There’s been a wave of illness at our studio and it has delayed a lot of things including the reports we’ve promised to deliver to you guys. Most of us are back at work now though.
We’re aware that most of you are eagerly waiting for our next game update and we’ll be releasing it soon as we’re satisfied with it and honestly it shouldn’t be long now. While we’re waiting for that we’re going to do a little development update again.
We might not always have time to do a weekly report so we’re probably going to do a recap a few weeks apart instead. Anyway, this time around we decided to have another look at what we in the environment art team have been up to.
Antti and Juha have been working on two new derbies. One is a smaller square shaped tarmac derby stadium while the other one is a round mud pit. We’ve had early versions of both of these done for a while but there’s been a lot of retexturing and remodeling work going on. These derbies aren’t done yet and they’re probably subject to change still. (On a side note Antti is also currently working on a sandpit track that some of you might be familiar with.)
Here’s a couple of screenshots of the work done so far on the derbies:
The smaller derby stadium (check out our new driver!)
Mud pit mayhem.
Kalle has also been working on some concepts for an upcoming race track which is in its early stages of planning. A lot of different references were gathered and these are mainly mockups to give some sense of what the final track might look like. The level design and environment planning is far from done and it will be a while before we might see anything like this in the game.
Concept art of a high speed race track.
As for me, I’ve been working on revamping both the 2D and 3D versions of the crowds and spectators to better match the quality of the rest of the art. We came up with some pretty effective and cheap ways (as can be seen from the setup) to create larger crowds without affecting performance significantly.
Antti shooting Janne, one of our programmers for crowd billboards.
We’re removing the old static “cardboard” crowd planes and changing them to a more dynamic type that rotates towards the camera. This technique works quite well at least when viewed from a distance.
Testing out our new crowd billboards
Like before we’re also going to have some animated 3D characters in the crowd to give a better sense of a living, breathing crowd and I’m currently working on that as well. Like some of you observant people already spotted the earlier 3D crowd consisted of premade models bought online and I decided that it would be best to make new ones from scratch.
I tried utilizing a pretty nifty technique, called projection painting, for getting somewhat realistic 3d characters, with relative ease. The workflow involves photographing a person from the front, side and back. These images are used as a reference for modeling and as a basis for texturing the character. There’s still a lot of fixing and painting involved to make a final character but projection painting is a useful tool in the process.
Hopefully some of you found this behind the scenes look interesting.
Ben Lind, Environment Artist