Graphics play a large role in making a game immersive and engaging. As such, our graphics team has been focusing on how to best render the environments for our different areas in the BurntOut game. One of the team members details how he set about to create the elevator and computer assets that will be key to this process.


External Environment Inventory – Elevator

The external spaces of the BurntOut navigation are extremely important, as they will transport the player between scenarios, allow them to access to Replenishment Room, and navigate between levels. As such, we have been concentrating our attention on the construction of the elevator concept.

We decided to build the elevator out of separate pieces for the sake of possibly having to scale the elevator size later in Unity. The pieces are broken down into the following list:

  • External doorway/wall
  • Internal doorway with button panel
  • 4 individual sliding doors
  • Internal wall panels, which can be duplicated to create the walls of the elevator cab
  • Elevator floor
  • Elevator ceiling with recessed lights.
  • The railing that runs along the three solid walls of the elevator cab
 

Internal Doorway

Internal Doorway

 

 

Wall Panel

Wall Panel

 

 

Floor

Floor

 

 

Railing

Railing

 

By modeling the wall, doors, and cab separately, the elevator will be able to accommodate any opening/closing and actual movement animations.

And by using normal and height maps, I was able to add a lot of detail to the button panel on the elevator as well. I included 10 floors to indicate the 10 levels of the game, as well as buttons for the Vitality Space and main lobby. These buttons do not necessarily need to function, but they serve as an indicator of the game’s contents. They can also be changed out if necessary.

Internal Environment Inventory – Computer Components

We also looked into assets that we could create which could be re-used in multiple internal environments. One area we focused on this week were computer components, which can be used for any environment spaces that would require workstations, charting, etc.

The computer itself is broken down into four different parts:

 

Computer Tower

Computer Tower

 

 

Monitor

Monitor

 

 

Mouse

Mouse

 

 

Keyboard

Keyboard

 

The keyboard proved to be the most challenging but also the most interesting of the computer components to model. Each key is modeled individually. In order to add the key labels, I exported the UV map from Maya into Photoshop where I was able to type out the entire contents of the keyboard and align them with the shape of the model’s unwrapped UVs. I was then able to export this as an alpha which I imported into Substance Painter. Using this alpha as a stencil, I simply had to realign the keys in Substance and then it was just a matter of painting over the model to imprint all of the letters/numbers/symbols onto the keys all at once.

Substance Painter

All of these pieces were created in Substance Painter, which I had limited experience with. While I used the program throughout my senior year of college, culminating in my senior studio project, I did not have time to really dive deep into the program. However, Substance is the leading software in designing realistic textures, so I’m excited to finally have the capability to learn its ins and outs and push my own texturing work to a new level.

Now that I’ve had a few weeks to really practice with it, I’m feeling more confident working in Substance Painter and producing realistic materials. It implements a lot of great generative systems and projection modes that can really help stack level upon level of detail in order to fine-tune each individual texture on each object. While accuracy in modeling is important, it is the textures that will really sell the photo-realism in-game because of the way they catch and reflect light, and Substance is an essential part of this process. I’ve also come to really enjoy this part of the process now, too.

You can read more about the BurntOut game at its website and follow along with our development on the blogs.