Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Full Track Reference

Before Christmas I was given the circuit all to myself to collect reference photographs! What a cool experience.

Unfortunately the conditions weren't perfect as it was begging to rain but thankfully it stayed off for the few hours I spent at the circuit. The fact that it was winter also wasn't ideal as the conditions weren't what I plan on re-creating in my level. My plan was to gather as much photographic reference as necessary to allow me to begin recreating the track accurately and with a good level of detail. I started by actually walking along the race track, armed with my camera and tripod to ensure that the photographs taken were always roughly at the same height. Starting at one point on the track and standing roughly in the center of the track I placed the tripod and took 5-6 photographs from left to right, i then walked approximately 10 steps forward and repeated the process until I had walked the whole track which took roughly 2 hours. I was happy that this process would give me enough reference images to ensure I would be able to reconstruct the circuit at home without having to return the the track unless absolutely necessary.

After photographing the track itself I then continued to photograph the rest of the complex from various angles as well as photographing the horizon from different locations to use as reference for distant objects within the level. Although some of the features of the complex would not be seen by the player within the level such as the rear of certain buildings I still want to include them for when I am taking shots and flythroughs for my portfolio.

All of this reference is invaluable, as this stage massively influences the final outcome of any project. The reference is used throughout the project from concepting, modelling, building the level and texturing the models, but more importantly for a project like mine where a real world location is being created, of course some artistic license can be used to ensure the environment is interesting and aesthetically pleasing for the player but you have to imagine that what the consumer is looking for is an accurate representation of the location.

In a few hours I'd taken just over 600 photographs which I'm sure will come in handy throughout the project and hopefully, strengthen the final outcome of the project. I'd just like to thank Nick at the Stretton Circuit as well as Stuart and Ruth, the circuit owners for giving me permission to walk the track and giving me the place all to myself. The project would be a much harder job without this opportunity. 

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