning to redo the lighting to either expose the scene and enhance the aesthetics of the scene. In other words basically bringing out those nice colors and making everything look spectacular. The method I thought which was best using was the three-point lighting method this will contain a main light, filler light and a back light that can bring out much more of the model or the scene.

During the pipeline of development, I was told about a new renderer called TURTLE. Turtle, like mental Ray can enhance and improve lighting by taking characteristics of lightning from real environments and apply them to your own scene which overall can inject realism but on an uncanny level which also introduces the term ‘uncanny valley’.

ident
I DENT scene with motion blur + DoF (Depth of Field)

Uncanny valley – A term used when an event or a scenes characteristic turns out to be not fully realistic.

After all the lighting was complete I then moved on to cameras and the animation of the cameras, for this I did not need to use block animation. Instead, I switched over to the camera view which I wanted to animate and by moving myself to where my assets looked best I could insert a key frame, this would show off my version of what I wanted myself and the audience to see.

The only problem that I faced during this task was trying to get timing right, but I learnt that by going through the timeline I can pick out key points in the scene and position the camera to where I want when I needed. By doing this I found it a lot easier and a lot more successful to improve camera animation within Maya.

Continue reading “Autodesk Maya – NEXT GEN IDENT”

Maya Room Scene – Final Post

This will be the last time I upload a post relating to the room scene which I have created in Maya. Looking back I feel like I have achieved so much that I never thought I could achieve in the 3D world of Maya.

But it hasn’t all been easy…

As I was coming to an end of modelling one of the fireplace models, I saved the file and left it for the next day where at the point I open up the same file and the whole model corrupted… A single tear rolls down my eye.  But I didn’t let it get the best of me, I had time to rebuild the fireplace, continue UV unwrapping and lighting until I pretty much got the same model which I had prior to the event which taken place.

On the other hand, modelling other assets was like looking at a masterpiece in my opinion. Learning about specular maps, Normal Maps, Bump maps, texturing and other ways to add life to a 3D model. Now when I start creating another asset for a scene, I tend to have an eye of realism. Therefore, everything needs to look amazing and without any major faults such as missing sections of a model or twisted polygons.

These are some renders which I have just done before I started this blog…

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Overall I feel way more confident in modelling and how to look at something and find different ways to start from what points. Additionally, I have more experience in texturing with Maps. These are the different types of ‘Maps’ which I have used to complete each asset in my room scene;

  • Bump Maps

Bump maps are what gives a flat plain, a bump like texture which corresponds to the JPEG it has come from. This saves a modeller hours of having to sculpt out a specific texture, also this bump map was created on Photoshop with a greyscale filter for it to therefore have effect on the models.

concrete_08_uv_h_cm_1-copybmp

  • Normal Maps

Similar to bump maps in every way other than this Map consumes a lot more memory in comparison to Bump Maps but it has a more accuracy whilst engraving into the texture which comes in handy especially if you are into realism.

seamless_green_fabric_texture-copynmp

  • Specular Maps

Specular Maps are really different in how they appear and how they are made in comparison to other Maps. Simply, the White is where the reflected light will show and the black will absorb all the light. Take not though… this file has to be saved as a ‘.tga’ file format otherwise the effect wont take place.

woodcvr-holespc-copyjpg

  • Reflection Maps

Reflection maps are quite tricky to execute but how they are made is quite easy, all that’s required is a panoramic photo and Something to apply it to this will give out a reflection effect to any material you can apply it to. This will be somewhat distorted when applied to something which has a curve.

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Panoramic photo

So that’s it, I am really happy with how my room has come out and I hope to take away a few lesson in how to become a better 3Dmodeler.

Click the link below for my Room Scene PowerPoint Presentation where I show off my favourite models, renders and explain how I done those models.

room-scene-powerpoint-presentation