Wednesday, 31 October 2012

No time left to loose

From what I've noticed in the years of art related courses i have had is that most art students ( and maybe even professionals) have poor structure and planning. Very often ( and i won't deny i'm part of this neither) assignments get left till the last moment and suddenly you see people being online till 5 o clock in the morning. Unfortunately this often won't give the best result and obviously in a paid environment isn't very desirable.

So how could this be changed ?

Planning.. having a reasonable planning where there's a good buffer for things that might either need further investigation or things that go wrong / need improving is very important. It's fairly obvious and i'm sure i'm not saying anything world shocking here yet it's something that can best be learned by experience. With my summer project I've made several plannings only to see each of the plannings didn't work out due to unforeseen problems and/or not having enough buffer. more towards the end of the project I've started to get a better view on things and better idea on how much work i'd realistically do on a day and how much information i would be able to absorb in one go.  Also being able to look critical at my skills I've started to understand and accept that things like texturing would
Take a lot more time than i was happy to admit.

What would the best way to go be ?

My personal time distribution would most likely be different than that for other people. Mainly due to having different pipelines and things i would like to focus on in certain projects. For example we have an Environment project where there are 2 buildings premade and we have to make a matching building in between. This is without having given any limitations other than make it blend in/match the other 2 buildings.  A rough planning i made for this project was making sure the research of existing buildings / assets was done the same day. So i know what i'm dealing with. Knowing what to deal with is important as this way i understand roughly how to model and texture. This was done the same day. The next thing i wanted to do
was looking for reference pictures. So the same Tuesday and Wednesday I've spend walking around town making pictures of buildings or parts of buildings i think would match the style.
Also looking in the library and on the internet for idea's on what to do. After having a folder full of possibilities i wanted to have the modelling done within the first week. It's the easiest
And least stressing part of the whole process. Having this done my next step would be unwrapping on Tuesday and the next set of days spending texturing so i have the last week to spend on importing things in UDK. Messing around with assets and/or maybe do some tweaks here and there. It would give me a full buffer of a week as I've used UDK before and am familiar with the whole process. Even if it would give me issues having a buffer of a week seems enough to catch things up.
I expect in a professional / 8 hour work day environment to have less time and trying to improve my workflow is therefor very important to me so whenever i work on project i always tend to think things out before i start. Some little tricks I've discovered to help me are making a quick sketch( blue box) in 3D on where i want to place things and blocking out what it should be without having the intend to instantly over complicate things. while texturing i color code so i know my unwraps will be on the right places and then slowly start building up layers checking often back and forth to see if it matches my expectations. and finally depending on whether things stay in 3DS max or in an engine i use my references to see what sort of feel it should represent and if it matches.

all this helps me to get used to a better and better planning and working more and more efficient.

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