Playdead's 2016 game Inside has a striking visual aesthetic that's easily recognizable from across the room. How did they do it?
At GDC 2016 Playdead graphics coder Mikkel Gjoel and visual effects artist Mikkel Svendsen took the stage to explain just that, detailing the techniques used to achieve high visual fidelity in the context of the strict simplistic aesthetic of Inside.
The pair of Mikkels explained a variety of effects used to achieve an atmospheric look, including local shadowed volumetrics and a robust water-rendering system. The also explored how a unique art style is created technically, how they authored lighting as entirely separate diffuse, specular and bounce-light entities, while focusing on artist-approachable tools meant utilizing analytic primitive-based ambient occlusion and screenspace reflections.
It's a talk that's both intriguing and technically detailed, making it well worth a watch. If you'd like to do so, good news: you can now watch the whole thing for free via the official GDC YouTube channel.
In addition to this presentation, the GDC Vault and its new YouTube channel offers numerous other free videos, audio recordings, and slides from many of the recent Game Developers Conference events, and the service offers even more members-only content for GDC Vault subscribers.
Those who purchased All Access passes to recent events like GDC, GDC Europe, and GDC Next already have full access to GDC Vault, and interested parties can apply for the individual subscription via a GDC Vault subscription page. Group subscriptions are also available: game-related schools and development studios who sign up for GDC Vault Studio Subscriptions can receive access for their entire office or company by contacting staff via the GDC Vault group subscription page. Finally, current subscribers with access issues can contact GDC Vault technical support.
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