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Getting animated with the Swansea Metropolitan University Just over four weeks ago, my uncle phoned my from Swan-

a three year course. In the afternoon of the second day I was

sea to inform me that I had been allowed to spend 3 days

shown the calmer, simpler engine of Unity and with a huge

of work experience in the Applied Design and Engineering

chunk of beginners luck found out a handy little animation

Department of The Swansea Met University. Bubbling with

trick that would benefit us in the future.

excitement from then on, My first day began as I made my

The next day was spent designing the basic features of my

way through the fronts doors of the Building and was kindly

characters head and face. This was without a shadow of a

greeted by Adam one of the workers in the Department. Any

doubt my favorite part of the 3 days and the sense of achieve-

nervousness I had before was instantly quelled by the sight of

ment I felt with my finished piece was unparalleled. My work

his Doctor Who T-shirt, I knew after that I was in for a great

station for this part of the course was the Games room in

3 days. Adam took my up to the floor I would spend my time

the ‘dungeons’ of the buildings, as Julian lead me down the

on, and then an hour of health and safety although it really felt

winding corridors I was blind to the light that awaited me

like five minutes, I was introduced to Julian and it was on to

at the end of our path. This light was a room made of the

motion capture with him.

dreams all gamers in the world have. The back wall was lined

From my prior knowledge of mo-cap, I knew the setup

with top of the range, mega computers, labelled with the

would be long and arduous but as I have found with my other

unmistakable mark of Alienware. All current console con-

work experience placements, all new things, boring and all, I

sole could be found as well, after 5 minutes I was alb to pick

find fascinating. Little did I know that morning when I woke

my jaw up off the ground I got back to business. The last

up that at 10 o’clock, I would be suiting up to have myself cap-

day was bittersweet as I had a finished playable level and a

tured by the cameras in the room. All the points of my joints

walking character but it also marked the end of a fantastic

and the red of the camera lenses would make up a fantastic

experience, in which I learned the guts of a three-year course

final animation. I was warned that the suit was communal and

in about 3 days from the mentoring of Julian and Adam who

the distinct smell of sweaty falafels was interesting to say the

from the word go, guided and aided me in the workings of

least. After a quick hop skip and a jump my captures were

the fantastic department. I am thrilled to have been giving

brought into motion builder and cleaned up to look just a bit

the opportunity by John Carroll Head of the Department.

more presentable. Running comfortable ahead of schedule

From having worked in the University Julian was in the pro-

and without any big problems that had the experienced head

cess of having made three games under an initiative to bring

of Julian nearly worried, we opened up the chasm of games

industry back to Wales.

design possibilities that is UDK (Unreal Development Kit).

The course from talking to the guys seems to offer a wide

The software reminded me a lot of a Seinfeld episode with

range of possible careers in Video games and because it fo-

a stubborn owner of a soup shop, where if not every pack-

cuses on Games design it can be a lot more specific over a

age file or lightning change was not perfect to UDK it would

general Graphic Design course. I thank all in the department

throw it right back at you, that being said Julian did a great job

and my aunt and uncle for opening up this career path and

in introducing a software that students don’t even master after

renewing my passion for designing games.

Games Design Project

With every mouse click, MotionBuilder gets closer to animating Terrance. This is when we had wrapped up the work in MotionBuilder, the character model has been put onto the actor rig which is on my mo-cap take. Below: MotionBuilder timeline window. Initial sketch for character.r

Games Design Project

Terrance says Hello, a comparison between the sample head I started with and Terrance’s final face in Mudbox. Pretty pleased with the results.

Character profile: I decided to model my character on the Handsome Jack, the villain from the hit sequel Borderlands 2. Jack is a suave, well kept man and his face mirrors that with well defined features which I tried to sculpt onto my character using Mudbox. My character became a bit more old school baddy as I slightly hooked his nose and pointed his chin. This gave him an air of untrust, which was what I was trying to achieve. After I hand the basic of my character designed, Julian told to to think up his back story, what he does etc. This would make it easier to add little details when I would be finishing him on the last day. So I borrowed the teeming imaginations of my young cousin and between we came up with a character who is one of those new age villains, a mastermind that is the head of his organization but delicates out all the menial task leaving himself in an almost godlike state, from my preliminary sketched i imagined him in a suit but when it came to designing him in Mudbox i was only able to get colour on him so changed over to a bright jumpsuit that added a comical feel to him, i would say his final design would be between Handsome Jack and The Joker, a sort of mask of welcomeness that would lull you into a false a sense of security but life up the vale and you will see your worst nightmares. May I present Terrance and his amazing technicolour jumpsuit.

Monoprint concepts for our hero Terrance.

Games Design Project

Terrance here- Owner of the Technicolour Jumpsuit. In a T-Pose in MoCap because it is an easy pose to calibrate positioning.

‌ Which is why you gotta idle. While Terrance is not moving we need to give him an animation as he is waiting to receive an action.

Games Design Project

Event Horizon