Operation Catling gun

It's over! The Catling Gun is finally complete, and I am sad to see it end. This past week has been hectic 9 till 9 in the labs then working past midnight at home but it has all be worth it! Last week I showed you all my concepting I had done so far and my work in progress shots of my model; so lets carry on from where we left off...

To start here are my finished orthographics;
These are just a quick sketch to help you get the right shape and dimensions of your model; personally I don't find them helpful when it comes to non-human objects I prefer to free form the model. I get caught up on converting 2D into 3D so doing this was good practice.

Here is my completed 3D model; after finishing this I did some high quality renders in 3DS max so that I could do a final concept piece, which is also shown below.
Final model wire-frame render
Paint over
After finishing my paint over I went on to unwrap my model (this is when the fun stuff happens) and guess what? My unwrapping corrupted and so did my model. So 2 days worth of work had gone and I then had to fix everything; I managed to salvage most of my work and then fix all my unwrapping ready for texturing; this caused me to be even more behind and made for a very stressful long week. Amongst texturing and worrying about whether or not I would manage to get this project finished we got set another task! To make a poster so when I got fed up of texturing and working in engine I produced a moodboard of posters, I felt were interesting and suited my design then came up with 3 poster ideas, as shown below:
Poster moodboard
Poster 1
Poster 2
Poster 3
So whilst I was working on these I was also doing my textures which were easier to do than I originally thought, which meant I gained back some time I had lost. Here are my textures compiled together:
Turret Texture
Projectile Texture
I also had time to create a particle for my gun barrel get ready for a pun...
Particle Texture
Get it? because it says "mew" instead of "pew"... yea... I know, I should stick to 3D modelling.
UE4 screenshot
This is them working on the final gun in UE4.

Drum roll please! and... this if the gun finished in engine:
UE4 render
Doesn't it just look fabulous! I am over the moon with how this came out; I even made a video of the entire project with some real time game play at the end, showing off all of my fancy engine coding!

As you can see I managed to not only finish this project but I also hit most of my stretch goals including:
- Ambient Gun music
- Ambient Cat sounds
- Triggered gun pop
- Emissive textures
- Glass textures
- Physics based projectiles

And now its time for the Q & A round! *yay*

Q: What went well?
A: Every thing on this project went pretty well, in particular my texturing and concepting as a whole went well; I am really pleased with myself due to these not being my strengths and I feel that this is going to be one of the best things in my portfolio. My engine work also went well, it was tricky and confusing but after tinkering with settings and watching tutorials with my flatmate we managed to help each other out and learn a lot in the process.

Q: What didn't go well?
A: Mainly my time management but this was unavoidable due to illness and file corruption, my rendering was hard to do for my paint over and it glitched out which meant I spent more time on it then planned. 

Q: What did you learn?
A: I have learnt a sheer amount of stuff on this project I could write a book on it, but the main things are blueprints in general; I have learnt how to use sounds in UE4, create emissive textures, create glass textures and how to use and make particle effects. There is so much more I have learnt about the UE4 engine and I am enjoying it so much, I cant wait till we work on projects like this again.

Q: How would you approach it next time?
A: I feel that the way I approached this project was fine, I just had some unfortunate issues with illness and corrupted files. The only thing I would do next time is push myself to get my model done quicker so that I could do a high poly bake for my normals; which would make my model look more realistic and cleaner in engine.

Q: What can you take from this project and apply to others?
A: All of the things I have learnt about the UE4 engine and leaving room in timetables for unscheduled problems. 

Over all I am super happy with the project and I just want to make cat related things for all my projects now on! So for the time being I'm going to make myself happy with cat .gif's!
I am definitely calling in these guys to fix my technical issues next time!

Cat .gif: http://www.catgifpage.com/page/3/

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