Ameria Orenji [Tech Wear]
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Ameria Orenji [Tech Wear]

Ethan Anton Barrett
by ethanbarrett777 on 30 May 2022 for Rookie Awards 2022

Ameria Orenji [Tech Wear] is the product of my Final Year Project at Staffordshire University. The focus of the project was to find the balance between the 2D anime art style and 3D characters. To achieve this, many technical adjustments had to be made to the creative pipeline but the challenge was welcomed.

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Key Concept by E BUN:

A pose concept by me:

Unreal Engine 4 Renders:

These renders were taken in UE4 and they were set up to mimic the Genshin Impact character menu background. The background VFX was acquired on the Epic Games marketplace. It was made by Giorgigedianidze. 

Project Texturing Test

To explore the very unique texturing process for this art style I performed a test on a section of the character. I drew the conclusion that when texturing to achieve this art style 5 things need to be considered:

- Mid Tone

- Light Shadow Tone

- Dark Shadow Tone

- Highlight Tone

- Inner Lines (Lines that describe secondary forms)

A bonus thing to consider is the blending together of all these elements. This was understood by studying the workflow of an artist called Shonzo as referenced in the image below. 

Unreal Engine Material Creation

The cell shader for this character was created in a way that mimics the Genshin Impact game by Hoyoverse. All the vertexes facing the light source are lit and all the vertexes facing away from the light source are unlit. The darkness of those unlit vertexes is then controlled to be like a shaded tint and then a gradation is added between the lit and unlit vertexes. This is what creates the banding. This material and the outline method I used were directly inspired by a technical artist called Es. His videos are referenced in the images below.

Material Development

The materials from the test to the end of the project pretty much remained the same except for the outline material. The Genshin Impact characters have coloured outlines instead of black outlines. To achieve this I multiplied the texture map with a parameter named tint and that was plugged into the emissive channel to give coloured outlines. Due to the respective texture maps being used each object is outlined with the matching colour.

Below is an example of this:

Ameria Orenji [Tech Wear] - Fly-Through Video - made with Unreal Level Sequencer 

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