Happycake Development Notes:
Retextured Big Robot, Normal Map Tests

(10 February 2005)

Clay re-did the giant robot, using the new robot art style and normal maps.  It's looking pretty sweet, after having gone through a few versions.  Here is the first one (the small hexapod and rolling vehicle are in the lower-left corner for size comparison).  Note that this is a pre-render from 3dsmax and not in-game yet:


After a little bit of work, we got him into the game, and he looked like this:



After some discussion, we decided that the specular maps were not adding very much to the way he looked (we could turn them on and off in the renderer).  One way to use specular maps is to indicate dullness / scrapes / grime, so we decided to try that.  Here's a new version that Clay did in Max:


And here are two shots of the resulting guy in-game, with some extra material parameter tweaking:



Definitely more improvements can be made (I think the grime could be patterned more realistically, and we could do better material assignments and parameters) but overall it's looking good.  You have to move around it in the game to really appreciate the shading, as mere screenshots don't show you the way it reacts to motion.  The robot finally feels substantial in-game; there's enough going on with the shading that your brain kind-of says "aha, that's an object that some things are happening to."

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