Studio One, Week Ten

At the end of week nine we had the opportunity to make use of the HTC Vive (HTC,2016) and try out some VR games. This has been my first VR experience, and it was far more entertaining than I had expected. Before trying VR I assumed that the infancy of the technology would create a feeling of gimmick. I had expected to enjoy the experience but did not expect the environments in games to be immersive and such a short amount of time, addictive. This VR experience has made me eager to see the collaboration between our studio and the games students in it’s completed form.

I have also thought more about my recent enquiries about the role of a game artist. The opportunity to take a look at VR firsthand has made me eager to further work in projects that would make use of VR. I have also spoken to one of the game students about the game students side to our collaborations. Their own games which will be combined with our game environment requires texturing, which I would like to contribute to. Sadly, I don’t think this is a possibility with our current schedule, but I shall be seeking out collaborations with game students in the future to develop my texturing skills for video-game production.

VR aside, glass textures have caused some problems in sketchfab (sketchfab,2016). When first starting to use sketchfab I have noticed that there are two system for texturing display settings. These are “classic”and “PBR”. I had looked into which would be better when seeing this for the first time. For most circumstances it is best to use PBR. This was confirmed with one of my group members who had also looked into it.

We do not have our environment with all its textures uploaded as yet but we have been testing various assets. The first thing I have uploaded is my biopod. In our group we had discussed whether the assets should be uploaded as a single or two objects with seperate textures. I have already tried one object with one corrusponding texture and it currently works.

Something I was surprised by is the difference in texture appearance between setchfab and 3dsmax. Specular levels dont seem to control very precisely. Using metalness and gloss levels in PBR settings, I  can achieve an approximate on what i would like, but the metal caps on the biopod asset have a laminated look which is disappointing. The scratch details i have added on the glass of the biopod are also very subtle on sketchfab in comparison to 3dsmax. As we have been warned, the appearance of textures in sketchfab is

We will nee

Studio One, Week Nine

This week we present our projects to the game students. The purpose of the presentation is to share our progress and to familiarise the game students with our game assets. This group of students are mixed between a programming and design specialisation.  As I understand it, there will be a collaboration whereby our game environments will be used within the upcoming projects in the games studio unit. This collaboration will result in a collection of mini games to be (possibly) assembled into a VR package. This is, as I have previously mentioned very exciting as video games and specifically VR is something I would like to become involved in.

On reflection of our presentation, our group provided too much information on aspects of our project that would not be of help or interest to the games students, and it become obvious where our focus should have been. It has definitely been something we have learnt from as it was glaringly obvious where our presentation content could have been chosen more appropriately. Feedback from one of the games students also help, and we have been told that the main thing is to include as much content and info about the game assets themselves. What the assets look like, poly count, style choices and how they should function within a game.

While we had focused too much on pre-production, we had spent little time displaying our models, texturing and previz.

The presentation was daunting but I believe that the next time we would be able to have a more concise and relevant presentation at the ready, one which would be more useful in a professional setting.

After this presentation I have focused my time on my allocated texturing. This specifically includes architectural surface textures, decals, and  shared base textures, as well as my assigned assets. I will also ensure that there is a consistent aesthetic in the textures created by my group members.

Apart from tweaking the shared base textures, and creating a blood splatter decal, I have also been working on the first pass of the diffuse texture for the bio hatch. My original goal as texture arbiter was to aim for a style close to Goldeneye Source. I have questioned whether this is a recent enough example to use, and whether or not it is a suitable benchmark. As I feel unsure still I will seek feedback.

The process of texturing the hatch has involved using one of the base metal textures i have created and made seamless. The base textures are sized at 2048 x 2048 pixels. I have then placed a caution label onto the hatch. The aim for this texture has been to create a asset which looks like it belongs not only in a science lab but also in a larger facility which crosses several industries. The fictional Xentium Laboratories and the treatment continue to inform my decisions. The overall look should communicate a functional robustness. I have also had to consider where and how to include general wear, scratches and dirt. As it has been stressed many times in studio this should follow a logic, or the illusion of being believable will be broken. This logical wear and tear can be difficult to create and it is obvious that there will be iterations to come before I am satisfied.

(wyld,2016). Exo (working title). “Biohatch” model screenshot.
(wyld,2016). Exo (working title). “biolift”model screenshot.
(wyld,2016). Exo (working title). “curved table”model screenshot.
(wyld,2016). Exo (working title). “concrete pillar”model screenshot.
(wyld,2016). Exo (working title). “spot light fixture” model screenshot.
(wyld, 2016). Exo (working title). “strip light fixture”model screenshot.



Wyld,A (2016). Exo (working title). “Biohatch” model screenshot.

Wyld,A (2016). Exo (working title). “biolift”model screenshot.

Wyld,A (2016). Exo (working title). “curved table”model screenshot.

Wyld,A (2016). Exo (working title). “concrete pillar”model screenshot.

Wyld,A (2016). Exo (working title). “spot light fixture” model screenshot.

Wyld,A ( 2016). Exo (working title). “strip light fixture”model screenshot.


Studio One, Week Eight

This week has seen a slow in our project progress because of a submission outside the studio unit as well as preparation for an upcoming studio presentation. The presentation is to be given to the games students as we are to collaborate. I am quite excited for this collaboration as there is the possibility of bringing our combined creation into VR.

Apart from preparing our presentation,  I have been tidying my assets, with help from group lead to get them green-lit. During studio sessions in the last couple of weeks we have had feedback regarding poly count. While modelling is not something I wish to specialise in and is something I still feel a slight disdain for, I wish to improve my skills. I have found it difficult to keep my model “clean” while modelling and reducing the number of polygons is quite tricky. It is hard to retrospectively augment a model which has issues.

As my knowledge grows it becomes easier to see where problems will arise down the road. however I feel I know just enough sometimes to know that I have not modelled something the most optimal method, without knowing exactly what the most optimal method would entail. My intention is to immerse myself in more modelling tutorials.

This week I have had the opportunity to discuss options for my learning pathway and how this can be tailored towards my goals in terms of my future role in the creative industries. Having the opportunity to create a video game environment has helped me to clarify what I would like my goals  to be. I have very much enjoyed the process so far, and the studio scenario has strengthened my liking towards a career in the video game industry.I have been given information this week about what would be involved in being a games artist.

From what I can gather a games artist is more useful when having multiple skills, whilst still specialising within their own skill set. At this point in time a combination of concept art, modelling and texturing seems like a skill set I would like to develop as far as possible. I know that out of the three skills I am far more interested in concept art and texturing , and this has not changed  since the beginning of our studio project.

I will keep these things in mind as the project continues.




Studio One, Week Seven

After week 6,  I have started modelling and continue to study up on texturing and plan how our specific project will be textured.  I am also receiving help with my modelling to improve efficiency. I am thankful for this as I know I will be able to concentrate on texturing. the models i now am in charge off are mostly modelled but need refinement and tidying. I have received tips and help with ensuring my models are ngon free. I have learnt that when creating quads and tris to remove ngons it’s always best to use the vertices which already exist. Part way through modelling I have realised that it is best not to attach elements, and so when modelling my hatch I have used the pro-boolean tool to combine the base of the hinge with the main body of the hatch. The pro-boolean tool proves quite useful as using the union option, extra edges are created instead of having an object which is simply pushed into another as you would have with the attach tool. I have also played around with other setting within pro-Boolean such as subtract. I have noticed that the topology is not ideal but it is a quick method to achieve desired shapes.

Problem solving within 3ds max in the past few weeks has proven tedious however I have had moments that I am pleased with ideas that are simple but help efficiency. A perfect example is modelling one of my assets, a curved  table for placing monitors. The table is butted against the curved wall in our biosphere space and to ensure the length and curvature to be correct for a snug and correct fit  have modelled from a copy of the wall. Copying and scaling, I then modelled knowing the back fits our space.

In terms of texturing i have been putting into practice the decisions made regarding such practicalities as the texel density which we will use. Looking into the matter, this is something which varies from project to project, with no real one standard. It seems sensible to start with a density higher to anything we will reasonably use, which we can export and reduce later as needed. Considering what we are aiming to accomplish I am starting our textures at 2048 x 2048. At this stage I have been experimenting with various base textures, mostly for architectural surfaces. Our generic base concrete texture has been made seamless, and has been redone from scratch as the first version did not fit within the style we are aiming for. Now that I am satisfied I have been brushing up on how to create the other maps needed for texturing beyond the diffuse. Playing around with levels I have tweaked the concrete texture to a point I am happy with and have moved on, several textures are currently being adjusted (base textures and decals).

(wyld,2016). Caution sticker decal.
(wyld,2016). Concrete base texture Version 2.
(Wyld,2016). Concrete base texture version 2.
(Wyld,2016). Metal and warning strip version 1.




Wyld, A.(2016). Exo (working title). Caution sticker decal.

Wyld, A.(2016). Exo (working title). Concrete base texture version 1.

Wyld, A.(2016). Exo (working title). Concrete base texture version 2.

Wyld, A.(2016). Exo (working title). Metal and warning strip version 1 .

Studio One, Week Six

After finishing the art style guide and environment map, I must turn my attention to my assigned model sheets. There is a change in my priorities. I would have liked to had more time to design my model sheets however as art style arbiter I have also been assigned the job of finalising the schematic design of  our environment through the environment map as well as the art style guide. These are both necessary components in the pre-production phase.

I have learnt that it is best to ensure that communications and resulting decisions made are factored into adjustments of written task management, for example gantt chart. It is easy for decisions and conversations to be left behind along the way if you are not in direct control of such documents.

These tasks have taken priority in my schedule. Unfortunately the art style guide has taken a large chunk of time,  in order to develop our intended aesthetic and style. I had been communicating with group lead and had been instructed to take this and the environment as priority. The environment had gone through many iterations as it was critiqued and refined during studio, with feedback being considered during the creation of the following version.

While there has been much back and forth between myself and team lead, with a change to my assigned priority tasks, this had not been factored when it came to the gantt chart.

Moving on from this, I am working to complete my model sheets as quickly as possible. It currently looks as though I may need to rely on concept sketches I have made if we are to move on to the production phase and model.

While doing my model sheets I also have a few assigned tasks. One of these small tasks is brainstorming names for the fictional corporation which features in our game idea. Some examples of names which do not exist as yet as companies are Lumos Corp, Oracle 5 Labs, Tritium X Corp. The one which I am leaning towards however is Xentium Laboratories. I have also searched for fonts which can be used in our project as public domain. It has been narrowed and I will be using a font called “Furore” (Dunham, 2016). With the name and font I have created a fictional logo. During my research phase I have noticed that game environments often have these small details to allow the space to feel tailor and believable rather than generic.

prp_Logo_Xentium Laboratories_AlexW_V02
(Wyld, 2016). Xenium Laboratories Fictional Logo.)





Dunham, E. (2009). Furore font free by Jovanny Lemonad. Retrieved November 23, 2016, from


Wyld,A (2016). Exo (Working title). Exo style guide.


Studio One, Week Five

This past week has seen the overhaul of our main asset, the biosphere. We have worked to develop and refine this asset and after much discussion and planning are happy with the design. Post Friday studio this asset has moved into the modelling phase. The overall concept of the biosphere remains the same despite  a reworking of the design.

The process of redesigning the biosphere to bring it into the production phase has proven quite tedious. Collaboration between the three group members has been quite smooth however the hypothetical functions of our biosphere within the context of our environment design has prompted changes to the access (via hatch), the placement of the bio-pod within as well the general design choices which indicate the functions of the object. Two elements have helped in the decision making process.

The first of these if the fleshing out of a style cheat sheet which helped in making choices that are congruent to our overall scheme. This is something which was complete prior to Friday studio and was available as an aesthetic reference. An example of its usefulness is in the process of assigning materials to the biosphere asset. With an established palette the decisions came quite naturally. As art style arbiter I have been given responsibility in ensuring that all aspects of the environment design are congruent to each other and communicate our desired art aesthetic. When asked by my group members for input on the matter I am glad for the process of deciding clear art style rules.

The second component which helped in the process was an understanding of the video game environments context through story and the purpose of the environment within the games narrative. This is something which we have spent much energy refining. The decision by our group leader to spend more time on such aspects of planning is something which has allowed such tasks as asset design easier.

Moving on from week 5 my next assigned tasks will be to model the bio-pod and biosphere hatch as well as begin to create our base material textures (predominantly concrete and metal).

Exo Art Style Guide
(Wyld,2016). Exo style guide.



Wyld,A (2016). Exo (Working title). Exo style guide.



Studio One, Week Four

After last week’s feedback and our new plan of action for the rest of the pre-production phase I have now been assigned the task of pushing forward with the EM, which we will then work further on within the group.

After more consideration it has been decided that the environment design will be broken down into three sections. This is part of our planning to maximise the result of the final product if the scope has to be reduced due to time restraint. The three sections we have decided upon are the Biosphere (To have priority), Lab space (to be next in line for priority) and Observation room (last for priority). These type of decisions made within our planning phase have helped create a strategy which reduces uncertainty. Our group leader has decided that planning will extend till the end of week 4.

Something which has been underlined during our studio time is that there is flexibility to the planning timeframe but it is crucial to consider that the more detail to planning the easier the work will be later in the pipeline. This can be a daunting idea at first, but there has been satisfaction in the group from the successes we have had in progressing and sculpting our own game plan.

In terms of the environment map progression, I have again looked into some videogame maps to inform our design. Examples which stand out are Portal 2 (Valve,2016) and Bioshock (2k Games, 2016) which both are capable of influencing the experience of the game story with its well-constructed spaces.

2k Games, 2016. Bioshock Game Map.
Valve, 2016. Portal 2 environment.

It has been useful to look over these videogame industry examples after further development of our art-bible and design intent. Believability and atmosphere are two aspects that seem to require much consideration and conscious thought.

I have used this research to assist in fixing the circulation and spatial problems in the Environment Map. It has greatly helped when I ask whether the space would make sense to a player moving around within the finished environment. The major change has come from the placement of the security checkpoint. This has dramatically altered the nature of the different spaces, and helped in determining the 3 sections we had decided.

After our allocation of the 3 individual spaces it has also become clear that much of our focus shall be on the Biosphere asset, and will be the main feature to the environment. While the grand scale has already been determined much of our planning has been deciding how to implement the object in terms of floor and ceiling heights etc.

Using the EM, the entirety of the environment will be blocked out in 3D, from here we can use the resultant model to determine the adjustments needed, especially in regards to the biosphere.

Wyld, 2016. Environmental Map Design


BioShock the collection on (2016). Retrieved September 29, 2016, from

Corporation, V. (2016). Valve. Retrieved October 17, 2016, from

Wyld, A. (2016). Exo (working title). Environmental Map Design.