I have looked at several tutorials during the Christmas break and have been constantly learning new things since.
The aim is to stick to the business plan I've developed. Until now, I have watched the following tutorials:
- Asset Workflow: The Briefcase
- Workflow Series: The Treasure Chest
- Texturing and Baking with ZBrush, xNormal and nDo 2
- Baking Normal Maps: Tips and Tricks
- Environment Production Workflow: Tips, Tricks and Concepts (by David Lesperance)
I've learned a great deal and have started to get a clearer picture on how I want to plan my workflow.
For this competition, the first thing I am going to use which I've learned from several of these tutorials, is a blocking out approach. First, I will use very very basic shapes to block out the main shapes of the scene.
This will help me to adjust the scale, the position and angle of several objects before they are detailed. It's much easier to build up your scene this way, because if you want to change something, but you have already added some fine detail to it... it's going to be a pain.
It started to shape out just fine and I am going to skip ahead to the very last version of the blockout I have gotten to as the disappointment was ever close.
I've started using ZBrush to add some detail to my most important shapes. This is part of the blocking out stage, I wanted to see how these will look after textures and depth information will be painted into them.
The structure was coming along nicely as well.. I did feel there was more work with it.. that it was still lacking something, but I felt confident that I was on the right track.
One issue was time: I had 2 days to finish this entire scene and I felt I could really quickly texture the entire scene. The slap to the face came when I read through the extended rules of the competition, which states that only students studying in the U.S. or Canada are eligible to enter.
Well... this was really heart braking to read.. and after having put this much effort into it.... I smiled! :)
I smiled because I felt that I did not lose anything, on the contrary. Yes, it is very sad that I can't get some exposure, but this project pushed me so much to learn new things and to actually do some professional reference gathering.
I have been suggested by the previous winner of the contest, Jessica Dinh, to post this work up to the Polycount forums and keep on working on it. There are a lot of Blizzard artists checking those forums, so I will still be able to get exposure for my work.
But, I felt that with 2 days left, rushing through the texturing and rendering stage would not be the best thing. I would not learn much and I would not be able to bring the maximum out of this concept. I've decided to keep this scene as a test base for the new things I learn. I have a vast list of tutorials ahead of me and I need some sort of test scene which I can practice on and with.
I was thinking of importing this environmental piece into UDK, but that requires more learning as, right now, no proper importing could take place... just messing about.