I’m back with a hefty update this time! I didn’t realize it had been this long since my last update! Since the last post, I’ve learned some new and pretty interesting things about this whole development process; things that had never crossed my mind before. First, some pictures!
The pictures above were intended for the last update (I just took the screens again) as one of many small ‘Thank You’ messages for those who contributed to the Indiegogo campaign a while back. There will also be random NPC’s named after some as well.
So one of the things that never dawned on me about ‘Royalty-Free‘ photos available at many free image depositories was that in some cases you still needed permission to use them. You know, say you needed a picture of a person holding a fishing rod for your project so you decide to head to a free image library that allows you to use these images for commercial work. You download it, incorporate it into your work and that’s that, right?
What I found out was that it wasn’t always that simple. Apparently, even though these websites allow you to use these images, you may still need something called a Model Release Form which is basically a signed release from the photographed model allowing you to use the image of them. I ended up contacting many of these sites and they all stated the same thing. Even though the photographer uploaded the picture and allowed the image to be used for free, the people in the photo itself may not be aware of that.
So to play it as safe as possible, I ended up purchasing a bunch of images from Depositphotos.com instead and replaced all the old pictures. If any of you are looking for images for your projects, I highly recommend Depositphotos. It has a massive selection of images, their rates are excellent and customer service is fantastic. I had a bunch of concerns and I was able to chat with their staff in real-time and they answered all of my questions (and I had A LOT of questions!) You can see some examples below:
Another thing I was checking out was Dynamic Skies. I wanted a sky with dynamic clouds and I came across some really nice-looking systems on the Marketplace but I eventually settled on the trial version of TrueSKY which does 3D Volumetric Clouds and more. There is some beautiful work that can be done with it and you can find more examples on Youtube but here is one:
So I played around with it for some time and tried to incorporate it into the project but to be honest, I just could not get my skies to look anywhere near as good as those found online.
I then tried my hand at creating a dynamic sky of my own using flat planes with separate noise textures all panning and morphing to give the illusion of a vast moving cloudscape but I couldn’t get any realistic-looking results with it. Though interesting, the clouds just lacked a natural look so I eventually just did it the old-fashioned way. I got a super high-resolution image from CGSkies.com. I applied it to my skydome after modifications, put a couple of subtle panning clouds underneath to give the illusion of movement and called it a day . I think it gets the job done rather nicely and it’s straightforward and light on performance.
I even managed to get a moveable Sun-disc on it and at certain angles you can see light shafts.
I updated to version 4.18 because of some enhancements they made to the lighting. Skylights now support multiple bounces which really helps with more natural-looking lighting. I was faking it with a ton of area lights before but now I’ve deleted most of them because they are no longer needed.
I also tweaked much of the Post-Process effects for a more contrasty-look to help sell the ‘Forboding Autumn Atmosphere’. I’ve also included a few rooftop screens which those familiar with Out Of Hell 2009 will recognize. Remember that rooftop storage area in OoH 2009? It’s back but this time there is a workbench so that you can alter weaponry and craft ammunition!
I’ll leave you with a gallery of all the images I uploaded. There will be some repeats of screens from previous updates but that is because I wanted to show off the new lighting! Enjoy!