Update - Week 04 - 2022
This week had a rough start, mainly because I worked 7 days previous. So this week had a slow ramp up to then work on things.
March 1, 2022
Weekly Sprint Stats:
Points Velocity per day
This week had a rough start, mainly because I worked 7 days previous. I did have time for social networking - and the clients were patient with me - but physically it's not a good thing to do to start a week without a weekend break. So this week had a slow ramp up to then work on things. I worked through some rock normal bake issues (ultimately finding it was mostly UV's and bad material settings in Unreal. You cannot really multiply normals..... I also worked on my painterly post effects, the cameras, and also some paintovers and colour studies. The project is getting more exciting the more I work the painterly!
Note to self: Take weekends off, always.
To take a look at the stats shows that my work had a lot of extra hours of work for the points I had planned - and the energy levels were also low (working about only 36.5 hours this week). This means my daily points rate was very low, about half my expectations. But I will have to continue to work this even with my rediculously high weekly requirement till I am done with all my multiple projects (and only work one). Then I can start again - work my productivity without being backlogged. It's just a matter of time, chipping away at the block and not taking on new work for a while.
The Painterly Project
This week had some experimentation concerning colour and layout - and lighting. The process required some paintovers and experimentation, also vote on Discord with fellow artists and users. Having this project has had some good guidance - making me realize that colour contrast on top of luminance contrast is important for legibility. The project also has a name! The Android Repair Workshop.
Layout though, with the 3D post-processor even without final render quality makes it somewhat easy to setup lights and general layout of the shots. But this has proven some key issues:
- I can layout per shot and do approximation per shot (meaning stronger animatics and story-boarding)
- I have to work colour a lot for better contrast
- Legibility of the scifi buildings needs some familiarity to put the world into context in the persons conscious - meaning my models will have to be more "realistic".
But in general, I worked the first cameras and layout and challanged the pipeline, adding better colour controls seeing that it would be necessary in the near future. I also finetuned the optimization.
Bforartists development found progress this week. We worked on the Top-Level Brush Manager for the toolshelf. Thank you Iyad! This is really exciting, because now the UX to manage your brushes is to show custom thumbnails or a default and all your custom brush presets directly in a top level access, including many of the default brushes - right there, on a mouse click. Enough with the pie menus, zigzag on floating menus, or grid menus that you have to call over and over again to switch a brush type!
- Weight Paint Mode brushes exposed
- Dynamic shelf list of brushes
- Custom Icons displayed if used
- Default Icons ready to be implemented (currently Delete)
- Responsive Bforartists standard (1, 2, 3 columns and Text Rows)
- Panels per brush group within own tab
And on other NDA work, I had normals breaking with my rocks. Here was my process to troubleshoot:
- Redid the UV's of the rocks (was Smart UV's per degrees, but had too many islands, so did a quadrant seam island setup instead)
- Rebaked the rocks (using EZ Baker that can bake in the background
- Changed the normal space (invert Y)
- Smoothed the rock normals on seams (took a while, but was a waste of time)
- Checked the rock materials to see which map was causing issues (got some clues, stil not success)
- Rebaked and repacked all the maps (used the Blender compositor to pack RGBA channels, and used Faststone Photo Resizer to get different texel density images (512px, 1k, 2k, 4k)
- Found that the material normals inside Unreal Engine had a bad "mixing" of normals
- Worked on fixing it in material, realizing I was multiplying the normal maps instead of "normalizing" then adding the multiple normal maps. Big oops, and a lot of time burnt to troubleshoot.
Now I know that normal maps needs some kind of modulation or normalization to blend normal maps together, so that the RG and B values always sum around 1.000 and to exaggerate, the B should still sum 1.000 - and the built in systems are probably better at doing this than making a "minimal" system myself. Now that does up the draw-calls on the rock material, but oh well (I might have to build a snow and moss free version). Right now the rocks are dynamic with age/grunge, edge wear, humidty, colour, moss and snow all in the same material.
Blender Royale - Numero 73 - Prompt: Wireless
Had a good calm time with the gang in Erindales server! We had a high grade game and all did things like this. I got... 4th? A long with a few others.
I'm thinking to also upload this for my special crew.
You can view more here on Arstation.
We also had a live stream about a guest script writing and storytelling process with Darin and a fun project! We will also discuss a little about the monomyth and storytelling. We also had some art (constructive) Critique for an art piece by Slinc and an exploratory Topic: How to get cleaner product renders (making the image sharper, render settings, optimization settings) with both Eevee and Cycles (quick tips). It had its hiccups in the recording, but it went well.
I need to publish another week update this week if I am to catch up to the present schedule. I am currently publishing this in Week 09, ei, first week of March, and I just closed January with Week 04. I am re-counting my story a month behind schedule - and I'd like to catch up to be real time. Other things I have in mind is.. well right now I am not really offerring a lot to the community and industry - no training, no addons, no reviews, no guidance, no know-how, no tutoring, no propertly organized open project. I am just logging what I do day to day - but I want to give back so much! I have a lot in mind, but I'm not sure where to begin. I just ran a quick poll on Patreon, which helps define a general direction thanks to New Media Supply. But the rythm to make video or blog content take a lot of my work week - and my schedule per day to try finish early is eating away at what I can and want to do. I have to pick and choose my battles, so that means.. keep on slugging away at the mind space that is consuming me, which is the dead project before I can start executing my plans. But I do have plans:
- Make a plug page for Bforaritsts
- Make an addons page for my studio pipeline, including inhouse addons.
- Make and active "Projects" page to plug sponsorship and support (transparent projects)
- Start working a course (free)
- Start working products that can sell or complement the course
- Start adding addon/tutorials video production per week to my weekly habits
- Update my Reel
- Make a portfolio Page
And then.. maybe find some work in a studio somewhere to float after finishing the other projects.... SO much to do! But... so little mindspace for it. Time too... gotta focus on what's important to be free.