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Thread: 2017 Q2 Update

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2016

    Post 2017 Q2 Update

    Hi Folks,

    Just to give everyone a quick update. The project is moving along nicely. This update is coming a bit late as the entire team has been extremely busy getting things ready for Anime North 2017 which we just finished doing not too long ago.

    Health wise, I'm doing ok. Lost about 25lbs since mid Feb. Still not able to get as much time as I'd like to at the studio to get things done but I try what I can at home. Recently moved one of the workstations I have at the studio home so I could be a bit more productive.

    I mentioned that we were busy putting things together for Anime North 2017 right? It wasn't just getting logistics and swag ready. One of the things I wanted to make sure we had was something to show and not just the demo we had from Kickstarter.

    The actual video demo we showed at the convention will be up on Youtube once we get sound and music done but here are some screenshots of what everything looks like right now.

    Here are some screen shots in the mean time.


    Many thanks to the team for clocking in all the extra hours and a special thanks goes out to Aiko Shinohara, formerly of Platinum Games who did the environment. She does some awesome work and even wrote a book about creating environments in Unreal Engine 4 (in Japanese). The demo wouldn't have looked half as good if it wasn't for the lighting and environment.

    3D / Art Support

    Got in contact with a major vendor for art support in the video game world. This vendor is actually the same vendor that quite a few of the top tier studios get a lot of art work and development support from.

    Motion Capture

    We just received our headset cam system from Faceware Technologies and have just begun incorporating it in our pipeline. With it, we now have a full featured setup to handle both body and facial motion capture.

    While this is well beyond the budget for the project, the good folks at Faceware helped us out a bit and since I saw it as a worthwhile investment, I put it on my ever trusty credit card. (I'm sure my bank loves me)

    Camera System Overhaul

    Sequencer was introduced late last year shortly after our Kickstarter campaign finished as a replacement for matinee. In addition to the ability to re-order shots in a sequence, one of the things I was looking forward to the most was the new cinematic cameras.

    The new cinematic cameras replicate the cinematic cameras normally used in film. The inclusion of these cameras makes our lives just a tad easier in the long run as we can now swap cameras and lenses the same way we would in the real world.

    Migrating to a new engine version

    We're still using Unreal Engine 4 but the new Unreal Engine 4.16 was just released along with some fixes to sequencer, a new cloth physics solver and volumetric fog. These new improvements was enough of a reason for us to move to the new engine version so we're going to have to put in some time to sort out the details of the fancy new features.

    Full roll over happened on June 2, 2017 and migrating everything over from older engine versions seem to be fine.

    Updated Cel Shader

    The pressure to get the demo's ready for Anime North meant that I needed to overhaul the Cel Shader to accommodate the new requirements to ensure the characters fit the new environment better.

    It's more of a nerdy programming thing but for all those that care, we've eliminated the need a duplicate model with an inverted hull as the cloth physics wouldn't work properly with it. Instead I found a way to duplicate the model, invert it and push the vertices out. This allows us to use the cloth physics on the model. There was a break in the cloth physics system in 4.15 but UE4 has swapped the APEX cloth physics solver with the much more efficient low level nvcloth physics solver with 4.16.

    The shader itself still isn't done but at least we've managed to update it.

    Anime North 2017 Quick Debrief

    Anime North 2017 was a blast as always. It was great meeting so many people who have been following the project since last year. If you were there, you saw the new demos. If you didn't don't worry as mentioned earlier, we'll have the demos up on youtube as soon as we get sound and music done for it.

    Overall the experience this year was a lot better than last year (which was our first year). With the Kickstarter out of the way already, we were really there just to make a presence, meet some of the folks who have been following the project and give out some postcards. Hearing all the positive comments regarding how great everything looks right now really does help motivate us here on the project.

    Ended up doing a quick post mortem with the team over sushi lunch meeting. Will post the details later.

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    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Having some problems with the attachments.

    Here are higher resolution versions of the screen shots

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    I'm glad you're feeling better. Trying to do creative work when you aren't feeling well is awful. On the technical end, it seems like you guys have made a lot of progress! Sounds like fascinating work. Do you have an ETA for the demo going up on youtube?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    It doesn't help that I busted my foot and got sent to ER last week. :|

    Hoping to get the demo up by the end of this month. I do apologize for the delays.

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