Thursday, 28 March 2013

Re shaping the Doc

After our presentation we realised the doc area really needed to be given some more thought as its quite a drop down to the bridge.

So after kat and Liam working out a new structure the dock became more of an area to explore and will have added standing lanterns and boats tied up to the ends with a nice view of london bridge and the opposite side of London

Friday, 22 March 2013

Cathedral Renders

Some cathedral renders. 

The cathedral itself is 55 000 tris and uses 6 tiling texture maps. :-I 

I reused elements of the cathedral to create a chapel and an archway that sits in the same area as well. I will also be building a courtyard that goes on the right hand side of the cathedral.  

Thursday, 21 March 2013


just a quick update of some of the texturing Jimi has been doing. more to come soon!

Friday, 15 March 2013

Bridge-gate Rendering

So finally got my gateway exported and in engine first large export for the Level. After some adjusting and tweaking its now fitting in nicely.

I took most of my textures from the York trip as there was a gateway similar with some shiny badges on that looked similar to the style and era of the 17th century Bridgegate. I found this model quite challenging as I could just go off the etchings and maps.On the right hand side James suggested I create a small guardhouse as an added extra that will also eventually lead around the corner to the tavern.I had some problems with stretching textures around the door frames and windows at the beginning which are all fixed now, I also created more attractive doors .  

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Minutes 12/03/2013

Everyone was present- except Nizaam (due to travel expenses)

In today's meeting we found out where everyone was up to with their assets and our layout in engine. Jimmi and Liam are making great progress with the modular pieces and are nearly done texturing the set. After discussion and advice from a previous student, we found that assembling the house and buildings in Max and exporting them would reduce the frame rate in engine.

Kats cathedral is taking time as it's the largest asset in the level. She's making progress with the textures after unwrapping the majority of the model. Taking reference from stained glass windows and relevant brick textures.

Nizaam has been working on how to approach texturing the bridge entrance by making the model into efficient pieces that he can duplicate and re use, saving time in the long run.

James has just finished his model of the tavern, he's creating the courtyard that went around the back , as there's not a lot of reference for this, it took some time for him to work out so he's currently unwrapping.

I've just finished texturing the gateway and guardhouse, I understand that this wasn't the biggest asset, and not everyone is going to be at the same level but I'm we're glad that we're getting nearer to finishing pieces ready for engine so we can work on smaller assets that will build the level up. I wanted to finish my model as soon as possible in order to work on other assets on the list.

We're happy with our progress and feel positive about getting the majority of models done by Easter.

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

The Bear!

Why helloo Thar! James here ;)

This is a post to document my progress through our project and to most importantly; highlight the development of one of our feature assets, 'The Bear' Tavern which sat right at the foot of the bridge entrance to Southwarke, our chosen area of interest!

Aside from contributing to reference collection, research and, conception of our plans and ideas in the first few weeks; I set about work on Inn.
To start things off, here is some research that I did initially after Liam discovered text hinting to 'The Bear's existence and its prime location! I was actually hoping to include a public house in our location, so  I was super happy to take charge of imagining this building.

I found a few resources for research  on the Southwarke

Here is some text I gathered from various websites freely hosting texts that may hold reference to things of this period.
Here are some extracts I found,

 > Bear Tavern. Or "Beare" as they spelled it at the time -

"- Evidence in abundance might be cited to show that the inn was a favourite meeting place with the wits and gallants of the court of Charles I and the Restoration. "The maddest of all the land came to bait the Bear," is one testimony; "I stuffed myself with food and tipple till the hoops were ready to burst," is another."

"- It was probably the best-known inn of Southwark, for its enviable position at the foot of London Bridge made it conspicuous to all entering or leaving the city. Its attractions were enhanced by the fact that archery could be practiced in its grounds, and that within those same grounds was the Thames-side landing stage from whence the tilt-boats started for Greenwich and Gravesend. It was the opportunity for shooting at the target which helped to lure Sir John Howard to the Bear, but as he sampled the wine of the inn before testing his skill as a marksman, he found himself the poorer by the twenty-pence with which he had backed his own prowess."

"- Under date 1633 there is an interesting reference which sets forth that, although orders had been given to have all the back-doors to taverns on the Thames closed up, owing to the fact that wrong-doers found them convenient in evading the officers of the law, an exception was made in the case of the Bear owing to the fact that it was the starting-place for Greenwich."

"- Pepys himself incidentally explains why he had so friendly a regard for the Bridge-foot tavern. "Going through bridge by water," he writes,

"- my Waterman told me how the mistress of the Beare tavern, at the bridge-foot, did lately fling herself into the Thames, and drowned herself; which did trouble me the more, when they tell me it was she that did live at the White Horse tavern in Lumbard Street, which was a most beautiful woman, as most I have seen."

Cool poem about the Bear! -

"- There you shall find the wit and wine
Flowing alike, and both divine:
Dishes, with names not known in books,
And less among the college-cooks;
With sauce so pregnant, that you need
Not stay till hunger bids you feed.
The sweat of learned Jonson's brain,
And gentle Shakespeare's eas'er strain,
A hackney coach conveys you to,
In spite of all that rain can do:
And for your eighteenpence you sit
The lord and judge of all fresh wit. "

"- Nearly a century and a half has passed since the Bear finally closed its doors. All through the lively years of the Restoration it maintained its reputation as a house of good cheer and a wholly desirable rendezvous, and it figures not inconspicuously in the social life of London down to 1761. By that time the ever-increasing traffic over the Thames bridge had made the enlargement of that structure a necessity, and the Bear was among the buildings which had to be demolished."

> Research

I did some research to gather what images I could that would help give me a good idea of what this Inn could have looked like! That would help me to the start conceptualizing and begin the modeling phase.

These etching on above are gold dust! Top left - The George Inn, one of the oldest surviving public houses from the 17th century

Before some of our members visited York to gather reference, I used Google Maps Street view to grab some great images of The Shambles, Full of original architecture from the period!

This, along with all the other great research our team pulled together helped me to get some idea's for what 'The Bear' might looks like, but also housing and buildings that would have shared very similar architecture and design.

White box & Concepting!

 Before I started conception on any details, I wanted to get a feel for the location we were building. I started to create a extremely basic white box, based of one drawing of London Southwarke in particular that I found. It seemed one of the most detailed so a good base to start...

Here are some quick screen grabs of the whitebox which Intended to use for concepting.

Here are some initial paint-over concepts to visualise idea's

An idea View of the market street facing london bridge gate house 1
This is simply to illustrate an idea I had to create a first person model holding a lantern for added immersion! probably too lofty however and unless we have lots of spare time near the end, don't expect to see it :(

Moi Concepts!

Here is a initial concept I made of  'The Bear' tavern, I quite liked certain aspects of it so you'll see them carried forward into further work...

Since we are undertaking so many modular houses, I wanted to do some quick concepts for style of house variety we could aim for in the 3D models. Also to demonstrate some scale of the buildings relative to a human character.

Modelling! currently still working on this stage but will be wrapping it up soon is my hope. I had to set aside more time to catch up on other work so inevitably fell slightly behind the curb here. Still, steam ahead!

In order of progress, here are some images of how 'The Bear has been taking shake withing 3ds Max.
I have been concepting and making changes on the fly so its seen a fair few evolutions so far.

Realy early on

Working out the court yard! This is where Archery was said to have been performed.

Final form is taking shape

Back here I will be placing benches and smaller assets to give some clutter and life to the courtyard. There will also be archery equipment and a nice tree back here.

Im going for a lower floor stone and timber construction,because I have seen it used in larger buildings of this kind. And then a mostly timber and plaster upper floors. Should look great!

Currently where I am at.

So its not done! but... it will be ;)
Im quite happy so far. Team rocks, keep it up. Yup, lets do this.

Take care!

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Minutes 05/03/2013

Everyone was present- except James.

Our discussion consisted of seeing where we were all up to and more importantly checking our progress in engine and how it was looking. Unfortunately The Engine crashed and our files got corrupted. Not too much of a problem as we still had the main layout with the main assets and a few houses in there.We know what we have to do it's just getting it all done now as there's been a few distractions this past week. We're all ready to throw ourselves into this now.

Three members of our group managed to get down to York on Monday To take a look at the shambles and check out the architecture from the 17th  century period that we're focusing on. It was important to go there and get a feel of what it was like in that period and how compact and cramped everything actually was. It was so interesting to feel what it would've been like and how crooked and small the roads were.

 It was great reference and we all took some interesting photos. Also was really useful to get texture ref as well as the overall shape of the buildings. I got a lot that I'm using right now to try out on my gateway such as medieval  signs symbols and windows.

This week we need to texture our assets and finish getting everything in engine. By next week we'll be helping each other out finishing the large assets and start assigning smaller assets that Liam has already made a start on.

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Layout in Engine and Problems...

So I Spent a decent amount of time adding the buildings and assets to the engine yesterday. It was looking pretty good and I was looking forward to taking it into the labs and showing my team mates, that was until it crashed whilst I was saving. I had spent my time trying make sure that I had got a feel for the tight streets and that our main street didn't feel too wide and expansive. The problem occurred as I was saving, it simply crashed and told me that it need to close. Once I had reopened the engine I attempted to open the file I had been working on only to be greeted by a lovely "File may be Corrupted" Message. I was to worried as I had put auto backup on earlier in the day so that if something like this did happen, I could easily revert back to an earlier point, however this has also become corrupted which was a little annoying.

Today I have discussed and planned with Jimi, an efficient way to both work on the tile-able building assets at the same time. This involves us splitting similar elements in separate 3DS Max files because this means that we can both work on them at the same time, he will be unwrapping and preparing for texturing, were as I will be creating LOD's and preparing Collisions. Pretty fun stuff and I hope by the end of the day that I will feel a little more confident with where we are at.