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Mackinder
01-09-2011, 10:53 PM
Hey folks, Iím design student currently on placement and am beginning to work on my final year dissertation. I wanted to try and make it relevant to (what will hopefully be) my future career path, starting out as an environmental artist and working towards a technical artist. Now, I already have a module in final year where I can focus on creating environmental art, but I still wanted my dissertation to revolve around that somehow. I also wanted to it have a more technical edge but that is also practical for me in the short term.

So I decided to base my dissertation on MAXScript and how it can help an environmental artist. The dissertation title for now is, ďHow MAXScript Can Help an Environmental Artist: Speeding up Processes and Solving ProblemsĒ. So, as implied by the title, I am going to be looking at two types of scenarios for scripts: those to accompany the artist while modelling props, texturing, layout the scene, etc; and those for moments when the artist is faced with a huge time-consuming problem, maybe requiring hours of work that could be solved with a few lines of code.

As you can maybe tell Iím a bit concerned about the latter part of it. I canít really think of a whole lot of examples of time consuming problems that can be solved via scripting. Iíve been working on a few, mostly based from personal experience and problems that weíve had at work. But overall Iím looking for some people with experience in this area, especially anyone who was a environmental artist, who can maybe point me in the right direction and give feedback.

At the moment Iím not precisely sure how much research into the area is needed and may need to find people who have experience in this area willing to answer a few questions for me. Now, I know that people canít be completely frank about certain things due to NDAs and such, but if anyone can give any advice, personal or otherwise, Iíd be really grateful.

Over the past few months Iíve been diving into MAXScript to prepare myself for this. Iíve been using the fantastic CG Academy DVDs on MAXScript and ASutodeskís MAXScript Essentials book. Iíve also been frequenting scripting sites such as ScriptSpot and looking at otherís coding to help learn. I also have two years of C# in XNA experience. Any advice on how to further progress in MAXScript would be welcome; as would any about generally how to make the move from environmental art to technical art (although Iím less concerned about that considering Iíve not even broken in yet).

So all in all Iíll be using this thread for advice and help over the course of however many months my dissertation takes. For now Iíd be looking for anyone with experience in this area, especially MAXScript and helping environmental design through coding, just to simply state that so I can contact them if and when needed via PM. Also if anyone has any articles or examples theyíve seen Iíd be much appreciated. So far the best Iíve come across is this article on Gamasutra: http://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/3870/an_environmental_pipeline_in_.php

If youíre still reading after that wall of text cheers very much.

Also, this has been posted across Polycount, Tech-Artists and CG Society, so sorry to anyone whoís seen this more than once and is sick of seeing it. :p

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