We know that Sony Bend is working on a PS4 exclusive, but Sony Computer Entertainment has been extremely secretive about what that game will entail. The only snippets of information we managed to find were trickled down by career opportunity ads, and today we get another one to add a couple more pieces to the puzzle.
The ad seeks an Associate artist, and gives us a bit more insight on the game’s visuals.
Here’s an excerpt:
Contribute to the artistic vision and development of a AAA product with a specialized focus on creating environment/level assets utilizing a combination of traditional fine art and technical art skills. Responsibilities includes creating and painting environment 2D texture maps, 3D modeling/sculpting, material setup/UV layout, shader setup and some lighting according to defined quality standards, artistic styles, conceptual designs, development pipelines, technical parameters and production goals. Must possess ability to collaborate with a wide-range of development team members outside of direct discipline such as Directors, Designers, Technical Artist, and Animators to achieve artistic goals and implementation as they relate to design and technological considerations.
- Model and texture 3D assets including props, collision and shadow proxies
- Create high quality color, normal, specular texture maps, and shaders that follow established direction, engine guidelines, and parameters.
- Use baked and real-time lighting to enhance the look and playability of the environments.
- Independently undertakes research and information gathering prior to the commencement of a new task to ensure game design needs, reference materials, artistic direction, and technological considerations are effectively managed to meet defined goals.
- Actively advances skill set, and abilities, keeping aware of industry trends and techniques, evaluating competitive products, learning new software packages and traditional art methods.
- Possess good time management and prioritization skills. This entails collaborating with the Production group to manage responsibilities to ensure set goals will be met from a scope, schedule, and artistic perspective.
- Proficient in the use of Photoshop CS to manipulate photo source and create realistic, tillable, textures that match the artistic style of the defined art direction. This requires good 2D art skills like composition, drawing, sketching, and color theory.
- Proficient in the use of 3D modeling software to create and texture optimized props and other environment assets within the defined specs and guidelines.
- This requires a basic knowledge of 3D software and the ability to analyze photo source or concept art and turn 2D images into 3D objects. Z-Brush/Mud box experience desirable.
- Good reading and comprehension skills to have complete understanding of complex process documents, design documents, and written assignments.
This ad is actually extremely interesting as it tells us that the game will use a mix of baked and real-time lighting. For those unfamiliar with the term, baked lighting is the use of precalculated lightmaps normally for static objects where dynamic lighting is not necessary. The mix of the two methods is normally the best option to achieve high quality and save hardware resources, since using dynamic lighting for everything is very costly in terms of performance.
What’s even more intriguing is the mention of creating realistic tillable textures. Those are normally used for materials, and the fact that the candidate will have to manipulate photo sources in order to create them tells us that the folks at Bend are going for a realistic art style as opposed to a cartoonish one.
While we still don’t know much of what Sony Bend’s PS4 exclusive will entail, at the very least now we have a clearer idea of how it’ll look. Hopefully we’ll know more at E3, which is only a little more than a month away.