Friday, 26 April 2013


I've now added the snow to everything except the architecture.

The snow fades in fairly evenly, but melts away with a sharper falloff, and remains congregated in the areas painted on the terrain (these are areas which are in shadow for most of the day)

As you can see, the snow builds on the rocks and trees based on normal direction. The trees are also now linked up correctly to match other season effects.

The level is starting to come together, but this just makes whats missing even more obvious. In this case, falling leaves and snow are clearly missing as the trees shed leaves and snow builds on the ground!

Monday, 22 April 2013

Rocks - same-same but different

Although my rocks had looked okay in isolation, I was starting to feel that they were too noisy and fussy across the level. I simplified the overall look of the rocks by:
  • reducing the number of normal map details
  • using a subtler diffuse texture with fewer details
  • enhancing the strength of the asset-specific curvaturecavity/occlusion
  • bringing the overall tonal balance between lit and unlit closer together
I also reduced the expense by:
  • swapping out overlay blends for multiplies
  • removing the "texture rotates with asset rotation" stuff (since the textures were now rotation independent)
  • simplifying the top-down lighting stuff
I also improved their placement by increasing scale and using fewer pieces to simplify the shapes and create less "clutter".



You may also spot I've been toying with grassy/mossy decals. Still playing with those, I don't expect to leave them as-is.

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Lens Flares

Been working on the sun and sky a bit today. The sky still has a long way to go - right now it's just a clear blue sky at all times, but the lens flares for the sun have come a long way pretty quickly. They were a lot easier to do than I was expecting, which makes a pleasant change.

Here's my reference...

Obviously something as strong as this would be really distracting, so I went for something a little less strong.

The system essentially allows you to specify a material, distance and size for each flare, which slide around your screen based on where you're looking and the distance value. By incorporating the distance from source into the materials I was able to do things like fade them as the player looks away, and increase their size or strength when looking straight-on. This is best demonstrated with motion, but here's a couple of screens anyway.