This will be a week by week diary listing all the things that I've done and what I plan to do, along with any problems that have occurred.

Week Ending April 7th

Finally handed it in this week, wohoo! Got the 10,000 word report done in ten days, I even managed to get the whole thing finished with a day to spare before the deadline, I never finish before the deadline! Unfortunately I was unable to get all of the environments done, luckily it doesn't matter. I did manage to get four done though, so that's nearly half of my target which isn't too bad, when you consider that most people I've talked to have only done one or two models, and I've done four complete freggin' levels with another five half done. All I've got left to do now is a presentation, which shouldn't be too bad. It's fifteen minutes long, luckily my video walk through I did lasts about seven minutes, it's great when a plan comes together!

So now the project is in limbo, nothing will happen with it till the summer, where I plan on finishing the other environments. I'm also contemplating opening up the project and getting a fully working version for something like the Source engine or maybe the UT2004 engine. We shall see.


Week Ending February 3rd

Things have been a little up and down, small patches of intense work and then periods where next to nothing has happened. Things are looking a little tight at the moment though, with things not really progressing as I would like but what can you do? I suppose I should be pleased with the fact that I've got all of the areas modeled and with basic textures applied (minus Hyrule Field, that's just modeled). Finally had a meeting with my 3D modeling lecturer about my project, well he is ex-industry after all (worked on Shadow Man plus others). Got some useful answers to some questions and some not so useful answers to others. I'm going to have to arrange another meeting with him soon, seeing as he cut our meeting short, damn those other students wanting to see him!


Week Ending January 13th

Lots of progress this week, I've got the Eastern Palace, Swamp area and Lake Hylia modeled to a near finished state. As things stand the Eastern Palace is about 48,000 polygons the Swamp area is 80,000 odd and Lake Hylia is around 11,000. I was able to talk to my 3d modeling lecturer and got my major question answered, luckily I got the answer I wanted (the one that would save me loads of time and more importantly polygons). I've decided to merge the Desert area with the Swamp, I may even include Lake Hylia in there as well with the way things are going. The texturing stuff is going well, I keep finding little pockets of decent textures all the internet and in various books on my shelves.

The meeting with "super" was ok, although I did forget to do my project diary (slap my wrist... except you can't do that any more... shame). He asked about my inter-rim report which I hadn't started yet, as I thought it was due in for the 16th (this meeting was on the 10th, so there was loads of time), unfortunately, the next day the good guy that he is sent me an email saying that they were due in on the 10th, 11th and 12th, guess when mine was due in for, yes the 11th. Panic stricken I pumped something out in about 4 hours and got it handed in with 30 minutes left to spare, my next meeting's going to be fun! If I don't post anything next week, send out the search parties!


Week Ending January 6th

I've been working slowly but steadily over the holidays, the plan was to work all through the first week and have the second week off, however it was more like I took the first week off (doing little bits here and there) and worked for all of the second. I got some serious texture work in which is good, it feels like you make some really good progress when you start to apply your textures to the models.

Luckily there were only a few problems the main one being what to do with trees, I'll have to arrange a meeting with my 3d modeling lecturer and found out. So far then I've got Kakariko Village and the Desert modeled, the village currently stands at roughly 140,000 polygons (only 10,000 short of the limit) and the desert is about 11,000 and that's pretty much got everything it needs in it, might have to merge it into the swamp area, depends on how many polygons it takes to make it I suppose.


Week Ending December 16th

Landmark reached! All of the buildings have been modeled. I don't think I got much more than 10 hours sleep at the beginning of the week, all thanks to that blasted Hyrule Castle, two and a half days of solid modeling, I went to all of six different places while I was modeling that thing the rest of the time I was sitting in my chair, now that's dedication! However now I never want to model something as large as Hyrule Castle in such a short time span ever again, it wasn't half a hard slog but I'm pleased with the end result.

With all of the buildings now done I'm free to move onto other areas of modeling, I just started working on the foliage, got one tree modeled (an Evergreen) and I'm half way through the second (an Oak tree). It feels nice to be modeling something other than buildings but why oh why did they make trees so damn hard to make? (answers on a post card).

The meeting with "Super" was short and sweet, all ten minutes of it, I suppose it just shows that I'm going at full speed on this and so there's not really a lot to discus. Anywho I've got holidays coming up so that'll provide a short rest, although I'm having time off until Christmas week, another week of solid graft... How will I survive?


Week Ending December 9th

Man have I been busy this week? Answer, yes, yes I have. I've nearly got everything I designed modeled, just got the biggy left, Hyrule Castle, all seven floors of it... So basically I've done pretty much everything I needed to do before I could go onto doing the landscapes. Also I have my first textured model, the standard house (you can see it in the renders section) again I surprised my self at how quickly I did it, thought I'd end up spending most of the day on it, turned out I did it in about four hours, which is pretty quick and amazingly I only had one difficult area, the door frame however I had it sused after roughly half an hour. Damn I'm good!

After weeks of meaning to I finally got round to looking at some online journals to help bulk up my research, did I find anything of use? Not really, I spent at least two hours going through the online databases, searching for stuff that would be of use and came away with only a handful of pdf's whereas a twenty minute search on google produced a plethora of results most of which were actually useful, in your face uni library and your "We have a huge collection of journals you can use"!.


Week Ending December 2nd

I modeled like a mad man again and for my efforts I've got a number of things done, including the desert dungeon. I set my self the task of doing one page of designs a day, I knew it was going to be tough but I didn't realise it was going to be this tough. Note to self, be reasonable man!. I sent off an email to Kuju (makers of Battalion Wars on the GameCube) asking about the limitations of the hardware, my hopes are high for a response, after a friend (who recently got a job at Blitz Games) told me that they sent off a load of info to a student doing their dissertation. Also just for the hell of it, I made a "visual tick list" or a VTL, as I've come to call it, just so I can see how much I've got done and I must say, I'm doing pretty well, let's hope that the work rate keeps up.

The meeting with "Super" went well I have to export a model to a *.ASC format so that it can be tested in UnrealEd, the engine of choice for this project, assuming it get's that far. I also have to texture a model so that the "Super" can see what the visual style is going to be like.


Week Ending November 25th

Not done much work this week, period, after last week where I modeled like a mad man I've basically given my self a week off uni (for better or for worse). As a result my project is suddenly looking like it could be too much.

Another fine meeting with the "super" not much was discussed mainly due to my lack of work (serves me right). I was reminded that I should be filling out the project diary sheets and bringing them along to the meetings (oops!) never mind there's always next week. I got asked about my image research, wasn't expecting him to ask about it and so didn't bring it due to space limitations (again!). Note to self, must buy massive flash drive. Got asked to describe the atmosphere in each of the areas (death mountain, Zora's Domain, etc), along with the brief history of the Zelda universe.


Week Ending November 11th

I got a few models made, surprised my self at how quickly I made them. Which has made me even more confident that I can get this project done on time, or who knows maybe sooner. Meeting with the supervisor went fine, he suggested that I should perhaps look into NPR Techniques (Non-Photo Realistic techniques) such as cel shading. I was given some advice on general organization techniques, such as making a list of every I plan to model, luckily for me I already had that but I didn't take it with me to the meeting due to space limitations on my flash drive. Note to self get bigger flash drive.


Week Ending November 4th

First Meeting with my supervisor, things went ok, basically I went over what I wanted to do, why I wanted to do it, what I would learn from doing it etc. I already had my designs done by this point, which I think helped my position as my supervisor was unsure about weather it could be done or not, but I was strong and confident throughout.


Copyright 2005/6 Ben Collings