Hello and welcome to Erica Larson’s texture gallery. The purpose of this page is to give you a clean look at my texture work and explain my thoughts on each project. Textures for some might come down to 2D artistic excellence however there is the game engine side to texturing that requires technical problem solving. Fortunately, I am technical artist that boasts both the creative skills used in 2D texture work as well as the coding competence to make those same assets come to life in engine.
Classic Painted Textures
The first texture project I will be show casing is Maui. Maui shares the same aesthetics found in The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, utilizing classical hand painted textures on flat geometric models. Maui is an eight-month project that had three dedicated artists. I functioned as the elected Art Lead and was responsible for all the major 2D artwork which included textures. The following subset of textures are all tiles that were used in the Steam release of the game. They were created with combination of Photoshop and Paint Tool SAI. I was responsible for the models, textures, and VFX found in the video and images below. I was not responsible for character models but was responsible for the character textures, designs, and VFX.
Use of Texture Space
In a game environment texture space is extremely valuable. High resolution textures are great but you must use them wisely. In Maui because I was the only full time texture artist I had to make sure my textures were extremely versatile and could be reused. The following four textures made up 50% of the game’s environment so it was imperative that they used the entire texture space while also being tileable so not to incur resolution problems. The island border texture was incredibly invaluable as it allowed modelers to quickly swap texture types by simply moving UVs to the desired swatch. This meant creating new island looks was as easy as opening the UV editor and dragging the UVs with the move tool.
It’s amazing what you can do with textures and a bit of coding. Using a combination of scrolling UVs, particles, and sprite sheets you can make some super pretty waterfall effects. The following four texture sheets made up the waterfall gif below. The coding and particle tuning was also my work. Sprite sheets were developed in Flash and everything else was produced in Adobe Photoshop.
Introduction to Realism
The second project I will be show casing is Tetra Sail. Tetra Sail was developed in a partnership with the University of Utah’s hospital and a software lab which emphasizes medical application development. I was brought on board because they needed a Unity artist to create gamified simulation space built to train a tetraplegic user’s ability to sail with assistive devices. Because of the focus on real-life training and usability there was an extra emphasis on realism and believability. The project was five months long, part time, and I was the only artist. If there is a project that really show cases my flexibly and efficiency as a texture artist this is it.
Multiple Map Components
Sometimes a color map alone is not enough. While Maui could rely on color maps, Tetra Sail was a project that relied heavily on realism. For the sail in Tetra Sail I had to use masking techniques that affected both the transparency of the sail as well as its specular component. The sail was a particularly delicate situation, because it had to be free flowing, utilize Unity’s cloth systems effectively, yet capture the multi material based sail found in the reference photos.
The sail in question was made of taught canvas as well as a shiny clear plastic netted with black carbon fiber.
To accomplish this multi material look on one piece of geometry I used multiple masks. This way I could control the transparency and specularity separately to match the look of the sail. In addition to this, a normal map was created using a clean greyscale map and Quixel nDo software. Other effects I worked on were the sail model, animation, and code interpolation between multiple meshes. I made the textures and customized an existing kayak model into the tandem kayak found in the video and slides below. The project used a water plugin, which I used to create the desired look and consistency of Utah’s lakes.
Weather and Skybox FX
Throughout this entire page you have probably seen a few different skyboxes, all of which were created by me using a variety of open source photography. I know several techniques for sky boxes and sky systems and have a fairly good handle on weather FX and particles including the development of custom sprite sheets.
I am an extremely well rounded texture artist with a technical edge. If there is an effect you love and want to see in your games I am confident I can break it down and find just the solution you are looking for. It is not about what I know now, it is about what I can learn in a short span of time. If you are looking for a technical texture artist to round out your already incredible art team, then I am your girl.
If you would like to see my breadth of work beyond textures I suggest looking at my main portfolio page found at www.lostrealism.com. Here you will find all the major titles I have shipped as well as what I contributed to each of those individual projects.
Bonus Minecraft textures from one of my first games.