Welcome any feedback about my translation.
Article from : Vertex Art 3Q !
Environment Texture Planning and Implementation by: Jeremy Huxley
____One of the great perks of working at Naughty Dog is that a lot of trust and responsibility is placed in the artists.Aside from a few rules, we were free to pretty much make Sandlantis whatever we wanted. When we started, Adam Littledale (the modeler) and I gathered a lot of reference. The initial concepts and color keys for the city were done,but the initial ideas were that the city would be in ruins. After a lot of internal discussion and debate among the directors and leads, we were instructed to go with a more fantastical look. This lost city was to be inspired more literally by the tales, thus making it relatively pristine, having working fountains and plant life with sprawling vistas.Considering that Ubar would have been thousands of years old and is virtually nonexistent we wanted to embrace the tale and the mysticism surrounding the city as it makes for more interesting story telling and exploration for the player. Creating this level was a huge challenge technically and artistically.
在頑匹狗工作最棒的好處之一，是有很多信任和責任賦予美術。除了一些規則，我們是相當自由的製作我們想要的Sandlantis(秘境3的場景)。當我們開始，Adam Littledale(模型師)和我收集許多資料，最初的為這城市的概念和關鍵色調已經完成，不過最初的想法是會被毀壞。經過多次互相討論，與導演和指導辯論。我們任命朝著更幻想的外觀前進。這遺落的城市，來自傳說的字面上激發，這讓它相對原始。蔓沿的藤蔓和植物的生命伴隨廣闊的遠景。考慮到Ubar 會是個千年久遠並且事實上不存在，我們想去抓住這城市周遭的傳說和神秘感，為那些玩家，讓它更具吸引力的故事和探險。製作這個關卡是相當大的技術和藝術挑戰。
____Over a few months we settled on key points concerning look and feel based on the initial sketches done by our concept artists, which is to say that it was inspired by pre-islamic architecture, our final revision was even more elaborate and in working condition. With these principles defined we set out to create the city and I am going to talk a little about how we as a team approached each problem and how I approached my own from a texturing perspective.
____Many ancient inventions came from this part of the world and we saw that as a great opportunity to compound styles while simultaneously adding interest and movement to the city. Having working parts after thousands of years tells the player that there is something strange about this place. The domes of the pavilions are crusted with jewels and jacinth, and are evocative of the tales and stories crossed with a subtle industrial style, in the end they look something like elaborate birdcages. There are pillars of marble and alabaster for
the heavy blocks which are described along with gold, silver and elaborate tile.
____Because we knew that Uncharted 3 would primarily be a desert game, we were very concerned about
the colors we were choosing, some of the palette had already been planned, but it had evolved a bit through-
out the production based on what was working harmoniously in the final levels. We were given the direction
that we couldn’t use red or a lot of warmer colors, because we had already had so many warmer toned
____We didn’t want the player to feel fatigued, so naturally we felt that it might be a good idea to move towards blue, warm white tones, gold and a few cool reds to make the textures more dynamic. In regards to art, Uncharted games are very concerned with creative use of color for visual impact and also conveying the
mood that best supports the story telling. Even though it might seem primarily cosmetic we always take great
care to choose color that evokes the desired emotional impact.
_____Once we were happy with the look for the exterior of the buildings, we shifted our focus on creating interesting interior spaces. We knew that Drake would be exploring interiors and eventually going into the subterranean areas of the city. Given the importance of water in this game, we decided on ancient palaces and bath houses.
_____Some of the most inspiring reference that we gathered included a lot of Orientalist paintings by artists such as Jean Gerome, Alma Tadema, William Allan, Eugene Delacroix, Gustav Bauernfeind and Jean-Jules Antoine. Orientalism naturally worked with the style we were going for, it definitely added dramatic flair and the idealization worked well for Uncharted’s hyper- realistic style.
我們收集最能激發人心的參考資料，包括大量東方繪畫，是由 Jean Gerome, Alma Tadema, William Allan, Eugene Delacroix, Gustav Bauernfeind and Jean-Jules Antoine繪製。東方主義自然地成為我們追求風格，它明確地增加戲劇天賦並且理想化，對於秘境的超現實主義風格。
_____These idealized paintings also mirrored the tales closely and were good tools when creating plausible textures when it came down to each marble slab, inlay, paver and jacinth. Initially my textures for the temples looked a little too noisy so one of the texture artists, Behrooz Roozbeh, pointed me in the direction of an artist Alma Tadema. Paying close attention to the austerity of some of Alma Tadema’s Marble palaces helped me balance the noise and the empty space better.
這些理想的繪畫也是更緊密反映故事，當製作合理貼圖，利用每個大理石板，鑲嵌，鋪磚，瑪瑙會是很好的工具。起初，我的貼圖是為寺廟設計，看起來有點雜亂，所以材質美術之一的Behrooz Roozbeh，指引我一個方向，藝術家Alma Tadema，仔細注意一些Alma Tadema的大理石宮殿之中的樸實。幫助我平衡雜訊和空白之間，變得更好。
_____Eventually, white alabaster and marble blocks worked the best as a base, and white is hard to get right in games, so it offered a fun challenge. Noise and empty space became a huge basis for making this style work.
_____Even though we had a precedent for not having any colors from the “warm” side of the color wheel in the level we ended up having a lot of colors that came rather close and the overall feel was rather warm. If it were all just analogous it felt too boring or too cold in terms of color, the player still needed to feel like they were deep in the Rub’ al Khali desert in this fantastic city, but we also wanted the look to be somewhat unexpected. In the end The warmth of the rocks, the gold, the marbles the tapestries and banners ended up giving us that third “accent” color that gave the level the kick that it needed. Textures in Uncharted 3 were all built from scratch in Z-brush, which is the primary method that we generate our textures at Naughty dog. Before I do anything, I like to start by doing a lot of rough sketches to better plan for my texture needs in a specific level. Here is an example shown below.
既使我們有一個先例，在關卡中，我們沒有任何顏色是在色相盤中屬於暖色調的，我們最終擁有許多來自較接近並且大多感覺較暖的顏色。如果只是類似感覺乏味或是太過冷色調，玩家仍然需要感受他們是在 Rub’ al Khali 沙漠深處的幻想都市。但是我們也希望外觀會是有些無法預期的。
_____It is easy to create a 1 to 1 texture that is self contained and have it look great, however due to the fact that we had sprawling vistas in over half of Sandlantis above and below ground, we had to create vast libraries almost all consisting of tiling textures that could be used all over and to get the levels completed within a reasonable time frame running at our desired frame rate. When planning a trim like the one shown above, I commonly used initial concepts by our artists and would try to pick out bits and pieces here and there that inspired me. I also used a lot of reference in books and online.
_____I searched for architecture, paintings and even sometimes jewelry or ornaments from that area and used small elements from each for ideas and color reference in my shaders. Quick sketches helped me work through how I could best replicate or embellish on sections of my texture without spending too much time on something that might not work in the end. The drawings on the right side above are some examples of an early texture concept I had done and then how I broke it down into its basic reusable elements. Once I had the larger details separated into easily manageable pieces I would then model these pieces in Maya. I didn’t worry too much about getting every detail modelled in, only the overall shape and size, all broad strokes.
_____Next I import these pieces into Zbrush, tesselate and then sculpt basic edges and warp the planes a little, creating and saving of different variants for the tools, similar to how Brad describes in his texturing tutorial. Once I had a few versions of these tools I could then start laying them out on the canvas, offsetting to be sure that each strip tiles. I repeat this process until I have multiple layers, each separate strips on their own. I will usually export the diffuse and normal out to test the early texture sculpts in game to check the resolution. If the normals are reading well I proceed with the texture, if not I will adjust strips that are not working and try something else. To finalize the work in Zbrush I add scuffs, gashes, scrapes, along with broken bits here and there etc. I then export all of my textures including cavity and height maps. The final art usually ends up entailing a lot of layering and texture wrangling in Photoshop.
_____Both of the trim sets shown above were used in Sandlants, the upper one is the final version of the sketch from before. Above is also an example of two large props we created that were able to maintain detail and a lot of variety using only these two shaders. I have found that almost everything I wanted to accomplish artistically in Sandlants could be done with tile-able texture sheets as opposed to unique textures used only for one object. Planning your textures out takes a little more time at the beginning, but in the end helps save valuable production time and speed up the performance of the game, allowing for even more layers of detail. Working in games is difficult, you need to be able to make decisions on what to pay attention to and what to ignore and how to follow through with Maya, Z-brush and Photoshop to create the most effective textures and shaders possible.
上面這2組鑲邊套件展示被用在 Sandlants，較高的最終版本是來自前面的草圖，上面也是兩個我們製作的大型道具，保持細節和多種樣式，只用了2個shader。我發現大部分我想要在 Sandlants藝術化完成的每件事，可以使用連續貼圖而不是為單一物件所特製的貼圖。在一開始，花點時間，計畫你的貼圖，但最後，幫助你省下寶貴的製作時間和加速遊戲效能，允許更多的細節的層級。在遊戲中工作是困難的，你需要可以做決定，甚麼該注意，甚麼要忽略，如何運用MAYA ZBRUSH Photoshop去製作有效率的貼圖和shader。
_____Creating tiling textures helped me to unify our look. Having fewer variables to adjust makes the whole process easier in the long run, especially towards the end. In closing I would like to give a huge thanks and recognition to the entire environment team at Naughty Dog, without whom we would never have gotten this level done. It is important to remember that making games is a team effort and by the end of Uncharted 3, a lot of other artists rolled over to help us complete our level to the quality that we have.
_____These environment screengrabs are from the level Sand-Lantis, which I textured. I would say I did most of the textures onscreen aside from characters and some props. P.S. The wonderful modelling was done by Adam Litledale.
_____I have worked as an environment artst in Germany, the Netherlands and the USA for 7-8 years. A few games I have worked on include Hellgate London, Torchlight and Uncharted 3. I also do a lot of personal and indie projects in my free tme.
我在德國 荷蘭 美國 擔任場景美術，已有7-8年，很多遊戲我有參與過，地獄門:倫敦 火炬之光 秘境探險3，我也在空閒時刻做一些我的個人作品和獨立製作。