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Post news RSS Friday Wrapup - Spooky Edition

Friday summary of the work done 10/30/2015 for Simulacra.

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Happy Halloween everybody!

This week didn't quite go as planned but still managed to make some progress here and there. The barrier of course was my storage hard drive dying on me, but fortunately I already have a replacement installed and a couple week old backup of the data restored. I did end up sending out the dead drive for data recover, we will see how that goes. So in the meantime I am switching over to parallel tasks that won't require ugly reintegration should I get the data back in a usable form.

So this week was mainly:

  • Fighting with my hard drive
  • New text game build - More in depth design work, specifically on the text game test and its role in character abilities and upgrades.
  • Writing some basic lore and game premise info (will be shared soon, needs editing)
  • Made a material orb to be used as an standard primitive when authoring smart materials. More info below.

Please take a look at the text game and leave feedback and thoughts. The game is a lot cleaner now, and though it still doesn't have much in the way of player choice, it is getting closer to a rough "alpha" state.The one art task that I focused on this week was to make a material orb for use when authoring textures. I've wanted to make one for a while so I could standardize and make it easier to craft "smart" materials more readily. If you aren't familiar with the concept of smart materials, they are a relatively new way of texturing models. By supplying the material with a small set of support textures that are baked for each asset, the material is able to adapt the visual detail to the contours and shapes of that specific asset. This means that if you make a "smart" metal material and then apply it to two different models, it will generate textures for each with the rust accumulating in all the right cracks and oil residue dripping down the surface in the right direction, etc. This coupled with physically based rendering makes it much easier to achieve good looking art that doesn't need adjusting in different lighting scenarios. A material orb simply makes this process a bit simpler and more streamlined as you can test the materials against the same model, and because it is built with this in mind, will look good on a variety of surfaces. By decoupling the material authoring from the unique model you can make a handful of materials that can texture an entire environment, and using newer previs techniques, use the materials to inform both the concept art and final models without any extra work.
Happy Halloween all!
- CJ

MaterialOrb

Rough textures testing out new material orb. 3 different lighting environments.

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