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Cosmoflorist Flowers & Bonsai Tree

Cosmoflorist Flowers & Bonsai Tree

Kieran Dunn
by Elizabeth Kirkpatrick, Kieran Dunn, Mark Wilson, Micahel Jeon, Pedro Klein, Rasyiqah Takiyaudin, Steven Cao, and canis on 31 May 2020 for Rookie Awards 2020

A break down of my creation process for the bonsai tree and flowers in my team's final year university project, Cosmoflorist.

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Cosmo Flowers

These flowers are apart of my final year game project at university. The idea of the game is to match together the different colours based on emotions and colour mixtures in a bouquet based on a clients order. 

The flowers are the main interaction with the player so I treated them as main characters in a game in terms of attention to detail and optimization. I set a 30k triangle goal for each flower.

Cobalt Caelestis (Blue), Scarlet Aphelion (Red), Silver Antumbra (White) and Golden Perihelion (Yellow).

I used concept art for the flowers and created high and low polygon models for baking. I UVed and optimised the models for another team member to texture after I test-baked to ensure there were no errors.

Textures and VFX on the flowers are from my team member Pedro Klein.

Cosmo flower concepts by Elizabeth Kirkpatrick and the white flower by Callum de Vere.

I received feedback from my team on these images which drove the changes to the final in-game models. I found it challenging to realise them in 3D for a game as they need to be optimized and still work with the gameplay mechanics. For instance, the red flower concept included many heads but in order to stay within the triangle budget, I had to reduce them to three as each head will have hair cards on them as well. I went through a few processes to apply the hair cards and to find the best look. I used nanomesh with ploygroups in Zbrush and manually adjusted them in Maya at the end which gave a good result.

Progress snips while trying to work out how to transfer the concept to 3D.

Cosmo Flower Animation Sequences

Order in videos: Growing - PreBloom Idle - Bloom - Idle - Water - Fidget

The animations were done in 3Dsmax using Cat Rig. This sped up the animation stage to fit the allocated time frame. It is very handy to be able to switch between different animations of a flower using the layering tool on Cat Rig while being able to quickly set up custom bone formations such as tails. I was liberal with the number of bones used as the flowers are seen close up so they require precise movements of most of their parts.

A gameplay video of the flowers in-game shows the player interacting with them. Planting, then blooming and caring for them.

Implementation of coding from Steven Cao.

Bonsai Tree - Exaggerated

I chose to use a bonsai tree as the centrepiece of the planting area in the game because of their intricate part in Feng Shui. The goal of the area was to be a relaxing and friendly environment for the player to plant and spend most of their time caring for the cosmo plants. Having the tree larger than the player and hanging over the pathways fulls up the empty space above while figuratively protecting the player from the emptiness of space giving more comfort.

The ground texture is from Quixel Megascans as it was just to help present the tree more effectively.

~81k Triangles. 2x 2048 Textures. One for the leaf atlas and one for the trunk.

The player's first view of the tree in-game.

 I started by blocking out the tree with Zspheres In Zbrush to easily adjust the tree shape. I then used subdivision levels to make the high and low poly models of the trunk. The project function helped to match the low and high model before exporting to Maya to manually add the smaller branches. This method of placing them manually gives the best control and look, however, it takes the longest. I created several variations of leaf twigs with the bend deformer and placed them differently on three small branches to then place on the trunk. The last step is to ensure the branches' vertex normals are all facing out to correctly light them in-game.

In-game Blocking Out

I brought in an early sculpt of the tree to test the size and overhang of the branches so the player wouldn't be blocked by them. 

Feedback was important during the creation to ensure the tree will work well in-game as it was a centrepiece of the area.


 For leaf details, bark texture, trunk and branch structure I used references from google images.

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