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Use the GDC 2021 Session Viewer to browse and sort the ever-growing list of sessions by day, time, pass type, topic, and format. All registered attendees will be able to build their personal schedule directly within the event platform, once live early July 2021. All times are listed in Pacific Time.

Driving Innovation: A New Vehicle Pipeline for 'The Last of Us: Part II'

Matthew Johns  (Principal Artist, Naughty Dog, Inc.)

Date: Wednesday, July 21

Time: 1:20pm - 2:20pm

Pass Type: All Access Pass, Core Pass

Topic: Visual Arts

Format: Session

Vault Recording: Video

Audience Level: N/A: I would like to deliver a virtual presentation only

The Last of Us: Part II was Naughty Dog's most ambitious title to date, featuring large and incredibly detailed environments. Early concept art and design indicated that the vehicles that populated these spaces would be vast in number, highly detailed and would play a vital role in telling the story of decay that is synonymous with the Last of Us universe. Accurate and detailed depiction of vehicles in previous Naughty Dog video games required significant texture allocation per asset and employed traditional baking methods. The vehicle creation pipeline was time consuming, requiring highly skilled artistry at each stage and due to level texture memory limitations, was limited in scale. This session will discuss a new approach that not only improved upon the quality and variation of the vehicle assets, but that was also faster to implement and could be scaled with far less impact on memory limitations.


Attendees will gain valuable insight into the vehicle pipeline for The Last of Us: Part II and how it provided us with advantages over our formerly employed techniques. This presentation will detail the advantages of using mid-poly modeling, multi-layered shaders and a shared texture library when compared to uniquely textured assets.

Intended Audience

This presentation will benefit game artists/developers familiar with the limitations of level texture memory as well as more advanced texture, shader and modeling techniques in regards to the creation of assets for video games.