Exercise 2 – Current Software Technologies

In the GAVI industry, software is always being developed further so that we can get the best out out of it, and expand our skills, whether it be through art, programming, animating or editing, there’s something for everyone to try.
Here I will be discussing current software used in the games industry, and that I have personal experience with.

3D Modelling:

There is many software you can download for 3D modelling, such as Autodesk’s Mudbox or Zbrush, but today I will be focusing on Autodesk Maya.

thumb-maya-1

Autodesk Maya is 3D modelling software that allows you to create 3D models and assets for use in your project, and was developed and released on February 1998 (19 years ago as of writing!).

As someone who uses Maya regularly in their course, I can say that Maya is an excellent software for modelling, it has all the tools you could need to be creating fully 3D, industry standard character models, assets and even environments for your project. But Maya is far more than just modelling, it doubles as animation software as you can rig your model, and then along with its simple to understand UI, and in-depth animation processes where it can even process and calculate the movements, and with that you can see its a very functional piece of kit.

Not only can you model and animate, it comes with its own inbuilt lighting tools, so you can light your scene appropriately before you render it, along with compatibility with graphics editor software like ‘Photoshop’ so you can texture your creations after UV’ing them.

Maya is excellent for modelling assets to that can be imported over to game engines, and also animating, with its in-depth tools, it would be great for creating cutscenes for your game.

Graphics Editors:

Like modelling software, there are many graphic editors on the market for people who are in the games industry to use, like GIMP or FireAlpaca, but I will be talking about the most popular example: Adobe Photoshop.

photoshop-touch-bar-1-100690139-orig

Although its not currently capable of 3D editing, it is currently on its way with developments we can expect in the future, but regardless, Adobe Photoshop is 2D application software that allows for you to edit photos, create images, animate, texture and graphic design.

Many people part of the games industry will be using this or similar software a lot at their work space, depending on what role they have. It works great with the software mentioned above like Maya as you can use Photoshop to create textures (whether it be regular, specular or bump) for your models by exporting the UV net you made and then painting over it in a new layer until you’re ready to export it and apply it to your model.
Though Photoshop also has many other uses in the industry, as it can be used for art and design, so artists can develop concept art and create matte paintings to get a feel for the game world. You can also use it to design the logo and many other things of a similar nature.

Game Engines:

Now these are something that is vital to the games industry, for quite obvious reasons. As a result, you can find many game engines consisting of both 2D and 3D capabilities, all having their own unique features developers can take advantage of, but all with their own negatives too.
These engines include the Unreal Engine, Havok, GameMaker Studio and many, many more, but I will be talking about Unity mostly for this post.

Cinematic-Composition-Unity-Engine-Tutorial-2

As briefly spoken about above, Unity is capable of developing games of both the 2D and 3D variety. Two of its biggest features is the play area and the coding, we can use the play area to build the world of our game, we can move and stretch things into place to fit with level plan. We can port over the models we created in Unity and apply code to them, enabling them to become the player character, walk, run, attack, jump and interact with things as an output to the control inputs, we can also apply physics and weight to the character and world to develop gameplay that feels satisfying.

 

 

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