For this project, I did a complete pipeline upgrade integrating Houdini more heavily for assembly, shading and rendering. I spent quite some time building all the digital assets I needed and I am especially proud of my instancing tool and the customized shader I built. The project was rendered in mantra.
Here is a little breakdown video that shows a couple of the assets I built for this project. Most assets had multiple versions, either different geometry or textures.
I used photogrammetry for many of the environment assets like rocks or logs. Being a full time dad at the time, I only had limited time to go and scan objects. We also had an unusually sunny summer in the UK, which does not help if the task requires overcast conditions. So I had to make most of the assets I was able to scan. Instead of using them as they are and only being able to rotate them around the Y axis, I used ZBrush to stitch scans together. This way, I could scatter the assets with full rotation on all axes to get more variations in the environment.
I also started working with Substance Designer for the forest ground.
The following video demonstrates a few features of my instancing tool:
I am a big fan of procedural modeling and for this project there way around it. A great example is the rope that hangs of both the main gate and the torii gates. Now making a rope is not that difficult, this specific rope however had to change thickness while maintaining flow direction. So here is a look at how the tool works that I built:
I also made a simple tool to add some edge damage to pavement so I did not have to model it manually.
Looped over multiple stones it looks like this:
I also wrote a couple small Python programs to support my pipeline. A batch render tool to control command line rendering, a tool that convertst texture files to .rat and a launcher tool that sets environment variables and - launches the program.