We at Niantic knew we wanted Shaymin for Pokémon GO Fest 2022. We also had this idea of presenting Shaymin in and around some flowers. I pitched a storyboard of the catch sequence to our internal developers and eventually to The Pokémon Company. The final result is actually pretty close to the original proposal.
Once approved I was tasked with leading a small team; Saro Orfali - 2D artist, Alex Turbyfield - Technical Artist, and myself - 3D Artist. Saro provided a 2D painting of the background (from the purple flowers to the sky), Alex helped with a material to allow for the grass, flowers and bushes to sway in the wind, along with general implementation into our current systems.
I modeled everything in the scene. Sliced up Saros painting into geometry in Maya, along with the foreground, I applied it all to one texture atlas (excluding Shaymin). The scene is comprised of about the same tri count as one of our NPC characters in the game. I then brought things into Unity and animated Shaymins walk path, emote timing, particle effects, camera timing and material wind attributes. Geometry, textures and selective combining was methodically implemented to assure that the scene would be performant on mobile devices. There is no alpha blending or cutout used in the scene.
It has been an absolute joy to see Trainers reaction to the scene and the happiness it brings them. I am beyond proud of what we were able to achieve.