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Sails of War is a fast paced, action heavy combat game giving you command of your own vessel. Dive into the waves of this golden age of large tall ships. Outmaneuver your enemies and sail to victory.

Post news Report RSS Only missing paint - DevBlog #4 - Sails of War

We explore the 3D model and process of creating a ship, and also look into the future and texturing workflow.

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After missing last months blog and quite some busy times I finally get to share my progress on the sloop! The model itself is done, the next and final step will be to finalize the texture and material process.

Sails of War - Sloop Clay Render


Please note that this image is not rendered real time and does also sport some fake solid water.


Last time I shared some props I had made and have since shared more over on Twitter. These props will be used (in parts) across the whole game and possibly the other ships. In case you missed some of my earlier posts here is them all in one place:


Sails of War - Ship details: Anchor

Sails of War - Ship Details: 6 Pounder GunSails of War - Ship details: Storage Boxes


Small details like that add a little extra to an otherwise flat and clean ships floor. As you can see in this comparison between the finished ship and a version without the detailing.

Sails of War - compare Detail


Please note that this image is not rendered real time and does also sport some fake solid water.


Let's talk about the sloop though. This ship isn't too heavily armed but does manage to build up a bit of speed. With 12 main guns, she is able to defend herself, but can't quite carry the same punch as a larger ship of the line.

While making this model I had some design decision to make which will now in future be set and hopefully speed up work.

Late last year I had done all the ship's rigging in flat planes. The idea was to save on polycount in a fear of performance issues. The loss of detail, however, was so large that I switched out all those flat planes and went with cubes. Cubes give the illusion of being round – thanks to some clever shading – and are overall way more interesting to look at.

Sails of War Sloop Render


Please note that this image is not rendered real time and does also sport some fake solid water.


Another large change to versions I had shown before is edges: This large model will work best when the sun glitters on them. You really get a feeling of water and salt when tiny white stars dance over everything – you know the ones only Sunshine and water produce.

To get the desired effect multiple options open up: You can add some detail in texture, have a material overlay some very shiny points or you make sure the model has edges for light the catch on. Best you do all three together!
So most my last month was spent finishing everything, and like in woodworking smoothing and rounding edges.

Sails of War Sloop Render


Please note that this image is not rendered real time and does also sport some fake solid water.


The next step is to establish a pool of materials and a workflow to add ship specific texture details. Just like the modeling process that workflow will remain and speed up work for the other ships.

I will also have to decide what the game should look like. Ships of old were actually really colorful and (certainly those build in peace-time) were richly decorated. I may, however, go with a more war-time look. Fewer colors.

Now you might say: “Hang on. Didn't you want to add more detail?” And the answer is a yes. But some texture testing before highlighted a problem with the colorful peace-time decorations: The image gets very, very busy. It then appears that those textures reach a point that might be historically correct but do not necessarily work in a videogame.

So keep an eye out for future blog posts talking about creative license and art direction!

Till then - Lukas

Comments
Sph!nx

Looks so far. Keep it up!

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