above and below
Software A screenshot capture from Uncharted:
The Lost Legacy by Naughty Dog, in virtual camera mode Matthew Johns has worked in the videogame industry for eight years. Now working as a texture and shader artist at Naughty Dog, Matthew Johns had the ability to capture this screenshot from the action-adventure videogame Uncharted: The Lost Legacy. Although the entire environment was created by a huge team, Matthew’s role was in the texturing and shaders.
“The most notable technique that I used, that made the entire texturing process easier from my point of view, was the application of certain procedural shading options,” explains Matthew, talking about time-saving methods that were used in the creation of this environment. “For example, I employed heavy use of a slope blend technique to add details like grass, moss, lichen and erosion damage to the rocks. In simple terms, the shader is able to determine the slope value for a pixel and its relation to the world. With this type of control, I was able to instruct the shader to apply, say, grass to the top side of the rocks, moss and lichen just around the edges of the grass and the damage and erosion to the undersides.
“From a composition point of view, I loved the idea of being able to show both the environment above and below the water line. To show that not only is there a beautiful world ready to be explored in full view, but that there is also another realm of possibility hidden just below the water’s surface.”