Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Minor Project Proposal

The type of project I will aim to create is an Animated Short/Digital Set. The area of study I wish to explore involves a story for the narration told in the first-person; for technical research I will be exploring the pipeline from Maya to a game engine entitled ‘Source’.

Some initial inspiration

I've played about with the source engine for a bit earlier in the year. Trying to see how easy it was to import a simple cube with texturing and normal map from Maya into the Engine. Source was a challenge to play with, which means it will be the most fun. :D

The narrative is still in early form but involves a transcription of an already true story. Some ideas I am considering transcribing into a short story are Dieter Dengler’s escape from a POW Camp during the Vietnam War, Frank Morris’ escape from the federal prison Alcatraz Penitentiary, or the escape of British POW’s from Colditz Castle during WW2 using a glider.

There are a number of tools in order to create the short within this engine. Specifically ‘Valve Hammer Editor’ (www.tiny.cc/valvehammer ), and ‘Source Filmmaker’. (See: www.tiny.cc/sourcefm) Both free tools, and both which are used by Valve as in-house tools to create Environments as well as Animated Shorts. As I’d like to seek potential employment at Valve, I would like to use the tools and engine encompassed with my current skillset to create something exceptional.

Some potential starting points in regard to Narrative are looking at stories from the internet as well as books or autobiographies of persons who were involved or were the protagonist in these stories. From a technical perspective the Valve Developer Wiki (www.developer.valvesoftware.com ) is a good place to start on a whole.

The outcome I’d like to have for the project is an animated short, shot from a first-person perspective, showcasing a digital set and a narrative. All rendered within a game engine.

The timetable of how I may complete this project will encompass Research into the narrative, pre-production, research into the technical. The time involved in familiarising myself with the new tools, the time involved creating as well as converting models/animations from Maya into Source. The time involved in creating the environment using the in-house tools as well as texturing, rendering and Soundscape.