The final ‪#‎screenshotsaturday‬ of this year. Herald has entered early alpha, and we’ve started doing our first lighting pass on all the scenes of the first chapter. Happy holidays!

Decorating Environments in Herald

Hello Tumblr! My name is Sarah Schroeder and I am the 3D artist intern at Wispfire. With this post I wanted to give a quick insight on how we decorate environments for Herald. For this example we’re going to decorate the saloon; the dining area for the first class passengers.

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In the above example the room is still empty with no lights. To create an idea of what I want, I start off by taking some screenshots and opening them in an image editor. I turn the opacity down to 50% and sketch any assets that I‘ll want to model and decorate the room with. For inspiration I first do a lot of research and look at photos we took ourselves when we visited real clipper ships like the Cutty Sark and De Stad Amsterdam.

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When I have a rough idea of all the assets I want to add I get to modeling the actual objects. We use the 3D modelling software Blender to create the new models, but some assets have already been made so I can just reuse those as well. For instance the saloon lamp had already been created by someone else, so I just made some adjustments to make it look fancier.

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This area is for the first class passengers, so it has to be all about luxury and needs to be very stately and clean; it needs to tell you that it’s for the rich, and for the rich only.

Because this area has to look high class I can’t just put in simple generic assets, I have to make lots of adjustments to the pre-existing models. An important thing I need to keep in mind is that when the player enters a room, the environment has to be able to tell a story by itself.

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To save time and memory usage for the game, we also have to make clever use of our assets. In the above example you can see that all the china looks very similar; that’s because they’ve got the same texture. 😉

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I painted and used these Delftware textures on two types of flower pots, dishes, a can, cups and a dining plate. The blue color gives it a distinctive *Dutch* touch. 

Another thing I need to consider when I’m making objects and textures for this room is the variety of colors. The room already has a lot of dark brown colors, I need to use colors that stand out against all the wood.

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To make all the assets in the environment “fit” together and not look like separate random items I tend to reuse lots of the generic textures. With the gold details the dinnerware looks more luxurious and like they belong together.

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After making all the assets it’s time to place them in the space itself in Unity. For this space to stay realistic, I must always keep in mind that everything needs to look tidy. I also did the lighting. The examples of which you can see below!

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!! Reblog this post !! Help Herald in the final hours on Kickstarter.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/herald/herald-an-interactive-period-drama

We’ve reached out 15.000 goal! But it’s not over yet.

We’re in our FINAL HOURS on Kickstarter, but you can still back Herald NOW!
Help us give Devan a voice by reaching the €21.000 stretch goal. 

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Together, we can make it happen!

What is Herald?
Herald is an interactive period drama for PC, Mac and Linux that plays as a mix between a visual novel and a 3D point and click adventure game. You are Devan Rensburg, a man of mixed heritage, assigned to work as a steward aboard the merchant ship HLV Herald.