Creating the style
After our initial style guide decisions and leaving Ella to annotate some selected images as well as work on preliminary research, we settled on a 3D world that reflected a small cute and cosy feel, a close comparison was that the houses looked as if they could be doll houses, designed for tiny people and thus the art style stemmed from this. Although there are several different racial styles per se within the game I wanted them all to have this consistent style, making it instantly recognisable, unique and something that I can develop an easy workflow from.
In regards to the environment, several key modelling techniques are universally used throughout the buildings, The core structure of the building is created first to scale and get an idea for the layout, this is the parent of all the models for consistency and ease of use. Bricks, doorways, tiles and windows are created on separate models and then placed on the core model. This is for modularity and allowing components to be reused. This speeds up the workflow considerably and prevents slowing down in the early stages of modelling as otherwise, I’d have to ensure the core model had exact geometry or leave it clean for easy cuts, however this bordered on another modelling element I wanted to avoid, destructive workflow, boolean, cutting, intersecting geometry and bending faces are all things that this workflow avoids, this not only causes models to not look right but also taxes the hardware further. Bending faces is optional however I prefer to not use smoothing across these models as more of an aesthetic design decision, this negates the hard and defined line that separates faces even on models with less than a 45-degree angle.
Modelling on different objects:
There is a rule that I learnt and I have found generally useful when creating 3D assets, that is that if the object you are trying to make it made up of multiple parts, a car, for example, has wheels that would have been made as would the windows etc, then they should more often than not be made separately, is brick detail on a house is being created this is far easier to be made separately. As I mentioned earlier, this is very useful for reusing assets, copying them and placing them elsewhere/
Chamfer can be a less used tool in modelling and is essentially used to multiply the vertices or selected geometry while maintaining the integrity of the model, this is very useful for curving harsh edges and is used frequently to decimate the mesh, on bricks this is used around the edges to simulate wear, this is usually not used on the core mesh as I prefer to keep this as intact and as low poly as possible to improve the speed at which I can modify it if necessary however window frames, pillars and arches are all good models to use this on to easily generate cracks and create a damaged look, this is also a healthy method to decimate the mesh as it’s mathematically generated to chamfer safe areas and prevent mesh issues that other decimation methods can have, it’s far less destructive and generally yields better results.
For the building, initially, they would be textured using substance painter however after testing the style in 3D I realised this simply wouldn't work, the detail is pulled out by the bright colourful design of the block textures and works well with the lighting, overdoing it will only take away rather than add, textures are also a logistical issue as they take a great deal of time to create
Left is the how the style should look, using simplistic model detail to develop cute small looking houses and structures
As I was the one that created the style along with visual guidance from Ella I quite like this art style, it was a process getting it right and I still feel there's room for improvement, I'd ideally like to add a little more character in a unique way to each of the buildings but that will have to be iterated on in semester two, in the meantime, figuring out a way to teach Bernie the style was a consideration of mine so I looked into how one could recreate the style with a series of tips/methods