As apart of our project proposal all of our team members took on the task of modelling a room being either the (dining room, kitchen, living room and hallway). After sorting out which person would do which room we created mood boards for the lighting, style and prop references for that room. The room I am modelling is the dining room and below are the mood boards I created for my room.
Week 1 (18/11/19)
We had our first weekly meeting when we returned to college. We set up a Trello page so we could keep track of our progress easier as well as multiple shared google drives also we created a schedule to keep us on track. We decided to split all of the tasks for the project proposal between us. I ended up doing the backstory of the haunted house as well as the film/game references and the sound research including some examples we could use.
Backstory of the haunted house (Echo House)
The history behind the house states that a family of 4 (husband, wife and their 2 daughters aged 15 and 6) purchased the house back in the late 2000s for a surprisingly cheap price. Over the first few weeks weird voices could be heard at night coming from below the house past the boarded up basement, as well as things appearing and disappearing randomly throughout the day. It is said that the youngest of the daughters (Emma) befriended an imaginary girl named Annie while living in the house. The family although urged to move by their friends decided to stay and stick it out assuming it was just a joke from the other local kids, and for a while things seemed to be normal up until the night of October the 24th. What fully happened that night is still unknown, it is said that late into the night the husband, wife and eldest daughter were bludgeoned to death by an unidentifiable object. The police are then believed to have received a distress call from an unknown number and arrived at the house a few hours later. When the police arrived they found the bodies of all the family but Emma. as they searched the house, they found no sign of forced entry anywhere. All that was discovered, was that the basement door had been blown off its hinges somehow from inside the basement, upon further investigation they found a network of tunnels that were estimated to have stretched 100s of acres underneath the property. The police searched as best they could even losing some of their own officers to the tunnels attempting to find Emma or anything that could explain what happened to the family. All they were able to find was a drawing of Annie and Emma playing in the basement, that Emma never let leave her side as well as odd symbols and ruins on the walls seemingly centuries old. Finding no further evidence the police closed the case, labelling it a mysterious mass homicide a year later. The house now sits abandoned with frequent reports of a little girl standing in one of the windows as well as screams echoing throughout the house at night, giving it the name Echo House. Frequently during the month of October every year, daring and brave kids come to the house to see if the rumours of its hauntings and satanic rituals are true, never seeming to return.
To make sure our work is as accurate and realistic as possible we are all making sure to use references from real life things such as google images of real buildings and props, as well as games such as Resident Evil 7 biohazard and Outlast as these games also use a realistic design style. For our film references we are using Evil dead and IT and for our tv shows such as Haunting of hill house.
Sounds Diegetic and Non-diegetic
Diegetic sounds are sounds that are from a source on screen and Non-diegetic are sounds from sources of screen. Most of the sounds we use will probably be non-diegetic as it is a haunted house.
The main website we will be using for our sounds during our scenes will be freesound.org. Some examples of some sounds that we could have during our videos.
Creepy metal grind : https://freesound.org/people/deleted_user_6025018/sounds/350468/
Spooky atmosphere : https://freesound.org/people/timgormly/sounds/170174/
Ghost : https://freesound.org/people/klankbeeld/sounds/251832/
Ghost 2 : https://freesound.org/people/hykenfreak/sounds/331620/
Moving chair : https://freesound.org/people/13FPanska_Stranska_Michaela/sounds/378392/
Creaking door : https://freesound.org/people/clare_wells/sounds/195673/
Week 2 (25/11/19)
For this meeting we started to use our shared google drives to share things like what textures and hdri’s we were planning on using. We then updated our Trello page as we started to begin modelling and UVing part of the project.
I then followed my schedule and modelled my first three assets those being the table, chairs and table bowls. I made sure to always be using refrence images as well as a human scale refrence. With the table and chair I really tried to capture the essence that they came as a all in one purchase making sure that they had similarities between them such as the hoops around the legs of the table and chairs. I then put everything together in the haunted house scene to see how it would look.
Week 3 (2/12/19)
We did another meeting in which we all discussed how our work was coming along and if we were on schedule or not. We all then continued to model and UV according to our schedules to make sure we stayed on track.
I modelled and UVd my 2 drawers/storage boxes as well as all the cutlery and cups for the table during this week. With my large storage box I added some lights onto the inside of it at the top which I had the idea for one of the lights to flickering on and off during the animation and video which would add to the eerie factor of the house. With the crockery I made sure there was a variety of not only plates and glasses but bowls and coffee mugs as well.
Week 4 (9/12/19)
To start this week we had another meeting and again discussed how our work was coming along getting each others opinions on possible improvments. We then all finished our modelling and UVing and then started to texture our assets as well. Finally, we updated our Trello page again.
I personally had modelled and UVd all of my assets that I had originally set out to do and started texturing the chair and table as soon as I was done. This time I made sure to use the new skills I had learned between my previous project and now to make my texture look as best as I could. I personally believe the chair turned out really well and looked very much like a real life old modern chair.
Week 5 (16/12/19)
We had another meeting again discussing our work and progress. We then discussed how our skirting boards would be textured as they would have to all be textured the same to make it look realistic and the same in all rooms. We also to continued to texture all our other assets.
I had by the end of this week almost finished all of my texturing with just a few bits left to do. This week I mainly focused on texturing the cutlery, plates and storage shelves. Like I had done with all of my previous textures I wanted to make sure it looked as if it had been there for a while and had gathered things such as dust and dirt as well as other things, however I dint want to make it look to destroyed as that wouldn’t have fitted in with the narrative history of the house. I made sure all the cutlery had similar patterns and that the two storages were the same wood so that they looked more real as if they had been brought as a bundle or deal. I also made sure I researched what materials everything was made from so that I could get them to be even more realistic looking.
Week 6 (6/1/20)
After our holiday break we had another meeting in which we discussed how far along we were and what we had worked on over the break. We again updated our google drive with new notes as well as our Trello page.
Over the break I had finished up the last few assets I needed to texture. Again while texturing theses assets my main goal was to make them look as real as possible. I textured the candlestick so that it looked like a electric powered candlestick with fake plastic lights for the flames so that it could add to the eeriness of how the device was still powered years later as if it was brand new. After texturing everything I exported all the texture as texture maps which I then put onto my models in Maya. After this was done I felt that the room needed something else that could add to the haunted factor, I had the idea that I could include a Christian cross that would be animated to turn around so that it would be the sign of the devil or some dark entity adding to the haunted feeling. After I finished texturing the cross I started to animate my assets. I started by doing the cross turning around as I had planned. I then had the idea that after the cross turned the camera would turn to see that all the chairs were suddenly floating so I then animated all the chairs on the ceiling upside down. Finally I animated the camera in which I tried to capture the essence of a first person video.
Below is a un rendered quick video which I used to practice what my camera movements and animations would look like. The whole video takes place in a first person view with the story behind the video being that a person is exploring a supposedly haunted house to see if the stories and mysterious are true and they are looking at everything through a camera recorder they brought along, which near the end of the video they drop on the floor as they are running away. Overall, I think it is alright. although there is definitely a few bits I need to slow down. especially when the person is looking at the photos. Also when it comes to the final piece I will be including audio
After I had practiced my video I made the changes I had received from self assessment as well as feedback from others. The main change I made was slowing the video down and making it a bit longer so that the movements felt more human like and less like a flying camera. After I was happy with how the animations of everything were I started on lighting, as a group we had found a HDRI image that we were all going to use in a sky dome light. I then started to create the fake fire lights for the candlesticks making sure to use colour temperature so that it would look more appealing. I then moved onto the flickering light at the top of the storage box which I keyframed to flicker on and off roughly every 80 frames through out the whole video, I achieved this by keyframing the visibility on and off multiple times. I was happy with how everything looked but I wanted to try and show more skills particularly in lighting as that was one of my main bits of feedback from my previous project Urban Environment, because of this I decided to try and add the light from the reflection of a window, after playing around with the settings of the lights I managed to achieve the look I wanted.
Week 7 (13/1/20)
We had one of our final team meetings in which we again discussed how far along we were and what we had left to do.
After rendering out all the 725 frames for my final video I took them into premier pro and used sounds form freesound.org to create my video. While using premier pro I tried to make the sounds fit into the video at the perfect times as much as possible. After I was finished I exported the video below. We then also as a team created a turntable video of all our rooms together.
I then took some more still render shots both in the dark and in the morning as well to make sure you could see everything while I was writing up my evaluation.
Challenges I faced during this project
Some of the main challenges I faced during this project were trying to make sure all my models fitted the theme that we had chosen that being a modern 2000s look while still trying to create a spooky and haunted feel and effect on all the assets and atmosphere all together. This challenge also occurred while I was texturing my assets as well. To overcome this I made sure to always be looking back to my reference images on things like my mood boards as well as always checking with my team on things I had modelled or ideas I had so that we could keep a consistency across all of our rooms which was one of the main points of this project.
Another major challenge I faced was near the end of my project when I was creating the final video specifically in the animating of the camera and the assets this was due to the fact that I had a lot I wanted to do in quite a short time. Also I wanted to try and really capture the feeling of a first person almost documentary through a camera feel which meant I had to really take into consideration the movement of the camera making sure it didn’t move to quickly or unrealistically but how a actual person holding a camera following that same route would look.
Overall, although I faced a few challenges I feel that I was able to overcome them with varying levels of success especially when it came to the final outcome of my final video.
Overall, I believe my dining room turned out alright with their definitely believe some things I could have improved upon.
I think our team management went quite well as we all did individual parts of the project proposal as well as the team contract. We also all made sure to be apparent to the weekly team meetings so that we could review our progress. We also all helped each other with problems some of us had ran into while doing our individual rooms. We also made sure all the parts of the houses such as the skirting boards were all the exact same length and texture. Although, all of our rooms could have been a tiny bit more similar as there are some slight differences. I also think I personally did everything I agreed to do in the team contract and proved myself as a valuable member to our team project by taking on multiple parts of the project proposal as well as helping my other members with their parts. I also made sure I was always on schedule and on time to our weekly meetings.
I think my modelling went quite well, as I was able to complete all my assets with a range of success, which includes a table, chairs, cutlery, tableware, 2 dressers, paintings, candlesticks, christian cross and a door. One of my best models was either the large storage box or the chairs as I was able to use certain tools to give the exact feeling and story I wanted for the objects. However, I definitely could have improved upon some of the other models by trying to use these same tools such as the soft select tool to manipulate vertex’s, or by giving them more finer details which would have improved their visual appearance and realism. One thing that also went well was that I was able to model all of my assets correctly to human scale by using tools such as image planes so that if my scene was put into a game engine it could be used and interacted with by the player correctly. I definitely made some different choices from my original plans for the project for example I was not going to have multiple candlesticks or the christian cross originally, in the end however, I think the changes I made were for the better and made my scene look more lively and visually appealing.
I believe that my UV mapping went quite well for all my assets I also made sure all the UVs were the same size and pixel density that way none of the textures when applied would become stretched. I also tried to make sure that all the UVs fitted as best as possible so that there wasn’t much space left especially on the bigger more focused assets. One thing I still need to try and practice more is laying out the UVs so that they are as clean as possible allowing you to get an idea of what the model is just looking at the UV map.
I feel that my textures were pretty good based on the amount of skills in substance painter I have. While texturing my main goal was to create as realistic textures as I could which would look visually appealing to a player in a game as well as trying to make it fit into the theme of our narrative behind the house. I think that one of the best textures I created was for the chair, as I feel I was able to correctly capture the look and feel I was going for, also I was able to create the effect of tearing on the sides of the pillow for the chair which I think adds to the realism. Although, most of my textures turned out well I definitely think that there could have been some improvements I could have made, for example I believe I could have made my walls look more like wallpaper by having had paint being teared halfway down, also I could have added more realistic dust and dirt effects to my assets. Another, thing that I did better with in this project was researching exactly what materials my assets were made from and what properties they had such as were the able to rust or erode, although I did a decent job at this I could definitely try to practice doing more of this in my future projects as I feel it really improves how the textures look.
In regards to my lighting I feel that they were a big improvement compared to my last project in which better lighting was one of my main pieces of feedback. With my candlesticks I made sure to make the light the temperature of a flame while also making sure I made if give of the right shadows in the right areas. I also was able to create the effect of window lights shining through onto the floor which is a often thing you would see in haunted houses in films/shows as well as games. Although, I feel my lighting was a lot better this time around there are definitely more skills I need to research and practice doing to make sure my work is a good as it can be.
I think my animations on my assets as well as the camera turned out good. For the asset animations I chose to do the cross slowly tuning and the chairs flipping upside down in the air as well as the cupboard light flickering on and off. I also animated the camera so that it gave the impression of a first person view of a character with a camera recorder exploring the house. I achieved all of these animations by using keyframes along with settings such as visibility as well as some others. I also made sure the animations were a lot more slower and human like to help with the first person aspect on the camera animation.
In terms of my work in premier pro I think I did an alright job for it being a very new software to me still. I think that the sounds I included were a lot better this time around in not just quality and audio but also timing making sure they were placed at the perfect moment. One thing I still need to try and work on is adding and using effects a bit more effectively to just help the final video be a bit better.
After collecting some peer feedback I have been able to see what the good bits of my scene are for example the models, textures, animation and lighting. I was also able to recieve some feedback on things I could still improve upon such as textures and making the video.
I believe that I we as a group have successfully created a haunted house which looks similar through out the house. I also think that I myself have successfully created a dining room based around the backstory for the house I wrote. However, there are defintily a few more things I could work on so that in the future my work could have a more professional look and feel about it.