UTMC – The Sunspire

Hi guys!

Whoever played Unreal knows what this theme is about: The Sunspire is a sacred haven for the Nali, who carved this sanctuary within a giant mountain. It serves as the connecting point between the terrestrial ground of Na Pali and the floating islands high above the sky.

I was thinking about the possibilities the new Unreal Engine would provide in breathing new life in this location. The player fights in the higher regions of the Spire, right above the cloud level, where he can see the iconic two suns of Na Pali setting, as well as the island floating in the sky.

Although I feel extremely humbled (almost scared even to show this) by all the other amazing talent I've seen in other threads, I made this thread nonetheless to share with you this idea, and to celebrate the fact that this is my very first digital painting ever! So if any of you guys have tips on how to improve, more than welcome!

Interior painting is on its way.



  • Joen
    For the interior, I wanted to show a reinterpretation of the crystal that summons the vessel which transports people to the surface of the floating islands.

    This is what it looked like in Unreal:


    My paint-over. Still a work in progress and some areas still need a lot of work.

  • FirebornForm
    Hey Joen I remember the sun spire well from Unreal 1 and yeah its cool to see some ideas get reborn into the new UT.

    I like your outside shot, but the inside isnt working in my opinion. What throws me off is the checkered floor. For the Nali culture I would imagine they would have more symbols. Perhaps a more minimalistic or fantastical embossed design on the floor. I get you're trying to do marble floor but your choice of design on the marble floor is what hurts it.


    Here's some ref I dug up of marble floor medallions

    If you could also, I would tone down the crystal to be more shimmering beauty instead of looking like its about to explode. Right now it's glaring and would be extremely distracting having a lens flare in the middle of the arena.


  • Kromus
    Really interesting idea, like it a lot.

    I'd try and add some sharpness to some your edges, quite a lot of the environment is blurring together. Whip out the lasso tool or something and get defining those edges. Something I'm guilty of myself at times. More so on the inside shot then outside as I can appreciate the atmosphere you're portraying.
  • Joen
    Thanks a lot for the feedback guys!

    FirebornForm, that checkered floor is lifted directly from some of the rooms in the Sunspire itself. Right now it stands out too much as I haven't done any lighting on it yet, but if I have time I'll see if replacing the floor with something else, more minimalistic, works better anyway. At any rate, I'll try to keep the marble in there, as that material sets the Sunspire apart from the other Nali temples, giving it a more polished, sophisticated look.

    The crystal was done mainly for contrast purposes, but I'll tweak it for the final image.

    Kromus, I'm on it! Also, if time allows me I'm going to update the sky in the first picture. I feel that more can be done with it than it is right now.
  • Joen
    Updated the indoor shot, based on you guys' feedback. There's not enough time left to experiment with a non-checkered floor, however. Now let's see what I can do with the outdoor shot before time runs out.

  • Joen
    And the other one. This shot is solely for the skybox impression. I was thinking it would've been cool to have windows in the spire, as you can see in the middle of the top of the mountain, through which the player can gaze into the vista Na Pali offers, and through which some of the clouds come creeping into the spire.

  • FirebornForm
    You stuck with the checkers, but the important part is you made it work more in the environment. Subtle reflections and less harsh black and white squares tells me this is a reflective surface.

    It would have been better for you to join the contest earlier than a few days to work on it, but can't go back in time. Nice tribute to Unreal 1 good luck getting the environment in the game. :)
  • Joen
    Thanks! You're right, unfortunately time hasn't been friendly to me in the past few months, and I had to make do with whatever I had left to spare. Good luck to you too! I'm particularly fond of your Melting Pot theme, after all, I'm a sucker for fantasy themes.
Sign In or Register to comment.