Sunday, August 3, 2014

Watercoloring the Perspective - Directing Light Toward the Horizon & Into the Foreground

Handmade Watercolor Textures, Normals and Windlights
 The slab of board indicates where the focal point will be laid down for the build
Beginnings of Lake Isle Region

Because this build is about poet's and poet's visions, I thought it only fitting to write the storybuild with watercolors, but watercolors are hard to find and difficult to manipulate in 3D virtual worlds.  

Watercolor worlds for rendered game worlds are more common. Some 3D artists might argue that building in lateral perspective worlds is redundant.   One of the pleasures of walking through an open world is perspective caused by a region's size and windlights, but I am altogether happy with only the perspective that a large land mass afforded me.   I wanted my characters to realize a dream state from everywhere they looked with a realistic draw and high (but not a full out quality performance threshold).   I wanted to use a multi-purpose terrain with the same look and feel of a *skybox built world, where the artist has so much more control over the environment.   

Some builders resort to and invent lovely off sim backdrops.   Backdrops and off sim terrain, like rock formations and waterfalls do a good job of adding in perspective.   Setting a dock or a house into the distance that cannot be reached also adds perspective and extends immersion, because the avatar is not able to reach it.   Their view is nice"obstructed" by the bounding box line of the sim space.   

Still I wanted go a bit farther with this experiment.  I wanted the world to resemble a water color work, and I wanted to add in even more depth that can be achieved by current viewers and draw distance.  In fact, I've been wanting to try this technique for a long while.   My depthfinders quest confirms it; not only to find depth in altitude, but depth in meaning, and horizon depth that comes about during the painting process.   Finding that point on the horizon and building a path into it, will surely be a challenge.
*Also working on a skybox with 2 or more rows of backdrops (theatrical staging) to affect the depth of view.