Monday, November 19, 2012

Bastion 3D Environment Project -WIP-

Alright, so it's about time I made a post on this.  I've been working on a little environment project based on some of the awesome background art done for Bastion, an indie-action adventure game that came out a little more than a year ago.

I'll start from the beginning.  I was first wowed by some of the work done by Elementrix from Polycount recently, where he's been experimenting with how far you can go with painterly textures.  Here's a couple samples of his work to show you what I mean:

These are 3D models, and if you look really close at some of the images, you can see the wireframes on each piece.  That aside, the environments themselves look like paintings!  Upon seeing the first image I thought it was a piece of concept art.  I was in love with that feeling to think that I was fooled that this 3D model looked like a 2D image.

I did some research and learned about his technique, where he basically uses projection painting in Photoshop/Mudbox to paint on the 3D model organically.  This allows for a real painterly feeling to come across in his work.  He also does an awesome job painting in the lighting and shadows as well, which really pushes the painted look.

If you'd like to check out more on Elementrix, here's the thread from Polycount that has more on this project:

Additionally I found his blog:

I was really impressed by the guy's work.  Around this time I was in the middle of deciding what my next project would be, and lo and behold, I find this guy's stuff.  I felt inspired to do something similar to this style, since I've always had a thing for painterly textures but never really executed a whole project dedicated to it.

Which leads me to my project brief now:

I wanted to recreate this environment from Bastion in 3D, using the painterly texture process of Elementrix. (Since I'm such a Bastion geek, I thought I'd post a video of the playthrough of this level if you wanted to get a sense of the atmosphere for this scene:  Skip to about 4:15 to get to this environment shot.)

 Further down the line I want to get the environment within an engine so I can implement the floating particle effects and animation.  I did some preliminary tests to try out Elementrix's technique:

The image above is a 3D model, which was textured completely using Photoshop's 3D painting tools now available since I think CS4.

Here's a video turnaround of the model:

After tackling that, I started on other parts of the environment and began to block it out.  A few weeks ago I was at this point with most props modeled and with block in colors for each prop:

Within the next week I started on texturing some of these assets.  Everything's fairly WIP at this stage:

Some closer shots of some props:

With everything else going on, I'm pulling to have this project finished in a few weeks.  After getting the main textures done for everything, I want to do a "lighting" pass where I paint in some of the shadows and ambient occlusion around the props.  When that's done I'll throw the environment in UDK where I can finish it off.

I'm going to make another post in a bit with some more updated shots.  Wish me luck!

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