As you've probably seen I've been posting some images of heavily ivy-ified props recently which I keep saying that I'll be optimizing soon. Which I have now got around to doing! I suppose a very important question might be why did I decide to do so much damned foliage considering it's known for being a pain in games?
One of my main influences for this aspect of the environment has been playing Enslaved and getting to move around the environments in that, which I can honestly say despite very linear levels (infact, because they are so linear) are beautiful artistically speaking. Here's some shorts of the environments which I've found influenced me during this project -
I love Ninja Theory's use of colour and foilage in Enslaved, and I feel the broken down post-apocalyptic future covered in green plentiful grass has wonderful juxapostion and really adds to making the environment feel like a plausible place where the world doesn't end after it's apocalypse, instead it grows anew.
I've just started playing DmC (and have Heavenly Sword on my wishlist on LoveFILM), and I can see the same level of work and detail in this game as seen in Enslaved, which has been motivating while working on the levels for Echoes. DmC has the same wonderful use of colours seen in Enslaved in a completely different palette but still clearly the same style, and the concept art is gorgeous. This is the style in which I'm going to be trying to develop my art within the next year or so, as it always feels so fresh and engaging to an audience. Currently this is the vein I'm seeing my art develop in and in the future I would love to do some work for Ninja Theory.
So here's my first post of some optimized foliage covering my ruins for the game. Personally I'm loving the addition to my ruins, and feel like it's giving them a munch more personalized and overgrown and abandoned feeling than I was getting before, and I feel this is getting me closer to where I want to head with my work
However after optimizing this I do have a lot more understanding why some games have shyed away from ivy, especially before generators and in game tools. The first stages were especially time consuming, but it got a lot quicker afterwards. I'll be posting up a tutorial for how I did it in the next few weeks once I've got some more of it done with the other ruin pieces. So watch out!