A project does not build itself ! It requires work, searches, documents, and, when nothing exists… concept art !
Here, we’ll deal together with the processes of one of my project. This is still in production, but I’ll keep it up-to-date as soon as I get time to do so.
First of all… get a concept. I got one turnkey concept when, back in school I was asked to do a “Medieval project”. But seeing like 100% of occidental projects, I just wanted to change the scene and made an Ottoman one. After all, there was a Middle Age in Asia, Middle East, South America and Africa too !
Then I gather references of the project.
1 – I gather some gravures from the period and from the artists of the country
2 – I gather some others artwork from a different point of view
3-4-5-6 – Some actual pictures of what it looked like back then ( old villages, musuem pieces etc )
7-8 – Sometimes, modern representations
9 – … and even, when applicable, futurist visions ! Yes, it’s from Star Wars. Still, the inspiration is clear to me.
I create a first block-out set of roughly made models with the average look of what I want buildings to be, before creating a more accurate block-out version ( this one displaying ) while thinking for a way to make it modular.
The target being powerful computers, I barely count the vertexes involved in the project. And I also do some quickly UV Mapping with automated cube-projection UVMap. Still I apply different materials on objects for what they are ( usually I separate Meshes to avoid double or triple drawcalls in the engine )
After the first step of block-outing, I make a non-definitive modular version. Less vertexes involved as pieces are made-up and are not a whole piece with complex connections. Everything is measured to the millimeter to avoid any overlapping / z-fight / aliasing. Chamfers are here to avoid crap like this too. And to “break the light” on edges.
Then I make up some very generic textures to fit with the blockout / first Modular build pieces.
Step 5 bis
But sometimes, to get my mind of the all “building up” process, I just make some real textures with merely definitive models !
I integrate it all in the scene, verify the scale of objects ( sometimes there are glitches. Errare Humanum Est ) and try to make it connect altogether and verify if the overall Art Direction is respected ( I always do this. Perseverare Diabolicum )