Sunday, May 19, 2013

The weekend of Texturing and Shader Experimentation

Hey everybody!

It has been a month already since the last blog post where I did shader testing as a tribute to Mirror's Edge. Again it was a very busy period for me and my PC had to be repaired (again). This weekend I had some time left and after playing Gears of War Judgment, which I like very much due to the artistic style. Because of that I had decided to mess around with some texture creation that is dedicated to this art style and thought it was time to step up the shader work a bit more.

I had a lot of fun just experimenting with shaders in combination with the textures I've sculpted over the weekend. Not just the sculpting was amazing, creating these detailed assets, also doing the texture baking in Zbrush was fairly new. After baking these textures and finalizing them in Photoshop, I started working on the shader in UDK.

The main goal was to get as much shader variation as possible with the least amount of textures and shader instructions. Basicly nothing is hardcoded in the shader, every mask, texture input and switch can be controller with a material instance. This isn't just only cheaper on GPU load but also has more (art) consistency.

With that in mind, you can very easily create a complete level based on just one or two materials, all you have to do is overwrite a few diffuse and normal maps to make the scene more interesting. I didn't use any unique specular maps, for efficiency, these are done in a texture-mask or based on the diffuse texture with a few parameter tweaks.

I had a small to-do list in mind (shown below per material).

  • Vertex Paint controlled Color Overlay (multiple color combinations for the painted brick "effect")
  • Dirt variation within shader (optional to use Dripping dirt or General Grime Dirt, or both)
  • Additional variation
  • Detail normal texture for high-res look
  • 4 variation with 1 texture
  • Painted concrete effect
  • Damaged concrete states (applicable with vertex paint)
  • Additional concrete masks for extra modularity
  • Detail normal texture for high-res look
Sorry for the guys who'd like to see more in-depth stuff about this. Let me know if you'd like to know more about the shader work, then I'll rewrite it, else I'm not sure if anyone is going to read that stuff at all!

Oh and please don't forget to drop a comment!

update: I've added another texture that was finished shortly after writing the blog post.

Stefan Groenewoud
Freelance 3D-artist

I am just sharing my thoughts and interesting artwork to other artists out there. This blog is used for educational purposes and/or tracking of Stefan Groenewoud his personal work.