Probably the most fun and challenging project I've worked on, it took a great indie team 2 years to construct this game and I got lucky enough to contribute some environments. (Steam: http://bit.ly/2Iew5BN )
These painterly BGs are all projected over my 3d geometry in-game, like older point & click adventure games.
If you haven't already, check out the link to part 1 in the Project description where I describe the goal and process a bit more.
Millers Court off of Dorset St - "The Worst Street in London", is where Mary Jane Kelly resided and was murdered. This was an important location for our game, and we went through several attempts at nailing the required mood.
1. The only photo of Jack the Ripper's crime scene. 2. Several contemporary sketches of the scene. 3. The only other photo - of its demolition. 4. The fire insurance map I could use to plan the dimensions alongside the photo.
Using Sketchup's "Match Photo" tool, I could align perspective with the photo and use it to "3D trace" features to match the photo 1:1, after fish-eye was adjusted for. The rest of the scene was based on the above sketches and floorplan.
I brought the sketchup model into 3D Coat to match the materials to the b/w photos. Doing this early in the process let me explore multiple potential camera & lighting angles without the need of any repainting.
The birds eye camera was a departure from the usual ground-level camera of the game, to try and enhance the unease and disassociation, as well as contrast the tiny interior of the room the player walks into for the next scene.
The final model with mats in Sketchup for painting over, and a secondary painted background needed for a different shot.
The final background (daytime version) painted in Photoshop, which is projected in-game over my model that the characters can navigate around.
Garden where the body of Annie Chapman was discovered, generally held to be the second victim of Jack the Ripper - now demolished.
1. Contemporary photo. 2, 3. Illustrations from newspapers that were affordable to many for the first time in history.
Mitre Square is the location where the body of Catherine Eddowes was found.
1. Map of the location. 2. Contemporary illustrations. 3. An older photo of the crime scene location.
I used the illustration as a starting point and turned it into a 3D scene in Sketchup. I then used the contemporary photo to get the geometric details of the crime scene as accurate as possible to what it looked like at the time.
Thumbnails were a vital step for all the scenes, and the 3d bases provided a good way to quickly iterate on ideas and find what worked best.
The photo had a lot of information, so for this scene I went in with 3D Coat and made a quick and rough texture pass using it.
The final scene (with the body removed for spoiler/gore reasons).
I liked the focus the single distant streetlamp gives, and the contrast it gives to this unlit and quiet corner.
1. The original layout, which is now a carpark. 2. A photo of the alley in which Elizabeth Stride was murdered. 3. A view down the alley. 4. Various contemporary illustrations of the scene.
Berner Street was an interesting crime scene full of conflicting eyewitness descriptions and information, but with some good illustrations and photos.
Using the two photos we have of this scene, I mapped out the buildings accurately.
All my paintings are projected at one angle over the 3D, giving the best of both worlds. Illustrative paintings + 3D characters, lighting, fog FX, camera blurring, and so on.
This is what you'd see in-game if you could twist the camera.
Shots were approached in the way a director of photography would, I used the game's script, laid out storyboards of where all the key players of the scene could stand in the frames, and thought heavily about things like angles and character movement.
Puma court is one of the few surviving narrow streets in London, just off of the large Christchurch scene in the previous post. I was very happy at being able to create the feel of a place where lighting is scarce and distant.
And finally, some stillness: One of the shots for the climactic scenes of the game.
Thank you so much for reading this far, I hope I managed to communicate just a smidgen of the fun I had working on this. Now go out and play the game! :)