GDC 2017 | February 27 — March 3, 2017 | Moscone Convention Center | San Francisco, California


|    Visual Arts

The Visual Arts Track strives to educate artists and technical artists about methods for producing game art and animations; from stellar concept art techniques to post production best practices.

Arrow Search for all Visual Arts Track sessions


Motion Warping in 'Gears of War 4': Doing More with Less
Steven Dickinson (The Coalition)
The sheer magnitude of animation assets needed to build smooth and realistic movement systems while keeping a character grounded in an uneven and dynamic environment has changed how animation behaviors are built and authored. Blending multiple animations has traditionally been a way of dealing with distance, direction and environmental variance. However, the amount of assets needed for adequate coverage in today's large AAA titles can be crushing. Multiple animation blending also reduces visual freedom as blended animations must be of similar style and timing. Some games have tackled this content explosion by dynamically warping motion to meet the spatial constraints. These are often ad hoc/specific to particular actions and not exposed to the animator. For 'Gears of War 4', The Coalition developed a generalized solution by introducing the concept of warp points.
Huddle up!: Making the [SPOILER] of 'INSIDE'
Mikkel Bøgeskov Svendsen (Playdead)
Andreas Normand Grøntved (Playdead)
Søren Trautner Madsen (Playdead)
Lasse Jon Fuglsang Pedersen (Playdead)
In Playdead's 'INSIDE', "The Huddle", aka the blob as dubbed by players, is the form you take in the conclusive chapter of the game. It was a big task in the production, and one with much uncertainty. It took several years and several people to get it standing on its feet, but it was no calculated effort. In the years it was being made, a third of the company worked on, or rather jammed on it. Everyone involved added their own expertise, without order, as a sort of hive mind making hive mind. The team at Playdead will peel apart the layers they've woven together, exposing dynamic arms imposed on a sack of physics bodies, moved by physics and animation as one, and glued together by shading. Through all the details, they'll show how an unstable, decentralized collaboration can lead to an unexpectedly whole and alive creature, albeit chaotic.
Fast, Cheap and Flashy: An Indie Art Direction Adventure
Adam DeGrandis (Chickadee Games LLC)
'Tooth & Tail', Pocketwatch Games' follow-up to 'Monaco: What's Yours Is Mine', had been in development for nearly two years, but the art was in trouble. It was inconsistent, hard to read, and a little dull. The style needed to be redesigned and ushered through production but there was a catch: it needed to ship in ten months and it couldn't cost a lot. Lateral thinking, semi-unconventional pipelines, educated-risk taking, and old-fashioned art fundamentals came to the rescue, and helped reshape the game's style into something that won awards before the game was even released. But what's the cost of succeeding early, and what happens when a team that worked so long with a big, stressful long term goal suddenly doesn't have one? The examples are pixelated, but the lessons are universal.
Shoot for the Sky: The Ambitious HDR Time-Lapse Skies of 'Forza Horizon 3'
Jamie Wood (Playground Games)
With 'Forza Horizon 3', Playground Games undertook an ambitious and novel approach to representing the sky over time. The team developed a technique for shooting high resolution 24 hour HDR time-lapse photography using a custom camera rig, on location, and then projected these evolving sky captures onto the in-game sky. The improvements this brought to the lighting system as a whole and the unexpected benefits of capturing the true changing nature of the sky offer a unique option for any videogame/real-time application that features moving time of day.
'Agents of Mayhem': Physically-Based Materials in a Stylized Open-World
James Taylor (DS Volition)
Physically based rendering is the new hot trend for more photorealism in rendering, both real time and pre-rendered, but it doesn't have to be. This talk covers 'Agents of Mayhem', one of a new breed of graphically stylized games using the PBR technique, and covers methods for balancing a full physically based pipeline with a distinct illustrative artistic style. Many things will be covered, including memory management of the additional specular textures, shader techniques, the importance of color choices and use of documentation to maintain the multifaceted style across multiple vendors and artists. The talk is primarily focused on world materials, but lightly touches on the related material stylization of other disciplines.