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troublemag | November 26, 2022

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Josh Van Zuylen

CyberRunner, a project inspired by the incredible works of Mike Pondsmith, Syd Mead and David Snyder. The ultimate goal, says Josh Van Zuylen was to stand alongside these high-profile legends, who helped to create and develop the instantly recognisable dystopian science fiction culture of Cyberpunk. “I was obsessed with the theme, I couldn’t get it out of my head and it kept growing bigger and better”, says Josh.

Josh primarily used a Wacom Intuos Pro pen tablet to make a number of assets including concept modelling, UV, baking, texturing, engine implementation, all the way down to shader creation. After the initial burst of inspiration, Josh set out by creating several visualisation sketches in 3D, a process called white boxing. In this first stage, Josh looked at the main layouts, large shapes and forms as well as primitive lighting.




Once he was happy with the white box, Josh moved into a stage called proxy modelling. This stage is where Josh fleshed out the scope and visual theme for the world. He then took a simple asset that would be represented by a cube in a white box and started to model shapes that formed silhouettes. This helps the assets to start looking like the end result without spending a large amount of development time, thus enabling them to be revised faster. This is a great way of working when you have no concept art.

Once Josh created the proxy models and had a clear direction of where the project was headed, he moved into production. The process of designing high-resolution, art-deco style architecture models and their realtime counterparts was aided by the use of the Wacom Intuos Pro along with Photoshop, Quixel, Substance and Unreal Engine 4.

The monstrous project demanded a total of six months solid work in production. Josh details the project as “huge in scale, especially as a solo personal assignment. It was an iterative process that included set dressing, developing several lighting scenarios, shader and weather systems, animation and cinematography. At one point, rebuilding the entire environment as the scene hierarchy was not working”.




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copy from media release june 2017