Creating a Series Pt 16 - Legacy Project - Updating the Canopy Shader

Making Of / 04 June 2020

Hey there!

So I was kinda unhappy with my current versions of trees canopies, which is kinda funny since I've already released this scene "officially" haha but there is never anything wrong with upgrading your art & scene performance!

In terms of my needs for a visual look that works from all distances the original canopies were:

  • Obvious looking polygon cards
  • Inconsistent from all Distances (ie with the shadowing and AO acting differently form all ranges)
  • Probably a bit too "realistically shaded"
  • Not enough stylized control.
SO. I spent an hour early this morning reworking the shader

Here is what they look like from a distance with LODs included.

So the new shader does basically everything I want it to:

  • It makes the tree canopies shade more consistently across a distance, even with LODs optimizing the heck out of the trees.
  • The shader is more performant and runs faster than the previous shader. (Better visuals + better performance woop!)
  • The look is more unified and easier to deal with for production
  • I have way more control over the Stylization of the Canopies. (How bright, how colorful, how dark the shaded side is etc)
    • Ie I can change everything easier, so even if the shaded side is to dark I can easily change that and if I want them to not be as dark in the distance etc etc.

Here is a quick gif of time-of-day and how the canopy shading acts.

So I'd like to think this mornings efforts was a success!

Until next time!
Warping out!

/Chris Radsby