July 2nd, 2009
We have started some very early groundwork for grass in Overgrowth. The first step is making a grass object so we can test out what things look like with basic object shading -- next, we can figure out how to improve it!
Here is my first test asset for grass. It looks black because you are actually looking at the back facing triangles in 3DS Max. I offset the triangles facing in opposite directions so that the grass looks like it has a little thickness even when viewed on-end.
This is what the grass looks like in the engine. One of the nice things about the grass is that it gives a much better sense of scale right away. We know how tall grass is, so when we see it next to these objects, we can guess how tall they are as well.
There are still a lot of problems -- for example, the black shading on the back. Real grass is translucent, and actually looks even greener when light is passing through it from the other side. It is also pretty obvious that it is the same grass object repeated over and over again, which won't be a problem when we have more different grass objects and random orientations.
We have heard some great ideas already for grass (my personal favorite: grass waving in the breeze), but is there anything else we can do to make our grass extra cool?