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Now Available: Yggdrasil Icon Pack

December 20, 2018 in Games | 4 min. read
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We’re excited to announce the release of Buried Memories Volume 1: Yggdrasil – the first Icon Pack from the Unity Icon Collective. We built the pack in collaboration with our partners Quixel Megascans, Arts United, Rokoko, Substance, and Pinewood Studios to ensure superb-quality 3D content, music, sound, and animations.

In this first volume, creators get the complete Yggdrasil diorama, which features an environment, a game-ready animated character, shaders, textures, lighting, audio and more. We have included not just environment and character art, but also animation, sound, and music to show you how everything works together in a project.

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Additionally, we wanted to provide assets that are development-ready. We put a lot of thought into the artistic and technical details such as using optimized textures and shaders, including art elements for the structures and environment.

Finally, the pack is designed for expansion:

  • The animations were made so creators can develop their own animation sequences and in-game character controls.
  • The character was designed so creators can make their own variants by changing textures/colors and adding attachments, weapons or tools. We also included the Substance Painter source files so creators can make entirely new textures quickly and easily.
  • The pack includes a narrative with lots of space for creators to adapt, expand or create their own stories.

Learn more

The background and inspiration

Sketches of the character’s head showing several different variation

We started from the ground up to figure out the setting of the world, how a character would fit in it, and what his or her role would be. We also wanted to incorporate historic Nordic designs into the environment and Norse mythology into the backstory.

From a couple of sketches, we slowly narrowed our direction to what would ultimately become the narrative behind Buried Memories. This direction was inspired by the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, which is a seed storage facility located halfway between mainland Norway and the North Pole in the Svalbard archipelago. In Volume 1: Yggdrasil, the scene is set in the distant future outside a similar seed-vault facility in the Northern hemisphere. The facility is overgrown by vegetation and a vibrant tree of knowledge called Yggdrasil has sprouted.

We imagined a world where an unforeseen event caused an AI core to merge with the seeds in the vault. The advanced machines, which previously operated the facility autonomously, evolved and developed their own awareness and culture.

Concept art exploring how the machines live

Based on this new reality for the machines, we tried to imagine how they would feel, walk, talk and behave. We often found it helpful to act out the scenes ourselves.

It took many sketches and paintings before we were happy with the character art. In the end, it was an amazing experience seeing it all come together in the final project.

The character

Character render in Unity

The package contains a full humanIK rig (MotionBuilder) and a custom Rig (Blender), and also contains 31 navigation animations (e.g., pick up item, door open, walk, run, jump, etc.), which enable you to put the character in motion.

Creating the character

We used the following tools to make the character: 3ds Max, ZBrush, 3D-Coat, Substance Painter, Photoshop

The character model in 3ds Max
The character model in ZBrush

With Substance Painter, it is very easy to change and modify textures because the pipeline is non-destructive. We can change the model and update UV outside the program and Substance will read and update it accordingly. Not only is it easy to create variations in Substance, such as changes to color or types of materials, but it is simple to make updates to weathering distributions or add extra normal details directly.

The character model in Substance Painter

Substance directly exports to Unity’s new High-Definition Render Pipeline (HDRP), which enables powerful rendering within Unity and directly translates to work done in Substance.

The environment

Environment render in Unity

The pack contains more than 250 environment props and models, including modular content from Quixel Megascans’ library, providing lots of creative freedom and scalability.

Crafting the environment

Environment render in Unity

We used the following tools to craft the environment:

  • 3ds Max, ZBrush, 3DCoat, Substance Painter, and Photoshop
  • HDRI lighting setup – We used a directional light to mimic the sun direction with post-processing treatments applied (e.g., color grading, filmic tone mapping and vignette)
  • Volumetric fog setup – We used this setup for atmospheric and localized fog in the scene

More to come

Stay tuned for future blog posts revealing more about the creative process and the production behind Buried Memories Volume 1: Yggdrasil. Also, let us know if there are specific aspects about the pack you would like us to cover.

Check out the webpage and download Volume 1 to start creating your own projects!


Get Volume 1: Yggdrasil

December 20, 2018 in Games | 4 min. read
Topics covered