Huangshan Mountains UE4

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polycounter lvl 5
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Fozwroth polycounter lvl 5
Hey there polypeeps!

I thought I'm going to try to finish this environment before new years so I'm starting this thread to gather some feedback/ideas for the scene :)

Everything is still WIP and there are some things I really want to fix.

I'm not necessarily going for an exact photo real copy of the location, I'm kind of interpreting it with handmade assets but trying to get the overall feel of it, if that makes sense :)

In the end there will be roughly these camera shots(maybe 1 or 2 more) and a flythrough.


Huangshan_WIP_01.png


Huangshan_WIP_02.png

Huangshan_WIP_03.png

Huangshan_WIP_04.png

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  • Cibo
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    Cibo polycounter lvl 4
    From Distance its looks very good but the last picture shows a little boring stone texture in the near view.
  • mettigel
  • Fozwroth
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    Fozwroth polycounter lvl 5
    Thanks! Yeah I need to work with those rocks some more so they hold upp better up close, I havent really figured out/ dressed the final shot properly yet but I'm working on it :)

    I'm also going to add some larger full grown trees, that will hopefully add more of a forets-y feel to some of the more open areas
  • modsoft
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    modsoft polycounter lvl 3
    Hey Fozwroth,
    One thing that stands out to me is there is no variation of color values in the foliage. You could create a worldspace color blend material for the grass/trees/flowers to slightly change their color based on world position. (seen here)

    I think your rocks need more polys. You should also sculpt in some smaller detail forms so the rocks look good up close and far away. Creating a vertex paint material for small detail foliage (moss,cracks, weathered areas) will bring your rocks to life.
    huangshan-mountain3.jpg

    Looking good so far, keep it up:)
  • Fozwroth
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    Fozwroth polycounter lvl 5
    I actually have a variation grid setup, but I may have washed it out too much with my recent tinkering. I will take another pass to bring it back to life, I will need to add the same shift in the subsurface pass as well since that controls a lot of the color :)

    Yeah good point! I will setup some vertex paint funtions for the close rocks, I think the far away cliffs can survive with foliage painting, I just need to add some more meshes to paint with, smaller shrubs and such. I will take a pass at the surface detail on the small rocks as well :)

    Thanks!
  • Alfred1992
    I love the rock formations in the third picture :D
  • Fozwroth
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    Fozwroth polycounter lvl 5
    Thanks :D
  • Shrike
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    Shrike polycounter lvl 4
    the setting is cool and the plants and such look very nice, especially that small bonzai looking tree

    the third pic is really letting down somwhat, its not meeting the expectations of that scenerie all the trees are the same (+ same color) and there are hardly any plants or variation also the lighting is dull and its missing color overall. I expect this paradise-esque vibe, but that is not met. Try getting some vibrance in, some colored flowers and whatnot, and a more saturated skybox maybe or some nice color grading. The rocks should have a large scale diffuse overlay in your shader somewhere that varies color, would add a lot too

    shot 1 and 4 need some visual counterweight on the left bottom corner, like some lush plant
  • synergy11
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    synergy11 keyframe
    Nice work!

    I was under the impression UE4 didn't have a proper Foliage/vegetation shader setup?

    Has this been fixed? What kind of shader did you use? Translucency? Two-sided?

    :)
  • Fozwroth
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    Fozwroth polycounter lvl 5
    Yeah I'm currently working on some more foliage to paint on the closer cliff formations as well as powering up the color varation more :)

    I definitely need to take a pass on the lighting as well as make a proper skybox. I will setup some vertex paint funstions fot the rocks and the cliff to add some more variation as well.

    I'll go in and balance those shots some more, thanks!


    Thanks!

    Well I have a subsurface shader setup with some different functions going on, even utilizing some emissive at the moment to get som ambient lighting in it so its not super pbr friendly but it looks alright, I will work some more on the shader and try to push it more and get it to pop some more ^^

    As far as I know there isnt a "proper" foliage shader setup out of the box yet
  • urgaffel
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    urgaffel polycounter lvl 10
    The 3rd shot is imo the strongest (although the white fog is very bright) but they all lack a far distant aspect. You can kind of tell that the "world" ends behind the last rocks and making a proper skybox with some cliffs painted in might help with that as well as some simple set extensions. There's also a certain lack of colour variation in the rocks, they look good but they're a little bit samey.For example, in the first shot you can see the same rock four times in a vertical line in the center of the image. It's a great start though and it's on track to be really spectacular.
  • narticus
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    narticus keyframe
    This looks great! The spacing and distribution of all assets looks really nice and natural. It could use more color variation overall, especially in the greenery. The third image needs some highlights, or certain areas that stand out. Maybe some brighter leaves on a few trees would do the trick.
  • Mattcho
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    Mattcho polycounter lvl 6
    I really like the 3rd shot as well! I pretty much agree with everyone else on the extra variation and what not. Can't wait to see the next few passes on this!

    For the base Terrain did you just do something quick in World Machine? Or just create it in UE4? I always want to do larger scenes like this but tend to get stuck when it comes to creating the landscape.
  • Fozwroth
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    Fozwroth polycounter lvl 5
    Thanks! Yeah a proper skybox and some backdrops will help sell the picture better! Good catch, I'll go in a fix that, flip some cliffs around. Ill take a pass on the fog as well, make it a little more blue ish

    Yeah the variation is next on my to do list as well as building some more foliage that I can paint on the cliffs.

    The terrain is just hand sculpted inside UE4, since I'm covering it all upp with cliffs and what not I didnt really feel a need to use World Machine. I havent really used it that much either but maybe I'll make it into a learning experience by doing a pass with it as well :)
  • Fozwroth
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    Fozwroth polycounter lvl 5
    Hey! Sorry with the lack of updates but I´ve been pretty busy.

    I tweaked some stuff in general and worked more on the grass. I didnt really get the variation to work exactly how I wanted to yet but I'm working on it so coming :) I thought I would share the progress so far

    HuangshanWIP_12_12_14.png
  • AbKI
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    AbKI polycounter lvl 4
    Beautiful!
  • Fozwroth
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    Fozwroth polycounter lvl 5
    Thanks :)
  • Fozwroth
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    Fozwroth polycounter lvl 5
    Switched out the Sky and added backdrop planes. Adjusted some general stuff, got a subtle variation going on for the foliage trees.

    Started playing with another camera shot as well, still som stuff to fix there.

    I added a vertex paint function to paint dirt on top of the cliffs and rocks and the next thing is to add another color that can mask in a smoother rock with a slightly different structure to break up the noise a little bit on the cliffs.

    I will need to dress the closest mountain with "real" meshes so it looks better.


    HuangshanWIP_12_13.png


    HuangshanWIP2_12_13.png
  • Fozwroth
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    Fozwroth polycounter lvl 5
    Bumping this a little in case someone has anything else to add to the feedback :)
  • urgaffel
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    urgaffel polycounter lvl 10
    The top of the center rock fomation in the first pic (in your most recent update) needs a few more polygons ;)

    Looking good though! Maybe lower the camera and tilt it a little bit up for the second image? It feels a bit straight on and static and also a little bit cramped at the top of the shot. Have you thought about doing it with a portrait orientation instead of landscape? Since there's a lot of verticality it might suit it better. Finally, I'd love to see a spot of colour on the cliffside, maybe something like this?
  • sltrOlsson
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    sltrOlsson polycounter lvl 7
    Your rock textures are to noisy and are to undefined.. You need to get the characteristics right for these rocks. Your horizontal lines are there but they need more, take a look at what the real life formations look like on the surface. "RockFormationsBig0072" on cgtextures is a great example. Your color is off as well, but you main shapes and surface textures is a bigger issue right now.

    I think it might be easier to create one or two pretty big textures with the features your reference pictures show you and then add detail on that (if it's even needed). You don't really need these rock pieces to use unique normal information. Work more with your lowpoly instead, more like the Naughty dog workflow. You can easily hide your seams since you're sticking them in to a bigger mesh..

    When you get nice clear cliffs and cracks in, you should start to place your trees and vegetation in those cracks. Again, look at the reference pictures..

    Your trees look very flat up close, they work great at a distance, so maybe keep them as a LOD instead? You need more silhouette information. You see most of them from there side where they're lacking information right now.
  • Fozwroth
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    Fozwroth polycounter lvl 5
    Thanks for all the awesome feedback guys!

    I started addressing some of the mentioned things, but it still a bit rough around the edges.

    I lost my object position variation on the foliage after upgrading to 4.7 All the foliage is treated as one actor so it only has on position so i need to solve that another way :)

    I started reworking the cliffs and added some other meshes to complement the standard cliff wall and added a new sculpted mid detail normalmap into the mix.

    I added larger tree, still WIP and will add another taller and straighter to kind of give a more forest kind of feel to it. I worked a little more with the grass and foliage in general as well.

    Next up is to look over the mountain side foliage :) I will add 2 more types and rework the current tree so it holds up better when its closer to the camera

    WIP_26_12_01.png


    WIP_26_12_02.png


    WIP_26_12_03.png
  • Youngy798
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    Youngy798 polycounter lvl 2
    How do you go about creating leaves for trees, do you use photos or do you create the textures from scratch?

    If so, any good tutorials for doing it?
  • Fozwroth
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    Fozwroth polycounter lvl 5
    I highpoly model most of it, mapping a photo on to a plane and then model the shape of it, placing it in clusters and place it on branches I make using Mayas default paint effects tool (basically just painting tubes with a falloff values)

    The pine branches I do the same thing except I just model some individual pine needles and just apply a gradient of green on it since its all they really need.

    I saw some nice images explaining it somewhere I can have a look and see if I find it again :)
  • Fozwroth
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    Fozwroth polycounter lvl 5
    Small updates on the mountain foliage situation, still some more types to add but its some progress at least : ]


    WIP_120914_01.png

    WIP_120914_02.png

    WIP_120914_03.png

    WIP_120914_04.png

    WIP_120914_05.png
  • Fozwroth
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    Fozwroth polycounter lvl 5
    Started adding some more WIP trees for the main area, still some work left on them but its something : ]


    WIP_1_1_16_01.png

    WIP_1_1_16_02.png

    WIP_1_1_16_03.png

    WIP_1_1_16_04.png

    WIP_1_1_16_05.png
  • Tobbo
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    Tobbo polycounter lvl 5
    These are looking really great! Nice job!

    Just out of curiosity what engine are you using? Frostbite?
  • Fozwroth
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    Fozwroth polycounter lvl 5
    Thanks! :D

    I'm using Unreal Engine 4 : ]
  • Sweetangel0467
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    Sweetangel0467 polycounter lvl 4
    Any chance you'd be willing to share your foliage shader setup? Been trying some stuff myself but it's kind of not going so well :D
  • whats_true
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    whats_true polycounter lvl 8
    You should toy with come slight color shades for the shadows or even a different time of day with purple hues for the background. Just to give it some interest. Its a cool scene, but, nothing is really going on. The green is pretty much the same green and the rock color is pretty much the same rock color all around. Modsoft said it above, some color variations would be nice. Make it interesting.
  • Fozwroth
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    Fozwroth polycounter lvl 5
    Yeah I'm planning on breaking this scene down once its finished :) I would say that I'm currently going for that last 10% that brings it all together so hopefully I will be done soon :)

    Yeah I'm going to work on some color variation later tonight!

    I tried playing with some colors and desaturated some of the vegetation, I also toyed around with the global illumination going full on( perfomance took a pretty big hit :P)

    It needs more tweaking for sure, It's a tad to purple ish for my taste now but I'll keep working on it later.

    01.png

    02.png

    04.png

    05.png

    06.png
  • urgaffel
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    urgaffel polycounter lvl 10
    Quick and dirty photoshop job:

    hpHFMh3i

    Hope that shows what I meant by portrait :)

    (also have the psd if you want to see what I did post process wise)
  • Fozwroth
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    Fozwroth polycounter lvl 5
    Oh, I forgot to crop the image and try it out ^^ my bad!

    Looks neat! Yeah I would love to see your tweaks in more detail :)
  • AkiRa
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    AkiRa polycounter lvl 5
    Hey man, this is looking really amazing! Loving the foliage and how carefully placed and natural it looks, also: awesome bark texture! :D

    I especially like the large vista shot a lot but when I look at it, my eye goes to the focal point and and then wanders around but finds not much more than rocks and trees. While it looks great overall on the first glance, I think there is bit of a lack of life, especially with such a great vista.

    I hope you don't mind that I did a quick and dirty paint over to better illustrate what i mean:

    5zyrxSvZCmRbu-TQF9v9RL_GuuXGE1b4QeiDaYNxr_A
    5zyrxSvZCmRbu-TQF9v9RL_GuuXGE1b4QeiDaYNxr_A
    paintover_01.jpg?dl=0I've just added some stuff that would add a bit more life to the scene in general.
    You I can send you the .psd as well if you want.

    Hope it's helpful just trying to give you some ideas.
    Anyway looking great man!

    Keep it up! :)

    Cheers
  • Alphavader
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    Alphavader polycounter lvl 5
    Making good progress. I like the texturing and
    the set dressing. However the lightning and point of interest are missing.
    Also a nice skybox - mood(lightning)- waterfall (or water) - birds, colorgrading, flowers (with color other than green) and so on would be a real deal.

    Doesnt have to be the avatar screen, but here some shots
    that get my idea:

    0_c34ce_fee6b556_XL.jpg

    Avatar-trees.jpg
  • Fozwroth
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    Fozwroth polycounter lvl 5
    Thanks!

    Yeah I need to get some clearer points of interests, I haven't really figured everything out yet but its coming to me as I finish things and move props around ^^

    I love the idea of waterfalls but I'm not sure how much fantasy I want to put into it, but I might give it a go to just see how it works :)

    Yeah I need to take a proper pass at the lighting, I think I will abandon the fully dynamic GI thing and place stationary lights as fill lights instead since performance right now is unacceptable, without it I had a solid 25-35 fps with it fully dynamic I have between 5-12 :/

    I am planning to do some flocks of birs flyng in the level :)

    as well as some mist and clouds!

    I have some white flowers in there now since I didnt really find any ref for really colorfull flowers but I guess I can bend the truth e little for the sake of interest :) maybe get some yellow and blues in there.

    Great images! I'll see if I can incorporate some more visual interest in the cliffs
  • Fozwroth
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    Fozwroth polycounter lvl 5
    Experimented with some lighting ^^ Could be fun but the rest of the level doesn't look that good like this, the light is way to head on. I could do different time of day per screenshot maybe

    MorningTest.png
  • DKeymer3d
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    DKeymer3d polycounter lvl 3
    Are your rocks all one model with a tiling texture applied or are they made up of smaller rock put together. If its the later, how many variants of rock are there? It would be cool for you to post an asset breakdown when this is finished.

    Also... Nice work ;)
  • Fozwroth
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    Fozwroth polycounter lvl 5
    Thanks :)

    They are currently 2 different cliff meshes each with a unique normal map and base color and then I'm adding 2 more layers of details through tiling maps in the shader as well as a gradient towards the bottom thats projected in world space
  • Fozwroth
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    Fozwroth polycounter lvl 5
    Some of yesterdays progress:

    WIP_01.png

    WIP_02.png

    WIP_03.png

    WIP_04.png

    WIP_05.png

    WIP_06.png

    WIP_07.png
  • martygalinskas3d
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    martygalinskas3d polycounter lvl 2
    wow, this is amazing
  • Sweetangel0467
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    Sweetangel0467 polycounter lvl 4
    nvm about the grass shader. I think I found a solution.
  • currve
    outstanding and simply powerful art. Only suggestion I'ld give is to desaturate the green color of the plans, leaves a bit
  • ledyr
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    ledyr polycounter lvl 6
    great trees!
    their structure of branches is made properly, that's why they look so realistic however there is something wrong.
    I am not sure what is the problem but the scene in closeups looks a bit flat, that could be lighting or diffuse textures (colors may be too uniform)

    anyway great job!
  • AkiRa
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    AkiRa polycounter lvl 5
    New lighting setup is looking sweet man! Gives a lot more depth and mood to the scene! Definitely a great improvement!
    I think you also should consider what currve said. Desaturating (or adding a bit more color variation to) your foliage just a slight tad would add a lot of realism to the scene in my opinion (if that's what your going for that is).

    HuangShan-Mountains-UNESCO-site-in-China-China-Holidays.jpg

    Wulingyuan1.jpg

    There is a lot of color variation going on in these trees there.

    One question btw:
    Did you sculpt your bark/ground textures or did you compose them of photos or both?

    Great work man! So keen to see how this turns out in the end! ;)

    Cheers
  • Jakob Gavelli
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    Jakob Gavelli polycounter lvl 4
    Wow, really cool! Those cliffs look amazing. :O

    I just wanted to echo AkiRA about some color variation and slight desaturation. It looks a bit plasticy when alot of the foliage has a very similar green color.

    Looking forward to the breakdown!
  • Atokal
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    Atokal polygon
    Fozwroth wrote: »
    Experimented with some lighting ^^ Could be fun but the rest of the level doesn't look that good like this, the light is way to head on. I could do different time of day per screenshot maybe

    MorningTest.png


    The Lighting is definitely coming along. I am looking forward to seeing you touch it up.
  • FemCharles
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    FemCharles polycounter lvl 4
    Beautiful. Would be cool to see some more coloured foliage in there, just to break up all the green :)
  • Aran Anderson
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    Aran Anderson Polycount Sponsor
    FemCharles wrote: »
    Beautiful. Would be cool to see some more coloured foliage in there, just to break up all the green :)

    Looking amazing so far. I agree it needs more colour variation, maybe some red leafed trees like in the pic below?
    IMG_4941+Huangshan+mountains3.jpg
  • sltrOlsson
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    sltrOlsson polycounter lvl 7
    It's really getting there, good progress dude.

    I think that the noise reduction for the rocks really helped. Part of your point of interest problem is scale of detail for the rocks. You have the same size for all noise and cracks and there's no flat calm areas to rest your eyes on. The size of the individual rock models is contributing to this as well, same scale everywhere.
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