I setup Catwoman’s goggles – a special case that uses stylized tone shifting and anisotropic specular to create a slick unique look for one of the main characters in the game.

There are a lot of fights in the game, and we needed a way to dynamically animate and carry over damage across multiple variations of a character and characters in general. To that end, I setup all character materials to support 8 damage states, each one being able to animate in and layer across seamlessly over already complex material setups. Here Catwoman and Batman got get hurt over the course of the fight – such as Catwoman’s bruises and scratches.

I setup a complex material system for the UI team to use – which allowed for animating the texture coordinates (translating, scalars, rotations) across RGBA channels separately. UI materials typically don’t use artist created texture coordinates – so each channel uses one pragmatically.

A feature of the game, dubbed “Bat-Tech” requires multiple elements to reflect the player customization. To that end, all materials have specific exposed values and parameters that can be overridden by the player (with the ability to get toggled on and off by an artist). Here Batman’s choice of color is purple as defined by the purple.

Later on, the need for overriding player-customization was needed by the UI for highlighting objects (with a UI specific color), and the shader was adjusted to allow for this.

As the detective sequences started changing and growing in variety, the need for heatvision was required for a variety of objects. Here is a character with a specific shader applied, that created a grainy effect, with pockets of heat embedded inside the character geometry.

A cheap material was needed for the ice sculpture in the fund raiser scene, as we had too many characters on-screen and memory was tight. This material faked subsurface scattering and light bleed through.

Outside of all environment and character materials, I also setup more advanced special case materials – such as for the rain that was asked for during the last sequence of Episode 1. Materials now have dynamic “wetness” properties that can be enabled and animated to give the appearance of a material getting wetter, along with animating rain drops and streaks across the surface

A test mesh with the shader applied onto it. This shows the rain properly conforming to the mesh and animating at default values. A wetness map was applied but toned down

All vehicles had a special material setup and required fine tuning after the artists had worked on it. Here the Bat Mobile was tweaked and setup to change colors on-screen, as we needed the ability to transition between his Bruce’s red sports car and the Bat Mobile.

Batman

Batman was the start of a new rendering and materials pipeline for the studio. I was the sole technical artist involved with setting this up for the entire art department, and worked with engineers to create as seamless a transition as possible. I also created advanced materials for the the project – from a global rain system to simulate streaks of water across characters / environments to materials that would hook up with the engine to drive player color customization.

While we introduced more up to date BRDFs, I created extensive documentation, trained multiple artists and directors and worked with engineers in sorting out any bugs and kinks we came across – during very tight production time frames.

I also evaluated new tools and processes, and introduced Substance Painter/Designer to the studio’s suite of approved tools – and continue to write tools to help bridge Substance to Maya to improve the QoL for artists.

Role
Technical Artist
For
Telltale Games