After a rather slow summer I have finally returned to university, it’s a welcome return. Whilst I may miss the freedom to do personal work, I’m looking forward to getting back at it and back in to a routine. Since returning, the course has been completely overhauled; focussing a lot more around group work which obviously is a key skill in the games industry. After a week of working in a group I definitely feel considerably more confident with all the new software and new texturing methods. For starters, we are all up to date software wise now, we are learning primarily Unreal Engine 4 along with PBR texturing (Which looks amazing); I’m hoping we are taught a little zBrush too this year, whilst I picked up the basics towards the end of summer there is still so much to learn (once you get your head around the navigation tools).
To ease us in to group work and to get us used to the basics of Unreal 4, we were given a simple scene to recreate in engine, it consisted of 7 objects where 1 person concepted, the next modelled and the next unwrapped and so on until the asset was completed and in engine; it was a basic introduction to Unreal 4. The scene was a Viking banquet; it was fairly low poly and wasn’t too demanding technically as we were given an empty room and a list of assets that needed to fill that room. I concepted the barrel, modelled the table, unwrapped the bench and textured the hog; I also gave feedback on the plate and mug and altered the textures on the shield. We all let one member of the team put together the final scene in engine, whilst this was the most simple way of doing it in such a short space of time I do feel that I could of learnt more if we all had contributed.
As a test to myself and to also benefit the group, I actually decided to create an additional asset towards the very end of the first week, doing the entire process myself as we didn’t get a chance to do so during the group project as we worked on different things at all times. I feel the group work we have done in the first week has been incredibly helpful, along with learning about the new engines features I felt I could really explore the group dynamic.
I also plan to do a lot more personal work during term time this year, I’ll give a week or two before I properly start work on anything as I am unsure on the work load at the moment. I’m thinking of maybe concepting something (a mech for example and then take it all the way through to Unreal 4 mostly for my portfolio. All in all I’m pretty excited for the next project, Its film related so it sounds like my kind of thing and it’s another group project, this time a lot longer so I can really explore working as part of a team. I feel I could really play a much more central role when working as a team, it will be a major boost in terms of confidence and I feel it will benefit the quality of my work too – being that out of the loop team member that just does what is asked of him wasn’t particularly enjoyable during this project.