This week is the Soft Opening week, and we got the chance of showing our progress to faculties and get last minute feedbacks for things to keep working on for the last two weeks before Final Presentation.

Here is our latest render that we shown to the faculties for Soft:

Latest Animatics with Environment, Effects, Characters, Animations and Sounds

We got feedback from four faculty members. We were happy to see that they were able to follow and understand the story clearly. Faculties provided us gave us suggestions on our art while giving us some possible story ideas base on their preferences. Here is a list of feedback:

  1. Climax is at the beginning, the ending is not as interesting.
  2. A little too many flashbacks in some shots, can be reserved.
  3. Some redundancies in the scene, showing same stuff again and again.
  4. Use PBR texture instead of stylized.
  5. Adjust color with baked lighting/post processing.
  6. Put more vine animation in.
  7. Like to see a horror-movie-liked stronger ending.
  8. Axe scene inconsistent: dropping on the ground in past time but on the roots in current time.
  9. Foliage inconsistent, can use the same kind of leaves throughout the scene.
  10. Maybe animate textures to show how vines suck human.

After the Soft Opening day, all of the team members decided on a priority list of tasks that we needed to handle before the alumni night. Based on the feedback from Soft and our instructors, we decide to address problems that were more obvious and caused more influences on the final product.

First of all, our environment artist worked on finalizing the lighting on the inside of the lab. Now the view of the lab inside was completed and the result was beautiful. We will be putting other art assets in the scene and make further adjustments to details later.

Latest Version of Central Platform
A General Look of the Inside Environment

Another problem mentioned by the faculties is the lack of vegetation in scenes in the current time where audiences could see the environment after the destruction. We added more plants to make those shots look more natural and fit the story.

The Scene that Shows Mel’s Skeleton
Outside View of the Ending Scene

Then, a major problem we had was the lack of facial animation in shots that shows the characters’ faces. This was a serious problem since it could break the guests’ sense of immersion easily. Our artist had and was still putting in works and made an update on the facial expressions. We had expressions for part of the shots finished, and the final result looks impressive.

Latest Update on Facial Animation

Lastly, the faculties mentioned that the original design of the plastic cup did not fit with the story or the general color choice of the piece very well. So our artist had put in work to replace the texture of that. We will ask for our instructors’ opinion about this design choice.

Current Look of the Plastic Cup

By addressing these problems, we felt that we were working to create a more believable world. Although we were still a little bit behind in completing everything by Soft Opening, we already got a clear big picture of our final product. All we needed to do was to keep refining the details and put the piece together by Final, and we were confident that we could make it based on our current progress.

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