Pre Vis Game Level

As part of this weeks task we have to make a rough idea of the level in maya using rough shapes without any detailed modelling, once done i added a camera to a curve and let it travel through the level like you can see below…

As you can see, its far from perfect, timing needs reconsidered along with angles and movement but i think it gives the general idea of what i am trying to achieve.

I took some ambient occlusion renders to help explain my process.

Screen Shot 2015-02-15 at 17.33.26

The scene starts with travelling through rocks and arches before entering a cave.Screen Shot 2015-02-15 at 17.34.22 Screen Shot 2015-02-15 at 17.34.54 Screen Shot 2015-02-15 at 17.39.57

When going through the cave you can begin to see what comes next, a trench. Screen Shot 2015-02-15 at 17.44.11

Image of travelling through the bendy trench.Screen Shot 2015-02-15 at 17.48.00

looking upwards at the tall mountain as you  begin to climb it.Screen Shot 2015-02-15 at 17.49.31

Looking straight down at top of mountain before going down it. You can see the next tunnel with arches to dodge.

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Arches in tunnel and different heights leave for a tricky manoeuvre. Screen Shot 2015-02-15 at 17.53.23

When coming out of the trench you will end in an open area with mountains surrounding.Screen Shot 2015-02-15 at 17.55.38

a few birds eye views of the level.

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below are two renders of level from opposite sides. Screen Shot 2015-02-15 at 17.59.47 Screen Shot 2015-02-15 at 18.00.24

Here is a birds eye view of the whole level with my notes explaining whats what. explaining BEV icetundra 001


Week 3 at Black North

Our assignment for week 3 is the Pre Visualisation of the ‘icetundra’ level using the concepts we have created over the past 2 weeks.

We have began by printing out a good number of our concepts and sticking them up on the wall, we have then gotten a whiteboard and written out different orders we can imagine the imagines working together if the spaceship were really to  move through these images in a real animated game.

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From the numbers on the board you would think we were writing out some sort of weird phone numbers or doing some odd maths calculation, but in actual fact it is just the order of the images in different series, the letters represent our names and who created each one.

Why Are we Doing This Process?

We are doing this process so that when it comes to using Maya and modelling parts of the scene/level, we know what goes where and can assign certain parts of the level to each other so that we know who is modelling what and no one models something twice, we also need to be able to connect all our parts of the scene without problems, so laying out the scene like this makes it much easier for us.

Below are some images of work Aidan has done roughly in mudbox , even in its rough stage i feel it looks well as you can see the potential of what it will be when we model the pieces well.

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Week 2 at Black North

In our second week at Black North we were all to create concepts by ‘Photobashing’ again, only this time we were all to focus on the ‘icetundra’ theme, the one i was doing alone in the beginning, here are my concepts from that week…


I liked this one as i thought the illumination of the ships lights made a really visually pleasing image, however the criticism was that we are trying to avoid trees and forestation as the theme is ‘icetundra’.


My reasoning for this one was the idea of a whole world floating in the sky, perhaps a way of travelling from level to level, however the criticism was that it was a little too ‘out there’. Witch i cant disagree with, haha


This one i created because of how well received a similar one was from the week previous, and this one was received pretty well too.  I do like it, it leaves a lot to the imagination about what could be down in there, or what is around the corner if you follow it


This one was just a day time version of the first image in this post, so the feedback was pretty similar.


This one was, even in my opinion abit out there but i wanted to create something i found visually pleasing, the use of a lit up igloo and meteors of the same colour, i thought were nice, however, the feedback was that it was still a bit too ‘out there’.

Week 1 At Black North

With week one at Black North we were each given a game level theme, such as desert, lava, forest etc

I was given ‘Icetundra’ . With this we had to go off and create concept images by using the technique of ‘photobashing’, something none of us were familiar with. Basically it meant not painting much/anything in the image, and it being  completely created from many images and editing techniques in photoshop such as masking.

This is one of the videos we used to help ourselves learn how to do it…

Below are the images i created in the first week…


Kris (company founder) said he liked them all and each of us had done a brilliant job, however there were criticisms. The image above, he said liked the composition and i have a good understanding of it, but my use of colour was wrong, he did not like the orangey hue on the spaceship. And to be honest, after he gave many of his criticisms i felt really stupid for not having realized those faults myself. 10848849_10205224992519660_855939295070296848_o

With this image he didn’t say much other than i have a ‘crazy use of colour’. Which i do think is my problem, i find i get bored of natural looking images and enjoy adding some vibrancy, but it obviously didn’t look correct.10887403_10205224992839668_3229053714798746145_o

This was the first image i created, and probably took me the longest because of it, his main criticism with it was he doesn’t like the snow effect i added and he doesn’t understand why the tower is there either, to be honest i agree, i only added a tower to see how it would look, this piece was the most experimental as i was still learning. 10945462_10205224992799667_4182585834933605534_o

This image was another one i was experiment with the colour in, i thought the orange sun illuminating the ice looked lovely, so added these same colours to the lights/flares of the spaceships,.although i dont think he liked it, haha10945675_10205224992439658_5405859455469852880_o

He felt this one was too mad with colour as well, i was trying to make it look like the northern lights, but i don’t think this was successfully perceived in the image, as he thought i was going mad with colour again, if i am honest i regret adding the fog effect, as i think it makes the image lose its clarity.


This image was his favorite, he said i had a great understanding of composition and the image made him curious and want to know what it down there and beyond the corner of ice. however, of course he had criticisms, he said, again he didn’t like the snow effect and the lens flare was a bit odd and didn’t really visually make sense, which i totally agree with now that i realized. However, not only did he like this one best out of my pieces, but he liked this one best out of the entire groups work which led to the following weeks assignment for the entire group  to create more ‘icetundra images’ without the problems he mentioned. Despite the many criticisms i felt pretty chuffed that he liked my image best, and thus mine will most likely be in the real game.

Working with a Company

As soon as we came back from Christmas break, our course director told us he had got in touch with a few companies who would be taking us on for the next 12 weeks. I was thrilled, i was really excited to be working in industry and seeing how a real studio works and at what pace and quality our work would need to be produced in.

The companies in question were

Black North

Sixteen South




Myself, Daniel Boyle, Hannah Loughridge, Hannah Turkington, Scott Gill, Aiden Scott and Nathan Nicholson were put in a group and working alongside Black North.


Black North are a Belfast based studio who have worked on such films and tv shows such as ‘The Fall’, ‘Looper’, ‘Good Vibrations’ and the Bafta Nominated ‘Finn in the Forest’. They have been Bafta Nominatied and Emmy winners.

When we went for our first meeting we were told what the project was and what we were to do, the project is to create a science fiction gaming experience for phones and the Oculus Rift.