Wednesday, September 4, 2013

LookDev Analysis #1

LookDev Analysis #1
(Portal 2 Spoilers)

High Rez here

This is a practice exercise I want to start doing more and more as I go forward. Essentially, what I am trying to do is look at screenshots from games and movies that I enjoy and am familiar with, and break them down a bit and look at different elements. Those elements will change depending on the shot and my conclusions are my own, but always welcome to discussion. I would encourage anyone with their own opinions to contact me and chat about it :)

Here is a quick breakdown of what I see in the above shot :


At this point in the story Chell (the player has fallen to the lower and older parts of Aperature Science. This is helped reinforced with the older 80's style logo change from the Aperature that the player has seen so far. Overall the scene is a mix of browns and blue/greys which I think helps to instill calmness in the player to help reinforce the sense of exploration which is taking point at this part of the game. The browns and grime help reinforce that the area hasn't seen light in a long time, and the traditional Aperature white help show that the area is still Aperature through and through.  The blue also is used slightly as fog which could be to help hint at a larger space, or that the area is bigger than it really is (sometimes a goal in confined play spaces, and something Valve is very successful at).


Compositionally I think this is a strong shot. I cannot remember if this shot is pointing the way of the gameplay or not, but the high contrast of shadows and light help direct player view towards the recognizable logo (establishing location further) and to a lesser degree, towards the area of interest (the white walls which are important to gameplay, and the platform which the puzzle is integrated too).  The noisy ceiling helps bring the player's eye down to the central part of the room, and the relatively strong contrast lines help establish the space everything is taking place in.


The lighting here is a great example of the source engine used well. The main shadows and light create believable play in the main area, while darker shadows blend into the less important background elements of the scene. The bounce lighting and environment mapping does a nice job at making certain details really pop, adding value to the geometry in some of the piping while the nice blend of materials on the ground creates seamless transitions between varying colors.  Bloom is present in this shot, but not overdone, and creates just enough of an effect to push the realism of the scene a little farther into surrealism and wonder without overdoing anything.

Favorite Aspects:

Personally the backwards words give viewers just a little bit more thinking to do before putting all the pieces together. I also do love the lack of true functionalism in everything Aperature. Pipes, but for what? Scaffolding, but not for anything specific.

Anyway that was LookDev Analysis #1. Probably going to do a couple of these a week on top of everything else.

Thanks for reading,


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