ANI210 Journals

Week 1

After a pretty shaky start, with my cat unfortunately requiring an urgent Vet appointment on Monday, I was a little taken aback by how much focus this unit is on development towards games as opposed to animation in general when I attended class on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Many of the students, if not all but myself, seem solely interested in developing 3D assets and overall production for the main group assignment is again more focussed on Games.

I won’t lie, mainly because this is meant to be a diary, but I have become a little disheartened by this somewhat unsurprising turn of events.
Primarily, I chose to do this degree under the impression it would prepare me for working with a team of animators towards an end goal in an animated project like a short film, perhaps a tv episode pilot or something similar.
Before we began, I was given the impression that Studio enabled students from different disciplines such as film, animation, audio, games etc and choose a project to work on with a team of likeminded students. Being more interested in 2D animation for television, you can see how I might feel disheartened when being presented with a 3D Game oriented assignments with minimal view for alternatives

Having said all of this, I am trying to make the best of the situation by putting my focus into the modular asset project by attempting to create them in 2D.
As this is somewhat part of the Tribute Room group project, I made a list of approximately 15 different Tribute Room ideas for the team to review and hopefully start a discussion.
Sadly it appears as though no further discussion or decisions have been made around this over the whole week.
With the pitch due next week I found this extremely upsetting that no further attempts for communication were made within the team.
As an end result, I didn’t want to waste a week of time waiting around for my other team members to contribute, make feedback suggestions or anything, so I began to create a series of Modular Assets in 2D with a tropical island beach theme.

Modular Asset mock up.

The above image is made up of different sections and are on there own layers. I have attempted to create each piece so that they may be used together or mixed up.
This is merely a mock up for the pieces and is not representative of the final product.
I took primary inspiration from games like Donkey Kong Country from the Super Nintendo era, as the platforming elements although very simple but the art style really made it stand out from traditional platforms of the era with rather uninspiring level design.
I have spent approximately 15 hours this week putting these mock up assets together and laid them out for the above image.

With the assignment needing each of these pieces and others to work within a Realtime Game Engine such as Unity, I can create them in virtually any application and export it in .png file format or something similar that Unity is capable of.

In my studies over the last 8 Months with Toon Boom Harmony, I have discovered the tools needed to create assets, props and even animated elements and characters for use within Unity. As this is 2D animation and not 3D I do not believe it will work with the Unreal Engine but I am yet to test the idea.

I theorise I may have to complete the Tribute Room on my own given my focus for this course and as a result I plan to pitch my concept with 2D.
The end result I hope to have a completed folder with a series of finished Modular Assets ready for use within Unity along with Animated props and objects that can also be used for variety.
I also hope to use these assets within Toon Boom Harmony to create a video example of what the end result might look like with some animated characters and enemies layered through an example level.
I can see how these skills may be beneficial for my arsenal within 2D production but I do fear that the content I produce over what I have left of my degree may not be usable for my hopeful career path.
With the exception of creating smaller animated clips to be used within other groups 3D environments, I find it difficult to see how this simulated Team scenario will prepare me for the career I am pursuing.
I think I will need to discuss this with my Teachers and Facilitators in more detail.