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.