Hello and welcome to this second blog post in which we will talk about watermelons !
The football games in Captain Tsubasa are cults in part because of their very specific aspect.
The football fields seem to extend to the horizon, the earth’s curvature is so exaggerated that the players and goal are not visible from the other end of the field. By moving forward, we start to see the players appear behind the horizon line.
This is exactly the type rendering (effect) that we target with Captain Football.
The problem is that there is a difference between an anime (or manga) and a game.
In an Anime, animators can decide to change the physics that governs the world or change proportion rules every time they make a new shot.
This is not necessarily the same thing in 3D video games. In a video game, we will tend to make a 3D physical space consistent during the different phases of the game. (Understand that the size of the field will not be changed at runtime to accentuate a dramatic effect)
So we had to make choices that would directly influence the way in which the main character, opponents and allies would be programmed.
The watermelon method
This is one way to create that kind of effect, it’s a quite clear and quite elegant effect.
The football players run on the surface of the watermelon. This is a plausible and acceptable representation that could explain credibly what is happening on the screen during an episode of Captain Tusbasa.
The problem is that if we want to increase the size of the field, we need to increase the size of the sphere (watermelon) and we will also need to increase the radius of the players circular movement (around the field). Another Problem is that if you choose this method, you will be a captive of the physical constraints of this model (your players will have to run around the sphere, etc).
The optical illusion method
That’s what I decided to do.
Rather than creating a sphere, I directly create a 3D mesh (3D Object) with the aim to create an object that I will use as a tool for an optical illusion.
This way, we try to create a structure that will give to the player (user) the impression of a rounded and deformed play field while we maintain total control. By trying and tweaking a few times we managed to find a satisfactory rendering.
The camera position, combined with the specific shape of the field helps us to achieve this effect.
Finally, all that’s left to do is to move the football players along the field and move the texture on the ground to give an illusion of a running football player.
You get the basic idea, but of course we still have a lot to do.
Feel free to comment if you have a question or remarks about this topic.
Thank you and see you next week !