Insights into Building VFX for Ghost of Tsushima

Matt Vainio, lead VFX artist, discussed in detail the VFX production for Ghost of Tsushima and shared the team’s approach to using weather conditions as quests indicators. 

Matt Vainio talked about VFX made for Ghost of Tsushima and shared some interesting insights into how the weather-based indication system in the game was built.  Matt discussed the creation of wind and the movement of everything from it, mud, and blood. 

The wind was the key goal for the team since they wanted to make sure everything was moving from it, including grass, plants and leaves. 

We didn’t originally intend for our global wind system to become a navigation mode until the Art Director for Ghost, Jason Connell, came to one of our lead engineers, Adrian Bentley, and me to ask if we could make the particles be the direction indicator for quests. Thus, the “windicator” was born. Our approach was not to try and build a pathing system to constantly change directions to avoid obstacles but to aim directly at the objective and leave the pathfinding to players. This was in large part because we wanted the player to be exploring, engaging their mind in the navigation process, and not following some sort of game UI without thinking. 

Matt Vainio via the article on PlayStation Blog 

To make it work smoothly, the VFX team worked closely together with the environment team to create separate controls which gave the VFX team more flexibility in making the game’s environment rich with different trees and their animation. 

Find out more about the team’s approach to particle systems and rigging the foliage as well as adding and animating animals for the environments on PlayStation Blog. 

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