Before heading into Substance, I textured with some coloured lamberts and blinns in Maya, just to get an idea of what would like harmonious. I think the key things I learned here were:
- The warm grey works very well for the body
- The legs/neck/torso joints should all be the same colour to create a harmonious and consistent appearance.
For visual texture, I was inspired by Lucasfilm Animation’s painterly, layered, almost fine art approach to The Clone Wars, The Bad Batch, and Tales of the Jedi.
I went with the knife alpha brush, alongside aluminium with a reduced metalness and roughness. This was a super artistic, painterly vibe and lined up exactly with the art style. Doing this actually really helped me get to grips with how I can apply the art style into things like the branding and key art as well. It also required quite a lot of care with colours. It’s VERY easy to have a colour that’s slightly off and make the whole thing look mucky.
I avoided this by using the colour picker and being very precise and careful with my colour choices, making sure each mark was close to the colour next to it, but different enough to create a texture. Here’s some images of my first pass:
Feedback: I sent it in to the team and everyone really liked it, although, I think there was a bit of a concern whether it stood out enough.
So, I decided to turn the burgundy into something much bolder: bolt blue. While it isn’t part of our primary colour palette, it still aligns with the style guide and it makes sense for him to be different than the rest of the environment. The player has to see who they’re playing as. I also included alphas from my GUI branding to push the narrative, as well as normal height map details suggested by Mike earlier. I added and XV (15) to his shoulder and the AutoCorp logo to the backpack.
*SketchFab warps the alphas a bit, this isn’t a problem in the game or in substance/other softwares. I’ll look into adjusting this in SketchFab asap.
Although, I did create a pre-order bonus purple skin…
Check out my Substance files here.