I am a gamer since childhood but not your regular one :) I consider myself to be a hardcore enthusiast. I love to gather data about games, old or new, keep track of the mainstream gaming media and always be up to date about the gaming community. I was always that one kid you go to ask about which games to play, which games are cool and which aren't. Coming from an already established After Effects design past, this inevitably lead me to game design as well.
Shortly, I graduated from Istanbul Technical University - Music Technologies / Sound Engineering program. Following my graduation, an unexpected journey took off as a photoshop banner artist in a locally known e-commerce website. Leaving the "plaza" life behind, I quickly left there and joined Filmkitchen. Meeting the most amazing boss I've ever known in my lifei I started to design motion graphics in there, elevating my work from still images to animated ones. After 6 years of heavy schedules of gigantic medical firms, we also decided to take on some minor digital interactions for those firms as well.
At that point, came Unity. I immediately fell in love with Unity after trying a few tutorials out. Since that day, I've been designin both B2B games and B2C games for numerous companies including our own Chief Games.
This is my short summary :) You may visit my linkedin page for longer ones.
"Well... We are social creatures after all"
Said the old man in a disappointed but obedient voice. He clearly did not like the idea.
"Folks started to adapt that damn social media in their lives even more after The Intervolution. You know that day when the quantum mumbo jumbo computers came in? Yeah... So people began to stop talking to each other more and more by the day." The old man took a sip from his giga-beer. A pink-ish heavy beer created using data crystals. He yawned.
"After that day, posts, likes, photos and everything...They were posted everywheren rapidly in gigantic amounts. Then there comes this guy. Can't remember the name but I guess it was something like eola or aeolia and chenborg was the surname. This guy succesfully turned people's posts into real physical crystals. Later on, his son found a way to generate electricity from mining those data crystals and here we are."
This is the rough setting of Social Electricity's world. There's no concept I based my work on but I did immediately think about a half-distopic / half-futuristic world when I heard about the challenge. It was just a moment of inspiration came from my mind.
Now about the scene; There's still a lot to do but the main idea is out there. I think the visuals and the first WIP video shows quite a good ambiance and feel.
The making of video is at the bottom. I recorded my entire process of approx. 20 hours and uploaded a fast-forward 30 minute version to YouTube.
Well my inspiration mainly was just an image appeared immediately in my mind but after I imagined it, I started to look for similiarities in other media like movies, games and such. My image was clear but it had to be credible as well so I started to match parts of my imagination process to existing scenery.
Probably can't provide images due to copyright issues, not sure, but all the inspirational items I thought of/encountered are very well known, in fact more than enough for you to gather the big picture.
-Interstellar (A bit of color, interiors),
-Mass Effect Trilogy (Main Inspiration, main color, exteriors, interiors and particles, fx, look & feel)
-Mr Robot (Dystopian government style video, presentation video, setting inspiration, e-corp, especially the "taxes" word)
-Black Mirror (Social Media problems-dilemmas)
-Cryptocurrencies (Seriously; mining chunks of data, heavy duty mining, powerful mining stations)
UPDATE 4 SS (Character addition):
UPDATE 2 Screenshots:
The total process is recorded and split into 2 parts, building the scene and Cinemachine. You can see the videos at the bottom. But here are some screenshots from the video, doing some explaining.
I started my scene with an image of a facility, gathering data from a large orb in my head. That was my inspirational vision. No real concept art :) So I started to search for some sci-fi building assets and found the one I mentioned earlier.
With only a terrain, I started building the facility. It had to feel like a colony/prefabric settlement with heavy duty mining equipment/buildings.
I realized that the emissive on Unity Standard Shader is not what I'm looking for. It felt too much so I created my own shader with Amplify for Emissive materials like lights obviously. It had to respond well to baking so I decided to go with the most simplistic way of having an emissive material.
As soon as I envisioned lights in my head, It had to feel at least authentic to the scene of any iconic sci-fi world so I decided to build up a rough post-processing stack in order to at least get pretty standard ideas off my way. I immediately thought of Mass Effect trilogy, Star Wars The Force Unleashed, Unreal Tournament and Dead Space along with some movies like Interstellar in terms of ambiance and all I could think of was ice-blue everywhere :)
Adding my own metal shader for anything metal. At first, I had that chrome-like shiny and heavily reflective look in my mind but when I thought about my favorite car color - MATTE black-, I switched to a more matte polished version of a metal. Thus, the Amplify process. Had some problems with the normal map especially the intensity part but solved it nonetheless.
This Generic surface material is essentially used for every building in the scene. I had to create something generic because the facility had to look like it was quickly built up from already used and known schematics for years. In an ideal setting, clever engineers and designers would eventually come up with a 'perfect' material for such settlements. Thus, Amplify again :)
Added the skybox. Deciding it was hard, you can check from the making of video that I had a lot of trouble finding a suitable one. Every single skybox I could find was so definitive of the scene but I needed one that does not come so upfront and powerful but just 'there' instead. It had to look pale and dull since this was going to be a half-dystopian setting.
Set the textures for the terrain. The world in my image had some purple goo in it. So when I thought of purple, I immediately remembered that Dreamscapes 2.0 had pretty good purple crystals. So the goo, became solid crystals which are called Data Crystals in the narrative. So that resulted in the ground having the same crystal texture which corresponded to the general look&feel of the scene.
Placing that big Orb there just roughly completed the image I had when I first started the project. All the objects I envisioned were there. Now after this step, I had to start refining and fine-tuning my scene. Especially the lightning and baking along with some detail objects.
Trying some special effects from my own package Awesome Effects - Complete Bundle. I needed a burning effect but It had to feel also chemical, not just flaming. So to compliment the scene further, I decided to go with blue flame, tweaking it to a more realistic version later on.
Added many more Awesome Effects to the scene thinking that there could be some visible electricity and heavy smoke could also compliment the feeling of extraction,mining and a heavy duty facility with corresponding machinery. Gave up on the visible electricity later though. Smoke was also gone due to the light from volumetric lights proving well enough.
Improving and trying different light settings. Without baking, I could not gather much of a sight related to real lightning so I decided just to put the lights where needed and concern about how they look later when I finally cook them. Along with emissive materials, I tried to go as resonable as possible for a facility with few workers also living in it.
Added many other detail objects. I looked at the scene from this point of view and asked myself questions like these; "Does anybody truly live and work here? How do they live? How sloppy are they with their work since it's a dirty job and a dangerous one?" And thus came the details. Some scientists left some crystals to be inspected, some still didn't dispose of chemical trash etc etc...
Realised that I was missing one important object. Huge lines of thick cables connecting to the big sphere of human data. You can guess this one: I was inspired the Matrix's Machine City; Power Lines :) Of course this also needed to be humanized as we mostly tend to ignore how our cables stay and look if they do their job. Could not found an easy/quick solution, created one on C4D.
The facility was nearly complete. At this time, with volumetric lights on, I already tried a few very very very small and low quality lightmappings in order to get a general idea of what was going on with baking.
Thus, I tweaked the post a little more but at last, the scene was near its final state before lightmapping.
The facility was missing a sign! :)) Quite funny and forgetful of me but I thought that I should come up with a good one. This was going to be a government facility mining people's data to produce electricity. So I had to come up with a BAD one to make it believable :)))
Making of video is here. Please beware that this is a heavily rough cut. Nearly no part's been cut except hardcore long coffee breaks. Even some heavy waits are still there :) But you'll get the idea.
UPDATE 4: Characters, workers added and Cinemachine improvements.
I put a lot of hours to thinking what could make WIP 2 video better to suit the challenge. The project presented what it needed to but it was missing a certain part; Using cinemachine to follow characters around.
So I decided to add characters but for the scenario, this facility was to work almost-completely automated. That's why I searched for roobot assets on the assetstore and found a quite simple tiny robot workers pack which was just the perfect addition to the scenery considering all parts from artistic side to scenario.
Thus, I added them along with cinemachine/timeline improvements. Latest SS from the timeline;
One problem I had encountered was animating the position of an already animated object. And "Apply Root Motion" being checked or unchecked did not differ. You can check the problem in the final 'Cinemachine making of' video I've posted. I solved it by wrapping the animated robots under a parent object and then animated that parent's position in the timeline. That way I achieved what I wanted to do.
UPDATE 3: Cinemachine added!
After the better lightmapping and terrain updates, I finally focused on Cinemachine. It's quite an amazing feature I must say. Especially the transition-ability of it is a great asset for someone who has a huge video editing background. While not necessarily advanced, it does the job you need quite efficiently.
My objective was to use Cinemachine as a general scene mover. Not as a character focus camera. The main obstacle I encountered was the Follow/Look At mechanics. At first, I tried the dolly track obviously but, while using many cameras and many dolly tracks seemed an OK workflow, animating each dolly track with keyframes without the ability to attach to a cinemachine camera track was hard. Although I was even gonna be OK with that, the additional need of another layer of keyframes for just animating the rotation ended it for me. I had to find another solution. Without an object to look at/follow, cinemachine cameras were just pretty useless I realized.
But fortunately, I solved it easily and quickly enough. I created 2 cameras with the starting and end position I wished to see and transitioned between them. VOILA! It was essentialy just a position/rotation movement from one camera to another just like a Lerp function. So that was it, using this 2 very similiar camera transition method, I could animate my entire movie just with only single cinemachine track :)
And the result is the Final Video (probably) above. Enjoy :)
UPDATE 2: New Screenshots arrived!
Took a newer approach to lightning and especially lightmapping. Cinemachine added and made the first part of the narrative talk. Will come with the Update 3 :) That was quite a work though. I tackled it a lot but found my own way to work a cinematic sequence out. Also reworked the Terrain completely. Lightning seems a lot better now...
It is a narrative project; almost,a factory presentation video in the world of Social Electricity. Just like any advertorial/informative video seen today with biased info, fake numbers and a narrative "calm" (but heavily annoying) voice and a no-feeling (literally no-feeling) music in the background.
I started the recording of first 25 seconds and I aim the video to be about a minute. The purpose is to present the twisted, dark and corrupt world of Social Electricity which is unintentedly distopic and cynical while all people think it's great what they have.
The video will do all the explaining. For now, enjoy the new screenshots below.