PRE PRODUCTION for 3D animation, working to a brief, and graphic narrative

Here is the proposal for my game idea for the 3D animation unit, as well as working to a brief task 2 and Idea generation and concept development. Inside you will find gameplay ideas, legal and ethical concerns/sensitivities, the storyboard, concept art, target audience, and mood board:


And here is the budget and production schedule:



And here are a few initial brainstorm ideas that I had early on:


The first one was later scrapped for a newer one:


Which was then replaced by the finished brainstorm of the idea that I was happy with:


Inspiration from the MMO genre (Massive Multiplayer Online)

For my game idea, I want to create a massive open world area that encourages player vs player combat. The reason I want to create a game in this style is some of the games that I have played have this open world combat feature, which can create some hilarious and unique moments in your gameplay experience. Another advantage of the open world in a competitive player vs player game is that due to the large scope of the world, you will often fight in a lot of different places, as opposed to just fighting in a few different arenas like most multiplayer experiences have you do. Not only does this mean that you will not likely fight in the same place often (unless you choose to), but it also means you can discover new areas and a lot of interesting conflicts over certain areas can be made.


Red Dead Redemption


This game has a multiplayer free roam element to it that allows players to explore the game world as they please, there are a few objectives around the zones to do that can be done solo but are worth teaming up for too, however, the players can also attack each other, and killing another player gives you a small amount of experience you can use to level up. Players having this ability can create some very intense, fun, and comical moments and players have formed rival gangs to fight each other in the free roam world. This also adds a sense of danger and threat that I think that any MMO should have, it also gives incentive for players to interact with each other, either to team up or kill one another.

World Of Warcraft


This game has 2 different factions to choose from when you create your character, these two enemy factions will be able to attack one another if they encounter each other out in the world. This sort of open world player vs player combat can be a lot of fun, (on the winning side) and offers a large part of replay-able PVP in a huge variety of different zones.

Why these games inspire me

The reason I chose to use these two examples is that they are both games that I have personally got a lot of enjoyment from in terms of open world player vs player combat, so I think it would be good to put my focus into creating a game that I would very much enjoy myself.

Available Resources

Everything that I need should be readily available to me at all times, fortunately, most of the resources I need are accessible from a computer, either at home or college. But I may also need headphones to watch tutorials and expand my knowledge on the software that I will be using, as well as a USB to store my work on.

Contingency plans

There are a few measures I will take to help make sure that the production of this project goes smoothly. Firstly, I will make sure that all of the software available at college such as Cinema 4D, Adobe after effects, and Photoshop are also accessible at home in case time grows short or for some reason I cannot make it to college. Hopefully this will make sure that I can finish the project in time, it also allows me to manage my time more efficiently since I will easily be able to work any time it feels necessary. I will also make sure to have a backup USB or another place to store my work, just in case it gets lost or corrupted. I will also save multiple copies of my work, this will mean if I mess something up and cannot undo the problem for whatever reason, I can easily access an older version of my work.

Health and Safety

There are a few health and safety concerns that must be addressed while creating these 3D environments and graphic narratives. First and foremost, exposure to a computer screen for long periods of time can strain the eyes and cause headaches, It is recommended to take a 15 minute break every hour. Sitting up straight is also another important issue since slouching can damage your posture. Another concern would be to make sure you keep liquid/water away from the computer, not only can it be dangerous if it spills, but it can also disrupt work if the computer breaks.

Transferrable Skills

  • Flexible
  • Be a good team leader
  • Must remain calm and in control in stressful situations
  • Decision making
  • Effective project management
  • Have knowledge of multiple platforms
  • Have good leadership skills
  • Have financial skills, be able to work within guidelines
  • managing a budget

Game idea – Year two mind map

Here are a couple of mind maps for game ideas, here is the first idea:





and this is my second idea, that i vastly prefer to the first, as it is much simpler and sounds a lot more fun in my opinion, with less focus on story and more focus on gameplay.  This will likely be my final idea and the one i settle with.



Price of ideal things for interactive media


  • Pens/pencils/notepad – up to £5
  • Good computer – £900-3000
  • Good sound equipment – £400
  • Mouse – £69
  • Keyboard – £98
  • Studio space rent – £890 per month
  • Transport – £1200-5000
  • External hard drive – £45
  • Graphics tablet – £245


  • Photoshop – £17.15 per month
  • Cinema 4D – £2700
  • Adobe after effects – 17.15
  • MS paint – free only if you have a window

Total = £7336.30

Application of 3D

Application of 3D


  1. Various different industries make good use of 3D Environments to create quality and professional products. A prime example of this is the gaming industry, which has been impacted heavily by the use of 3D. This is because the jump from 2D to 3D made many new types of gameplay and genres available such as horror, as well as adding much more potential to create immersive and enjoyable experiences. 3D is also used in film and television, as it opens up many new possibilities for animation, which was previously stop motion and 2D, which were much more limited in what they could display and achieve. 3D is also used in Architecture because it can be used to show the attributes of a proposed design, helping in the process of building a structure.


  1. Cinema 4D is an example of a software used to create 3D environments. Many reviews praise Cinema 4D for being easy to learn and having quick and quality results. This software is also praised for exceeding in modeling, animating, lighting, texturing, and rendering.


A model made in Cinema 4D

cinema 4d image

Blender is another example of a 3D environment software, This software is free, giving it an advantage over other programs as this makes it much more accessible to people with low or no disposable income, while still being capable of creating quality results. Blender is also capable of fluid and smoke simulation, particle simulation, and soft body simulation, as well as having its own integrated game engine.

Blender particle simulation

blender particle simulation.jpg

Another software commonly used is Zbrush, which is very effective at creating dense and complex fibre systems which can be converted into splines for rendering in other 3D packages, making it a good choice for the creation of things such as foliage and furry creatures, while also a good choice for somebody who uses multiple different 3D softwares to accomplish different tasks. A disadvantage of Zbrush however would be that the GUIs are complicated, making it difficult for newer users to create quality products.

Zbrush fibermesh
zbrush fibremesh



Architectural Walkthrough


The image above has been used by an architectural development company in a walkthrough of a property, demonstrating all of the features and properties of the house. It is clear that in architectural 3D, the focus is on displaying the building internally and externally. Therefore, simple ambient lighting has been used in this image to illuminate the building. Making the walkthrough realistic would be unnecessary and time consuming to produce and render.


  1. Geometric theory within game development is a way to model objects or characters in the game, which are created by using an initial mesh. The way in which this mesh is created is through the process of combined polygons. A polygon is a 2D shape with the three features, a Vertex, a face, and an edge. These polygons join together to create the mesh that defines the shape of a polyhedral object in 3D graphics and modelling.


A basic polygon


  1. One of the biggest issues with 3D modelling is that the file size of a 3D environment can sometimes be large, leading to issues with limited space on a computer. This can be caused by a large amount of polygons in a single object or model. Too many polygons in a 3D environment within gaming can also lead to a loss in frames per second, which can ruin the experience for the player and make the game very unresponsive and frustrating to play.


  High polygon count image


Batman FaceMesh TriCount

 Low Polygon count image


The image on the left may be a good quality model, but there are a lot of unnecessary polygons on the model, especially on the character’s face. As a result, the file size, render time, and framerate will all be negatively impacted by the model in game. The image on the right however, has less polygons. This means it will be easier to render, will not have a bad impact on framerate, and does not  have a large file size. One advantage that 2D has over 3D is that in 2D you do not have to worry as much about the complexity and file size of your models.


Gameplay from The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim




This image demonstrates many different geometric techniques in 3D. One clear technique is that hyperNURB modelling has been used on to create the player’s weapon in order to make the edges look more smooth and reduce polygon count. Another technique to note within this image is that the textures/materials and foliage up close are of high quality, but in the background, the resolution of the terrain textures/materials are much lower. This is a technique that has been used to improve performance of the game while still allowing the player to have a large render distance to see off into the distance. The rubble to the left of the image was made by primitive shapes that have been extruded and textured to look like the ruins of a destroyed building. While the terrain to the right of the image is a smooth subdivision surface, made by relatively simple meshes.


  1. Examples of some common viewing modes that are used when creating 3D (in cinema 4D) models are: Perspective, left/right, front, and top. Perspective mode will likely be the most frequently used in most 3D modelling scenarios, (in cinema 4D), but there are some situations where using the other display modes will come in handy. The Top view for example, allows you to view certain polygons, lines, splines etc in a way that may be more easier and more effective than viewing it from the perspective view. As a result, the model you are working on may become much easier to edit in the top view.              


Perspective, Top, Right, And front views in Cinema 4D

cinema 4d views.jpg

A few examples of common modelling tools would be: Extrude, resize, and loft. These are basic tools used to edit models. Loft allows you to generate a mesh by sweeping a shape along a path. Extrusion serves the same purpose as Loft, but the path is always in a line.



      Gameplay from Planetside 2                               


This image shows a 3D environment that has been made from a mixture of both subdivision surface (HyperNURBS) and primitive shapes. I think it is likely that the developers used the perspective view to edit the primitive shapes (such as the trees and buildings). I think this because the perspective view allows you to rotate and zoom the camera freely, making the editing of these objects flexible. On the other hand, i believe that a birdseye (top) view has been used to edit most of the basic terrain. I think this because the floor is very smooth and organic, and in the top view it would be easy for the developers to pick and edit the ground mesh as they choose.


  1. 3D modeling has many different types of lighting that are available to the users:


  • Spot Lights – shines light in an area, projected in a cone, good for illuminating or emphasizing a small area, like a torch
  • Point Lights – similar to a lightbulb, and shines light from a point outwards, like a lightbulb
  • Area Lights –  casts directional light rays from within a set boundary, such as a fluorescent light or  window light  
  • Physical sky light – mimics the light of the sun, used to make the most realistic experience possible


  • Ambient light – cast soft rays in every direction



Gameplay From Dragon Age 2



In this image you can see how the light illuminates the room through the window panes.


  1. Textures and materials are used to paint a mesh to add color (and sometimes realism) to a model. These are used to create more interesting environments within 3D. Textures and materials can also be used to hide the polygon count. Good textures can disguise a model, making it look more detailed than it actually is.


With and Without Texture


  1.                                            Gameplay From Starcraft 2



This image is an example of textures and materials used to create an environment.

Galaxy Editor

galaxy editor

The Editor that was used to create this game has its own texture pallet, allowing most of the map’s surfaces to be created more easily and efficiently. This makes methods like material editing unnecessary and saves time. The other models however are textured from scratch, it is easy to hide the polygon count however, since the game is viewed from the top-down, meaning that the textures do not have to be too detailed to be effective.


  1. Rendering is the process of creating an image based on data stored on a computer. OpenGL is a graphical interface API used to interact with a GPU to achieve hardware accelerated rendering. DirectX is a collection of APIs for handling multimedia related tasks, similar to OpenGL, but DirectX is used for different platforms such as the xbox 360 and xbox one.



                                              Gameplay from Infamous 2

infamous 2

The rendering technique likely used in this scene is real time rendering as this is used for most interactive media. This method’s goal is to show as much information as the eye can process in a fraction of a second (one frame), the output being 1280×720.


Task 1: Different structures of briefs



Contractual Brief 

A contractual brief where the company is employed by the client and must follow a specific set of guidelines in order to complete the project. This is a more strict type of brief as the guidelines must be obeyed to the letter, failure to do so could potentially lead to legal action. This is a useful brief to have since having a specific set of  guidelines can help the media company in meeting the desires of the client more easily, as the brief will have more specific requests, making it clear to the media company what the client wants. A contractual brief  has a specific One potential issue with this style of brief is that the company has does not have much creative control over what is to be made for the client.

Here is an example of a contractual brief, it has things in mind such as compensation, agreements, and delivery.


Informal Brief

An informal brief is a much more casual way for the client to communicate what they want to the company, this can be as simple as a short discussion, you could say that a teacher giving a student their task in school is considered a type of informal brief. When it comes to an informal brief, unlike other types of brief, this one will likely not have any sort formal document to support it, nor will it have any contractual agreement. More can be added to this brief later, however since it is a casual and less descriptive type of brief, this leaves more room for creativity on the side of the company. One downfall of the informal brief is it’s lack of formal agreement can cause some problems, since nothing is set in stone, it is possible that the client may not get the result they were expecting, but if this is a concern of theirs, then it is probably worth using a different brief such as a formal or contractual brief.

It is difficult to find an example of an informal brief, since most of them are verbally spoken rather than documented.

Formal Brief

The aim of a formal brief is to be as simple as possible but still maintain professionalism in the document sent to the company. Formal Briefs are often documented either by phone, email, or written by other means. The purpose of a formal brief is to provide the company with the most vital information in the assignment such as the desired product, the deadline, the budget etc. Because of the basic nature of this brief, there are often details that are not included, hence why the company and client will often meet to discuss further details. This brief can offer the company alot of room for creativity, however, due to the simple nature of a Formal brief, the company may not receive enough information to satisfy the client and may create a result that they are disappointed with.

Here is an example of a formal brief, it is still professional enough to be considered a formal brief, but it is simple and straight to the point.71214879

Tendered Brief 

A tendered brief, designed to meet a specific demand, is usually business or government oriented. A client will publish a brief that they need to be made and then the company that is interested will create their own brief, budget, and then pitch it to the client. This is a benefit for the company since this can give them some creative freedom so long as it satisfies the client. meaning they can work in an area they are experienced in, so long as it sticks to the focus of the project. One of the issues with a tendered brief however is that multiple companies may pitch their ideas, creating some competition and no guarantee that your company will be chosen to complete the task.

Here is an example of a tendered brief, available publicly for any company interested to see, with details on the task.


Commission Brief 

A commission brief is where a large media company hires a smaller or independent media company. The brief will give an outline, but minimal guidance. Rather than the client decided exactly what the project is, both parties come together to negotiate the brief. Once the project is complete, it can be used by the large media company. The smaller or independent company could make a good and steady amount of income every time the product is sold. One concern for the smaller company however is that it is possible that the product could potentially be be sold to another company, which could result in the smaller company not receiving credit for the product created.

Commission briefs are usually kept private, however an example of a commission brief within the games industry is EA hiring DICE to create sounds and graphics for “Star Wars: Battlefront” in 2015.


Competition Brief

A competition brief is created by the client, any company can then create the product that the brief describes, often multiple companies will compete against each other when taking on a competition brief. The client will then choose their favourite or what they consider to be the best entry, the winner will then get paid for their product. The upsides to having a competition brief is that the companies participating have complete creative control over what it is they create, and they can make all of the decisions themselves. One disadvantage of a competition brief is that the more companies enter, your chances of winning are reduced greatly, so there is no guarantee that you are the winner, participants must also be expected to work for no pay, since only the winner will get paid for their efforts.

Here is an example of a competition brief, inviting whoever wants to attend to participate, It allows a lot of room for creativity and gives a very simple description of what the task requires.


Co-Operative brief 

A cooperative brief is simply a brief that is split between two or more companies come together to negotiate and team up to complete the product. This can be an effective way to complete a large task as more companies can mean the work gets done quicker as the different roles required for completing the brief are split between the companies. Although this can be an effective way to get a difficult or lengthy project completed, it is likely that the multiple companies involved can have disagreements when it comes to creative decisions, as a result, it might be necessary to accept and use the ideas of both the client and the other companies, even if you don’t agree with them or think they are as good as yours.

An example of a Co-operative brief could be the agreement between South Devon College and Cockington court, since the students divided into different groups to complete the task for each client.


Negotiated brief

If multiple companies are working to a brief together and disagree or have conflicting opinions about how they should go about completing the task, a negotiated brief can be used. The negotiation brief is discussed by all companies and the client, so they can come to an agreement that satisfies all of them as much as possible so at least some sort of agreement can be found. The disagreements that lead to the creation of a negotiated brief could be creative decisions such as a graphics style or design, or it could be legal concerns such as one company deciding to create something that the other companies might find offensive or too controversial, which could cause legal issues. A negotiated brief can be a good way to solve problems between companies in a legal way that cannot be broken.

What makes a good brief?

When creating a brief it is important to create one that is both achievable for the company with a reasonable deadline, but also one that satisfies the desires of the client. To have the best outcome, the client needs to make sure that the brief is detailed, easy to follow, and to the point, while the company needs to make sure they work to the brief to the best of their ability and manage their time well. Communication between the company and client is key, the better they communicate, the less they need to make assumptions that could create an unsatisfied client or company. Ideally, a brief should not need to be changed, but if it does, multiple things can change such as the task itself, the requirements, or the deadline.


Zenna games is a new independent game production company; who have released a range of successful titles in a short space of time.  The company is growing very well and would like to diversify into other game genres.

  • The brief instructs to come up with some new story and mechanic concepts, as well as planning and modelling 6 new items, while documenting  the process and discuss it with others.
  • The second part of brief instructs to model and animate at least 2 items to be used in the game, incorporate 2 characters into the environment, and animate the characters.

Most of this project will be feasible to create through cinema 4D. While the concepts can be created in photoshop. I should be able to accomplish what is required on the brief to a satisfactory standard with my cinema 4D and photoshop skills, however, I will need to learn how to animate and sculpt on the software, since these skills will be needed to create the characters that the brief asks for.