Change of plan

Our entire set for Black North was optimised and packaged up, which we then handed over to them and they seemed pretty happy with it. At our most recent meeting we were told that a few more blocks of ice were needing modelled and textured…

Below are a few images I looked at to see how ice would react to light (is it transparent, is it solid) and how the surface of the object could look: scratches, cracks etc…

article-0-195225D6000005DC-566_634x422 d4891fe307b7c06300bf6e428653857a ice ucm197598

I then used the tutorial below as a guide/starting point for texturing the ice model, the results were achieved by using a ramp shader and noise map:

Starting off in mud box, I created a rough shape from a cube…

Screen Shot 2015-05-14 at 00.07.44

I then brought the model into maya, where I started applying the techniques from the link above, but also making a few adjustments of my own to fit the requirements of what Black North were asking for…

Screen Shot 2015-05-14 at 00.11.35

first render:

Screen Shot 2015-05-14 at 00.16.03

I felt that the render above was a little plain looking.. there was no colour, nothing interesting about it, so I tried to change that. I duplicated the model and resized it so it would fit inside itself,  then changed the colour of this smaller model to a light blue and gave it a slightly brighter ambient colour, in the hope that the extra light might bounce around a little inside the larger object. The transparency of the object was also adjusted to make it more solid/ visible through the first model.

Screen Shot 2015-05-14 at 00.22.09

I still wasn’t happy with the colour, there was too much blue – no other colours were present, so in an attempt to fix that I placed a cube inside the smaller model, which was less transparent than the others and I gave it a grey colour. Im a bit happier with the render below as now there are a couple of colours bouncing around.

Screen Shot 2015-05-14 at 00.24.21

We then received a message from the guys at Black North to say that the game had been changed and could we create a new level based on the new designs, giving us 4 days to create the level so it was going to be a bit tight with time. The file below is the example we were given…

Screen Shot 2015-05-14 at 00.32.16

This time our set would be 7 tiles that would join together (we will create one each.) This time the models were to be as low a polycount as possible, this being the main reason the game was changed, and we would still be sticking with the ice environment.

I started off by modelling an environment in mud box…

Screen Shot 2015-05-14 at 00.35.33

which I then brought into maya and retopologised using the quad draw tool (remembering not to press three to smooth the model as it will be taken into soft image when we pass it on) :

Screen Shot 2015-05-14 at 00.39.19

Unwrapped the UV’s by firstly unwrapping using the best plane, decided where my seams would be and cut the UV edges before finally using the 3D unwrap tool. These UV’s were obviously a lot easier to unwrap compared to the previous set…

Screen Shot 2015-05-14 at 00.40.21

This time regarding textures were decided we would go for more ice rather than rock and snow, seeing as the panels looked like they were some sort of cave. Below are some of the textures I experimented with…

13-scratched-ice-texture-free-hi-res 10422269_862539437136109_6774744961511944772_n Chiseled Ice clay_snow1 ice_texture___2_by_agf81-d4p2kkm ice_texture2998-1 ice-texture--1033-1 Ice0021_L snow_texture1550

Before settling with the textures below:

outUV_low

Originally I had ice walls and banks of snow at each side but it just didn’t look right, so I switched it to be snow walls with banks of ice which just in general a lot better.

The ambient occlusion was baked in:

Screen Shot 2015-05-14 at 00.56.35

And multiplied over the textures in photoshop:

Screen Shot 2015-05-14 at 00.57.33

A normal map was also created using crazy bump:

Screen Shot 2015-05-14 at 00.57.49

Then it was onto lighting the scene, I added an ambient light with a rather low intensity to give some basic light. I wanted my light source to be coming form the ice.. as if it was giving off light that was then being reflected by other bits of ice. So to create this I added in a few spot lights, all different in size (penumbria and cone angle) intensity and colour giving the results below.

Screen Shot 2015-05-14 at 00.59.24 Screen Shot 2015-05-14 at 00.59.01

Once I (and the rest of the team of course) were happy with the lighting, the light and colour were baked in:

Screen Shot 2015-05-14 at 01.07.43

Turntable:

Fly through: