The last couple of days, I've spent a bit of time playing Diablo 2 again. And by playing, of course, I mean "hopping from waypoint to waypoint, closely examining details of the environment in each of the Acts." Despite its age, the lack of resolution, and the limited palette used for the environment art, Diablo 2 still stands up. The artists incorporated a great deal of detail given their constraints.
I'm shooting for something somewhere in between D2 and something like Moonkiroe. I like the highly saturated fantasy environments that Blendman is so skilled at rendering, but I also like the gritty, dirty, mouldering ruins that make Diablo 2 such a delight. Here is a quick render showing today's work:
There are several things I'm not entirely happy about. The wood was done on the quick and cheap, but really I was just testing out the plaster/brick texturing as a proof of concept. I took several photos of this sort of plaster/brick work at a local ghost-town/tourist trap, and utilized a procedural brick map generated as per the previous journal entry, combined with a plaster-y surface and a mask, to generate the texture as a colormap and displacement map. While the process still needs some refinement, I'm rather pleased with how it turned out.
All of this represents a rather drastic change from how I used to do things, back in the old Golem days. In those days, I used to just wrap random textures around crap until I got something fairly close to what I had in mind, although very frequently I had to settle merely for something that didn't look like utter horse crap. Now that I have really made an attempt at learning (or at least approximating) some "correct" methods, the results I am obtaining are, to me at least, better and more easily standardizable and reproducible. Not to mention faster.
I'm sort of leaving "programmer art" behind, though, as you can only go so far with purely procedural techniques, at least without pouring lots of time down the drain.
Edit: Whoa, just realized I'm getting pretty close to maxing out my upload space. Not sure what I'll do once I hit it. Maybe have to delete some older stuff.
Edit 2: Here is another smaller shot, where I play around with woodwork. I made a texturing error, as evidenced by the white bleeding on some of the edges, but nevertheless even with that, I still like the results. Turns out wood is quite a bit easier than stone for me.