Producing Natural Materials with Nikon D90
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by petr luchko
49 min ago

awesome work!such works inspire

can't understand what he said

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Producing Natural Materials with Nikon D90
16 September, 2016
Interview

French artist Turboscalpeur talked about his work with virtual grass assets and shared some details of the production process. These assets could be actually used anywhere: Unity, 3ds Max, Blender and so on.  

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Introduction

Hi, my nickname is turboscalpeur, I’m from France and I am working on creating Natural Environments for the game industry. I grew up in Paris where I studied human sciences first, then moved to Montpellier on the South of France to study landscape design & botanic; I worked several years in different kinds of gardens, mostly Mediterranean.

At the same time, I have been playing games since my childhood, titles as Another World, Lemmings, Sabotage, Dune etc. until getting evolved in 2010, discovering Bethesda’s Games like TESIV: Oblivion, Fallout 3, TESV: Skyrim to mention only a few. Then I discovered the Modding Community.

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At the beginning, it has been only a hobby to me to modify or enhance Vanilla’s Data from Games; one thing led to another, I first heard about Unity in 2012 and started to produce more and more textures from 2014 until today. I was lucky to meet some decisive people as Marcurios, Eric Chahi during these years recommending me to produce assets for games industry.

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For a long time passionate of nature and mostly plants, my studies, travels and different works allowed me to get a strong knowledge to produce grass assets.

Building Textures

At the moment I have a good old Nikon D90 (currently looking for a new camera though!); but without going into explaining every step of my production of grass textures, I can say that you can have the best Camera in the world and not get the best results. Indeed, the “Eye” of the photographer and some important techniques/rules are the basics of all realistic texturing work.

I have different approaches to work, here is an example: from Photos to Softs Works to Packaging and finally to game scenes:

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It’s meticulous work; I can stay several days at the same natural area to make my pictures. I always take care of each detail on each grass, stems, flowers. I’m proud to say that I have produced already more than 300 Grass Textures for a lot of different environments and there are a lot of new ones to come! I’m also learning to build meshes, shaders for grass! If you’re interested in my process feel free to visit my Unity forum thread here.

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What are the biggest difficulties of using these materials in games?

The biggest difficulties of using grass in games are obviously about the performance. That part of work is very hard to compromise with high-quality materials.

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I have already made some different investigations in the Unity 5 to settle grass with a high-quality level and keep great performances at the same time.

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I found a very interesting way to use very small terrains tiled and optimized each time using some complementary assets. I’m also looking at creating compiled textures files, directly attached to Meshes as in some of Bethesda’s games. This way you can manage to get a full field and/or a forested area, for example, for an entire game without losing your FPS.

How can we work with your assets? Are they flexible enough?

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My Assets are currently working with Unity. But as they are  .psd files, so they can being used in any engine or software (3ds Max, Maya, Blender). I’m planning to expand a good part of my production to others engines.

Unity is it’s pretty easy to use. If you want simple paint details, just drag & drop every grass you want to use in each terrain inspector, then stay on the scattering part, using brushes or terrain editors or something else. My assets are fully compatible.

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You also can customize them with meshes or shaders in order to get even better results!

Turboscalpeur, 3d artist

Interview conducted by Kirill Tokarev

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