|Textures from World of Warcraft|
Before these textures can be applied to any surface, research is done to collect images that will be referenced when creating the final textures. Photographs are taken of real world surfaces and then the artists choose from these to create a palette of textures that will eventually work together to create the final environment, prop, or character. Theme park projects include the very same process, collecting real world examples of surfaces that will then be translated into real world materials. While in the virtual world these references will be used to create facsimiles of their real world counterparts, theme parks translate these examples into physical surfaces, through application of paint and in some cases “distressing” these materials to create the desired effect. Where the two worlds intersect is through the use of “Rockwork”. The goal of any themed environment is to transport their audience through the illusion of textured surfaces. In video games this is done through textures and lighting, and in theme parks this is done with theatrical stage techniques. The theater has a long history of making surfaces appear to be something they are not. Canvas can be painted to look like bricks, or stonework, and in theme parks concrete can be used to sculpt any number of materials, allowing for both flexibility and durability in outdoor environments.
|Rockwork sample panel sculpted for Mickey's Toontown, Disneyland CA|
|Top: Street scene from Epic Citadel using the Unreal Engine, Bottom: Fantsyland, Disneyland California|