Working at an Animation Studio| Timetable

Week 1 In week one we were introduced to the project, got to know the style and began making concept art with the technique of ‘photobashing’. Something we had never done before. We each created concepts based off of a different theme, eg: lava, desert, forest, ice.
Week 2 Week two, we got feedback on our first set of concepts and then went off and made more based off of the criticism and direction we were heading.
Week 3 In week 3 the project leader decided that he liked the ‘ice world’ (icetundra) world concepts best and we then all began creating basic block models in maya based on the concepts.
Week 4 In week 4 the project leader gave us the green light with our designs and we began creating detailed and realistic models.
Week 5 Week 5, was similar to week 4 in that we were just continuing to model and fixing pieces they were not happy with from the previous week.
Week 6 In week 6 we began UV unwrapping and texturing our sets. In my opinion this is the week that was most stressful as none of us has any experience in UV unwrapping yet.
Week 7 Once they were happy with our textures, they asked us to bake in ambient occlusion and bake in the lights. This was also something we had zero experience in, but we learnt pretty fast and got there in the end.
Week 8 Over the next few weeks we spent our time fixing the odd Uv problem, re texturing our sets and baking in lights in different ways until we finally reached the desired effect.
Week 9 Read above
Week 10 Read above
Week 11 Read above, we were also given a broken spaceship model with textures to put around our scenes to look like a crash site. We baked this in too.
Week 12 In the final week, they liked our baked in light as we chose to add blue shadows and yellow highlights into the snow that was very effective. We then spent time animating in a camera onto a curve to give an idea of what the game would actually look like when brought into the Oculus Rift format.

In the end the company asked us to stay a little longer to finish off some of the work and in the final week (week 14) they decided they were going to scrap the game to go for a much more simplistic style, leaving us just a few days to make something new that we had previously spent many weeks learning and perfecting. In a way this was a blessing as we now knew how to do everything really well and were able to produce some work at a very high speed.

Overall, I did enjoy my time working for Blacknorth Studios. I learnt a lot and adapted to the weekly deadlines whilst working at a fast but professional standard. I learnt how to take rough criticism like a pinch of salt and produced work tirelessly until the company was happy. I am glad of my time there as I now have experience working in a professional animation studio environment and I now feel better prepared for when I am finished university and going out to get a job in the real world.

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