Week 9 Homework – Ethan Day

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Although I couldn’t get better pictures of the renderer than 1400×750 (ish), as you can see I created a shader/texture that has a lot of details and little pieces to it. I used Chunck’s forest ground tutorial on YouTube as seen in the assignment post, and this tutorial took a very long time but was very rewarding to get through. I learned a TON about how these magical seeming graphics are actually created from scratch, and it gave me a lot of insight into the origin of 3D graphics, similar to when I presented on a GDC talk about Anthem’s shader creation process in the weekly shaders presentation. Here I saw node based programming turning abstract shapes into a lifelike and believable nature surface, and actually did it myself while understanding it.

The hardest part of following the tutorial was organization, since I didn’t have the cubic node connections that the tutorial had, and needed to use the bending wire connections, which made finding important nodes for connections in blends very very tedious. I would sometimes spend minutes trying to find the correct node I needed to plug in on the other side of the shader graph. Other than that, it went really smoothly and I took into consideration every aspect of how the shader was made from using gradients to create proper colour, to carefully adjusting height, or using patterns to actually turn a small blade of grass in a triangle shape into clumps of realistic grass growing out of the ground. I found it all very interesting and I look forward to using Substance Designer with more YouTube tutorials on my final project which will be a Unity game.

In terms of my final product, the grass is slightly thick and clumpy compared to what I would have liked, but the variety is nice to have a bit of distinction from the original – it sort of makes it my own. The rocks are a lot more noticeable than the tutorial version because of their size and placement, and the grass looks more like moss due to the colour and shape of the patches. I would need to play around with the pattern node to fix the grass. All in all I would be happy to use this nature ground in an area of a Unity project I’m working on – I think it looks extremely convincing with all it’s small details, down to edges on rocks.

Tutorial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VZwji9UIfXA

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