Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Light volumes - animated character

Similar to my previous post but with an animated character this time round.

Animated Character
I went about texturing this model a little differently to usual so I thought I'd mention it. I'd normally lay out the UV's, pick a few nice base textures and start painting away in photoshop. I thought I'd try something different this time round, it's a technique I've seen used in lots of places and I was keen to try it. Instead of manually painting in all the rusted / chipped areas (which is actually a lot of fun) you use a bunch of masks and procedural noise to blend between different surface types. The image below shows a rust mask built from ambient occlusion, cavity, 3d noise and a scratchy bitmap. The ao and cavity maps provide rusted areas in the grooves and worn edges while the noise and scratch maps provide general wear and tear.

Below is the resulting texture map, rendered straight from the material editor. It could definitely use a pass in photoshop to add some more specific detail but it's fine for the time being. Rendering out spec and bump maps was also very easy.

With the textures done I animated a walk and idle cycle and exported the character into the engine. I've spent a lot of time on the mesh and animation exporter so thankfully the process isn't painful.

Okay, onto the actual video which came together pretty quickly. I already had a very basic animation system in place but it doesn't support blending so the animations do pop a bit. I also had to manually control the camera so the camera work isn't as smooth as the other videos. Environment wise I'm still using the same volume textures but I have boosted their contribution to the light buffer.

That's all folks, don't forget to switch it over to HD, hope you enjoy and thanks for reading :)


Josh said...

Firstly, awesome. Secondly, any chance we could also see the animated character with the untextured diffuse & specular to see how it varies around the level?

Josh said...

I was wondering if I could suggest an experiment to you, since you are much further along with Lighting Volumes than I am.

Basically, it centers around the comment Monolith made about accumulating both GI and Area Lights in their Lighting Volumes. Since the volumes can be applied like a dynamic light, I wondered how effective it would be to store a single area light in a volume, and apply it like a dynamic light separate from the static volume. This way, you could have dynamic lights with complex shapes, but not have complex calculations. If it was monochrome, you could even set the color. Obviously, it wouldn't be shadowed, but it could still be effective.

Maybe I'm just crazy, but I thought it might be worth a look. ;)

Stefan Kamoda said...

Sure thing, I meant to post some untextured shots of the robot but ran out of time. I'll add them soon.

I think the volume light idea is mentioned at the end of this splinter cell talk. At least it seems similiar.

There aren't many details given but it could be the same thing.

Post a Comment