3D Blender model of Catalina PBY plane for game trailer cinematic and standalone ...

edited in Projects
Hi everyone I am in Bellingham Washington state US at the moment, born in Cape Town.
Just sharing a game I am building in Blender and Unreal 4.

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Comments

  • I completed the prototype version of the game with 15 levels total and I am working on the trailer at the moment.
    I have a production blog running here:
    http://worldofclouds.com/efmsblog.php
  • Nice dev blog! It looks like you're quite far along, but I can't find any gameplay videos. Do you have any plain gameplay recorded?

    Also, out of interest, why have you made the "made with Unreal Engine" so prominent? Do non-developers know what that is/means, and if so, do they care?
    Speaking personally I hate when trailers waste time showing the engine. Even being a developer I don't care.
  • roguecode said:
    Nice dev blog! It looks like you're quite far along, but I can't find any gameplay videos. Do you have any plain gameplay recorded?

    Also, out of interest, why have you made the "made with Unreal Engine" so prominent? Do non-developers know what that is/means, and if so, do they care?
    Speaking personally I hate when trailers waste time showing the engine. Even being a developer I don't care.
    Hi and thank you for checking out my website and the question ... which is actually an interesting question.
    I had some gameplay videos on You Tube but they are not all that interesting at this point since the levels are a prototype version and barely "blocked out".
    Its more a proof of concept then anything else at this point.
    Even that was a lot of work I can tell you :-)
    I have some interesting game mechanics in it, a cable car that works with real physics, and a few other things.
    Its also a story game not really a third person shooter, although the character does have a side arm and can shoot at things. Since the other characters in the game are not fully modeled and animated yet I saw no point in showing lots of gameplay at this point.
    The question about why I mention Unreal 4 in the post well I think there are two reasons. One is Unreal 4 is a free to use program and one of the best ones out there. I think its just nice to mention them since I am getting so much from them for free not to mention all the support from their forums and community. I think its good to give something back. Then I also think the US is very much a product driven society and "what you use" to do anything with over here is as much part of what you create then the product itself. That is probably not so in SA I would imagine. Over here its a country of many choices and its engrained in the culture here.
    Anyways stay tuned and watch my website for any further updates.
    I will be starting a fundraising campaign soon and then the real fun begins. :-)

    Thanked by 1roguecode
  • Catalina modeling in Blender for game trailer in progress ...

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    Working on landing gear ...

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    Just to drop a quick note I have t shirts of my game project on my website if anyone is interested.
    Thank you for your kind support :-)
    100% Cotton, plain white, short sleeve t shirts with artwork only on the front. Sizes available SM, MED, L, XL and 2XL.

    http://worldofclouds.com/mtshirt.html

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  • Starting to look like a plane :-)

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  • What we'd all really like to see here are some gameplay, something we can give some solid feedback on. Otherwise there's not really much we can help you with here :)
  • These models and poster are looking great! Well done and keep us updated for when you have some gameplay or a demo or anything :)
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    Hi and thanks for the feedback.
    There are some gameplay video clips on my visual effects reel here towards the end of the video:



    Here is an example of a helicopter ride in one of the levels keep in mind all the models and animations including the character are temps (placeholders). Its only a blocked out "proof of concept" at this point:



    Here is another:







    Its only a prototype game at this stage of development and so the actual gameplay is not very exiting.
    Its more about concept, ideas, design and so forth at this point :-)
    Thanks for the comments :-)
  • edited
    There is more I can show but I would rather not give away too much gameplay at this point. Its all temp anyways and will probably change drastically in the final version of the game :-)

    There is also a great Unreal rendered sequence which is a full on cinematic but I cant show that because it will be a spoiler :-)
  • If you're not here to get some feedback about gameplay, would you mind me asking what you're looking for by posting here? We'd really love to help, but I'm really not sure what help we can offer right now?
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    Tuism said:
    If you're not here to get some feedback about gameplay, would you mind me asking what you're looking for by posting here? We'd really love to help, but I'm really not sure what help we can offer right now?
    Hi I wasn't posting about feedback on gameplay.
    Is this forum about feedback on gameplay only?
    Sorry I didn't realize that :-)
    The website is called "Make Games" not "Gameplay feedback"
    But if my thread is inappropriate I can delete it :-)

  • Nah no need, it's pretty natural in a community of game developers that we want to be helpful, and so we look for opportunities to help.

    It's not inappropriate, enjoy just showing stuff off :)
  • Tuism said:
    Nah no need, it's pretty natural in a community of game developers that we want to be helpful, and so we look for opportunities to help.

    It's not inappropriate, enjoy just showing stuff off :)
    O.k. thanks yes with a very limited marketing budget I have I try to utilize forums as much as possible.
    I post on the Epic forums too and this Catalina build alone had over 1500 hits including one guy who wants to buy a rigged version of the model once its done.
    So every little bit helps :-)

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    Little masts, knobs, sockets, seams on wings ...

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  • What the plane looks like now ...

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  • I hope this is like a museum piece that you get to study in-game from real close up otherwise I`d say don't get too hung up on the detail else you may never get the game out ;)
  • vintar said:
    I hope this is like a museum piece that you get to study in-game from real close up otherwise I`d say don't get too hung up on the detail else you may never get the game out ;)
    You know you are exactly right but I do have close ups in game actually.
    The truth is I plan on selling the 3D model on my website as a standalone piece rigged and textured.
    So that is why I put a lot of detail into it so someone else can use the same plane for something else.
    The decals and weathering will all be separate pieces and I will have a version of the model with every part as its own object so the whole plane can be pulled apart and modified.
    I looked at the other models on the web and they are pretty good ... but I am trying to fire a little competition at them :-)

  • Modeling rear gun stations using Nurb curves ...

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  • Using this duplicate shape for the rear window glass.

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    Added some doors and handles to the rear gun stations.
    I am just going to add a few rivets and then its only the main body of the plane that needs a little attention before the rigging starts :-)

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    Just dropping a quick note that this model is for a 4K cinematic game trailer only. It would obviously be way to heavy on the geometry / draw calls for in game usage. The camera is moving right by it very closely and also very slowly so the detail is very important. :-)
    It would most definitely need a lower poly / baked UV version for a dynamic object in actual gameplay.

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  • Putting last touches on the main body, handles, knobs and small vent pipes.
    BTW go check out this guy's model in progress if you think mine is a little too detailed:
    https://blenderartists.org/forum/showthread.php?370606-SBD-Dauntless-(US-Navy-dive-bomber)

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  • A lot of great detail in there! It'll be cool to see when it is textured and in-world. Are you making the trailer in your 3D program, or Unreal?

    BTW, some small feedback on the main poster (from a non-artist, so feel free to ignore me):
    - The main hanging guys face looks stretched, but I think it is because the side flaps of his helmet are overlapping his face.
    - The styles of a lot of the faces are done in different styles
    - The lighting around groot isn't correct.

    Overall, I think the border characters and bottom cliff detract from the middle waterfall/building/aeroplane bit. I think that middle part is actually really cool, and shows the height well.
    I'm sure the characters are important to the game, but as a prospective player who hasn't seen or played the game, they aren't super important to me.
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    roguecode said:
    A lot of great detail in there! It'll be cool to see when it is textured and in-world. Are you making the trailer in your 3D program, or Unreal?

    BTW, some small feedback on the main poster (from a non-artist, so feel free to ignore me):
    - The main hanging guys face looks stretched, but I think it is because the side flaps of his helmet are overlapping his face.
    - The styles of a lot of the faces are done in different styles
    - The lighting around groot isn't correct.

    Overall, I think the border characters and bottom cliff detract from the middle waterfall/building/aeroplane bit. I think that middle part is actually really cool, and shows the height well.
    I'm sure the characters are important to the game, but as a prospective player who hasn't seen or played the game, they aren't super important to me.
    Hi thanks and your comments are welcome.
    The software I am working in:

    1. Blender for 3D modeling, sculpting and animation.
    2. Photoshop for texturing, decals, etc.
    I use the Nvidia texture tools plugin for Photoshop for normal maps, etc.
    https://developer.nvidia.com/nvidia-texture-tools-adobe-photoshop
    3. Unreal 4 for engine.
    4. Nuke and Digital Fusion for VFX compositing.
    5. Adobe Premiere Pro and Soundbooth for cinematics and trailer work.
    6. For screen captures I use Microsoft's Expression Encoder 4.
    7. For video and audio file format conversions and encoding I use Movavi video converter.

    Yeah the poster is very temp and I rushed to get it done.
    I want to start a fundraiser soon and hopefully I will have enough money to hire artists that are way better than me ha :-)
    The face probably looks a little stretched because his helmet is little to high above his eye line and I think the vertical lines of the Mill Station and cliffs behind him creates a bit of an optical trickery on the eye that makes objects in front of it look little stretched.
    Good catch though :-)
    Yeah I actually added the other characters to the poster at a later point in time after I worked out the details of the story. Originally it was only the pilot and the woman.
    You can see the original poster here if you scroll down the page:
    http://worldofclouds.com/escapefrommillstation.html
    So yeah they probably look a little "added in" with style that doesn't match exactly.
    Lighting is also not meant to be entirely "correct" in the sense that it needs to look right its more about the overall mood.
    Yeah I agree that the characters are little distracting away from the building and cliffs again they were not there in the original artwork. I added them later because I want to use this version for fundraising and if I don't have characters in the poster the investors will ask "well who is in it all I see is a mountain ..." ... I am sure you know what I mean :-)

    Thanks for the comments.

  • edited
    Rigging the plane starts. I am exporting from Blender and importing to Unreal 4 and in order to avoid any issues I am trying to keep the rig as simple and straightforward as possible. So I am avoiding rigid bodies, constraints or IK. We will see if it works heh :-)
    Also FYI for those of you working in Blender > Unreal. In Unreal 4.16 they fixed the problem with the extra bone that Unreal creates after importing an armature from Blender. Basically if Unreal sees the name armature in the naming convention it wont create and extra bone with the name "armature" This was a big problem in the past and there were guys who posted Python scripts online with which you had to fix the .fbx exporter inside Blender. That workaround is no longer need though :-)

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  • Entire armature is complete and I parented it to all the 310 individual objects that makes up the plane.
    I did it with automatic weights and it actually worked without crashing Blender. heh
    I now have to weight paint the vertices to assign the desired group to the bones.
    It took Blender around 6 minutes to do the parenting, that is a whole 2 minutes longer it took Unreal to
    compile my whole game LOL :-)

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    Testing tail rig after weight painting ...



    Some minor issues with the revolving gunner station doors.
    Missing glass. Need to add a little more and an overlap here and there but
    for the most part I think its working fine :-)


  • I got the rig with the rear landing gear to work ... kinda.
    Still a few issues to fix but I think its going to work.
    This is an armature, just straightforward without any rigid bodies, IK or constraints.
    Just bones.

  • Here is a fascinating documentary on the whole manufacturing process this plane went through.
    To test it to see if it could float and water tight they actually filled the whole plane up with water and checked for leaks LOL :-)

  • Front wheel assembly retracting.

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    A little fixing to do.
    Maybe the center, upper rod needs to be shorter and its origin needs to start further out towards the tip of the wing.



    Someone else's scale model:

  • Screen capture a bit wonky but the rigging works fine I think :-)


  • I now have one engine left to weight paint and then its texturing and shaders.
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    UV mapping in progress.
    Texture painting begins in a day or two cant wait! :-)

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  • Hey there!

    You're putting a lot of work into the plane asset and it certainly shows! Your model already has an amazing level of detail. It looks like something that might be used as a CG piece in a film.

    So here's where I start to get a bit critical: I wonder if maybe you're putting too much time into this one model at this point already? If you're enjoying yourself and the process, by all means, feel free to continue, but if your aim is to make a game, I think your time could be better spent elsewhere. I hate to see someone spending time in a way I think is wasteful and repeating some common mistakes.

    I'm not an artist, but to be 100% honest, the level of detail you have in that asset seems to be too much for a game, by an order of magnitude or two. When you include it in a game it will need to be simplified significantly if you hope to have a decent framerate. Making high fidelity graphics like this also takes a lot of time. There's no way you can maintain that level of detail for an entire game and get it done within a reasonable amount of time.

    Fortunately there are ways around this. For example, it would be much quicker if you started with a rough model and then came back to it later. Heck, a lot of games start out using literal primitives and capsules and blocks for many months before they put in high fidelity graphics like this.

    Another point you made above was that you saw this thread as marketing. I'm not sure that's a sensible way of looking at it. These are forums for people that are producing games, not really for consumers of games, so there's a mismatch in the audiences. Unfortunately, these forums aren't really going to count as marketing and I think you might already see that - the content you're sharing is designed as marketing, with consumers in mind, but it's not really being engaged with.

    In my opinion, a better way to utilise these forums is by being open to and seeking feedback on your work and your process. It seems like you've had a taste of the usefulness of that in the thread about your company logo. There's a lot of valuable experience on these forums, from people way more experienced than myself - use it!

    I really don't want to poop all over your passion. It's 100% clear that you have a lot of enthusiasm for this game and that's terrific, I'm just trying to direct your effort in a way that is a little more productive. Feel free to ignore me and continue as you were if you think it'll make you happier, but I hope that maybe you'll think a little more critically of your process going forward.

    Keep making stuff! :)
    Thanked by 2Tuism Elyaradine
  • Hi Francois,

    The prototype game of 15 levels is already done.
    I know the thread's heading is a little misleading I wish I could change that.
    This is mostly about the plane I am building and it will serve two purposes.
    Its for cinematics in my game, trailer to be specific.
    The camera moves in from very far to very close and stays on the plane for 80% of the time.
    That is why I am going to town with the detail :-)
    Also I want to sell this model on my website as a standalone so anyone can use it for yes film, games, whatever.
    I will also break out several different versions of the model and decals can be easily changed.
    That is also why I built it with total of 309 separate objects that re not joined so a buyer can chop out or change
    parts around.
    So he or she could change the design of the plane, modify it to their own needs.
    Also this model will not be used in actual game play.
    The plane cant be flown in game.
    Its only in a cinematic and then as static mesh sitting on the ground all smashed up.
    So there is no need for a lower poly version.
    Thanks for your thoughts and input :-)
    Thanked by 1francoisvn
  • Awesome, enjoy modeling your plane :)

    I'm sorry though that this forum doesn't really help on modeling, or marketing. And since there's no game to feedback on we haven't been able to help on that either.

    By the way, you *can* edit the opening post. Click the little gear top right.
  • Tuism said:
    Awesome, enjoy modeling your plane :)

    I'm sorry though that this forum doesn't really help on modeling, or marketing. And since there's no game to feedback on we haven't been able to help on that either.

    By the way, you *can* edit the opening post. Click the little gear top right.
    No worries I kinda see it all part of game making anyways.
    I did try and post my project as work in progress on a game forum in SA and the dude banned me for life from the forum stating it was spam.
    He was just a d ... ck.
    I suspect politics was the issue.

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  • Here with sun size set to 0.0005 cm and angle of rays much narrower.
  • etiennea said:
    This is mostly about the plane I am building and it will serve two purposes.
    Its for cinematics in my game, trailer to be specific.
    The camera moves in from very far to very close and stays on the plane for 80% of the time.
    That is why I am going to town with the detail :-)
    Also I want to sell this model on my website as a standalone so anyone can use it for yes film, games, whatever.
    That makes a lot more sense now! :)
    etiennea said:
    I did try and post my project as work in progress on a game forum in SA and the dude banned me for life from the forum stating it was spam.
    You should consider posting it here. We'd love to see it, and we definitely won't ban you ;)
  • O.k. thanks Francois.

    My company website is here: http://clikfoot.com/
    My game project is here: http://escapefrommillstation.com/
  • Cool. I looked at those pages, but I can't see to find a link to the prototype you mentioned anywhere there. Did I miss it?
  • That model is so cool. I suck at modelling, so the only feedback I can give is that I like it :)
  • FanieG said:
    That model is so cool. I suck at modelling, so the only feedback I can give is that I like it :)
    I suck too I just try harder :-)

  • Cool. I looked at those pages, but I can't see to find a link to the prototype you mentioned anywhere there. Did I miss it?
    Hi the prototype is just a blocked out version of the game at this point and not very interesting to watch any gameplay at this stage.
    I have some screen recordings of level walk through here (towards the end):

    Then I have sketch diagrams early concept versions of each level right at the bottom of this page:
    http://worldofclouds.com/efmsmedia.html

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