Behind the Scenes


The world is not as it seems – and Roger Dean‘s worlds are not exception. Here you can see how they was constructed from static paintings and animated with power of Unity3D.

Processig the image

Processig the image
The first step of creating animation is examining of a picture and getting idea of what can be animated and which way. I am trying to find atmosphere of artwork and method of implementing it. After that Photoshop magic is working to separate objects from background – I am mostly using “Quick selection”, “Lasso”, “Clone stamp”, “Fill (Content aware)”. Each object is placing on separate layer afer that it is expoting to Unity project in “png” format.

Scene set-up

Scene set-up
Next step is placing all objects inside the Unity scene on their initial places, starting from background. I am often using original image as reference doing that. When all objects are located original image is removing from project to keep size of final project build as small as possible. Also setting up lightning and additional special objects like water taking place at this step.

Animation

Animation
Animation is one of my favorite phases of working on project. Finding most interesting paths and modifications of objects, experimenting with animation curves can take a lot of time and is very interesting game itself. Sometimes animation need some programming intervention to make movement more random and interesting like in “The Flights of Icarus” scene, for example. To make paths of flying stones unpredictable I am selecting random points in four different rectangular zones and dynamically creating Bézier spline which is using as base for producing animation key points. This key points are defining stone orbit.

Physics

Physics
Some object in this worlds are leaving according physics principles and have masses, can be target of forces, and be connected by elements which restricts their movement. Good example for this is an “The Old Bridge” scene. Rocks are connect together with “Spring Joints”, two tree branches also connected to springs also – this is the reason why they are not breaking under snow weight.

Particles

Particles
Particles systems are using to define behavior of object groups and many special effects like snow, rain, moving fog, clouds, fire, can be effectively implemented by them. Unity particles system “Shuriken” of is very powerful, especially in new “Unity 5.5” revision. Snow in “The Old Bridge” scene, lighting emanations and stars in “The Fetch” scene, clouds in “Floating Islands” for example was done with power of particles.

Programming behaviour

Programming behaviour
The most intelligent part of project is defining behavior of objects, but in this worlds their reactions are very simple – some objects can be moved by mouse, some response to mouse click. Also timers are using to force object to do something from time to time. I do not want to turn this beautiful words into arcade games and prefer not to intrude too much in their internal life.