Joey Dhindsa - I'm a 3D Generalist working on games for Virtual Reality out in LA, California. For this project I was involved with the initial Blockout Phases, Art Direction, Modelling, Texturing, Animations, Cinemachine Shots, and some Lighting Phases.
Karl Schedt- I'm a Technical Artist working on games for Virtual Reality out in LA, California. For this project I was involved with Lighting Setups, Shader Optimizations, Modelling, Texturing, Post Processing and VFX.
When beginning this project we wanted to keep an open mind to where we could take the environment, especially when we read the word "Cyberpunk" under the premise guidelines. The word Cyberpunk made us think of a Blade Runner type environment but we immediately weaved off of that art direction because it was too obvious. We blocked out something that referenced the concepts provided to us and decided to worry about the "neon-ification" after the fact. We looked at all the concepts and picked out certain things from each as inspiration for our piece.
The premise and story went in several different directions over the course of a month or so.
THE STORY - PHASE 1
<<<<In a rugged dystopian world, the machines and humans alike waged battles that disrupted everything that we hold dear. Only a handful realized our wicked ways and joined forces to combat the chaos and terror by creating a place where all were welcome to the pleasures of living purposefully.>>>>
THE STORY - PHASE 2 - FINAL
The enlightened Sentinels live just over the giant walls kept to keep the lesser humans far from their sight. In this future, humans have evolved and ascended past the flesh. Their souls radiate from their temporary cyber forms which unfortunately is used as a form of currency. For a lesser cyber human, the payment to live is to offer a part of ones soul which they are more than determined to provide. Those who don't deliver in time, their entire souls are taken.
The steps below show our process of how we got to our final result. After blocking out multiple phases we finally got to a point where we were happy with the direction. We then began to use Cinemachine to create all the various camera angles and then focused our efforts on perfecting the assets and lighting within those shots.
This is our first post of many that will follow during our progress -
After taking another look at the concept we thought it would be cool to integrate pipes that would run down the giant buildings.
Started implement vegetation in certain areas to break up the scene further. A sandy gust of wind was also added for a more dramatic effect along with black smoke spewing in the background.
After analyzing the scene we realized we wanted to clearly define the Foreground, Midground, and Background. This way we can lead the viewers eye from one area of the composition to another. So we took the rendering into Photoshop and made some adjustments to get a better overall mood. This is the concept we got -
Terrain Pass - Karl
After setting up a basic multi-texture input terrain shader, it was time to beef it up a bit to help add more interest. The main component to this was to add tessellation and displacement properties to the shader, as well as inputs for smoothness. I did this by channel packing the heightmap and gloss map (since they’re both grayscale). I placed the heightmap in the red channel, and the gloss map into the green channel. Then, I Lerp the textures using the RGB vertex paints as a mask, then voila! Frostbite Engine style terrain shader.
The terrain in this environment was going to play a very important role in keeping a complex and interesting to help keep the environment from looking bland. We obviously had the option to use Unity terrain, but I felt that creating my own shader would allow for a lot more flexibility.
First, Joey modeled a fairly dense poly terrain. From the start, we thought that using vertex colors as a mask for multiple textures would be the best approach. So, Joey vertex painted an RGB splat map that will act as a mask between multiple materials, such as sand and mud.
After setting up a basic multi-texture input terrain shader using Amplify Shader Editor (support for shader functions was an important role), it was time to beef it up a bit to help add more interest. The main component to this was to add tessellation and displacement properties to the shader, as well as inputs for smoothness. I did this by channel packing the heightmap and gloss map (since they’re both grayscale). I placed the heightmap in the red channel, and the gloss map into the green channel. Then, I Lerp the textures using the RGB vertex paints as a mask, then voila! Frostbite Engine style terrain shader.
The final thing I wanted to implement was texture blending, to avoid harsh seams between geometry intersecting with the terrain. The key component to this was to switch the textures to be world space UV.
Started implementing some more neon elements to get a base to where we want to head from here.
Staging the scene a bit further.
Adding more neon elements to the scene
We've come to the conclusion that perhaps one of the medium structures will be used as a docking station for space ships
After much consideration of where the project was heading we decided to rethink our approach to the project. So we started blocking out the scene even further.
Blocking out the buildings further. We've got an idea for a start to the cinematography stages once characters are built as well.
More progress work. Much more to be done. Fingers crossed we can get to the finish line in time. We've begun the process of figuring out camera angles and overall story.
Post Process -
Asset List, Tools, Plugins, Music
Character - https://www.turbosquid.com/3d-models/3d-silver-cyborg-rig-1182008
Animations - Mixamo
Space Ship - https://www.assetstore.unity3d.com/en/#!/content/71439