Spirited Away, ‘The Boiler Room’ – VR – PART 2

Part 2: Textures, UV and Unity.

Hey all! Before I begin writing words, here are some pictures of the progress as it is right now.

Spirited Away, Boiler Room, VR - In Unity 01

Spirited Away, Boiler Room, VR - In Unity 02

Spirited Away, Boiler Room, VR - In Unity 03

My previous update was a render taken from 3DS. The images above are taken from the game running in Unity itself.

I have been pretty full on with this - hours each evening - to get it to this stage.

-First up I needed to unwrap the UV maps – a massive pain in the ass. Fine for square objects like the chest or the stairs, it’s not so bad. For the multiple bendy pipes? A pain in the ass. For the boiler – an irregular shape, with concave areas, sharp edges… a pain in the ass.

But it’s worth doing it, and getting it right first, because everything after this stage will fuck you up if you don’t.

Here’s an exciting example of pipes being laid out. There’s some innuendo in there somewhere. Have at it:

Spirited Away, Boiler Room, VR - UV layout

Note the black spaces. This is not optimum. I should be filling all the gaps there. But life is too short and I live on the edge. Or something…

-Next up: Bake my AO (ambient occlusion) and shadow maps down to diffuse maps. Basically? The lovely render 3DS generates gets ‘baked’ into the texture of the object, so you have lovely lighting without any extra GPU use.

-Take it all into Unity. A quick export from 3DS and I drop it into my assets folder in Unity. Boom – there it is. A little tweak of the scales and it’s playing nicely. Unity is friendly like that. Drop in an FPS controller, some collision boxes – one game up and running. A couple of extra point lights are added to tone it up.

-Paint textures. This is what I am now spending all my free time on. As you can see from the above I’ve almost completed this stage. The basic approach is to pull reference from the film and then paint directly onto the UV’d texture maps. Pick a colour from the reference. Use Photoshop brush to paint. Pick another colour. Check against the reference. Rinse repeat.

-Drop AO/Shadow map over the top, set to ‘multiply’. This adds the shading to the texture and makes everything look nice – a little tweak with curves to ensure it’s not too dark and it’s looking good.

-Final texture paint pass. This ensures it keeps the ‘painted’ look, rather than having too ‘clean’ shading.

Just another evening or two of texture work. After that it’s onto sound work. Currently the sound track from this part of the film plays, however I want to add some environmental sounds over the top.

I will then be animating certain elements – including some sparks and fire. From there it’s time to think about the soot sprites, which run around.

FINALLY – I will be adding Rift support. Phew… taking a while to get to that bit!

5 thoughts on “Spirited Away, ‘The Boiler Room’ – VR – PART 2

  1. Those textures make an incredible difference – just comparing the furniture to the items on it – a huge visible impact. And the boiler! That looks flippin fantastic! I’m really looking forward to seeing it in motion and hope you release a demo – if not – at least a vid of how it looks moving around in there. I love Ghibli productions and this is a cherish-able film.

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