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Fields of Colour - Post Mortem


Isaac
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Hi everyone!

Here I will briefly discuss some of the tips and challenges faced when creating the Micro Biomes - Fields of Colour pack. 

Having a solid planning document was really beneficial before the creation of the pack was made. This document included the reason for making it, the technical specifications, real life references, an asset list and per asset details. I find searching for the scientific / common names of plants early on helps me get enough reference images I need to understand what parts of a specific plant I need to make. I may have started production a little too early without fully scoping this document out to its max, such as making a final decision on the number of assets and how many texture sheets may have been required. This led to a couple of times in production where I needed to go back and alter my texture atlas, which meant re-baking the high poly models. Having this defined earlier would have prevented this.

Progress_Planning Assets.PNG

Progress_Planning Specs.PNG

This pack was the also the first time texturing the atlases in Substance Painter, which I had not used for this purpose before. It helped speed up the time taken to texture the assets, as previously this was done in Substance Designer (as seen in the WildGrass assets in Gaia) where the outputs weren't as easily visualized. I may use a mix between the two programs next time as I am more at home with Substance Designer than Substance Painter at the moment. 

The plant textures were modelled entirely in Blender, then baked into their respective maps using a mix of Substance Painter's baking and XNormal. Whilst it can be hard to replicate real life plants solely through a computer without actually taking real world photos, this process is future-proof in a way because the atlases can be re-baked at a higher texture resolution, e.g. 4096 or 8192 resolution. 

Progress_HighPolyAtlas.PNG

In the future, I hope to explore more possibilities of achieving realism: both with this entirely CG approach as well as a mix between models and real life photos taken to enhance the final output.

Hope you enjoyed this brief summary of the process when making the Fields of Color pack!

Progress_Final.PNG

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