Designing the Characters of KILLZONE 2
Jan-Bart van Beek is Art Director at Guerrilla, the video game company responsible for the Killzone series popular on the Playstation. In an interview with CGSociety, he gets into the details of how they built the characters for the new KILLZONE2 and the difficulties in modeling for real-time systems.
An average character will go through ten feedback and review cycles. After the model is signed off, the character artists at Guerrilla often spend an additional week tuning the character, textures and shaders before it’s truly done. One of the reasons for this additional week of polishing is that our game engine has its own unique look.
We use Maya’s Hypershader system for editing and tuning our shader, since that system works well and most Maya artists are already familiar with it. Of course, it’s been vastly expanded upon with additional nodes, creating shader effects that Maya doesn’t normally support. The lighting in Killzone is based on Image-Based Lighting, a technique also used in movie special effects. The only way to properly evaluate the way the shader interacts with the lighting is to see it in the game engine itself.