Mar 2, 2014
Lately I've been playing around with displacement maps and other awesome time-saving modifiers and work flows in Blender. Every night I'll do these quick hour-long 3D sketches to try a new technique or idea that I have floating around, and like this one it ends up becoming a full project.
These shots are all pre-decimation (ie. not quite game-ready) but I'm pretty happy with the progress so I'm posting them anyways. So there! After I decimate everything it'll look virtually the same anyways, based on my tests.
Sooner or later I'll get this into a game engine, but for now these are all realtime Blender viewport grabs (with some slight colour correction and bloom added in Photoshop). Textures were made between Blender, Photoshop and CrazyBump.
This last shot is a birds-eye view of the map which I thought looked kind of cool. Backface culling is turned on so you can see inside of it.
(P.S. the torch flames are placeholder for now, I'll use some real particles when I get a chance.)
Feb 3, 2014
I've been meaning to post some of this stuff for ages now, finally sat down and got around to it. Here's some of the stuff that I've been working on for the past 2 years at Zynga on FarmVille 2. The game has a very illustrative style about it; everything we create is to look painterly and friendly, as if someone built everything with their bare hands. It's been an interesting challenge balancing the worn-down look; too little of it and the assets start to look really low poly (and they are, after all; buildings on average are around 1500 triangles, and decorations are around 150-300), but if there's too much wear-and-tear everything begins to look trashy and unappealing, so it keeps us on our toes.
Tool-wise I hop around Blender, Max, and Photoshop. After I have a block-out matching the concept art, I usually do an auto-unwrap followed with a simple flat colour bake from basic materials, and an ambient occlusion bake that's overlayed in Photoshop using a 'Soft Light' blend mode (using a 'Levels' Adjustment Layer on the AO to balance the lights and darks). I use Soft Light for my AO instead of Multiply since then the shadows don't default to black, instead they still retain the colour information of whatever surface they're shading. If I need things to get any darker I'll just duplicate both the AO and Levels and put them at the top of the Layer stack.
Anyways, I'm going to try and post some more stuff soon, I've literally worked on hundreds of assets over the past 2 years so it takes a lot of time to wrangle everything up, but at least now I have the Photoshop template built so it should be quicker (and I'll update the balloon one too, I made that one ages ago, haha). Enjoy!