Friday, 7 December 2012

blockout 2

I've rebuilt the blockout, and it works a lot better! This time I made the staircases spiral around the circular room, which allows for a gradual climb but it does not use up too much space. I've also spaced out the level, as things seemed a bit too cramped together. The player should still be able to see the next point of interest though, leading them through the level. Another change is I've boxed in the level with more cliffs. They should limit the players view, but I have left the top of the upper cliff bare. This is so the player can look down at the route they have taken, and I can also put a nice rainforest vista in the background. The area is more like a canon now. It's looking a bit plain at the minute, but with the trees and the assets in there I'm sure it will work. 

One problem is that I can't get the collision to work still. I'm sure there is one stupid little thing I haven't ticked or something like that. I don't actually have any experience with making collision in cryengine. With the Roselyn chapel project (which was also in this engine) I made a lot of the roof carvings, which of course didn't need any. I've followed the tutorial about collision and it's still not working. I'll get it sorted though, and then I can run round and check everything works ok. From just flying round I am happy with this layout, so I'll make some place holders and improve on this by adding more detail.

Tuesday, 4 December 2012


The volcanic rock of the island was often used in sculpture, but this is a very soft type of rock. This meant they were easily weathered.  This could be the reason that Bali has so many artists, as they were needed to renovate and restore the carvings that adorned temples and palaces. There was a certain formal style that artists used with the carvings, and from my research I have learnt some of these rules.

In the book 'The Art and Culture of Bali' it has diagrams of different types of carvings. Some of these need to be put specific places. For example:

'a karang bhoma or a karang sae, both of them monster heads with or without horns but with hands, is found at the central point over the entrances of all kinds'

I've seen this on lots of reference pictures, and it seems like a very important thing to put in.

'in less important spots the sculptor must place a motif called karang bintulu at the centre of a patterned section'

This is something I had seen less, and would have passed me by.

'if the carver... wants to decorate a corner, he chooses either a karang curing or karang goak motif, the upper half of a birds beak... or a karang asti, the head of an elephant with or without lower jaw'

I'd seen examples of these, but not the elephant variety. All of these, now I have the names, will be a lot easier to research and get references for. 

Although my project is not 100% accurate, as it not based on a real place, little touches of authenticity would really help sell the level. These are some other designs, that could be used around my level.

Thursday, 29 November 2012

I've been doing some drawing today. I've put aside Thursdays to paint and draw, otherwise I feel that I get overwhelmed with the 3d side of the course and I don't spend enough time drawing. So this week,  I've been drawing some plans for the hero assets of my level. They are simple black and white drawings, but they need to be so I can translate them into 3d with ease. I'll be doing more of these as I continue my blocking out of my level, and relearning cryengine.

Wednesday, 28 November 2012


I’ve been working on a block out for that layout. I came across a few problems with translating it into 3d, especially with the inside of the cliff face. I’m going to have to rearrange it so the stairs fit properly. At the moment they are too steep to get up, or they are too long to fit to the layout. I moved the temple to one side, but I still need to change this.

I tried to put it in cryengine. I’m so out of practice with this engine, and I couldn’t get the collision working. It’s a complicated collision mesh, and I think there is something wrong with it. I just threw it in the forest level to have a look at it for the meantime, and flying round I could see that problem. So back to the drawing board again.


I was thinking of making a ladder or climbable bit at one point to get rid of the stairs problem, but I am not sure I’ll be able to do it. I’m really worried about using this engine, especially as I seem to have forgotten most of what I know about it. With the waterfalls as well, I don’t know how to do them and there is not as many tutorials available as there is for unreal.

But I’ll work it out as I go along, it is the right engine to use, epically for all that foliage.

Monday, 26 November 2012

asset list

I've come up with a preliminary asset list. It may change, but I'm going to use this to create orthographic drawings of my main assets. Most of these are based on reference photos that I've found. Not all of these are going to need drawings, but the ones with the * next to them are going to have drawings.

*Cave entrance
*dragon statue
*entrance gate
*temple front
*temple walls
*cave statue
*cave window

curved stairs
floor tiles

Thursday, 22 November 2012


I've been doing some painting today. I took elements from my favourite design, and made this painting. I hadn't done a proper painting for this project, so I wanted to go into a lot of detail. I could have gone into more, but I've been looking at this too long. It's got that underground bit as well, which I wanted to try out. I won't be my final layout I don't think, but I'll get some crit on this and continue to develop this idea.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

The Art and Culture of Bali

I've been looking up some books in the libary, and I found this one called the art & culture of Bali. It looks really helpful, and I've scanned some of the images from it. It's also got some diagrams of patterns, but I need to read some of the book to get some background infomation on them. They seem to have a particular purpose, so I'll make a separate post once I know more about them.

For now, here is some of the pictures from the book.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Begining the Layouts

Here's an update on the layouts. I did this last week, and these are the designs I came up with.

 I think I'm happiest with number 2, but I'm not just going to settle on that design and leave it like that. This week I am going to come up with the final design after trying out some other ideas. Its been sugested that I could have an underground bit, which could be cool. It could add a different set of lighting as well as helping divide up the areas. The next thing to do after this is to try things out in engine. It's all very well and good planning it out like this, but it is difficult to get an idea of what it is like to play it. I have only a basic understanding of cryengine, so over the holidays I'm going to brush up on it and maybe make a little scene.

While I am getting used to cryengine, I'm going to start drawing out and planning all the assets I need in the level.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

More inspiration

The tutors liked my idea at the prsentation, so now it's time to get to work! The next thing I was thinking of doing was to try out some different layouts. But before that, I was just going to make a post about reference. I was thinking of visting a garden that has tropical plants for photo reference. I would like to go to the eden project, but it very difficult to get to. Instead, over the Christmas holidays, I will be going down to London to visit Kew Gardens. They've got these glass houses with tropical plants, which would be very good for this project.

Over the next few days, I will also post up some scans from some books I found in the libary. For now, I've got some more cool looking pictures for inspiration.


Monday, 12 November 2012


The next step in concepting was to add colour. I was apprehensive about going into a lot of detail with the paintings, as I was not sure if the idea would be rejected at the presentation. I'd got a back up idea, but I'm not as bothered about it. This is something I really want to make, even if it couldn't be my FMP, I would make it in my free time.

Using photo reference for the lighting, I came up with these 3 colour schemes. I think I like the teal and orange ones the most. With these concepts, I was also getting more of an idea of layout. After those, I made a quick block out in UDK, then painted over it. I might spend some more time on this one, as it's a bit rushed as I was running out of time before the presentation.

If it does go through to the next stage, I'll start planning the layout in a lot more detail. After that, planning individual assets. By the time it comes to build this, I want to have everything planned and organised, so it will be simply the matter of building it.