Gamasutra is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.


Gamasutra: The Art & Business of Making Gamesspacer
arrowPress Releases







If you enjoy reading this site, you might also want to check out these UBM Tech sites:


 

Trees In The Breeze

by David Rosen on 09/22/09 02:15:00 pm   Expert Blogs   Featured Blogs

4 comments Share on Twitter    RSS

The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutra’s community.
The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company.

 

On a rare excursion into the outdoors, I noticed that real plants seldom remain perfectly still. Even on a calm day, some tiny disturbance in the air will bring at least a few leaves to life. I sat down to animate the leaves in Overgrowth, and searched in vain for some decent reference footage online. Not to be foiled so easily, I broke out my trusty video camera and set out to record some of my own. Most of you probably don't have much use for it, but if you do, you may as well see it in HD!

Final result

Since I normally stay indoors, there were some aspects of plant movement that surprised me. Games usually have a uniform wind parameter that affects the entire scene in the same way, real wind is variable and unpredictable. Wind strength and direction can vary even over different parts of the same plant, and it can change from gusty to calm almost instantaneously. With this idea in mind, I created a vertex shader with pseudo-random wind motion. To apply it realistically to the plant models, I added support for a 'firmness' texture so that Aubrey could make leaves flutter and branches remain rigid. Here's a video of this effect in action -- the first couple seconds aren't very windy, but it picks up later on. Click here for HD

I found that the wind-blown plants brought some much-needed life to the otherwise-static backgrounds, and the changing wind adds a bit of unpredictability. There's tons of more urgent work to do, but it's nice to take a break sometimes and add fun details. We can't make a game called "Overgrowth" without adding nicely-rendered plants! Can anyone think of any other environmental details we could add to make the game world feel more immersive?

Follow us here!
Facebook iconModDB iconSteam iconTwitter iconYouTube icon


Related Jobs

Square Enix Co., Ltd.
Square Enix Co., Ltd. — Tokyo, Japan
[05.25.20]

Experienced Game Developer
Question
Question — Remote, California, United States
[05.23.20]

Senior Gameplay Engineer (Unreal Engine, Work from Home)
Question
Question — Remote, California, United States
[05.23.20]

Senior Network Engineer (Unreal Engine, Work from Home)
Remedy Entertainment
Remedy Entertainment — Espoo, Finland
[05.22.20]

Senior Programmer





Loading Comments

loader image