The conclusion to a crazy ass long project, its been emotional guys. I dunno where to start I guess lets start with answering a series of questions. Did you achieve what you wanted? Did you meet your constraints/brief? What did you learn? If you did the project again what would you change? What was your biggest problem? What did you enjoy most about the project?
So I set out to achieve a taxidermy factory, my brief stated it would have at least one full wall of deer heads and conveyor belts of animals being processed. As the project went on this changed. My modular building parts could be used to make my factory infinity larger but the problem is filling that to make it look interesting and just not a big repeating room. I decided against that as i didn't want too much space because it would feel wrong to me. Also because of my research I found so many cool taxidermists, too many in fact that I didn't get to model even a fraction of what I want to. This is when I decided to do a showcase area in the factory instead because composition-ally it would be more interesting. But by reducing the work and trying to create as much animals and interesting things I think I did achieve what I wanted. I would want more cool awesome animals but that was time consuming and as one person I can only do so much.
Interesting...continue my friend
I am right on my texture budget of 150mb and I'm under my triangle limit of 200,000 tris without instances. I gave myself a massive triangle budget at the start because I wasn't sure what animals I would be modelling or the triangle count it would add up to. And i handed in on time so I met the time constraint, now that's not to say I worked productively all the time. This year has been hard and because of the length of FMP it was hard to focus sometimes add this to my personal issues and I think i could have used my time more effectively to add more animals and make the factory bigger because of that. But this is one of the things were I don't use excuses and I should have worked harder and I didn't and that's my fault. Even with that I think I did a nice job of the level.
Stuck in a bad loop? I hear ya bros
I think I kinda covered what I would change but to be honest Mike Powell said something to me when I presented the project to him. He said "Have you considered turning some of this taxidermy stuff into characters because there is some interesting stuff there". I foolishly said no because I wanted to do an environment stuff and the animals, I should have took him up on his offer and instead of the animals having to be rushed I would have had some amazing character sculpts and designs. Sometimes I hate that your always right Mike. This brings me to a good point though that half way through my project I realised what I was trying to achieve, a character and environment project. In industry a character artist would be told to make any animals for a game, so what I did was gave myself more to do because of this. Obviously I didn't have the time to make them as polished assets as Saran or Rich's characters but I did make quite a few animals. So you know what yeah I'm awesome :D
There there...Mike told you so
I think one of the major problems I had during the project personal wise was time management because I would just waste my time like a dick. But on a work related note it would be the fur, trying to make it look like fur was annoying and frustrating. I trying numerous things to do this, sculpting the fur manually would give a really nice stylized effect but it was far too long process. I tried alphas but the bake never seemed to get the detail that the sculpt did. I also tried tiling fur normal maps, the problem with that is that you can get some ugly seams. And its something I struggled with the entire project.
Fur...I give up
I enjoyed texturing pipes...that was my favourite part of the project...yeah as if, the animals are the key focal point of my level and I enjoyed doing them the most. I wish I got to sculpt more but as time went on I had to get faster and some animals didn't even make it into Zbrush because of this and that's a same. I also made it a thing to do some character work during my FMP on personal projects because it was good to get a break from looking at the level every second of every day which i guess I'll post on my regular blog at some point.
Oh look it's not FMP
As I whole I am pretty happy with the project, I like to be different and I think I have created something different and interesting. That is what I like to see in game and so that's what I like to create. I am not afraid of colour as you probably know by looking at any of my work. If I wanted to look at a brown level I would just cover my eyes in dirt but I like playing with colours to create a more interesting atmosphere. I can be a bit too garish with my colour choices but I stand by them. The building turned out better than I expected, at first I didn't know what this construct would look like or how I would modulate it but after some planning it came together quite quickly and it became a great place to host my taxidermist factory. Apart from wishing i had done more animals I'm proud in myself. But FMP is finally over and I feel like university has been a place for me to flourish and learn who I am and what I want to be. It's been full or ups and downs and being the first to go in my family I definitely don't regret it. All I have to do now is get a job and start getting paid to do what I love...talk? No model cute ass stuff all day. I might do another post on my other blog about my university experience rather on my FMP blog.