Hi and welcome to this weeks Dev Diary! This is going to be the last Dev Diary to exclusively concentrate on the floor texture alone. This week is going to be dedicated for making and texturing the floating 3D texts for the "Now Playing" announcements.
A Month, In Short
It has taken a lot longer than I first though to get to this point with the Announcement Bar graphics designing. This seems to be a regular occurrence, as it's too easy to underestimate the time it takes to have the project step ready - when it is because something takes a lot longer to render, or some effect doesn't pan out the way you envisioned it in your mind and you need to fiddle with the settings much more than anticipated. There has been days, when I have made this over 8 hours straight, and only thing I managed to achieve, was a tad differently colored end result, if you didn't know what was done under the hood. A good example of this would be the tryouts with the Bump and Normal mapping, which had very subtle differences. Another example was when I tried 15K texture, just to go over the board with the detail I was looking for. That didn't pan out, as the texture it self should have been made in 15k for all the detail to be much more visible than in the 1080p (HQ) texture I showcased earlier.
Even after a month of developing the texture, with a more relaxed schedule, the outcome is still not as good as I would hope it to be, but this has to do. While making the 3D texts for the "Announcement Bar", I might do some subtle color changes, but no big overhauls are planned for the floor.
Here is a short history of the development of the announcement bar floor;
Caustics really changed the game for me, as it makes the ice look more natural by making it's color and details much more uneven. But now that I look back, I really like the color scheme of the Version 2 the best out of these, which is something I just might change still, while doing the 3D texts.
You can also see, that trying to make the frost panned out in the end, as in the version's 5 and 6, the frost layer looks much more natural, than in it's first iteration in the Version 2. The try-out with the snow in the Version 3 was also a result from the frost layer, which turned out to be too much for my taste, as I really like the idea of the reflections from the video showing up on the floor, which the snow layer blocked almost entirely. After hours of fiddling with the snow effect and looking for ways to make it more sparse, I thought that if I was to make snow on top of the ice, a better and more detailed option would be to make it from scratch with Photoshop. This would have made the project step much longer though, which is why I decided not to make any snow layer for the ice.
this is when I started looking alternatives, and found the "Caustics" -effect. At first, I added "Caustics" -effect on top of the textures, as seen on the Version 5 picture. This however looked a tad unnatural, as the "waves" made by the caustics effect didn't blend naturally with the cracks in the original texture. After trying several settings to make it work, I couldn't find one that would be satisfying enough, as every time the texture and the caustics -effect looked separate from each other. After thinking about what to try next, I decided to try and delete the "texturize" -effect from every layer that had one, including the normal and Bump mappings, and I only used them within the "caustics" -effect. This is when the Version 6 was born.
you can still recognize the used texture from the Version 6, if you try to spot the similarities, but as you can see, it blends with the effect on a whole new level compared to the Version 5. Here is a full render of the frame 391 for a more detailed preview of the whole;
To The Next Step
Now it only needs the text layers and animating them for this to be finally ready. If last month was anything to help predicting when it will be ready, i would say at the end of May, 2019. I really do hope, that making the text layers and animating them takes a lot less time than that. but here is a short list of what I had in plans for the 3D texts;
- Making a simple texture for the texts, with the same method used with the frost layer.
- Slightly translucent 3D Text.
- Animated time and position indicators for each song (like in spotify).
Now then, it is time for me to start with the next page of this project. thank you for tuning in, and I'll see you on the next weeks Dev Diary!
And as always, you can check out every possible mid week announcements about the project on these official channels;