The Observation Deck was a foray into modular assets. The primary purpose of my project was to take modular pieces from a prior project and altar them slightly enough that a completely new environment could be created within the time frame of one week. The original project consisted of 18 modular pieces and three sets of texture sheets, with each set consisting of a normal and diffuse map. They were all created within a six week period. This environment was made in UDK/UE3 using a last-gen workflow.
The original project was based on concept art "SciFi Cooridor" by Erik van Helvoirt. His deviantArt can be found at http://phade01.deviantart.com/ , and the particular piece used can be found by clicking here.
What Went Well
- Modular Design - Everything snapped together on the grid
- Lighting effects gave off the feeling of the Observation Deck passing over a star or planet.
- Modular Reuse
- Baking and compiling the textures together onto a single sheet
What Went Wrong
- Needed more time allocated to texturing and material seperation.
- Material Shader network for assets started to become too complex to compensate
- Normal data has artifacting at some angles
What I Learned
- Lightmaps should be on their own and take up the entire space per asset! Using a megatexture for one channel doesn't affect them.
- Work smart, not hard! I could've saved one or two weeks of time if I had just used modifiers to affect the low poly models instead of making an individual high poly and low poly for each individual asset.