Butterfly FX

Though I’ve already created the texture, I thought I would put my new pipeline in practice for this one, to make sure I have a clear link between my research and my practice. I’m also including references here, because I had to go back and do 10 weeks worth of referencing for the proposal and I don’t want to go though that again!

Context

Butterflies have often been seen as a symbol of the soul, death or spirituality.(Hearn, 1968) This makes it a perfect motif to use in my meditation focused game. I want to invoke a calm, nature centric feeling, as these are to go with the dust and godrays in the outdoorsy room. “We associate blues and greens with the cooling qualities of water and trees”(Zelanski, Fisher, 1989) so a blue or green colour will be used. Cool colours are generally much more relaxing, as the “slow down out heartbeats, decrease our temperatures and relax out muscles”(Zelanski, Fisher, 1999) Taking it back to the spiritual symbol, colours are also used by mystics when sensing auras. Though personally I do not believe in anything like this, it is a good reference point when looking at meditation games as some forms of meditation are highly spiritual. I would like the butterfly to lead the player into their head, into a introspective state, so anything that symbolises spiritual development or awakening would be useful. “Clear blue or lavender indicate a high spiritual development, orange a predominately intellectual nature.”(Zelanski, Fisher, 1989) As a cool colour, blue could be used, or as an indicator that the player hasn’t started their journey yet, a cool tint could be added to the orange. Movement will be in slow, soft circles, as has been previously discussed, circles are associated with saftey and warmth(Dondis, 1973) and the player should be drawn in slowly, comfortably and be allowed to relax.

Plan

Theme = Butterflies

Colour Scheme = Light Blue + Cool Orange

Movement = Slow and Calm, soft circles

Technical Work

I started with my previously created subUV texture and created a basic masked material to use in cascade.

1

I emitted from a cylinder, made the velocity very small and the same in all axis to create a hovering movement and added an orbit with a low rotation rate to get the slow circular movement. This had issues with popping textures and was very obviously a sprite emitter.

2

With that in mind, I decided to try using a mesh emitter. This would allow me to orient the butterflies horizontally and give them some depth to their wings. I altered the texture to be singlar, non uved and made it greyscale so that I could change the colour in cascade instead. This looked a lot more realistic, but the popping in was still an issue and I decided a bit of wing movement would be nice.

4

To create this wing movement I used the scale size module, which I found out existed though a polycount thread. I scaled it in the Z (unreal is Z-up), using a min/max of 8/-4. I tried a uniform and a constant curve, getting better movment from uniform but much better timing from constant curve.

5

Next steps are to implement the decisions I made based on my research, looking at the effect in an artistic, rather than technical manner.

Hearn,L. 1968.Kwaidan:Stories and Studies of Strange Things.New Impression Edition. Mineola:Dover Publications

Zelanski, P, Fisher, M.P, 1999. Colour. Third Edition. London:Herbert Press

Dondis, D. 1973.A Primer Of Visual Literacy. Third Edition. Cambridge: MIT Press

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