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Farming Mars
Updated 8 months ago
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Another Rainy Day on Mars

POST-MORTEM

My name is James Greb from Megacom Games. I've been a game developer for the past ten years. I also have a bit of a background in 3D design and animation, as well as, video production.
The majority of the work on this project took place over the weekend after the Neon Challenge contest was first announced. I wanted to challenge myself in the same way the artist who created the example video for the challenge did: create a fully finished scene within a weekend using only items from the Unity Asset Store. In the end, it took about 3-4 days, including the final day of submission. This is my first time using/learning Unity Cinemachine and Timeline. I have been wanting to learn how to use these new features as I will most likely be using them in an upcoming game I'm working on, so I thought this contest would be a good opportunity.
Premise
In the distant future, on Mars, colonist workers are running a terraforming operation in the hopes of turning Mars into a pleasantly habitable Earth-like planet. Inspiration was taken from the concept art shown for the challenge, as well as, the movies Aliens, Blade Runner, and Total Recall. Creation Process I started by finding a Mars-like terrain using an asset called "Landscapes Part 2".
I picked a nice little spot on the edge of a mountain to start placing my buildings and objects.
I then used Timeline to animate the slow rotation of all three UV lamp turrets. Timeline made this very quick and easy to do.
Using Timeline again, I very easily animated the human characters, making them gesture, walk, and transition animations at the appropriate times during the movie sequence. Timeline was fantastic for this! Having a background in video editing, it was a very simple learning curve! While the short film is only two shots, I actually have 4 virtual cameras which transition seamlessly from one to another in that first shot. Using Cinemachine/Timeline, first, I targeted the space ship, and followed it. Then I detached the target and panned the camera down. When the car comes into view, I then used another camera to target the car and zoom in, using timeline to adjust the FOV properties. Finally, the last virtual camera in that shot targets an empty game object which I animated with timeline. It was all very simple and easy to transition from one to another, and the results work great.
For the car that drives by, I used a little bit of code in conjunction with an asset called Super Splines Pro. With just a couple lines of code, I had the car steer the WhellColliders in the direction of the spline track. In the case of the car, I felt like that was an easier solution rather than animating it, in this case. However, I used Timeline to activate the object right before it appears on camera, greatly minimizing the amount of code I had to write. (That was a joyous moment realizing I could do that with Timeline!)
I also used Super Splines Pro to create the bridge leading from the building to the Martian terrain. No 3D modeling was required for this project.
Once I had all my objects in the scene, I now applied the post processing stack asset to the camera. I used just about ever effect it comes with to get the desired look and feel for the short movie.
Today, before the final submission, I grabbed the free Volumetric Light asset and applied it to the scene. I also added a few more lights and tweaked the color grading a bit.
Unity Asset Store Packages Used Landscapes Part 2
Cinemachine
Timeline
Post Processing Stack
Volumetric Light Pro Flares
Container
Deucalion's Humans
SciFi Base / Defense Tower - FREE Pack 03
Sci-Fi Door
LeanTween
Tripod
Lift Car
Unity Particle Pack
Modern Barrelz
Rusty Barrels
Bridges 3D Basic Pack
Pipes Kit
Rain Drop Effect 2 Sci-Fi Low Poly Cars Kit
Stratos Class Cruiser
PM_Voyager Turret Pack
Concrete Blocks (Pack)
ATM
Bieselpunk_moto_01_PBR
Realistic Military Vehicles: Scout ------------------------------------------------------ Other Items Used Music (purchased from Audio Jungle) Sci fi City 8 Buildings Futuristic (purchased from TurboSquid)

WORK LOG

=========================================================================== Work In Progress Log #2 - Jan 15 =========================================================================== Before final submission, I decided to add more lights, move a few objects around, and tweak some of the effects in the post-processing stack. I also grabbed the free Volumetric Light asset the Unity Team has up on their GitHub; it really help add some more atmosphere.
=========================================================================== Work In Progress Log #1 - Dec 1 - Dec 4 ===========================================================================
Premise
In the distant future, on Mars, colonist workers are running a terraforming operation in the hopes of turning Mars into a pleasantly habitable Earth-like planet. Inspiration was taken from the concept art shown for the challenge, as well as, the movies Aliens, Blade Runner, and Total Recall.
Summary
I created this on the weekend for the Unity Neon Challenge. This is my first time using/learning Unity Cinemachine and Timeline. I have been wanting to learn how to use these new features as I will most likely be using them in an upcoming game I'm working on.
I'll post my methods, process, and assets used at a later date as I have to get back to other work. In a nutshell, I took a scene I had in my head and directly translated it into pre-vis in Unity on the weekend. I primarily used assets (free) from the Asset Store in tandem with Unity Timeline and Cinemachine to breathe life into it. I also used the Post-Processing Stack to make it look nice.
There's still some things I could touch-up, tweak, or even add, but what you see in the video is pretty much how it is going to be in the end (on a budget of $0.00)*. I'm loving the new timeline feature; it was quick and easy to use, and brought what I saw in my head to life as quickly as if I were painting a picture. It essentially allowed me to skip right over pre-production and get a glimpse of what the end result would look like in a relatively short period of time. * EDIT: I used assets I had previously purchased in the past.

Megacom
Lead Developer - Designer
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