Alright, I've laid out the entire framework for Part 1 of the video. All that remains really is the CGI and ingame stuff. I did an assessment of my ingame and to be converted to ingame assets and I think I can start recording rebellion material in two weeks or so if I can at least somewhat focus on my work. As focusing is extremely hard for me, I am now expecting Episode 1 in its entirety to take until the end of 2011 to finish. And that's being modest at best. Chances are I will hit another downspiral of depression and go for several more months with zero activity. If this happens I will probably have to drop the project as it is simply taking too long and becoming a burden.
I have cut the Warlord faction down to 3 unique vessels and the fighters that need to be finished. This, comprised with generalized classes that already exist, should be enough for the Warlord recordings as they are not very long. Of course, each ship needs to have unique particles and SFX, but that's the easy part.
Following this I have a few non-fighter Anahn ships to rig hardpoints and then convert. I have only 2-3 Undead ships ready to rig and convert and really need to pick up the pace on that race to get them done. When these are both done, with SFX and particles, I have enough to record all of Part 1's material. Then I must model the rest of the ships and repeat with those to fill the holes in part 2. That's the easy part.
The hard part is that I need to figure out how to make the Undead material as I envision it within 3ds max for some pre-rendered stuff. I spent time on this on many occassions but I am simply too ignorant to figure out materials. During my next bump with the task I will install Vray and try to find a vray material suitable for the task. Following this I have to use blob meshes, but I already have some experience in blob meshes from working with Age of Wonders 2 sprites in an older project.
The hardest part of all of part 1 of Episode 1 will be the CGI. I need someone to create After Effects material for it. I know a guy, but I somewhat doubt he will be able to create what I need before I finish all of the above work, simply because of past experiences. This doesn't include text and stuff I also need, but it is possible I can make a public requisition for this specific material on Team Liquid.
The voice work for Episode 1 is almost entirely done, and I have spent a huge amount of time compositing stock footage and random garbage into a workable foundation. All that remains is one or two more Fear recordings and, the toughest one, the Prince of Blood's recordings. I'll worry about part 2 of the project when part 1 is done. I foresee part 2 being easier because it will be almost entirely ingame recordings.
To recap, stuff that is done;
- A sizable chunk of Anahn and Undead ships are already ingame, with SFX and particles functioning at an acceptable level of quality. Will be improved over time. Everything you saw in Episode 0 has been improved upon, especially particles and sounds.
- I have a bloodbath-style testing map and have rigged ingame costs to encourage huge fleet battles, but it works very limitedly due to the passiveness of the AI. I may need to pursue something far more complicated to get the recordings I need.
- A number of Anahn ships are modeled but not rigged for ingame use. Most need touching up.
- A handful of Undead ships are modeled and ready to be rigged/put into the game. This includes the Spirestorm, probably the most complicated of all Undead ships to be added minus the Incubus, but the Incubus is not likely to make it in.
- 3-4 Xy`Kranasha ships are modelled but not finished. One is ingame and semi-functional, the rest currently ingame need revision in some way.
- A single DyiithJhinn ship is modelled but may not make it in as a race.
- Two Templar ships are in conceptual phases.
- I have hundreds of base sound effects created for later mixing and remastering.
- I have spent months formulating and rebuilding the video framework for part 1, figuring out exactly what it is I want the video to be like and look like. At this point I cannot remove anything further, thus it is nearly finished.
Stuff that needs to be done -
The following ships need to be rigged, put into the game, given unique sounds and particles.
^ Anahn Garedexx-Class Destroyer (Warlord)
^ Anahn Razzador-Class Battleship (Warlord)
^ Anahn Patriarch-Class Dreadnaught
^ Anahn Chimera MK2's
^ Anahn Sonsora Battleship
^ Undead Tyranny
UD Spirestorm, shown in previous posts.
+ part 2 stuff.
+ CGI for video.
Things I have no control over -
- I expect to spend a week a piece converting models due to vague errors from ConvertXSI. Every ship I avoid errors on is celebrated with a shot of a non-alcoholic beverage, like anti-freeze.
- I cannot UV or texture so no model is textured.
- The smoothing on every single model is broken. I plan to try to dick around with tangents in XSI but expect failure.
- I don't know anything about video graphics so making the CGI is extraordinarily dependent on what I can scrape up from my contacts. I absolutely hate relying on other people but I can't do the after effects work needed for some of the scenes and I cannot stand the program itself. If I absolutely must, I'll do the cheap way out and make renders out of 3ds max using my garbage AO setup. But I'd rather this not look terrible, so that's an absolute last resort.
I was going to make a second dev log but no one cares about that kind of thing, so I'll save my video editing energy for unrelated projects.
Best regards, I'll keep you updated.