Working on my latest project, I wanted to focus on lighting and the overall composition. Prop and environment assets were placed in order to lead the player's focus towards the far back of the level. Torch light was meant to lead the player to alternative paths and add more visual narrative.
Working on my latest project, the mining scene below, I wanted to focus on lighting and the overall composition. Prop and environment assets were placed in order to lead the player's focus towards the far back of the level. Torch light was meant to lead the player to alternative paths and add more visual narrative.
Past its narrative purpose, the scaffolding props were used to enhance the flow of the level by leading or obstructing the player focus.
Below is a visual representation of how I imagined the flow of the scene. Green and red pulls the player's focus towards the end of the path. Yellow leads to the direction of alternative paths and blue "blocks" the player focus.
Following images show a summary of all the assets used in this project, and a few demonstrations on how I would use them while creating the scene.
Most assets, such as scaffolding and rocks, have materials which uses vertex painting and a directional mask. Masking and vertex painting allowed me to hide the repetitiveness of the materials and made assets more versatile.
Procedural textures were created in Substance Designer, and I gained a lot by studying the works of senior artists, such as Jonas Ronnegard, Nathan Mackenzie, and Pontus Carlsson.
The rock textures changed as the project progressed, and below are early versions created in Substance Designer. The image above shows the final version.
Wood and rope textures were also created in Designer. These were used in Substance Painter as smart materials. From each Substance material I also created various detail textures.
The rock master material ended up having the most extensive setup, since I wanted a certain flexability. The material breakdown starts with an overview and then goes into specific parts.
Packaged Textures containted baked information from the highpoly models created in Zbrush. From this Texture Sample I could recreate the normal map by using the DeriveNormalZ node and combine it with the X & Y values packed into the red and green channels (image 1). The blue and alpha channels contained the baked edge and ambient occlusion maps.
The TransformVector node converted the tangent space to world space, which I used to create a directional mask (Top Mask). Adding a Vertex Color and HeightLerp node gave me a mask that was used to blend various tileable textures (image 3). Similar method was used to blend in sand textures (images 4).
Example of the rock material with (left) and without (right) Detail Textures.