• Evan Nave

3D Art/Animation : ENA - Temptation Stairway


This has got to be one of the most fun projects I've had to date!


Working with JoelG to help on his vision of such an interesting universe come even more alive is super fun. Especially by working with other animators and a very creative team has made an absolutely amazing experience!

 

My roles in the project included: technical direction, 3D modelling, 3D animation, shader programming and general codebase development.

Our team consisted of 2 writers, 4 artists, 2 developers, 3 musicians, and 9 voice actors. Software used: Unity, Blender, Photoshop, Premier Pro, Aseprite and some auxiliary tools.


Technical Direction:

I aided in the coordination between our artists and programmers for best practices given Unity and Blender. I also offered solutions to interesting problems that arose from ENA's unique style and format. This includes shader transcription from Blender to Unity and creating technical documents for the team to follow for the project.


3D Modelling + Animation:

Characters/Assets I modelled for this project:

- Phindoll (with animation)

- Brickfrog (animation by Alan Flandez)

- The Great Runas (with animation)

- Mannequins (and related assets) (with animation)

 

Creating and Animating Phindoll

Phindoll's character design was depicted as a "Pink, PS1 Dolphin". The modelling portion of his design was straight-forward and is mostly reflected by his final texture following his geometry.


Rigging and animation of Phindoll is interesting due to his 'dolphin humor' segment. His standard bone rig was replaced with a deformation matrix to allow more complex and nonsensical transformations. His eyes were animated with a UV offset attached to an outside control bone.


Phindoll was rendered in layers to allow him to have a silhouetting white line (Before stylized noise is added, this white outline is initially rendered as a alpha-pattern checkerboard).

 

Development and Tools: - (Playable versions only exist for internal use/recording)

For this project I created the primary code base for user interaction and the scripted events. This includes the beginning god-race sequence where Runas' position has triggers for when the viewer is at specific locations or does certain actions. Any teleportation happening off-screen.

Other tools created for this project were different stylized inputs for different motion ranges. This includes auto-aiming the viewer or allow direction changing with keyboard/mouse or controller. Linear options for these were available for classic Doom-like look controls.

A more unique feature was the ability to lock a movement direction of the camera but keep the rotation free for viewer observation while moving. This allows for the viewer to look around without changing their forward direction, allowing for more cinematic occurrences such as in the Mannequin Expanse (09:49). This is also visible in the last sequence, The Dead God Graveyard.

 

Shader Programming:

I programmed an array of custom shaders for this project for our unique visual needs of the final video. The below are some of the custom shaders I made for the episode:


Pixelated Render Feature - This shader allowed for objects on a render layer to be drawn at a lower resolution than surrounding assets.


Screen-Space Shaders - Shaders that draw textures/noise in screen-space on a character but scales with distance to appear as if its attached to the game object. These were used for Runas' space-themed cloak and the pixelated noise textures in-engine through the episode.


Non-Euclidian Effects - The Dog Conservatory environment used a Non-Euclidian rendering method to hide the fact that the conservatory was larger on the inside than the perceivable outside. This effect was also used in the Mannequin Expanse/Labyrinth to give the illusion of infinite mannequins.


World-Space Color Spread - This effect was used for when ENA 'turns the water red' in-engine to continue through the desert. This effect was achieved through a shader and accompanying script.


Twisted Hallway - This shader made use of vertex displacement to twist the hallway around the player. This was directly inspired by Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time's Forest Temple where the same effect is used.


Other HLSL shaders of mine can be found here.


#ENA #Youtube #Unity #Blender