Development Update 1/13/19

Back from break and the future of Krono Keeper.

The last few weeks have wrapped up out time off for the holidays. Jenn and I are returning to work on the Krono Keeper project this week…. or rather we would be. Life rarely works out the way we want it to. Right now we are moving and that is currently eating up a lot of our time. Once we get settled and our office is setup again we will be back to the project.

So, what have we accomplished and now where are we headed? The WebtToons competition gave us motivation to work on the ‘Besties’ prequel series. And while we did not win, we did learn a lot from the experience. It was a ton of time and effort above and beyond our normal jobs, but it was worth it. We gained valuable knowledge and insight to improving our workflow and pipeline. It is these things that we now want to focus on while moving forward: improving the art and workflow for the project.

So, First off we will be revisiting how the Materials and Textures are handled for our characters and environment objects in the future. Half way through doing ‘Besties’ we came across a lecture given by one of the software developers for the tools we were using. After watching the lecture we discovered a workflow that not only gives a better visual result but also is more time efficient than the more traditional way we were using for ‘Besties’. Based on this knowledge, we know we can do a better job moving into the future.

Second, while still related to Materials and Textures, has to do with the lighting we were using. Two major improvements we will have in the future: A) Nvidia has released new graphic cards that will help us speed up the process needed for creating better looking lighting. This will cut down on our time needed for creating lighting, and will improve the quality of what we can make. B) We now know how to use the improved methods of creating Materials to correctly balance colors across objects and in relation to the lighting system itself to achieve a unified look across a whole scene. This might seem like a simple matter, but often when working in 3D, the idea might seem obvious but achieving the desired result can take a lot of work.

Third, we will be changing how we do the rigging for our characters. Rigging is the process of creating an armature skeleton inside of 3D characters so they can be moved, posed, and animated. This process is highly technical and requires a deep understanding of the software to achieve results that are easy to use for animators. In the past we have relied on pre-built scripts to help us construct the character rigs. These rigs were simple and did not allow for customization. While creating ‘Besties’ it became increasing clear that these pre-scripted rigs would no longer be viable for the project moving into the future. We were having too many issues with them breaking or being limited by what they could offer. This not only resulted in a far more painful creation process when making ‘Besties’, but also made it impossible for us to achieve the creative vision we were striving toward. To correct this problem I have been deepening my knowledge of rigging methods so that we can create custom rigs for our character needs from the ground up. While that sets us back in our short term timeline, it will greatly benefit us in the long run.

Fourth, we will be revisiting the look and style of our characters Hair and Clothing modeling. While the results for the character’s hair was adequate, we are not happy with the overall result. We want our characters to look appealing and relatable. As such we want to strive for a better artistic result when concerning our character’s level of detail.

Lastly, we are very seriously looking at different distribution methods for Krono Keeper. Anywhere from medium used to tell the story to publishing platform we use to monetize the project. We have ideas for what that might look like, but the core goal is to tell an engaging story with meaningful characters and interesting plot. So whatever the final form of Krono Keeper is, you can be sure we will strive to tell the best story we can.

Thank you all for following us on this journey. If you want keep up with us more, please follow our Facebook page where we post our weekly updates, and watch our Podcast where we talk about pop-culture media and the Krono Keeper project. You can also check out our ever growing gallery of Concept and Development Art.

Jon “Torin”, Co-Founder

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