Matt introduced a small project we were going to work on to better strengthen our understanding of work restrictions and deliverables: more specifically, we have a theme and a poly restriction we must adhere to. Our goal in our group – which includes Marc, Dan, and Sophie – is to make a “tile” of an environment with Wacky Races in mind. This would likely be done through the vehicle designs, so the environment had to include at least one section of a race track as well.
I really like the idea of this project. Our restriction is to 1000 tris or 500 quads; this makes it challenging, however we’re encouraged to try going lower if possible. We can either make it a “tile” (such as the picture above) or we could choose to make it a world instead (such as the environment below).
We ended up deciding to make ours a tile rather than a world and we thought having a race track coming down a side of a volcano would be “wacky” enough. With that in mind, we tried to split up the tasks so everyone would have something to work on:
- Sophie and I would be tackling the majority of environment pieces, such as trees, rocks, or any dressings we could think of.
- Marc would build the island/volcano itself and figure out the placement of the racetrack and the layout of the tile in general.
- Dan would make up a vehicle in Wacky Races style. If he had time, if would tackle more, but we needed at least one vehicle to begin with.
Since we were dividing up the tasks, I decided to create something of a bare-bones asset list to help; this was more for Sophie and my benefit, since there could potentially be a lot of smaller things to model. It would also come in handy for if/when Marc and Dan finished their parts and wanted something else to do.
We decided unwrapping/texturing could be a group effort, but putting basic colours on for temporary measures would be good enough. A lot of the examples of low-poly environments I went to look at for inspiration had simple colours/shades on, rather than hi-res textures. I think it suits the look more.
There are so many examples online of low poly environments, so I decided to toy around with some trees in the last half-hour of class. First it was a matter of finding where to show the poly count so we know how many polys are in our models – Marc helped track this down with me:
After that, I just made two versions of trees; one that could be used higher up the volcano as the heat kills off more greenery and the other that could be used at the very base in the flatter land.The tree on the left only has 208 tris while the fir tree on the right has a very meagre 54. Overall, I think they look all right, even if after more practice I make others that I like better.
This seems like a much more agreeable modelling task for me, since it requires less technical know-how and merely how to break down objects into simplified shapes. Two other tools we could use to make the models look more… rough (?) would be Harden Edge (under the Mesh Display menu) and Triangulate (under the Mesh menu). I’m looking forward to continuing this project with the rest of the team after the Disney trip is done!