Lacuna Passage - Devlog #52 - The Bridge Art Progress 3

The Bridge is complete and fully integrated with Unity 5. We have been working hard to update our assets to the new Unity standard shader, and we really think it has paid off. Our workflow is more streamlined than ever with the use of physically based rendering (PBR) and real-world material properties. We have always utilized the Quixel Suite to tweak our normal maps and create base textures, but only recently were we able to make use of Quixel’s built in PBR map generation thanks to this new shader in Unity 5.

We start by creating a base model and high poly for normal mapping. Then we transition to Quixel’s nDo for normal map tweaking. This allows us to make normal map changes within Photoshop using custom shapes and selections.

Once we have our normal map complete, we create a color map, or ID map, that separates the different material sections for our final textures. Quixel has a color swatch dedicated to each of their base materials, so we simply find the material we want using our own custom material previewer in Unity and apply the proper swatch to that area of the color map.

Next is where the magic happens. Quixel's dDo then takes all the information from our normal map and color map to generate base diffuse, specular, and gloss maps accurate to their real-world counterparts.

From there we simply tweak the maps to suit our needs and place the assets into Unity. The end result is a scene with physically accurate materials made to react with light as they would in the real world. Here is a comparison of the importance texturing and lighting brings to a scene:

But, just showing off screenshots doesn't fully capture the look and feel of walking through the Bridge, so this time we decided a video walkthrough would be appropriate. Here’s a quick look at the Bridge of Foundation Base:

If you're wondering what the Bridge will look like from the exterior, check out the last art devlog post here.

Lacuna Passage - Devlog #50 - The Bridge Art Progress 2

The next large asset for Foundation Base is nearly complete. The Bridge, or the pressurized walkway, is a large raised platform that spans between all other structures at Foundation Base.  There is also a dock for access to the Pressurized Roving Transport, or PRT. Here are some screenshots of the final look for the exterior of the Bridge:

You will notice that the same translucent canvas from the Greenhouse also surrounds the Bridge.  It is designed to be a durable, flexible, and repairable material that reflects harmful UV rays and holds pressure.  The modular design is suitable for any terrain or elevation variance between the other structures.

In the next week or so we plan on tidying up the interior elements of the Bridge. We are also starting to experiment with an upgrade from Unity 4.6 to 5.1. This would be a big change for us, so hopefully by our next devlog we should have an answer as to how feasible it would be for us to transition.

Lacuna Passage - Devlog #49 - The Bridge Art Progress

Over the last few weeks we have been able to shift most of our art development back to Lacuna Passage.  In our last art devlog we showcased the Habitat with shots taken from our PAX East demo, as well as the look of Foundation Base when approaching on foot. Now we are working hard on the next major art asset for Foundation Base, the Bridge.  The Bridge is a pressurized walkway that connects the Habitat, Greenhouse, and Workshop together.  Here are some work-in-progress shots:

You may notice that the Bridge is made up of a plastic similar similar to that of the Greenhouse.  The frame and supports are designed to be suitable for variance in the terrain and flexibility.  The central hub that forms the intersection of the Bridge serves as a pressurized dock for the PRT (Pressurized Roving Transport).  Eventually there will also be attached docking bays for smaller remotely operated scout rovers.

There is still a lot of work to be done on this piece, but we are quite happy with the look so far.  We hope to have the Bridge complete and textured by the end of the month, so be sure to check back next month to see what comes of it.