After working on the whitebox for the hallway I deiced to a use movable lighting in my final version to remove need to create lightmaps for all my assets. This will also allow for the shadow of assets to move real-time if I choose to light some sections of the home via candle light as I won’t have to bake the lighting, however this will have an affect on the FPS/performance of the scene so I may need to do some optimization of the scene towards to end of the project to help it run better.
Secondly, as I was not unwrapping the whitebox before importing them into UE4 I decided to apply a simple white material to this meshes in order to hide the default UE4 checker texture. I choose to do this as the default checker texture would be deformed on the whitebox meshes due to lack of unwrapping and honestly just look messy.
Even with the simple materials and movable lights some distortion has occurred in the materials of the whitebox due to the lack of unwrapping.
An unlit view of the hallway’s white box. I choose to have it unlit as it just looks better at this stage due to the lack of unwrapping.
A few small whitebox assets like a table, light switch and candelabra still need to be added to the hallway.
Here is another printscreen of the porch with a 6ft tall asset and a 7ft tall asset (Lurch’s actor’s height) . This was done to help with scale.
I also added the broomstick umbrella stand which is based on a piece of furnishing that appeared in the 1960s Addams Family TV series.
The porch’s white box meshes inUE4
After importing the whitebox meshes into ue4 I realised I had flipped normal faces on the stain glass door which I later went back an fixed in 3ds Max.
I also created custom collision for the the whitebox meshes where the default box collision in UE4 would not have been suitable. For example, the stain glass door as it needed to have an opening for the player to be able to walk through. To do this I created a custom collision mesh using simple primitives in 3ds Max and exported them into UE4 with the actual mesh. For this to work you need to use the UCX_(Mesh name) naming conventions. Meshes that have more than 2+ primitive that make up its collision need to have each separate primitive that makes up the overall custom collision numbered. UCX_(Mesh name)_## as without this the custom collision will not be imported correctly.
The fixed version of the stain glass door with its custom collision in UE4 as well as defined elements that make it up.
When I did import models/meshes that contained multiple collision meshes into UE4 (Usually 3+ )sometimes one of the secondary meshes would not line up with the rest. This often to led to me readjusting a collision mesh manually in the static mesh editor via it pivot point. I did try to figured out why this issue was occurring but it seems like it may be a bug as I always zero out the pivot points of my assets/models and their collision meshes before exporting in max.
I also used multi-sub materials and Material IDs in 3ds Max to define the parts of a same mesh that feature/use different materials. For example the wall material and the glass material. To do this I choose white (Material ID 1) to represent solid material in 3ds Max and blue (Material ID 1) to represent transparent materials like glass.
MultiSub Material in 3ds Max’s Material Editor.
After I imported the meshes in UE4 I simply applied a material to each individual element. (Element 0=ID 1, Element 1= ID 2.) Material IDs will be used to define the different materials of a mesh where applicable in the final version.
The different elements that make up the mesh defined via Material IDs in 3ds Max. (You can see this mesh in UE4 in the previous images of this post.)
I ended up creating three sub-folders for the research I gathered on Pinterest for the guns, pole-arms and swords that are present in Gomez Addams’ office. This was done as the the folder of research for his office over 3,500 pins which was unmanageable.
This print-screen shows the three other folders I created to house all the research on guns, pole-arms and swords for Gomez Addams’ office. Doing this reduced the number of pins present on the Gomez Addams’ Office Research Pinterest board from 3,500 pins to 1,280. It is still the largest Pinterest research board but is far more manageable now for me to use.
I created a 3ds Max file that is correctly set up in scale for use with UE4.
This is a guide I created to help work out measurements for UE4’s unreal units which have a 1:1 conversation ratio with centimeters. I also worked out feet and inches into centimeters as some of the research gathered and saved to Pinterest was measured in inches as it was American.
I created and exported a 6ft high model to create other assets to the correct scale. I also created a 7ft high model as Lurch’s actor was 7ft tall in the film and I also applied collision to them.
Here is a print-screen of my scale test within UE4. The dimensions are
Height x Width x Depth 182.88cm x 30.48cm x 30.48cm (6′ x 1′ x 1′)
and 213.3cm x 30.48cm x 30.48cm (7′ x 1′ x 1′)
Here is me measuring the height of the 6′ or 182.88cm tall model with the ruler within an orthographic view in UE4.
Here is me measuring the height of the 7′ or 213.3cm tall model with the ruler within an orthographic view in UE4.
I also edited the default 1st person game mode for use in this project. I did this as it is the easiest way to test everything scale-wise in UE4 without completely setting up my own custom camera system.
This is the default 1st person camera game mode in UE4. The camera height is 6ft.
I used the default 1st person game mode from UE4 to use as my camera when I build my environment. However, the first person mode uses arm and gun skeletal meshes which I will not need, therefore I had to edit it. The first thing I did was remove the aiming reticle HUD from the game mode. I did this by deleting the ‘FirstPersonHUD’ from the ‘HUD classes’.
I then selected ‘FirstPersonCharacter’ under the ‘Blueprints’ folder in UE4 so I could edit the arm and gun skeletal meshes from the First Person Camera as I did not need them.
I then deleted the gun skeletal mesh from the First person game mode.
This was the end result once I finished editing the 1st person game mode. I still allowed it to fire projectile balls as its a fun way to test the collision of my assets/meshes.
Here is a print-screen of the research I added to the various Pinterest boards I created for my project. As you can see, the number of pins has greatly increased since the last time I uploaded a print-screen of it to this blog.
This is a print-screen of the photographic research and references I have added to Pinterest after I gathered said research for all the assets in my asset inventory list.
I am sure I will add more pins to the boards as this project goes along but I believe I have more than enough to start white-boxing and modelling my assets. I may further break down the research for the assets under the Gomez Addams’ office into sub-boards like, pole-arms and gun research, as 3,500+ pins in one board is slightly ridiculous and unmanageable. This is purely due to the fact that Gomez Addams’ office has by far the most assets overall.
This is a print-screen of my asset inventory list now that I have completed my research into all the objects/assets that will be present in my environment.
Any red text indicates either more research is needed or that I will create my own.
I have also manged to figure out a number of pieces of work that helped inspire some of the paintings in the hallway of the Addams Family home.
Here is the first breakdown of the hallway’s painting where I identified the likely paintings that were used as inspiration. (The actual copies were probably not used in the films due to the paintings’ rarity and copyright.)
Here is the second breakdown of the hallway’s paintings where I identified the likely paintings that were used as inspiration.
Here is the third breakdown of the hallway’s painting. Whilst I could not identify the inspiration of the painting, I think it is obvious that with the inclusion of Wednesday Addams’ this is most likely afFamily portrait in a style reminiscent of Charles Addams’ work.
I think the similarities between these paintings is too close to be just a coincidence, I therefore plan to use the original versions of these paintings in this hallway as textures. Aside from the portrait of the Addams family, and the portrait of Fester Addams, I will either find other suitable paintings which fit in with the style of the paintings present in the hallway or will create my own. Paintings from the Renaissance (15th-16th century), general 19th century to early 20th century or Pre-Raphaelite would fit in with the style most as other paintings are already present in the hallway that are from these periods.
Once I finished my initial asset inventory list to help give me an idea of the number of assets I would need to gather research for and create for the environment, I had 172 in total which I found to be way too many for this project. My supervisor agreed with me so I immediately tried to reduce the number of assets. As you can also see from my asset inventory list, I set up a naming convention system for my assets and will be adding other information to the list as this project progress.
This was the the first version of my asset inventory list before I reduced the number of assets I would need in the environment.
This was the second version of my asset inventory list after I reduced the number of assets from 172 to 158. I also added another column so I could indicate if I had gathered research for that particular asset.
I know my asset list needs to be reduced further and I believe that many of the structural assets will merge together after I have built more of the white-box or start modeling, as this was just purely an estimate I created before I started any work in 3D. This list also includes some assets that will be fairly simple to model and texture, such as the floors and paintings in the hallway. My goal is to have around 120 assets in the scene but more is fine if it’s justified as the house doesn’t easily lend itself to modular structural assets due to its shape and design.
I was originally going to make a breakdown of the assets in the environment where I made a note of the materials that made up the object and important details of the object, but found this is. waste of time due the the sheer amount of assets in this scene.
No actual floor plan of the Addams Family mansion existed for the home I was taking inspiration from so I had to create my own. I created the layout by trying to match up elements of the exterior of the home to the interior sets used in the film, although this is not a perfect method as some rooms are either barely shown or not shown and often sets are built in sections and cannot feasibly go together in reality. Most of this is approximation from what I saw in the film and from my printscreen research, and in some cases I used my own creative license to fill in areas that were left blank by the film or were unseen. I choose to only focus on the room layouts for the rooms that will be featured in this project.This floor plan does not included a floor plan.layout of the library,living room, dining room or conservatory as I am not modeling them for this project, however I have labeled their rough position in the home. Basically I noted which doors lead to which rooms.
Ultimately, this floor plan just really includes basic information on rooms, the home layout and the positions of objects within them to help me visualise them for when I create the white-box. I am very aware of the fact that the rooms aren’t really drawn to scale . The white-box when finished I may use it to help me create a more accurate floor plan which I will draw over in Photoshop. This will be easier for me to do as I been having issues visualising the entrance hall due to it having curved walls in 3d before converting it to a top down drawing and these rooms will already be created in a fairly accurate scale within 3ds Max for use by UE4 as static meshes. This therefore will help reduce the issue of scale in the floor plan.
I decided to use Pinterest to gather my photographic research and references to use to model the environment. I chose to do this as I can access Pinterest (and therefore my research) from labs or home with ease. This means it doesn’t fill up space on my portable hard drive and I also can attach comments to the pins which can include important information like dimensions or materials that make up a asset/object/feature. I just think it is a neater and more efficient way of saving and organising my research.
This is how I’ve set up my Pinterest boards. This is a screenshot taken from around a week ago. I will update this blog with a screenshot of my Pinterest research page once I have finished gathering my asset/object references.
I also submitted my project proposal on the 16th of October which included a summary of the aims of this project, justifications for it, the project’s deliverables and technical aspects. The proposal also included a rough project plan. I made both a version of this plan in Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Project as shown in the images below. I am currently on schedule but will update my project plan if this alters.
This is the Gantt Chart Plan I created in Microsoft Project which, as you can see, has been colour coded to show deadline dates and half terms/Animex week.
This is the project plan I created in Microsoft Excel. As you can see it is colour coded with important deadlines noted and estimates of the minimum time required for the modules I’m studying this year.