In the Rhombus of Ruin

Environment and prop modeling.

Environment modeling done on Psychonauts: In the Rhombus of Ruin.

Background wrecks in crater is not my work.

Technical Art / FX

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Instead of an always-facing hologram or using a “reflective” transparent sphere with a transparent plane inside (expensive)
it was more performance-friendly to do a bit of calculations for UV coordinates based on local camera “ray” to get the effect.

Using Vertex Local Position Texture to control and manipulate the waterlevel in skewed and bent tubes.
It is easy enough to blend between glass and liquid for the outer shell, but the liquid surface needs to be a mesh (or a raycast plane) to work.
The full liquid mesh was unwrapped to a perfect grid and bounding-box-scaled vertex positions were baked out from Substance Painter. The material was set up to reposition the vertices by this texture, finding the UV positions by clamping the V-direction to the waterheight.

While deforming by a sine wave is simple enough, the real challenge was to factor in the right local- and world-relative transformations,
so the wave would stay the same size and be only partially in sync with other plants, while not changing amplitude because of scale or position of the plant in world-space.

The deformation also happened by rotation of the vertices rather than offset to avoid skewing