Week 5: Project 1: The Forge

Over the last two weeks, we were given the assignment of virtually enhancing the IDM student lounge and Leah provided us with a 3D model of the lounge. I spent a few days brainstorming and thinking of what kind of story I wanted to tell and the vibe I wanted to convey. I thought about what the student lounge was to me and how it made me feel. When I thought about this, it occurred to me that most of my fellow classmates, and myself included, didn't really go to the lounge to relax and unwind. We almost always went to the lounge to continue working on our homework or projects. We would stay till late into the night working away, refining our craft and making new pieces for our portfolios. I also recently got Elden Ring and this definitely inspired me to make a dark, medieval setting. This gave me the image of blacksmiths and their forges, creating tools and weapons that showcased their skills as blacksmiths. So I decided to redesign the lounge as a forge where multiple blacksmiths would work. 


While building out the scene, I created a rock material in Maya and applied it to the walls following Leah's tutorial. I also learned from Ryan that you could do UV Mapping with specific faces, which helped tremendously. I also tried to create the stained glass window in Maya, but it didn't work out the way I wanted it. I think this was due to the window model being layered. So instead I just created the texture and placed the texture on a simple flat cube in Unreal. After the scene was built, it seems a little barren and not much like a forge (more like a prison). So I added some Unreal assets, specifically from the Infinity Blade Fire Lands asset pack and placed some prebuilt rock models from the Soul Cave into the walls to make it look a little more organic.

The original texture on the rocks was a duller brown texture and the bump map on it didn't seem that great. So I created my own texture/material. I found a great rock texture on ambientcg.com and I make it a texture in Maya. After placing this onto the walls and the rock models, it looked a lot better to me. For the beams, I also added some rust textures and I decided to remove the ceiling/lights from Leah's original model. I replaced the ceiling with rock models.

I recorded the lounge with Sequencer as I am familiar with it and I wanted to brush up on my Sequencer. The first iteration of the lounge had an orange-ish light, however when I watched the recording of the lounge it seemed too intense, so I changed the light to white and dimmed it down a bit. 

Looking back I think I also should've added some focus changes at the end of the film, so that it blurs out. This could make the end feel a little less abrupt.