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View Full Version : Under The Hood of GTAIV - Interview with Aaron Garbut


PaulHellard
04-29-2008, 10:07 AM
http://features.cgsociety.org/stories/2008_04/gta4/gta4forumheader.jpg (http://features.cgsociety.org/story_custom.php?story_id=4499)

Grand Theft Auto series art director Aaron Garbut talks to Eurogamer’s Tom Bramwell about GTA IV's development.

Read the article here. (http://features.cgsociety.org/story_custom.php?story_id=4499)

MDR
04-29-2008, 10:24 AM
Quality article!! I just need to go get the game:P

erilaz
04-29-2008, 10:45 AM
You were just hanging out to post this article right after the release, weren't you Paul? :D

Cyberone
04-29-2008, 10:46 AM
is there a mistake in the article?
or is it just me?

the part talking about the lighting effects is the exact same as the part about the cars...
tho im having a weird day with cgtalk today so i could just be me...
anyone else read the whole thing and found the same?
please prove my sanity...lol

cyb


tom:
Living next to the sea myself, my very first impression of GTA IV was that you had captured the character of water under sun, metal and glass - the range of colours and their interaction with dynamic surroundings. Can you tell us a little bit about that process?

aaron:
A large part of this is down to programmers with a great eye. Most of what is going on with the water is very clever and creative code. The only influence we have as artists is obviously creating the world that's being reflected and then setting the lighting up to get this looking as nice as possible.

There are some lovely things going on in the water FX. From the way it reflects the surroundings and distorts that reflection, to the real-time physics on the surface (drop a car into the water and actual waves will distort the surface, which will affect nearby boats). There's even foam wherever the water gets shallower and simulations of viscosity around the edge. It's an insane level of detail, but you can see this when the water laps up and down a wooden post or jetties. All that is done in the FX code.

On top of that, we have global control for each time of day and each weather type to alter the way it fades with depth, which can help to make it look really murky. We can tint it subtly, but mainly it's the time of days, sunlight and sky colouring that has the biggest effect. But as artists we're just tweaking what is already at its base level a bloody nice effect.


Tom:
I'm very interested in the process of creating the game's vehicles. It's easy to imagine a number of scenarios, but most people I've spoken to about it seem to assume one of two things: that you adopt a real-world vehicle as your model and subtract and distort until you have a GTA car, or that you decide on a range of characteristics that fit the requirements of a particular area on the game's curve, and prototype something before sliding it in the direction of an existing archetype, like a Porsche or Lambo.

Aaron:

A large part of this is down to programmers with a great eye. Most of what is going on with the water is very clever and creative code. The only influence we have as artists is obviously creating the world that's being reflected and then setting the lighting up to get this looking as nice as possible.

There are some lovely things going on in the water FX. From the way it reflects the surroundings and distorts that reflection, to the real-time physics on the surface (drop a car into the water and actual waves will distort the surface, which will affect nearby boats). There's even foam wherever the water gets shallower and simulations of viscosity around the edge. It's an insane level of detail, but you can see this when the water laps up and down a wooden post or jetties. All that is done in the FX code.

On top of that, we have global control for each time of day and each weather type to alter the way it fades with depth, which can help to make it look really murky. We can tint it subtly, but mainly it's the time of days, sunlight and sky colouring that has the biggest effect. But as artists we're just tweaking what is already at its base level a bloody nice effect.

bardur
04-29-2008, 10:52 AM
Yeah Cyberone... i noticed that too..
Would love read there take on the car designs. ;)

anyways.. that was a superb read :D nice article :D!
Thanks

Regards

Cyberone
04-29-2008, 10:55 AM
yeah when i was reading i was like "cool i wanna know about how they did the cars that would be pretty interestion.."

and agreed it was a nice arternoon read to go with my beer :)

downing
04-29-2008, 11:45 AM
Ooops! Sorry!
Well spotted guys - I was a bit crossed-eyed by the end of it - its all fixed now.
Cheers. :)

AndyH
04-29-2008, 01:42 PM
Great feature! Ill have a proper read of it later. Would have been nice to see some wireframes though - i'd like to see how much detail is on the environment models.

Got the game at Tesco at midnight yesterday, and have been playing it loads. Its superb. The most impressive aspect about it for me is the lighting and the animation integration.

Stefan-Morrell
04-29-2008, 02:06 PM
Would have been nice to see some wireframes though - i'd like to see how much detail is on the environment models.

I also was hoping to see some wires of the environments

great game,I love the voice acting in the GTA series..all that's missing is the lines of hari krishnas from the PS1 version:scream:

BColbourn
04-29-2008, 02:55 PM
i picked up the special edition of gta4 last night, there's a bunch of wireframes of niko, other characters, and the environments in the art book, in addition to their bone setup and several shading layers of niko.

SpaXe
04-29-2008, 04:00 PM
I, for one, have been enjoying the concept artworks in the article most. The simplicity of the value reduction combined with different colors of light just amazed me a lot.

Darn, I wish the game looked like the concept art! Just... all the realistic rendering with glossy shaders again. :(

BColbourn
04-29-2008, 04:38 PM
alot of the shots are in-game i'm pretty sure. i know this one is: http://features.cgsociety.org/stories/2008_04/gta4/4264-gta-iv-trailer-niko-at-dusk.jpg which absolutely blows me away that a game can produce that kind of result from a raw screenshot in-game.

CMobley
04-29-2008, 06:20 PM
well im gonna have to say. i waited in a very long line at meijer last night and got my copy. i hope the gameplay is as good as the graphics

SeifoSid
04-29-2008, 06:55 PM
actually the gameplay is usually better than the graphics, simply because the graphics are comprimised for the sheer size of the map and all that's going on.

Apoclypse
04-29-2008, 07:19 PM
i picked up the special edition of gta4 last night, there's a bunch of wireframes of niko, other characters, and the environments in the art book, in addition to their bone setup and several shading layers of niko.

Cool. I had ordered the SE version but I didn't know what it had. I just got it because I'm a feature whore.

HellBoy
04-29-2008, 11:31 PM
Beautiful article. I loved it :)

Like others said, it would've been a hectic if there were some wireframes.

Paddy
04-30-2008, 03:05 AM
Haha. thats the funniest article I've read on here for ages. Don't get me wrong, it was an informative and entertaining read and what I've seen of the game is technically amazing. But the interview reminds me of some I read about games I worked on many years ago when I was a nipper with game journos who have no idea of how games are actually made. I've not read a game mag since.

Tom .. do you do that flowery flowery blah blah .

Aaron .. No. We don't.


All I can say is that organic seems to work.

Powermaennchen
04-30-2008, 06:45 AM
hm, i am just getting a 404 error "Sorry, it seems that the page you were looking for isn't there."

CompanionCube
04-30-2008, 07:18 AM
same here 404

erilaz
04-30-2008, 07:29 AM
Presently the article server is down. Stay tuned for your regular CGS service. :wip:

PaulHellard
04-30-2008, 07:46 AM
Thanks guys,

We take you back now to your regularly scheduled program......

Booyah
04-30-2008, 04:24 PM
i keep getting the Dang busy signal, problem loading the page:banghead: I read the first page but that's as far as i got.

adonihs
05-01-2008, 08:23 AM
Awesome read! Thank you for that, such an amazing game :)

CrazyMatt
05-01-2008, 01:12 PM
Really nice article. Although as what i'm more interested in right now is finding out for us PC gamer's if we will be able to recieve a copy of GTA 4 for the PC in the near future?

I suppose once R* returns from their month of vacation, we'll find out. But good stuff :)

Kanga
05-05-2008, 12:04 PM
Congratulations on an entertaining and informative article. The questions covered all the things I was curious about. I could feel the tweakage:buttrock: .

There is a special edition of the game,.... wow ripping idea.
Looking at the stills I was very impressed by the step over from illustrator graphics to poster paint style. Keeping the good stuff you have and branching out isn't an easy thing and its been pulled off grandly. Incorperating new realism and yet managing to hold onto the charming strip style is a real coup. If the visuals are any indication then I can look forward to an expansion on the dark humourous content of the previous series.

As a nummber one fan, all technology aside the thing that impressed me most about the article was the emphasis on the fun factor, instead of the other way around.

Well done Ballistic.
Well done Rockstar.

Cheerio Chris

Geo-Artist
05-06-2008, 12:16 AM
I also was hoping to see some wires of the environments

great game,I love the voice acting in the GTA series..all that's missing is the lines of hari krishnas from the PS1 version:scream:


Actually if you check out the latest issue of E.D.G.E Magazine, you may be able to see some wires for the environment. The main cover story for the latest issue is GTA 4. I saw a picture of one of the environments in wireframe and the city was low poly to my surprise.

Badsight
05-09-2008, 10:17 PM
they made the avatar move like Driv3r

& not being able to switch off the auto-center of the view when your running or driving around isnt cool

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