Today I completed my virtual gallery in Unreal to present my best work I have completed over the course so far. After working on this project for a few weeks I have added in all the features I wanted and recorded a play through that can be viewed below:
Creating this virtual gallery has helped me learn and demonstrate a number of skills. Most importantly this project shows that I can create detailed models in 3DS Max using many tools and techniques that I have learned. Another important skill this project shows is my ability to create and customise a virtual environment using the Unreal Editor. Other assets in my gallery such as the LIMBO dub demonstrate my sound recording, sound editing and video editing which are skills that will be useful to me. This gallery also showcases my photography and drawing skills.
3D modelling skills and using Unreal are skills that are applicable to a wide range of games industry sectors. The Unreal Engine is used across most platforms including PC, console and mobile. 3D models and 3D level design is also a very important part of virtual reality games.
Level design skills and 3D modelling skills will help me progress into the level design sector of the games industry which is my ideal job. This job role will be very good for me as I enjoy creating virtual environments. My drawing skills will help me with concept art and games artist job roles but as my drawing skills are not the best I do not wish to advance in art-related areas in the games industry.
As I only had limited time to complete my final project, I needed to manage my time properly. After the room layout was finalized, I made a list in my head of all the features and work I wanted to include in my gallery and what room they would go in. In Unreal I followed along with what my tutor taught us such as features we could include in our virtual gallery. I also did some work in my own time such as creating 3D models at home for my project so I would complete everything before the deadline.
To ensure that my workplace was kept safe, everyone followed standard safety rules such as keeping food and drink away from the machines and not leaving bags out as trip hazards. As well as this, we took breaks from the computers throughout the day to prevent eye strain or other problems.
To create meaning and mood in each room of my gallery I decided to make each one feel unique. Before I created my gallery I created some mood boards using PhotoShop for my different rooms so I could create the feel each room would have. The cinema uses a black and red colour scheme and very dim lighting this helps achieve the mood you would feel in an actual cinema, I modelled some cinema seats to help create this mood more. The art room and the 3D room are very brightly lit and have white walls, these rooms resemble a real gallery the most as everything (excluding the art) is very simple and plain so you are drawn to the art instead. My foliage room has no ceiling so you can see the sky and the sun lights the room up, there is also an ambient sound effect of wind through trees with birds chirping. These elements and features really help the player feel they are in a pleasant outside garden enjoying the scenery.
If these elements were altered, it would easily change the mood and meaning of each room. Replacing sky with a cloudy night and dimming the sunlight would make the foliage room feel much more creepy, changing the ambience to howling wind would enhance this effect greatly. Replacing the cinema walls with dirty, grimy walls and upping the brightness on the lights would make the cinema feel a lot less fancy and not like the real thing.
In preparation for my virtual gallery I conducted research in existing galleries and examples of virtual galleries. In this blog post I look into the virtual Louvre gallery by Nintendo. This is an example of secondary research to find out how their virtual gallery worked and ideas I could use. This research was useful to me as this showed me that you can inspect 3D models closely and add a commentary in your virtual gallery easily.
To evaluate I think that my virtual gallery was a success and I am happy with the final outcome. I implemented lots of features I wanted to and added some extra detail on top, everything was completed and working before the deadline. My research was useful to me as it gave me ideas and inspiration for my project. If I could improve my research I think I would have conducted some primary research and extra secondary research on galleries. If I had extra time I would add extra detail to my gallery such as better textures more ambient sound and more 3D models to detail the rooms and make them look better. I also think I could have made more foliage for my foliage room such as a third tree model to fill up empty space. This project taught me a lot about Unreal and 3DS Max which I am happy about as these are tools related to level design.