Thursday, March 21, 2019

Cosmos Coaster Ui Design part 4 final

Finally got things switching out properly, though the finer details have yet to be completed. I don't have screenshots of the final item, but I do have a video of Cosmos Coaster's release as part of a news story. 

Space station. No display mesh for this level, although the travel icon above the level name shows that you are at the first stage.

The Anomaly after you enter portals between each planet. This location was taken out of the final game to speed up the pacing and tempo.

Low Earth Orbit.

Moon level. Moon mesh changes Yay!

Venus level. Color of UI changes, there is a flame icon indicating crazy high temperatures, and the speed gauge has ramped up.

Mars scene. Temperature back to normal as shown by temperature gauge. Speed has slowed. 

Neptune level. Temperature drops.

Compilation of all the different views.

News report from 13WMAZ about the Cosmos Coaster release

Cosmos Coaster UI Design part 3

So after assembling the UI, I had to physically bring that into the game engine. I had to do some additional blue print work to animate specific elements. I worked with one of our programmers to get the static mesh switch using enumerators and left the more advanced task such as tying the animation in with the speed and temperature values that are internal to each map.

The preview below does not feature the completed blueprints, that will be for a later date.

Clearly not Neptune. This is interior of the starting space station you depart from and will return to.

Clearly not Neptune. Venus scene with volcanos.

Clearly not Neptune. Mars with a storm cloud in the distance. The cloud was a jumbo of meshes that were original stuck in there.

Now this is Neptune, huzaah! This scene features a piece of the glacier sliding off toward you for one of those close call moments. 

Cosmos Coaster UI Design part 2

In my previous post I showcased some sketches to more refined concepts. After that I started building the actual elements that will are exported to Unreal Engine to be rebuilt as a Widget within the game. The original UI was projected on a 3D model which required a lot of work around to get the elements synced up. The flat widget looked cleaner and allowed for more direct control of the UI elements without having to touch the meshes.

I exported all the elements from Photoshop as pngs that I then brought into Unreal Engine to assemble using the Widget Blueprint.

Assembled preliminary UI element. I need to add the static meshes that switches out when you are on different planets. The mesh will basically be the planets you visit, but deformed to fit in the large circle space on the right which looking like it is popping out from the element.

An early attempt at displaying a projection of the location you are travelling through. I created a material targeting a render cam placed in the scene. Interesting concept, but we opted with just static meshes of planets to save on memory. 

Static mesh planet instead of the target cam render material. Will have to set the mesh to unlit to get rid of the shadows.

Cosmos Coast UI Design part 1

So back in October I started my new job at Pulseworks as a content developer for their VR rides. My first project was to redesign the UI seen inside the sci fi car's cockpit for the Cosmos Coaster game. The game takes you across reimagined landscapes of Low Earth Orbit, the Moon, Venus, Mars, and Neptune. The UI I designed will feature temperature color changes, a working speed gauge, and other widget elements that can be swapped out using Unreal Engine blueprints. 

I started off with some sketches seen below. More progress shots coming.

Early Sketches

Quick icon overlay over the UI space provided

Refined UI concept art with some frost elements. The frost was never used in the final version of the Neptune map.

Sweat Pledge 5 Student Loan Debt and College

Story 5 for Mike Rowe's Sweat Pledge is about the insane cost of college degrees, how so many jobs require a 4 year degree but the graduate is woefully under prepared for the job, and that there are jobs out there that do not require a 4 year degree which saves money and time. One caution I have to say about these trade jobs is that they are replaceable by AI and robots which does not appear to be too far in the future. When this happens how do you retrain such a large population?

This hits home because as a college graduate myself I have been through the process of applying for loans and trying to acquire scholarship just to pay down my college's exorbitant tuition fee. I have seen friends rack up 100k+ in loans just to attend college only to leave with a degree that left them still searching for a job to this day. 


Where so many stereotypical graduates works when unable to find a job after graduation.

Show me the money!

Plumbing scene. Apparently plumbers can make some good money.

Tons of falling text books to crush your soul after you see your tuition fee.

City without garbage cleaner

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Sweat Pledge Story 4

Sweat Pledge Story 4 was fun to work on. Krupa created the initial storyboards for the movie clip and I helped revise the storyboard while she was busy. This story recounts one of Mike's Dirty Job moments where he worked with a man named Les, owner of company that cleans out human waste cesspools. The art assets for this particular clip features a lot of poo stains. I kept renaming the assets with poo as "thick creamy chocolate", "fudge smears", and other colorful evocative titles. The team had a good laugh about it.

Cesspool Pit

Jules was the character designer. I helped vectorize the art and separate them into pieces to be prepared for rigging and animation.

Some of the more prominent assets used in this story. Colored art was by Amari Harkness, I vectorized the images.

Friday, March 15, 2019

Sweat Pledge 3

Story 3 of the SWEAT Pledge is about how all jobs, even the lower paying ones are opportunities to learn and grow. Mike Rowe retells his story about his first job at the movie theater and how he was able to improve his conditions with hard work and ability to learn from his experiences. He likened even lower paid jobs as the bottom steps of a ladder where each rung takes you higher.

This portion reminded me of my summer job in high school where I worked at a local Dollar Tree. I started as a cashier, later learned how to stock the aisles, dealt with inventory, and then assisted the manager with managing the tills when closing. From the experience, I have gained a greater appreciation for those who work in these positions because I have been through something similar. This first job has taught me how to stay professional and manage the day to day stress that will come with future positions.

Someone has to clean the bathroom

This is the scene where young Mike Rowe scrapes gum from the floor.

Film reel storage closet.

Dentist office


Wall at a construction yard.

Mike Rowe Sweat Pledge and Video 1 + 2

Hi all, back in November of 2018, I participated in an incubator co-op between ASIFA-South and School of Humans here in Atlanta. The point of the incubator is to train each participant in skills to ready them for the creative industry. School of Humans provide the participants with a paid project to work on, and ASIFA-South trains the incubator members. The group were selected from a pool of half ASIFA members, and half from colleges around Georgia such as SCAD and Kennesaw University.

The project we ended up working on were a series of 12 videos that belonged to Mike Rowe's SWEAT Pledge. Mike from Dirty Jobs wanted to train graduating students from high school in skills that they can use to support themselves without having to pay exorbitant college fees. He imparts his decades of experience through the videos, and wanted our group to provide animated sequences that accompany the live footage SOH took from their interview with Mike Rowe.

I ended up working with the Asset Team to create backgrounds and other occasional items such as character art prep for rigging, and props. At one point I created revised storyboards for story 4 and helped troubleshoot the technical animation for the turbine scene in a later video.

Today I am posting up my background work for Scene 2 since that was when I was brought in to handle any tasks that were spilling over. Our art direction focused on a more cartoon-like style that uses simple lines and shading which helped make animating the assets easier.

The backgrounds I created in the earlier stages of the project featured vectorized images but later transitioned to larger artboards created in Photoshop and then exported as PNG files. This was because the line work got more detailed as time went on and quality improved. I primarily colored the scene after a line art has been completed by our incubator members Rian and Seth.

Baseball field created so that camera can zoom in.



Map image where other graphic items will pop up all over it.

And here is the final video for Story 1 and 2 after our awesome animation + comp team put everything together.

- Story 1 -

- Story 2 -