Walking Dead is a foliage heavy project, and one of the major improvements I introduced in this project was the removal of rigged foliage assets.

Shown in the reveal trailer is an easy to control but complex wind shader for all foliage, hair and fabrics in-engine. The goal was to provide an easy to implement, shader but at the same time allows directors to control speed, turbulence, direction and other factors for better emotional impact – if required.

Walking Dead Season 3 uses a material library similar to that introduced with Batman, although a bit more streamlined. Fewer materials were available for artists, but the same level of control was present.

Along with creating our materials library, I have written extensive documentation for the art departments in its pipeline. To help aide the environment team in rapid development of their textures, I have also written specific Maya to Substance bridge tools to auto-generate art director approved specular values and correct diffuse maps for physically based shading.

The Walking Dead: Season 3

Walking Dead Season 3 happens to be part of Telltale’s push for improved fidelity and graphical prowess. A lot of new rendering technology has been introduced – and I’ve helped our entire art department adapt to current generation techniques – such as the introduction of physically based shading, and more advanced shaders / materials.

This project was in production before we switched to a more physically based model – so a lot of texture conversion had to take place in mid-production. I ended up writing a Substance Designer tool that helps automate the conversion of albedo textures via custom graphs, and auto-generate specular/gloss maps based on color ID maps created by environment artists.

To help reduce memory footprints, I also wrote a texture atlasing tool that interfaced with Simplygon, which would bake down multiple assets, textures and materials to one texture sheet atlas at a desired resolution. It also automatically assign a shader and plug in the correct maps, along with adding the newly generated files to source control.

Technical Artist
Telltale Games