Nomad - Sergey Klimenko - Neon Challenge Final Submission
Hello to all the readers, judges... well, and you are a strange person who accidentally stumbled upon this article. My name is Sergey Klimenko and I am a developer from Russia. I have been working for many years. NET programmer, but in 2017 my life changed, and I finally began to work as Unity C# programmer in a gaming company! (childhood's dream came true, now I was engaged in the development of games not only as a hobby, but also as a place of work). Well, now let's get to the point of why we're here. I apologize in advance for incorrect English.
When I saw Neon movie for the first time, I thought - "wow, this is very cool!", At that moment I had no idea that this movie will grow a contest where I can test my skills, trying to do that something on the same level! But when the challenge was announced, there would be no other option - I have to participate. For several days I was thinking, how and what I want to do, I watched the first works of other participants and already evaluated potential competitors.
Cockroaches swarmed in my head at once. The new world is an unlimited theme. But the atmosphere inspired by Neon and the love for such representatives of cyberpunk as Deus Ex (2000 year of release) did their job. The main idea of my work was the near future (2050-2070 years), when various technologies, which are just beginning to enter our life, have long become commonplace. Drones, implants, totalitarian way of life, when on the street you can be arrested even just because you were in the wrong place and at the wrong time. In search of inspiration and references, I went to pinterest.
The first thing to do was to imagine what the whole scene would be like. For this I turned to my friend the artist Konstantin Tru. After some discussions, a trial sketch was taken. But ultimately, after one of the nights, when it came to me the insight of what I want to see (at night, all sorts of interesting thoughts often come in at night)
But before the inspiration itself came, several versions of the sketch were tried out, but none of them was worthy of mention and therefore went into oblivion.
By the way, the search for the concept of employment is far from trivial and I was once again convinced that in our time, having all the tools for implementation, the idea is more valuable
But back to our process of creating the project Nomad (yes, I completely forgot to mention that nomads in my idea are a group of mercenaries persecuted by the totalitarian regime who have devoted their whole lives to carrying the ideology of freedom and fighting the tyranny of the authorities, precisely because of the desire for freedom, they are not linger on one place and constantly on the road, so people called them nomads). After approving the final concept, I decided to play with color to somehow materialize my idea (for this purpose, my first paid asset, Surveillance / Antipersonnel Drone, was bought, which in the end fit very well into the main idea, and was also adopted an excellent free ATM asset).
The next step to creating the scene, after I found and chose for myself the reference, was determined with color variations and my friend the artist (Konstantin Tru) drew several sketches - this is a search for the appropriate assets. This stage took not a small fraction of the time to review everything that could potentially come up or parts of what I could use in my work. The first wonderful asset (also free) that I used was "Julai Models". Based on this set, the upper part of the scene was collected, this asset perfectly suited to convey the atmosphere of a small street of a loaded, growing up, cyberpunk megapolis.
Another bought asset, which I'm not afraid to say, is just incredibly cool - Modular City Alley Paska. It was absolutely everything that I need, various modular parts of the building, doors, windows, pipes and wires, various urban lines - garbage, wires, signs, signs ... you can count all the time, all this you can see in the final work. But for an additional variety, I again turned to Kostya, so he made some more street signs in the oriental style (they were very lacking for that asset).
After many days of painstaking work - creating the upper part of the scene, creating a lower scene chatsi, a lot of small details (my craving for detail did not bother me), constant samples of different location of neon signs, different intensity of glow, dances with a tambourine in the Ligthing tab, objects of the environment was ready.
When the scene was ready, it remains to add to it the "same" atmosphere. The main tool for this was free asset on github - Volometric Ligchting from Unity of Technology. This was my first experience with 3D lighting in Unity and I hope I coped with it. It is worth mentioning some of the difficulties that I encountered - the queue of rendering in shaders. Because in my scene it's raining (well, where is the cyberpunk without rain) I used the standard shader for puddle decals and a standard particle shader for the rain and puddles, but because they have a queue of rendering in the shader as a Transparent, in the game window they were drawn over the fog, which created a very unpleasant sensation. To solve this problem without a global study and a partial rewriting of the fog shader, I decided to just slightly cheat. Namely - slightly rewrote the GUI for the inspector of these shaders so that the adjustment of the rendering queue is not controlled by the condition for the selected Enum value, but is set directly by the entered number.
The penultimate stage of the creation of the scene was the work with all the known instruments - Cinemachine, Timeline and post processing of stacks. If I have worked with post processing very actively before, then the first two tools got into my hands for the first time (well, or almost for the first time, I try all the innovations in Unity after every beta release). But I want to say something with confidence, even despite some small bugs, like incorrectly setting up an off-line for clips in the timeline, which is why everything in the scene window looks good, and in the game window it shows relatively 0 coordinates, or strange camera turns when mixing virtual cameras, the blessing for all such situations I managed to come up with the workaround, these are some of the coolest latest innovations that you absolutely need to take into service for every Unity developer.
And finally the final stage was the installation of audio in the Sony Vegas program on the video recorded from the engine, recorded via Unity Recorder. Because participation in the event I started on version 2017.2.0f3 then I could not use the above asset for sound recording. And the painless transition to the new version failed, because CINEMACHINE v2.1 Release Candidate behaved strangely and I did not have time to understand the reasons.
I would like to mention one more point. Because before that I worked mostly with 2D games and not complicated 3D scenes, I did not have the opportunity to practice with lighting and reflections. All these possibilities I knew only in theory on the basis of what I had studied in the documentation, but there is nothing better than practice, and in this I was helped by the wonderful course of Swords and Shovels, which I acquired literally a month before the challenge.
Oh and yes, I know that animations are sometimes clumsy, but what can I do, how did I manage xD
This concludes my narrative. You are a tough nut to crack if you get to this place! Thank you for your attention and good luck to everyone in the summing up!
Used paid assets:
Modular City Alley Pack (49.90$) - https://assetstore.unity.com/packages/3d/environments/urban/modular-city-alley-pack-65890
Electric zap - https://freesound.org/people/benjaminharveydesign/sounds/315918/
So the last day of work on the project has arrived :) The final stage is ready, the editing is completed, I can relax a little, pour out the stream of thoughts accumulated for the topic, as a post-mortem article :) Finally, tomorrow, I will show you my final creation!
The work rushes forward like a locomotive! The final stage of setting up animations and the final video is in progress! In the meantime, so that you do not forget about us, here's a random movie for you :) (camera angle is taken accidentally, it will not enter the final video)
While we have holidays in our country, it's time to work hard on the project :) Global work has been done with light and shadow, the translucence of decals of puddles through fog has been corrected, a more organic and less intense non-directional lighting is tuned! Finally, we started the stage of forming life on stage, added extras (for now, on Y-bot). Do not worry Y-bot who was struck in the head in order!
New update! (Yeah i know about decals through fog)
We finally completed the entourage of the main stage and connected it to the top! Now only more detailed work with fog, light, reflections and of course more beautiful animations, also in next iteration we will add SSR. Then breathe life into the scene characters and more details, and it's ready :)
Work is in full swing! We continue to fill the lower part of the stage with life, trash and trifles! Very soon, the top and bottom will unite in a single cyberpunk style! Also added cloth simulation!!
We prepare the lower part of the stage (while only the buildings, there are still a lot of pipes, wires, garbage, signs, etc. in front :) In the end, we will merge the lower part and the previously created upper part, and begin to work on setting the frame!
By the way, forgot to say! Now this images serves as a references!
I found some time and worked with the filling of the scene, tomorrow there will be a big update :) In the meantime, we made sculptures of the details of the exoskeleton of the central character! (Unfortunately, the character did not have time to finish, therefore the sculpts is not relevant)
Oooops! Very big blockage at work :( Did not have time to do anything today
Beauty in details. Added droplets dripping from the surfaces, well, a little bit of Humanoid animation tests through the timeline.
Added a little weather, color correction, work with the particles to create a light evaporation, which, in the future, will be very helpful to volumetric light and volumetric fog.
Created shader for rain ripples (based on Unity FX Glass Refraction Shader)
Yeah! New concept done :) Now scene prototyping in action! (Bottom view, without lighting\reflections setting, without post processing, only scene preparement) and small portion of cinemachine :)
Light calibration scene. And update concept. We decided to abandon the desert area and try to focus on the urban style.
All free assets prepared, now we started sculpt our main character :) (dirty sketch)