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Help needed with the look of an environment for our Unity game

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omatase polycounter lvl 4

I'm trying to get a specific look for a 3D environment that I'm having built for my game. My 3D environment artist is fantastic and has done a fabulous job so far. We are, however, having a hard time with the leaves in the environment not quite matching my reference artwork and was hoping if I had a few more eyes on it someone will be able to suggest something that will help improve them.

My environment guy is working off a concept piece and a reference piece. The concept piece isn't important for this question because the leaf shape and texture is supposed to match the reference art. Here is the reference art:



and here is the current state of the implemented environment:



The leaves look quite a bit different, but we're kind of stuck on how to fix that. The leaves in the final version should be the same style and look as those in the reference. I'm open to all input even those that might not be really good for performance, just so we know what we're looking at but in the end only something that can perform well on a mid-range system in realtime will be workable.

Thanks for any help!

Replies

  • Eric Chadwick
    Reference art is a 3d render itself, so it'll be fairly easy to replicate the look in a game engine.

    The foliage has a flat-colored spheroid in the middle, and alpha-tested planes have been pasted all over the outside. There appear to be two sizes of planes used, a bigger one with a many-leaved texture, and a smaller one with a 4- or 5-lobed leaf texture.

    The larger planes have been aligned to the surface normal of the spheroid, while the smaller planes appear to be more randomly aligned, and are probably 2-sided.

    The color is very flat, so no need for a normal map (as was used in your enviro artist's attempt). The trick to getting this to work is to edit the vertex normals. An example: http://wiki.polycount.com/wiki/Foliage#Foliage_Examples (this uses crossing-planes leaves, but you would use flat planes instead). Many methods to edit the vertex normals: http://wiki.polycount.com/wiki/VertexNormal#Editing_Normals
  • Eric Chadwick
    Also, I moved this out of 3D Showcase and into Technical Talk, as it seems like you're looking for technical help, rather than artistic critique.
  • RyanB
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    RyanB Polycount Sponsor
    Too much detail - use LODs to lower detail level on things not directly in front of camera
    Too much contrast in grass colours
    Darks are black, should be brighter and coloured
    Compare the broken column on the left of your image vs. the mid-ground trees on the left in the reference art
    Bring fog in closer
    Write a shader to adjust lightmap levels (Unity already multiplies lightmap levels by varying amounts for each platform)
    Your grass shader needs to take fog into account. 
    Reference has better composition and clear elements.
    Don't model each leaf, use an impressionistic watercolour style painting for the trees
    ex.
     
  • omatase
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    omatase polycounter lvl 4
    Also, I moved this out of 3D Showcase and into Technical Talk, as it seems like you're looking for technical help, rather than artistic critique.
    OK, awesome appreciate it Eric.
  • omatase
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    omatase polycounter lvl 4

    Reference art is a 3d render itself, so it'll be fairly easy to replicate the look in a game engine.

    The foliage has a flat-colored spheroid in the middle, and alpha-tested planes have been pasted all over the outside. There appear to be two sizes of planes used, a bigger one with a many-leaved texture, and a smaller one with a 4- or 5-lobed leaf texture.

    The larger planes have been aligned to the surface normal of the spheroid, while the smaller planes appear to be more randomly aligned, and are probably 2-sided.

    The color is very flat, so no need for a normal map (as was used in your enviro artist's attempt). The trick to getting this to work is to edit the vertex normals. An example: http://wiki.polycount.com/wiki/Foliage#Foliage_Examples (this uses crossing-planes leaves, but you would use flat planes instead). Many methods to edit the vertex normals: http://wiki.polycount.com/wiki/VertexNormal#Editing_Normals
    Thank you so much for taking the time to provide feedback!
  • omatase
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    omatase polycounter lvl 4

    RyanB said:
    Too much detail - use LODs to lower detail level on things not directly in front of camera
    Too much contrast in grass colours
    Darks are black, should be brighter and coloured
    Compare the broken column on the left of your image vs. the mid-ground trees on the left in the reference art
    Bring fog in closer
    Write a shader to adjust lightmap levels (Unity already multiplies lightmap levels by varying amounts for each platform)
    Your grass shader needs to take fog into account. 
    Reference has better composition and clear elements.
    Don't model each leaf, use an impressionistic watercolour style painting for the trees
    ex.
     
    Thank you Ryan, I appreciate the feedback!.
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