fo·li·age noun: plant leaves, collectively.

General / 15 January 2018

I always end up spelling this word wrong. My brain wants to write "foiliage", like the forest is made of tinfoil and people are using leaves to preserve their leftovers.

I've been working on my foliage systems in substance designer this week.  For starters, I'm building a rig that can simulate the decay leaves have on the forest floor based on their skeleton structure.

This should help with some of the leaf decals I plan on using for the ground. Currently I'm using only one type of the leaf but the plan is to introduce a variety which should help break up the repetition.  you can see in some of my reference the different type of leaves found on the forest floor. Another element that i'll be working on is the bits of bark and twigs also found on the floor. 

I'm only using one leaf type here but already you can start to see the nice noise patterns you get from the decayed leaf shapes. Some of the smaller bits still need some work, they're a bit too uniform at the moment.

One of my favorite parts I've been working on is the dense undergrowth found along the forest path. There's so much life and shape packed tightly together. With it covering such large areas of my scene, it's something I really want to get right. Again i'm using substance designer to build most of the structure. If necessary i'll bring the color maps into Photoshop to add a more painted feel to them. I've also been taking a more hands on approach when creating the LODs, to make sure the undergrowth reads properly at different distances. 

and here it is in action. I have just stared creating the second and third variation of the leaf shapes found in the undergrowth. They currently exists in texture only but the plan is to separate them onto their own geometry layer in order to add a bit more depth and detail to card system.

WIP - Forest Scene

General / 11 January 2018

I've been wanting to make a forest scene based on the hikes I took in Kauai and document the process. I've already started the project, so these next couple of posts will be breaking down some of my previous steps. 

Here's a handful of the photos I took that i'll be using for reference. 

my progress so far with some slapped in lighting. I've mostly been working on the undergrowth ( tall grass, foliage, ferns, moss ) as well as the ground textures and blending.

Overall i'm quite happy with how the elements are starting to work together. There's still a lot of work to be done to hit my target. While most of this is currently slapped together and hand placed I'm in the process of creating a Houdini rig that will get me a good 60-80% on my plant distributions based on a few simulations. Once I've made enough progress there i'll be detailing out some of that process. I haven't quite decided if i'll be using that on this current project or one in the future, I may stick to something a bit more small scale and tailored for this.

The fern undergrowth texture is still in progress, haven't quite finished the substance network for it. But this is giving me a good idea of the geometry shape and cutout. Need to play around with the fern scale a bit and add some variety to their scattered shapes.

My next post i'll be detailing out some of the Photogrammetry work i've done in creating the rocks and the Substance Painter rig that i'll be using for the leaves and ferns.