Hello again! This week around, our concentration was on visual effects, lighting, and animation. Though, we've been focusing time on refining some of our concept art from last week and creating more proxy models to shove in-engine. So! Let's get to some of the good stuff.
After some feedback last week, Lauren went back to fix up the line weight on her concept art so it was more thin, uniform, and Moebius-esque. Each of these images has a different type & combination of shading so we can see what type works best and how it can be improved.
The same could be said for the Temple Guard's design. The line weight was shifted to become more uniform and thin, and the crosshatching redone to fit more with the Moebius art. Some changes in color were also made.
This is how the ley line color currently in use could effect the crystals on both Vala's bow and her crystal adornments.
Steffen's been working on furthering environmental design concepts, specifically for the boss antechamber, the exterior environment setting, and the temple's cave setting. The initial mood pass for the Main Boss Chamber scene (top image) was leaning toward the dark side. So the new approach for lighting concept and color palette had to be addressed. Furthermore modularity is being kept strongly in mind so the level design process can be as efficient as possible for the rest of the team. As you can see above, we're already taking that efficiency in mind! The rock structures derived from Moebius' landscape drawings work in a power of 2 grid system. This way the LD's can quickly snap pieces together once the kit is assembled in 3D. Along with considering potential layouts for the chamber, where the climax will take place. We're taking these details into mind so we can design and build to an impressive - but realistic - scale.
Roselyn has also been working on more environmental layouts and design, keeping that same efficiency in mind.
On that topic of modularity, Andy has been working on some pretty impressive tools that will make the level designing process far more efficient for the designers and fully optimize the use of every 3D asset that'll be made.
With design concepts solidifying, Roselyn has made proxy models of every Shellek intended for the game. This way, we will be able to get a better idea of scale and how the models would look in engine. We'll be moving on to the next stage of proxy very soon and transition to creating game-res meshes after that to ensure that we have enough time for iteration.
Proxys are also being made for our human characters as well!
With VFX being one of our main focuses for this week, Ashley made some first passes at the visual effects she concepted and researched last week. There's a pass for the corrupted Ley Lines, the benevolent Ley Lines, atmospherics (which are chipped off crystal pieces that float in the air), and what Vala's arrows will look like.
The animation design document was finalized this week! We have a full list of anticipated animations for the game so we can truly have an idea of scope and how much time we may need to fully integrate each and every one intended. Having this all laid out in front of us will also give us a better idea of what actors we may need to motion capture Vala/The Temple Guard and what references to pull for when the Shellek animations begin.
One of our other tasks this week was posing characters according to the style of animation we have chosen and getting those poses into engine. As mentioned before, Vala is going to be motion captured. Because of that, these poses were pulled from photo sources. The poses you see above are:
1. Airborne arrow attack 2. Praying 3. A simple standing pose
4. Harnessing Ley Line energy 5. Kickboxing battle stance
And for more experimental poses ...
5. Tai Chi pose 6. Secondary Tai Chi pose 7. Landing (taken from Mayan warrior dance)
These poses highlight some avenues we could take for Vala, as they're not set in stone. Given her personality, Vala's own movements will likely be less exaggerated, more understated, and fluid. Though, there's some keepers among here!
Lighting has also been a focus for this week! For some, we took some inspiration from Moebius art to create the lighting set-ups. For others, we aimed for a central mood to convey and experimented with that. Lighting will be very important in selling the mood for Ley Lines! We still have some more exploration to undergo to the moods we want to convey perfectly. Nonetheless, we'll be keeping lighting in mind every step of the way!
For smaller details ...
We discussed the possibility of a unique language being conveyed in the Ley Lines world, similar to how Atlantians in Atlantis: The Lost Empire had their own unique language. Because we're using the Sami people as an influence, we took some Nordic runes (found in Sweden and Norway) and used them as a jumping point to create our own alphabet! There's plenty of crystals involved in it. Yep.
We'll be beginning work on the motion graphic very soon! So we worked on a storyboard for the opening sequence idea our Project Lead, Matt, had for the beginning of the game. We'll be exploring different camera angles and pacing to greater detail in the oncoming future. This video was to map out the general sequence of events.