We're a team of cg artist working on a futuristic video game. The Neon challenge is, for us, a way to work on one of our concept created for the game. To push our limit and test what we're able to do.
Based upon a concept of Fabrice Druet, our 2D artist. we try to preserve the comics touch of his drawing in our 3D
Once upon a time, this desert city was the jewel built by one of the major corporation that ruled the world. A mean to impress and shine upon the rest of humankind, the city was so perfect to the point of inhumanity.
In present time, in the now abandoned city a drone roams and as he stops for maintenance on a mechanism, it resurrects the city from its deep slumber.
We wish to try and model all the asset ourself based upon the need to preserve our guide style.
Time is already running out, off we go to work !
As the global setup takes place in a desert area, global lighting is quite strong. So the difficult part is to get the other lights right, by adding a subtle touch, to reach the atmosphere we want.
As mentionned before, we are looking for a final render that looks like a comic book style. So we need a toon shader for that particular render. We are using the toony colors pro:
Now time for an overview of the city with modeling and texture place, as the team continue to work on it, we bring our focus on shader and lighting.
One of the major part of the cinematic is the mechanism of the astrolab that controls the city, and here is a short presentation of it's breakdown.
Here is a short video illustrating a few breakdowns about how we do things with examples from the drone and 2 buildings.
Most of the comic style is injected inside the texture, trying to keep the polycount as low as possible, it’s a video game after all.
So now the preparation is finished and we start the true production : starting with the final blockout of the city and the terrain by placing the first modelisation and duplicating it. Here the objective is to give true form to the initial idea.
Having updated the blockout, we now place the camera and start creating the clip for the 3D animated storyboard. Using cinemachine and the timeline, here is the first try which will serve as a base to upgrade the overall city.
Before starting the process of creation for the first animation intention using cinemachine, we needed to define more precisely the structure of our city, so we asked our artist to create another view of the city. The hard part is always to give a 3D logic to a 2D composition.
This time we worked on the water, using custom shader we tried to find a balance between a good realistic depth perception and a semi cartoon style, in other words to find the slight touch of realism that will blend well with the targeted comics style of the illustration.
After that, we extended the cliff in order to surround the city completely on one side and defined it more precisely by modelling it. Lastly we create a basic ambient light.
Here is the result:
We start by creating a blockout of the city, to visualise space, and set an idea of the scene for the future camera to roam.
This was created by using pro builder and based upon the artwork of fabrice. Here is the result of this first step.