I know what you are thinking, where the hell is week 1 and 2 objectives. Well I skipped the first week because I really didn’t do any graphics work we (Scorching South Studios) mostly went over our future deliverables and requirements and our game vision. As the team leader I was fairly swamped trying to set up meeting dates for the coming weeks.
This week (week 2) I was also swamped with other course work and readings so I did not get a chance to start looking into SHADER programming.
I know a lot of people are complaining about how much work we have to do in our course, while I am not one to complain, my classmates are not entirely false. We do have quite a lot of work in terms of outside class work and preparation for the next class. Lastly, the game we have to build outside of class is essentially the biggest workload.
While I love the fact we get to build a game with a group of your good friends, it is no easy task. What would be really beneficial to our program would be a student run game development workshop. The current workshop is fairly useless in my opinion. I find that sometimes the proctor wastes a bit of our time with project management lectures that I personally do not find helpful.
What I think we should do is:
- Sign up for separate smaller workshops taking place in the game lab
- Rather have an official proctor, have one of the very helpful TA’s our program has the pleasure of having manage the session
- The time is essentially a 3 hour work session having all the game lab tools near you to work with (3D screens, motion capture, sound and audio recording software, projector screen, etc.)
- Rather then standing in long line-ups asking the proctor for help then getting shot down because he says “figure it out” , your peers and the TA can help you
- The original proctor can stop by for the milestones to check and see how we are doing similar to the current workshop
I feel if our workshops were in smaller compartmentalised sections, it would allow for better peer-to-peer collaboration rather then having 80 people in one room working in their own group.
If we had smaller sessions, people would be able to go up to the front and ask for help, while peers who have run into the same problem could help them. Also during the testing and debugging period, teams can place their game at the front and other members can play the game and help the team collect data as needed.
Week 3: Objectives
That was a pretty massive aside.
Nonetheless, this week I hope to begin doing some CG tutorials and try to get some experience by doing some homework questions. Aside from the team leader, I am one of the 3 programmers in my team, and will most likely be doing a large chunk of the shader programming and the report that will be handed in at the end of the semester
I plan on figuring out how use the cell shading algorithm so that we can use it to make our game look a lot better.
As you may or may not know, we are using a lego theme for our game, and as a group we thought that rendering our game with a toon shader would really make it look a lot better.
Aside from figuring out how to do that, my other objectives are trying to implement a skeletal animation system in our game. We are currently able to load and play BVH files, the next step is to get mesh skinning done.
The reason why we need to have the skeletal animation system is because we have several models we would like to incorporate in the game, and doing a keyframe animation for all of them would be very brutal to our artists and animators. This would also cause them to deter time from making the models and in game assets look better to animate everything while exporting 100’s of obj’s. With a skeletal animation system we can use BVH files found on the interwebs and use that for many of our idle animations to add polish to our game.
The only problem is that I theoretically understand how to do mesh skinning, but converting that to code is proving to be difficult. I am having trouble figuring out how to add weights to the mesh from the joints. I can visually see it done in Maya (heat map), and I need to figure out how to export that skeleton with all the weights with respect to the mesh and convert that to code so that the joint will move with the mesh.
Once I get that done, my next step is using inverse kinematics to bind the feet of the character to the floor. But that is optional… for now.
- Start CG programming and tutorials to finish homework questions
- Learn how to do cel-shading/toon shading
- Figure out how to properly do mesh skinning
- See if I can export the weighting of the joint structure from maya to our game engine
- Work on inverse kinematics to reduce foot skating
That is all for this week,
Thank you for reading