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(Work in Progress) Sorelle - A USC AGP Game 2024

Role: Art Producer, General Technical Artist

Year: 2023

Genre: Puzzle

Platform: PC

Teaser Trailer @GDC:


Sorelle is a puzzle solving game about three young sisters Alessandra, Bella and Capri who gained magical powers from the broken stained glass. A terrible storm striked the island Isola Chiara inspired by Cefalu Sicily, and sisters want to solve environmental puzzles to help villagers get over with the storm and finally recover the broken stain glass. Art direction is towards painterly stylized to recreate the feeling of childhood wonder.

My Roles:

  • Authored a 40-page art bible elaborating the stylized PBR pipeline to equip the entire team with necessary production knowledge

  • Oversee art team of 16 through Notion and Perforce, consistently giving constructive feedback, directing next steps, and communicating clear goals and outcomes

  • Create level design tools to provide convenience to designers like vertex color paints and variation decals

  • Adopt modular design to make iterations of completing environment faster

  • Code complex shaders in Blueprint and Substance Designer to reach a stylized hand-painted visual in game

Technical Art Breakdown of Sorelle Pipeline

Cel Shading - First Step to our "Painterly Style"

  • In order to make "Painterly" style, at the very beginning I structed a strict pipeline for the characters. This is my Art Producer side and I made sure people understand the way our shaders work, the way the characters need to be made and the way they behave in game.

  • I monitored characters to be created from Silhouettes, to Concepts, to Turnarounds, to A-poses, to Models, to Textures, to Rigs and finally to a full playable animated character in game.

  • Cel shading in Sorelle is a multi-cel cel shading with custom character shaders. Detailed AOs and hatches are directly applied onto base color.

  • I used the first cel for dark tints, the second for transitioning, and third for full length in the final version of cel shader.

Example of Fisherman model, 1st cel disabled, 2nd cel 0~0.3, 3rd cel 0.3~0.5 and full albedo at 0.5-1.0

(Shader on vs off)

(Cel shading structure overview)

Painterly stroke - Material pipeline for surfaces

  • Art direction wants painterly stroke to be applied on surfaces. And this required some tools to make sure it functions.

  • The tool I made for applying strokes onto surface was by layering the strokes like making a cake to "build up" the final texture.

  • Vertex color paint is also enabled in this shader, so that we can paint imperfections on corners to match up things better

(example of strokes applied onto bricks)

(current work-in-progress painterly strokes on buildings)


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