Studio 3 Development Blog 11

Film Shot in Relation to my Final Product

The shot I chose as inspiration for my world builders project shot was the one below from a cut scene in Diablo 3.

Film Deconstruction Scene

Below is a frame from the shot I produced as part of my world builders project.

James_v2.0045.png

While the atmosphere of the shots is quite different I tried to give somewhat of a similar feel with the choice of camera angle and focal points.

The key similarity I tried to work on was the camera angle. The low angle looking up at the focal point helps to give the focal point a sense of grandeur and power. While in the reference shot the angle is quite acute, really emphasising these qualities, portraying the might and opulence of heaven I used a less extreme angle with the intention of underplaying the superiority of the race.

I did this because, while in the Diablo universe angels tend to be portrayed as more powerful than their demonic counterparts (when talking average angel against average demon) in the Darksiders novel that my world builders project is based off they are simply another race. Their architecture is grand and their doctrines are law and order, they are not inherently more divine than any other race in the universe and not nearly the most potent.

With this in mind I played down the majesty gained from the camera angel and built there sense of grandeur into the building materials and architecture. This was a collaboration between the reference image and the rich textual description given in the novel.

I thought that incorporating elements of a more binary portrayal of heaven into one that underplays its sense of divinity would help to anchor it into what the target market would already believe heaven would be like and so would help it be more believable for the audience.

Moreover, the reference shot has both  a primary and secondary focal point, primary being the gates and secondary being the character in the foreground, however if you combine the character in the foreground and the pillar in the middle ground you can see that they form framing elements helping to draw your eye to the primary focus.

In my world builders shot I tried to draw inspiration from this, not by adding a secondary focal point but by starkly framing the main focal point with statuary.

A little more about world builders and what could be improved on

In the post mortem blog post I did regarding the world builders project I highlighted some things that did not go as well as they could have. Here I would like to reiterate some of those points with the benefit of more hindsight and in a more analytical fashion than I did in the post mortem, this time with the bigger picture and solutions at the forefront of the discussion rather than the problems themselves.

I think the biggest breakdown in the production process of our project was communication. While we did have some face to face time and had other communication tools at our disposal, which did get used, I don’t think it was as much of a priority during the production phase of the project as it should have been.

As leader of the group I think this comes down to not setting it up to be as important as it needed to be. Our group structure also didn’t help in the situation either, deciding to take on several environments was ambitious but it broke our group into smaller groups that then had less need to communicate their progress and struggles with the rest of the team and just did so within their smaller groups.

To help counter this in future I think that having more shared assets or having everyone work on part of each of the environments would have helped prevent this breakdown in communication. Keeping everyone involved in the entire production might have helped to promote a more productive and communicative environment rather than splitting our talents and resources.

In the case that a split team was necessary, perhaps weekly progress updates and meeting that thoroughly explored how each member of the team was performing and how they were coping with their workload would have helped keep unity within the team.

Implementing such meeting might have also helped divert one of the biggest troubles our group had and so might have vastly improved the quality of our deliverables.

A more production specific example of something that could have been improved within the project was the creation of the angel structures. When creating these assets I tried to incorporate a modular approach as I had very little time to complete them. I created wall panels, corner pieces, stairs and a roof piece that could fit together and create some variety within the cityscape.

While I think that a modular approach was the right approach for the task, I do not have a great deal of experience with modular workflows and so I think that halving the time spent on the assets to put some time into research and development of my skills before beginning the task would have been a wise use of my time.

With the benefit of hindsight, I would have liked to have created more smaller pieces that could have been arranged in different ways to give a more varied and dynamic look to the environment than the very flat-packed feel that I think it ended up with.

Key take away point on this is definitely to incorporate more R&D into the production pipeline to help ensure that my skill set is up to the task and that will also ensure that the time I spend producing assets is efficient and the assets are up to standard.

I know it has been a long one but thank you for trudging through it,

As always, till next time,

James Day – 1002467

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