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Very impressive article Jake! You are very talented.
nice article! i love seeing the breakdowns.
Antony O’Sullivan, an Environment Artist and World Builder at Quantum Soup Studios, has published the first part of an article on creating game-ready grass and vegetation for use within the Unity Game Engine. The paper focuses on the work with textures in Photoshop and there are tons of useful tips for you to check out. The artist states that it is all about the aesthetics and believability, so how do we achieve the desired look?
Here is a small piece of the article:
Padding and masking is one of the final stages in Photoshop for foliage texture creation, and should be given some consideration if the vegetation you are using is heading toward the more photo-real, transparent dependent pipeline.
1. Ensure your original texture has 2 layers to begin: your base_colour background type layer and a layer with all of your plant texture parts on
2. Copy the plant parts layer, and drag it beneath your original layer
3. Apply a Gaussian Blur filter to the copy layer
4. You should see some slight blurring if the radius of the blur is large enough
5. Copy this blurred layer a couple of times to increase the effect
6. Highlight all of the blurred layers and press CTRL+E to merge them into a single layer
7. Repeat steps 3-5 for a stronger effect!
This process helps the outside edge of the visible parts of a texture the further away we get from it in engine. Leaving areas to a solid colour can sometimes cause the white ‘halo’ effect we sometimes see around leaves and grass in games.
The developer is currently working with the team of Quantum Soup Studios on a game called TALESINGER: Voice of the Dragon, so these tips and tricks are battle-tested. Make sure to read the full first part on working with grass textures in Unity here.