Illucinated: The Magic of Camera Mapping

I’m working 100% on Illucinated. The game is in a state where the gameplay works. The puzzles work. Everything is in place at least as a placeholder. What I’m doing right now is replacing all those placeholders with high-quality assets. Which means I have to actually produce them. Which (as with everything I do – I see a pattern here) is this insanely complicated, over-the-top and anal process.

Illucinated: The Magic of Camera Mapping

Here is a sneak peak. There is a house in the game you might know from a photo of mine. I want to do something with the house – a small animation. So what I do is I go to a 3D software of choice. I re-create the camera position of a photo of that house. And then I go ahead and actually re-build that house in 3D. Then I project that photo onto that re-built house to get realitic textures – a process called Camera Mapping. But that’s not all because there might be surfaces that are hidden from view on the photo like the back of the house or the roof. So I manually “unwrap” that texture I get from the photo. It’s like unwrapping a candy and flattening the paper – just on the computer so it’s like doing that wearing oven mitts. And then I manually re-create the missing parts. And THEN I do the animation.

In the end, the whole animation will be just a few seconds. The missing parts will be only a few pixels in size. Yet, there is this satisfying effect when it all comes together. Using Camera Mapping you can get a scene look practically indistinguishable from a photo. So the house on the left is actually artificial. It’s the 3D model on the right with the texture applied. Seeing part of it come alive and move can be quite amazing. You can see a similar effect in my old Twisted Reality video.

And by the way, I will be presenting Illucinated on the next FMX in Stuttgart. If you are there, I would be glad if you would come visit me to the Eyes & Ears of Europe Junior Showcase.

Krystian Majewski

Krystian Majewski was born in Warsaw and studied design at Köln International School of Design. Before, he was working on a mid-size console project for NEON Studios in Frankfurt. He helped establish a Master course in Game Design and Research at the Cologne Game Lab. Today he teaches Game Design at various institutions and develops independent games.

3 responses to “Illucinated: The Magic of Camera Mapping”

  1. Simon Ferrari

    I am so tired from pulling all nighters that I forgot to comment on this after watching like 8 million YouTube videos about camera mapping.

    All I can say is: why the fuck did I use Maya and Unreal when I could have been doing this shit. Do you know how stupid hard it is to get a planar mapping to work in Maya? You do, probably better than I do. It’s stupid hard. You are a God, this project looks awesome. I want.

  2. axcho

    So, you’ll be releasing in a week? Good luck. I’m looking forward to it! :D

    I just posted my senior thesis from school. There’s a quote from you in it! ;)

  3. Krystian Majewski

    @Simon: I think the problem is that texturing in general is quite difficult. Especially since it is a process that is deceptively simple in real life – you just take your figurine and a brush and paint in. I hope with the spread of 3D Painting the texturing/unwrapping process will slowly phase out. On the other hand, there lies some power in being able to do it manually. Like driving using a manual gearbox.

    @axcho – ha, that would be awesome! No, sadly, I just prepared some content to show in the presentation.
    Wow, I’m being quoted! How embarrassing. ;-)


The Game Design Scrapbook is a second blog of group of three game designers from Germany. On our first blog, Game Design Reviews we describe some games we played and point out various interesting details. Unfortunately, we found out that we also need some place to collect quick and dirty ideas that pop into our minds. Hence, welcome to Game Design Scrapbook. You will encounter wild, random rantings. Many of then incoherent. Some of them maybe even in German. If you don't like it, you might enjoy Game Design Reviews more.


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