'Project Machine': Unreal and Houdini Tech Demo

Adolfo Reveron
The purpose of Project Machine is to showcase the potential of Houdini's procedural workflows to create game-ready Unreal Levels. Additionally, it aims to utilizing cutting-edge technology available in Unreal Engine 5. The resulting tools and techniques from this project will be made available to the public as a valuable resource for both learning and as downloadable content.
The goal is having fun and creating an awesome portfolio artwork piece!

Introduction

This document outlines the production plan for the project "Project Machine". It outlines the key subjects and milestones for the project and serves as a reference for all team members. The purpose of this document is to ensure that all aspects of the project are organized and properly managed, and to help all team members stay on track and meet the project deadline.

Goal

Create a collaborative Unreal 5 project, depicting an outstanding environment, combining latest technology from Unreal (Nanite, Lumen,...) with intensive usage of Houdini Tools for world building.
Specifically:
We´ll focus on art and enviro creation, so gameplay constraints and logics are secondary: We aim for an amazing piece of AAA artwork.
We´ll shrink production times to minimum, so we’ll focus on using Houdini Tools where it makes sense, in combination with regular 3D art techniques
Get familiar with real-world production pipelines and feedback
Provide collaborators with a great portfolio input

Reference

The goal is achieving a beauty corner/enviro similar in scope to this: https://www.sidefx.com/titan/
(Provided link as reference for scope and technical approach, notice the concept is not defined yet).

Key participants and activities

* One person may hold more than one role
* Team size may vary

Art Director.Concept, Visual universe, mood - Not Included

Project Director. Adolfo Reveron

Production Manager. Roadmap, task breakdown&tracking, time budgeting (1 total - part time)

Lead Artist
Lead 3D art team (1 total - Full time)
Environment Artist.  Enviro and prop creation: proxies, setdressing, asset creation, materials, use Houdini Tools (2 total) (1 Full time + 1 Part time)

Lighting Artist. 
Shaders, Lighting (lumen), Cinematics, Camera effects, colour correction (1 Part time)

Houdini Technical Artist.
Houdini Tools. (2 total - Adolfo Reveron + Houdini apprentice) 
Lead Technical Artist
Unreal guts, Version control w/Github (1 Full time)
Animation
Not Included

Participants will get
AAA game production learning, regarding art content creation (Modelling, UVing, Textures, Shaders, Optimization, Dressing, Proxy) PLUS game production know-how.
Houdini training. For whoever is interested in becoming Houdini Technical Artist. We´ll teach how to create tools and how to use them for world building inside UE5.
Promotion: All the art work will be shared in our social media channels (Youtube, Facebook, etc). Workflow and participant experience reference: vimeo
Participants will contribute with:
Professional behaviour: We´ll focus on getting the job done and we will mimic a production environment: Assets to be delivered on time, we´ll take feedback seriously, show respect to mates. We´ll balance having fun + getting stuff delivered.
Requisites and commitment
If you are attending to current edition of FLORIDA´s ART FOR VIDEOGAMES MASTER, you cannot apply, you already got a ton of work to deliver : /
You should be comfortable with the 3D art creation process.
The language of the project is English
You’ll be asked to provide full name, working email address and cell phone number.

Soft skills:
Read this post (Pay attention to first half where soft skills are explained) https://techartworlds.com/blog/unveil-20-required-skills-to-become-3d-technical-artist

Committed to the project. If you don’t think you’ll be able to actively participate in the project, please refrain from joining.
Time commitment: Some profiles will be required as full time. Some part time (10-15h week). Please do not apply if you are not able to spend time on the project.

Milestones

Starting date: Friday 17th, February 2023
End date: April 21st, March 2023

Week 1
Concept Research & Approval: This stage will focus on brainstorming and developing the project concept and background story. In case we´ll wrap our scene around an existing concept from Artstation or similar, we´ll kindly ask for permission.
Level design document, art bible, technical guide

Week 2, 3
Pre-Production:
level breakdown
Polished production plan.
tools prototyping,
We will create all the assets up to L1 (L1: Proxies with bounding box dimensions, L2: Midpoly with materials on them. I.e: Decimated Zbrush with auto UVs. L3: Polished asset)
We´ll get the mood of the lighting approved.
Main cameras in place.
Cinematic layouts approved

Week 4, 5, 6
Production:
Asset Creation: This stage will involve the creation of all game assets up to L3, including 3D models, textures, shaders and animations (if needed)
Houdini Tools will be production ready and will be used intensively to dress the level and prop creation
Programming, Blueprints (i.e. sliding doors), mechanics, physics , AI, and other technical features will be implemented.
Playtest: We´ll walk through the environment for showcase purposes.Fixing any issues that are discovered.
Cinematic: Refined animated cameras

Week 7, 8
Postproduction:
Render: Stillshots + videos
Image and Video Compositing
Thumbnails
Social Media publishing: Artstation, Youtube, Facebook,

Week 9
Party time

Communication plan

Meetings (Zoom) 15min: Daily stand-up meetings will be held to discuss progress and plan for the day ahead. Tasks done, tasks ahead, blockers

Weekly meeting (1h): Progress review

Chat: Tech Art Worlds Discord Server
https://discord.gg/zEZCrGmT5G

Software and production tools

Game Engine: Unreal Engine 5.X (TBD)

Project management tool and task tracking: Clickup

3D Art creation package: Resource files shall be created with the package of your choice: Blender,Max, Rizom, Painter, Photoshop,.....Source files will be delivered according to technical guide though (.fbx, .tga,...)

Version control: Github

Wiki, Technical guides: Notion

Art Collaboration: MIRO

Houdini tools: Houdini Indie

Conclusion

This production plan serves as a guide for all team members and outlines the key subjects and milestones for the project. By following this plan, we aim to ensure that the project is completed on time, to a high standard and learning a lot in the process. We believe that by working together and communicating effectively, we can achieve our goal of creating an outstanding piece of artwork and technical demo.

How to apply

  • Reach Adolfo Reveron through DM in Discord for quick Q&A: adolfo#9943

  • Send an email to: [email protected] stating: Full name, Portfolio link, Working email address, Cell Phone, Discord ID

  • You’ll get an email with a suggested time for a meeting; in that meeting we´ll check your portfolio together, current skills and your goals.

  • You’ll get further communication stating whether your application is accepted

Legal Note

Legal Note for ‘Project Machine’

This Legal Note is intended to regulate the use and ownership of the Project Machine and its associated assets and code. By participating in the development of Project Machine, you agree to be bound by the terms and conditions set forth in this Legal Note.

  1. Ownership of Assets and Code.The Project Machine, including all assets and code created or contributed to the project, belong to the project organizer, Tech Art Worlds - www.techartworlds.com. Participants will receive full credit for the content they created or contributed to the project. Participants retain the right to hold ownership of the source files they provided and have the ability to exploit these files for their own interests. Tech Art Worlds shall have the right to use, modify, and distribute the assets and code without notice.
  2. Use of Legal Software and Tools.
    Participants in the development of ‘Project Machine’ are encouraged to use legal software and tools in the creation of assets and code for the project. Tech Art Worlds shall not be held liable for any infringement of intellectual property rights arising from the use of illegal software or tools. Tech Art Worlds won’t provide with software licences.
  3. Non-Commercial Nature of the Project
    'Project Machine’ is a non-commercial project and may not be used for commercial purposes. Participants may not sell or licence the assets or code created for the project.
  4. No Transfer of Ownership or Licence
    Participants may not transfer ownership or licence of any assets or code created for the ‘Project Machine’ to any third party without the express written consent of Tech Art Worlds.
  5. Termination of ParticipationTech Art Worlds reserves the right to terminate the participation of any participant in the development of Project Machine at any time, for any reason, with or without notice.
  6. Limitation of LiabilityTech Art Worlds shall not be liable for any damages arising from participation in the development of Project Machine, including but not limited to damages for loss of business or profits, or for any other indirect or consequential loss.
  7. Personal Data Treatment
    Participants agree to the collection, use, and processing of their personal data for project-related issues, in accordance with Tech Art Worlds' privacy policy.
  8. Governing Law
    This Legal Note shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of Spain
  9. Dispute Resolution
    Any dispute arising from this Legal Note shall be resolved through arbitration in accordance with the rules of Valencia Court, Spain
  10. Entire Agreement
    This Legal Note constitutes the entire agreement between the parties with respect to the use and ownership of the Project Machine and supersedes all prior and contemporaneous understandings and agreements, whether written or oral.

    By participating in the development of Project Machine, you acknowledge that you have read this Legal Note and agree to be bound by its terms and conditions.


Tech Art Worlds.
[email protected]
https://discord.gg/zEZCrGmT5G