Picking up from last week, we’re back with number two in a small series of developer diaries featuring the upcoming WipEout HD Fury add-on pack. This week, I am happy to introduce Marcus Tanner, WipEout Fury Art Director from the WipEout HD development team.
Hello my name is Marcus Tanner, Art Director on WipEout Fury, and I’m here today to give you a brief insight into how a WipEout environment evolves from concept art to production geometry.
A WipEout track is set in a Utopian environment populated by stunning, cutting-edge architecture enhanced by contemporary graphic design. This aesthetic is created by designing architectural forms that are influenced by abstract sculpture, structure in art and science, futuristic architecture, mecha detailing and contemporary product design.
To create the WipEout aesthetic, our concept artists use a fluid design process that involves creating abstract shapes in 3D and bouncing work around the team from artist to artist to evolve and clarify the designs. This results in bold, abstract 3D structures, which are rendered and painted over with architectural detailing and placed into the context of a WipEout environment.
These concept images use the structures as set pieces, trackside furniture, tunnels etc, and give the production team an idea of how they would look in game:
The positioning of objects in a WipEout environment is created by a design process called Dynamic Composition. The results can be likened to a piece of music providing the track with a visual melody, rhythm and harmony. This process involves sectioning the environment along the track to provide the fundamental flow of shapes that creates an interesting rhythm for the player. It includes strategically adding set pieces which provide focus for the player and then populates the track to create an enhanced game experience. The result is a dynamic environment that emphasizes the feeling of speed and movement as a result of the rhythmic pattern of structures around the track, and also focuses the players’ attention on set pieces.
WipEout Fury is all about the use of bold structural shapes which define the architectural forms. These structures are oversized so they register with the player as they accelerate past at high speed and their striking shapes become associated as icons of each track. Interlocking modular shapes & overlaid layered surfaces make best use of the lighting by allowing shadows to play over the structures, and sunlight to glint through the gaps. This gives the impression of a highly complex and richly populated environment which is enhanced by the use of hyper-real gleaming hi-tech surfaces.
That’s it from me! Keep an eye out for more information on WipEout Fury on the Blog as we countdown to release — we don’t have an exact release date for you yet, but I understand that you’ll be told as soon as we do.