This is my final post relating to course 5SD045, it details my progress on the third major coursework hand-in during the courses final three weeks with lectures being held on 2014-10-21, 2014-10-22 (week 8), 2014-10-28, 2014-10-29 (week 9) and the last closing lecture on 2014-11-05 (week 10).

No practical assignments were handed out during these last three weeks instead our efforts were directed at the third and final coursework hand-in, the conceptualization and development of a simple game-ready character asset.

Even though there were no practical assignments, we were asked to comment on an article written on the topic of 3d asset production by the means of photographic scanning and that’s the only subject other than assignment 3 that this final blog post will touch on.

Being that I was late to start with the actual production part of assignment 3 the follow blog post will be short on pictures and descriptions of the process itself, being that I’m reporting on a completed assignment in retrospect.

So without further ceremony, here’s the results of my efforts at Assignment 3.

First up is the above set demonstrating the character asset rendered with his texture group applied.

Next is the same asset rendered in an in-engine environment.

The asset’s mesh itself, with wire-frame and checker material applied showcasing the geometry and unwrap.

A set demonstrating the asset with the scene’s camera’s image-plane setup, the texture group used and the conceptual turn-around used for the production of the asset.

That’s it for the visual report of the results of assignment 3, the setup of which I covered in my previous blog posts.

To add a few reflections and perhaps a bit more flair to this post, I’d like to point out that whilst the redesigning did help a lot during production it retained some design issues, and even though the modelling process of the character itself went without a hitch I had some issues with the primary character prop, the bag.

As you can tell from the above gallery I had intended for the strap of the bag prop to be partially hidden but due to the complexities of modelling the folding vest fabric introduced I instead vouched for modelling the entire thing as a separate object with the possibility of being removed from the character. This ate up a lot of the last 500 triangles I had reserved for adding detail to the character mesh and possibly additional props.

I also was not entirely content with the UV mapping of the asset, which I felt had some problematic areas and above some scaling issues, some rather large surfaces were left with not a lot of UV space and some relatively smaller surfaces were allotted a disproportionately large space.

I’d also like to confess and come clean here about that I indeed had no real reason to leave this mesh as un-optimized as I did other than that I noticed that I hit 3000 triangles exactly and arbitrarily decided to leave it that way. In fact I was at 2998 and decided to subdivide some geometry for the sole purpose of hitting 3000. I did so solely to entertain myself but it is of course terrible practice and I would never do so in a “live” environment. Sorry, but I couldn’t help myself.

With that out of the way I’ll quickly cover some of the prototyping I did in relation to the facial topology and humanoid topology we covered during the lectures of week 8.

First off the result of week 8’s lectures, where we made a low-poly re-toplogy of 3d scanned face. The purpose of this assignment was for us students to apply the theory we had studied about facial anatomy and topology suitable for animation. I did not save my first attempts but suffice to say this assignment made me a lot more conscious about my edge loops and using them to better my meshes. I’m also posting this as a part of my final post in order to show what I was trying to apply to the facial geometry of my character asset in assignment 3.

And here’s another assignment we had during the same set of lectures, where we explored the geometry of a humanoid character. I seized this assignment and used it to prototype the process of unwrapping a humanoid modelling clothes, and working with a texture set for a character asset.

Not much else to say but that this is the prototype asset that allowed me to better plan for the asset presented in the galleries above.

Article about the process of 3D-Scanning

Finally we were asked during the same lecture that we did the humanoid body and face topology assignment to read the article above and give our thoughts about it. As I’ve already shot above the required word-count and am rapidly descending into my beverage with a percentage, I’ll summarize my thoughts about 3d scanning in general as succinctly as possible.

The process of developing assets from photographic assets is a fantastic way to capture the sort of real-life details you’d otherwise never achieve within a sensible time-frame when building assets from principles of polygonal modelling.

That being said it’s a time-consuming process to create a high-quality scan, and to then re-topologize it into an asset suitable for a real-time environment. I also feel that application of photographic elements as a texture is cumbersome at best. The workability of an UV map made as a byproduct of the scanning process is in my opinion limited, and in order to optimize you either have to discard and rework it or settle for a less than stellar level of image processing quality – or at least so is my understanding, as the alternatives seem to be difficult or very time-consuming. Perhaps were I more experienced with the process I’d know better but as it is that’s my opinion.

For utilization as a base mesh however the level of quality you can achieve relatively quickly is tantalizing to say the least, and I believe that I am not alone in being cautiously excited for the future of the technique.

That sums up my thoughts on the subject.

That’s it for this post and in fact as explained by the header all posts relating to this course in particular. I don’t usually gush over academical courses but this one has been thoroughly enjoyable and in no little way due to the effort of the tutors who have worked hard to organize it. I know that I’ve in no small way just droned on about not-too-exciting things in these posts but I hope its been at least a somewhat tolerable read and I’ll see you the next time you – whoever you are – happen to read this blog and another course demands I blog about my education.

Till then, blaze it, friends!

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