Digital Spring Cleaning

Living in one of the greener parts of London, I suddenly find myself engulfed in an ocean of floral life. Spring is truly here, and in homage to this wonderful time of the year, I have been engaged in some digital Spring cleaning!

With Unreal Engine 4, Unity 5, and the new CryEngine now occupying my attention, I thought it a good idea to sort through some old-ish (not that old) UDK work that never quite made it onto the Internet.

Here are some natural textures I made in 2013, rendered in Marmoset Toolbag 2, and accorded additional realism by the engine’s image-based lighting system. Please view in HD:

Almost all of the textures shown here were hand sculpted/painted in ZBrush, and then blended together using height maps to create various permutations (i.e. gravel with bits of grass poking-out) in Photoshop.

The exceptions to this are the bark textures, which actually were derived from photographs. I used a special technique relying upon the parallax of two photographs taken side-by-side to generate the depth of the bark. It is interesting to reflect upon how similar this is to the way in which the human mind extrapolates depth information from the 2D images the retinas receive.