As Retribution is considered dead now, I will talk a bit about the third scene that I was working on.
The third scene was the Anahn Industrial Foundry. It was not only the largest and most complicated of the scenes I had created thus far, it would serve as a basis for building my props scene to be used to create more scenes later down the line.
The Foundry is one of the few things I have attempted to model based on concept art. I used a concept art to establish the basic camera angle and thematic I would go for. I attempted to find more concept art related to industrial scenes, but almost everything I found was too far beyond implied design to apply to my work, or was far too low resolution to be of any use. Modeling off of concept art is a nearly impossible task because I find it hard to bring ideas into fabrication. I work best by just swinging my dick around and yolo'ing without any foresight. I did have an established goal I wanted to do, though.
First, I had a foreground to make. This would be super high detail, because it would be where the camera was confined to.
Then I needed a background. This would be built out of largely modular pieces that could be recycled for filler scenes and other areas later on in the project.
Then I needed a skybox. The skybox was to be built out of three layers. The first two layers would be meshes and the third would be a series of composite mesh/texture hybrids using some experimental materials I was making.
This is as far as I got before the concept art was useless to me.
At this stage I am just flailing around. The camera bounds area is at ground level, where the first bridges and magma would be. That small tower with the three levels exposed is the control tower and would technically have 5 or so levels to it. I initially planned to model this out but then decided against it since the camera would not be inside it. However, I was never able to find a good material to mask the windows with.
Still very early in. Trying out different detail ideas. I built many extrusions with the intention of splitting them so I could apply different materials to them, since I don't know how to UV or texture.
It was suggested I tried to Loft a curve for the skyrails. This was too difficult for me to do, so I made a pipe and just extruded it. This entire scene is built out of extrusions and inset. That's all I do - make a block, extrude the shit out of it. The lower level begins to take shape - this is where the camera would originate from in the animation in my head.
Minor detailing. I originally wanted to model/animate the trains/railed devices that would use those rails, but quickly scrapped the idea because they would be far too hard to model. I added a box to scale - the box is the scale of the average Anahn (8 feet) and represents the character scale in the UDK.
Some more minor detailing and a few props I may instance later, within the UDK, for detailing. The magma takes on a cheesy complexation. I don't know how I'll make the lavafalls yet - they remain the toughest thing to figure out for the scene.
At around this stage I considered the project dead, but opted to continue work in a small bid to improve my fledgeling UDK knowledge to what extent I could. Struggles with the cat and severe depression stagnated work on the scene severely.
Around this time was maybe a day's worth of work total, since I worked off and on with the scene very sparingly, and most of the time was spent being confused and not knowing what to do.
In particular, I didn't know how to detail the scene, and opted to ignore detailing entirely for the duration of this miniproject.
I originally planned the ground level skyway to enter hangars, but didn't know how to model the hangar interiors, so I left them entirely untouched.
The scene at a glance. I wanted the slag pits to be viewable from ground level but failed to measure the heights appropriately, so they were actually out of view.
I learned a new technique to detail generic scaffolding. Inset a square, extrude, then inset again, collapse the new inset, inset the four pieces and extrude inwards. I applied this technique liberally throughout the scene from hereon, since it was the only way I could detail the surfaces.
I never could figure out how to detail this interior.
So I opted to skip interiors and focus on blocking out basic geometry for the exterior where it was within my ability to yolo my way through.
The ground level bridge confused me for a long time before I decided to extrude it "off camera" and sweep it under the rug.
Blocking out the area immediately surrounding ground level. This area absolutely must be high detail for the scene to have any chance of succeeding. I didn't know how to detail it, so I hoped I could make props later on to mass copy paste once I had the components set out.
The prime_structure_skybridge begins to take shape. This piece is largely ignored for the remainder of the production because I don't know how to detail it. In particular I didn't know how to model cables without spending extraordinary amounts of time extruding individual curves by the thousands, so I opted to ignore all detailing that required cables, which was most of the scene.
Areas that require massive detailing to succeed, as these would probably be viewable during the take.
The secondary hangar begins to take shape, and would be largely ignored from hereon.
I intended to instance the secondary hangar structure for background purposes but got lazy.
I block out low-detail components on one of the prime towers. This tower was originally intended to be used for a railed elevator, but then the design was changed to a crane. I couldn't model a crane, so then I later simplified to be a simple support for one of the upper structures.
During modeling the tower I was in an extremely dark period, so progress was extremely slow, taking many days to progress in spurts of 4-5 minutes of work an hour at most.
Once the tower was satisfactory I slapped together a quick skyway for it to connect to.
During this period work sped up considerably.
Quick and dirty pipes. I didn't care to detail them. I knew I couldn't, so I moved on ASAP. The anal-bovine mesh, aka the first hangar, got only a tiny amount of its required detailing done.
The second upper level was very hastily cobbled together in a few minutes and then ignored for the remainder of my time with the project.
I tried to model external plating for the pipes akin to a concept I had seen, but they still look like shit. They need more attennae and cabling and such to look any good.
A look downwards.
I tried to block out components for the ground level but found it impossible to detail at the level necessary. I had hoped props could fill it out; fences, lights, etc.
Since iteration is so easy in the UDK, I opted to consider the scene a prototype and move on to making props and putting the scene into the UDK. No further work was deemed necessary because the project is unlikely to ever move again.
I unified old meshes, ones used for my second scene, and some new ones, into a single scene. Only a few of these are destined for the Foundry, others were for other scenes.
Putting the scene into the UDK took over a day because I somehow fucked up the scene file and almost lost all of my work on the foundry, and many hours were spent trying to recover it. I had to manually rig the tiling rate and smoothing on all 200 of the Foundry's objects, plus the props, then get them working in the UDK. These are my very first screenshots I took of it.
At this stage I began researching materials, and quickly realized that lava materials were extremely complicated and would require considerable time to get working right. I stopped my work with the scene and concluded my time with the UDK, since any further time spent now would exponentially increase for no gain. Total real-time work spent on this would have been like a week, if you include all the fucking around in the UDK and busting the scene and such. Scenes are easy to make, and this thing is super low poly still. However, getting it looking good
is no trivial matter, and not worth my time.
I will now close this thread as no further additions will be made to it. Should work ever continue, I will re-open it.