Well, one week to go, and quite a bit to do! I have got all my foliage done though so, which is great because it adds so much life to the level, and I'm pleased with how it turned out. They're pretty much purely alphas with a bit of shape definition. Luckily CryEngine's vegetation tool does a good enough job on its own at animating them, but I may vertex paint them to be more accurate if I get the time. I'll probably also desaturate and tweak the colours a bit more as its all very neon green still at the moment.
I initially made my tree trunk and branches, then used 3DS Max's tree primitive and stripped the leaves from it and placed it over the top, generating a random seed that looked appropriate. This didn't look entirely right though so I created a clump of leaves and branch alphas and used the paint tool to dot it all over the trunk. Below is the final model (left) with edited normals to light more realistically, middle is it before edited normals and the right one is the automatic leaf generated one. I also changed the leaf texture to a smaller one since these screen grabs.
Saying consistently that my level is meant to be efficient meant I had to create LODs for pretty much all my vegetation, even the stuff that was only around 100 tri's to begin with. It wasn't too bad, I did the usual stripping loops and stuff for the tree trunks and flowers, but also used the ProOptimizer modifier which actually did a pretty good job of stripping the leaves of tri's without losing much of the silhouette.
Still animating my tram...I spent a fair while making sure it turned properly with the wires and everything stretching and retracting as it went up, exported it and it did the usual thing where it just breaks and I don't know why. I have a part of the tram that works, and one part that speeds off for no reason, so...
I'm also in the process of creating my much needed clutter assets, as my level is very barren still at ground level. I'm hoping to get all this done by tomorrow at the latest, as I really need to get started and done on my boats as soon as possible. Right now the tram animation is probably actually my lowest priority. I know it's been a key part of the project from the start, but I don't want to have to compromise a lot of detail and verisimilitude just for one asset to work properly.