Monday, February 13, 2017

Ryan Badurina PPJ: 2/8 - 2/14

This week I spent time working on rigging the Ionizer tool and creating animations for it.  Due to my prior experience with rigging meshes from Exorcist for Hire (I created all of the townspeople and applied animations to them), I decided to take the reins on rigging the tools for Shadow Circuit.



And when comparing this to my humanoid rigs, this was childs play.



The original model was designed with over 20 different pieces (meshes) that make up the whole thing, so I had to discuss with Dan what parts would be animated and how he would like me to animate it.  Needless to say, I merged various mesh pieces together to create whole parts that would be applied to various joints on the rig, and thus animate separately from one another.  The reason behind this is that for solid objects like this where there isn't any deformation at all (as opposed to a more organic mesh), I was able to just rig the pieces separately through the same skeleton and then apply a 100% flood function to each of the separate parts, which will control and deform each vertice and polygon at 100%.  This allows me to have complete control over each of the separate joints and the corresponding pieces, making it easier for me to animate separately, like so.



I also have the trigger, which has basic Pull, Hold, and Release animation states based on player input through the vive controller.  The trigger itself is also a separate mesh that is skinned to the same skeleton, giving the illusion that this is all one whole mesh.




I unfortunately lack the means right now to properly record animations into a GIF format, but I at least wanted to showcase the rig show how it works.  Besides, would you want to view a GIF of wheels spinning at 24 degrees per?  I don't think I would, cuz that's 2160 degrees of spin over 90 frames of animation.

Once everything was finished, I began the exporting process, which shouldn't have taken as long as it did.  I usually export models using the Game Exporter feature in Maya 2016, and I've been encountering various glitches with the animations and skinning when attempting to export, and sometimes this crashes Maya.  I was able export the model, skeleton, and animations in the end, but I had to use the traditional FBX exporter, which doesn't optimize the file for video game engines.

Outside of the tool model, I also finished up the last of the building models alongside the modular texture sheet.  Same process as last week regarding building creation.






Models will look a lot better with the texture once I import them into Unreal and set up the material.  In the meantime, they just look like grey blocks.  Sorry folks.

Time:
  -Weekday Meeting(s): 1 Hour
  -Weekend Development Session: 5.5 Hours
  -Arena #2 Buildings:  3 Hours
  -Modular Texture for Buildings:  5 Hours
  -Ionizer Tool Rig:  1.5 Hour
  -Ionizer Tool Animation:  4 Hours
Total Time: 20 Hours

Pros:
  -Much of the work done is ready for import into UE4.  I got caught up in making sure the quality was up to par before wanting to import it into the game.
  -Despite how long it took to finalize the animations for the Ionizer tool, I am very proud with the results, even if they are a little off at times.

Cons:
  -Texture for the buildings took a long time to work on.  Had to focus on the texture first and then UV the buildings properly.
  -Animating the Ionizer tool took a while due to design questions and a lot of math.  It's difficult creating a smooth curve formula for speeding up the rotation speed.
  -I was also supposed to rig the main player tool this week, but it took Dan longer than he thought to map the UV layout.  Can't really blame him, though.  This UV set is complex.


UV set for main player tool worked on by Dan Ingman.

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