During the long interesting preproduction I've accumulated enough material to recreate half of the Ocean Drive area, but unfortunately I had to be realistic about the time I'd be able to dedicate to the project and face certain constraints.
The amount of normal mapping in this scene is varied from little to none. Why so?
I just had an oponion that normal mapping was a bit overused nowadays, so I wanted to see if I can pull off an environment without completely relying on it.
My point was to use real modeling extensively and dump normal maps wherever possible. I wanted 1000-2000tri props that look better then their lowpolier normal mapped analogues and are actually cheaper to render.
It goes the same for vehicles. No traditional texturing, just multiple procedural materials applied, breaking a vehicle into several draw calls by 2000~3000tris each.
If you are interested in all the technical layouts feel free to check out here.
I also used "procedural" materials as much as possible.
For example unique chrome, plastic and glass materials were made and are used on everything: buildings, props and vehicles.
I didn't have to unwrap or paint textures for some props at all! Just a set of "physical" properties and a lightmap.)
The car paint shader was fun to do too. Through scalar parameters you could control reflectivity and specularity per instance, and assign a dirtmap.
Here are my car paint shader instance controls.
On the left of the picture below you can see a Penguini T-1 van with an exaggerated tiled dirtmap added on top of the AO map.
The right version uses a hand painted colored dirtmap that replaces the AO map. Both versions had their reflectivity and specularity adjusted.
Just an example of flexibility I wanted with the shader.
Here's the part of the shader responsible for the tileable dirtmap. Instead of a full color tiled dirt map I use a grayscale mask to
blend the color parameter. This way you save memory(UDK supports grayscale texture compression) and allow yourself a bit more flexibility.
But If you stare at it long enough you realize that there's actually even more functionality to it:
For the shader those pretty flowers are just another kind of a dirtmap=).
Btw feel free to check out Fegale wireframe and per material meshsplits here.
And finally here are some close-ups of my props. Remember, no normal maps.
Hey, look, it's John Travolta!