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Arthur Bourdot did a very nice breakdown, talking about the creation of a very cute little diorama, which was made entirely out of simple primitives.
Hi everybody. My name is Arthur Bourdot, I left the Gerges Méliès School, which was situated near Paris, two years ago. I’m working as a 3D generalist freelancer and I’m developing my own video game project. You can check some of my visual art here. Shortly after my graduation, I loved realistic and detailed renders. Today, I realize that you can tell a lot in your works with so little. I’m a huge fan of old video games like the first Tomb Raider or Half-life. The developer teams needed to focus on colors and shapes, imagination of the player did the rest.
The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker was my first game on consoles. It was incredible to a 10-years-old child to discover that huge ocean, and I think it will be my favorite game of all time. Nintendo had a good idea for the visual style and tried to make the characters and landscapes minimalistic. And for a long time, I wanted to pay homage to that approach.
The model was not built using realistic primitives, instead, I decided to have a leitmotiv of cylinders and spheres to keep this aspect of the model faithful to the game. Arms and legs were the only pipes with spheres on them. There was no complex setup, only parental links between meshes. It was easy to pose the model based on Links figurines or concept arts.
The cumuli were very simple. I used groups of two or three semi-spheres which I could scale and rotate. The clouds were placed not too far, to simulate the mock-up look. The hair is visually simple but it took half of the work on the model to make it. I focused on lines of force to keep it dynamic. At first, Link looked like Trump… so I decided to revise the hair and try to suggest movement in its design. The grass was made of duplicated triangles only.
Water is here to match the style of Link. It needs to be simple, without too much detail. I think the water texture with foam was copied into a lot of indie games, so it was better to use something else, like this circle around the character. The waves gave a sense of perspective in the original game, so I recreated the effect with simple triangle planes.
As for the lighting: one directional light and one ambient. I knew I would use the “Arche Pinetree” environment to simulate reflection from the floor, so I made the circle orange. And a combination of orange and blue looks beautiful. Effects like vignette or grain are set to low intensity so as to not obstruct visibility.
Arthur Bourdot, 3D Artist
Interview conducted by Kirill Tokarev