Dark Days Motel Hallway [UE4]

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JamesMeader polycounter lvl 5
I was originally working on a Heroes of the Storm fan art until I got asked to do an art test. I ended up working on it for 3 weeks and at the end realized I lack serious knowledge in UE4, though still hopeful for the job opportunity!

I found a really nice and fairly simple (at least something that wouldn't take 3 weeks) concept on artstation by Sylvain Sarrailh that I feel will push me in the right direction (and something I should of done years ago)


and this is what I have so far

Lighting still needs a hell of a lot of work! I have a book on the way!
Maybe even toning down on the AO too. 

So any other feedback would help too, thank you. 

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  • Ged
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    Ged polycounter lvl 11
  • JamesMeader
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    JamesMeader polycounter lvl 5
    Thanks @Ged :smiley:
  • JamesMeader
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    JamesMeader polycounter lvl 5
    Today's update! I think I did something with the lighting. I also did something with the walls as well as making my first Master Material for all tiling textures. Tomorrow I will make the floor and ceiling textures, decals and start messing up the place. I will then finish the normal on the chair which actually caused me a few issues this morning. Damn chair. I also hope to get the door normal done as well and maybe even textured. 

    Crit encouraged, make me cry. 

    Thanks!
  • JamesMeader
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    JamesMeader polycounter lvl 5
    I'm pretty ashamed at what I've achieved today considering I've been at my computer for the majority of the day. I think figuring out the best approach for the decals and their execution messed me up. Excuses, Excuses, absolute failure :(
    Maybe I changed the lighting again, still needing to play about with more mess.
    I've also started the texture for the chair.
    I'm sure I'll be back on it 100% tomorrow. 

    Crit is encouraged, make me cry. 

    Keep in mind my deadline is Sunday (this isn't an art test its just I've given myself a deadline)

    Thank you.
  • JamesMeader
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    JamesMeader polycounter lvl 5
    Daily update! I feel pretty good today, maybe I made up for yesterdays failure. I think I need to be quicker, what I'm doing isn't exactly complicated and its worrying how long it takes me to think things through and to do it. 

    As you can see, a lot more mess going about and a lot more textures.

    Crit is encouraged, make me cry.

    Thanks.
  • JamesMeader
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    JamesMeader polycounter lvl 5
    Hey Hey hey, so todays update, we got a bit of this and a bit of that.

    Tomorrow I plan is:-
    *add some scratch details to the creepy family portrait
    *Add missing pictures
    *add some papers on the chest of draws
    *some variation in ceiling mess
    *brightening up the police sign 
    *making some items that are not seen in the concept, window for round the corner, emergency exit illuminated sign for the door to the stairs, a sofa, a plant and window for round the corner. I basically want more than one camera angle by the end. 
    *Probably play around with the lighting, read my book on lighting and then play around with lighting again after reading my book on lighting that's about lighting. 
    *Probably play around with ao, again.

    Any crit would be nice, thank you. 
  • JamesMeader
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    JamesMeader polycounter lvl 5
    Just a quick update and showing the other camera angles I'm aiming for. I still need to add and texture all the extra pieces.

    I was told it was too dark so I've lightened it up a bit more 



    A lot of things are still bugging me so expect a lot of change between now and tonight.

  • heyguy
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    heyguy polycounter lvl 5
    Hey, good stuff so far. lol, this is nit-picky but is a large painting/picture of a family appropriate for a hotel hallway? Anyway, keep up the good work!
  • punchface
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    punchface polycounter lvl 6
    Is the banded//stripped floor carpet? If so, you might consider turning up the roughness a bit. Or not...you're the boss. :)
  • JamesMeader
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    JamesMeader polycounter lvl 5
    @Heyguy - Yeah I thought it was a bit weird too, I wanted to find a photo that was as close to the concepts, I think I'm a bit attached to the photo now. Plus I have some silly ones scattered in the hallway that can be seen in the other shots. Thanks!

    @punchface - Yeah it is carpet, and yeah I agree. I'll play with it, thanks for the heads up! 
  • JamesMeader
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    JamesMeader polycounter lvl 5
    I'm done! I'm still open to crit though so if you think there's anything wrong then just shout!

    My main objectives for this piece were the following:-

    *Understand mood lighting whilst still illuminating the scene and keeping the lighting scenario close to the concept
    I'm pretty confident I manage to do this, though maybe my version is a lot lighter and that may have been of result of past feedback from other projects.
     
     *Better workflow and management with Material in UE4. Taking advantage of Material Instancing especially. 
    I successfully completed this objective. I made 3 master materials, one for my tiling textures, one for my decals and one for my objects. I also had an extra one for the illuminated material for the lightshades. Maybe I could make the shader's more complex but they worked for my needs. I also paid attention to texture density as much as I could but maybe I need a better way of managing it. In previous projects I did texture atlasing but I didnt think that would work especially if i was wanting to tint colours and other things using the instances. If you have any help with texture density or correct workflow when managing textures then shout. 

    *Take Advantage of PostProcessing within UE4
    I love doing postprocess stuff in photoshop and when I found out it was possible to do so within UE4 I was amazed by how powerful of feature it was.

    *
    Evaluate and investigate better file management 
    I still think I need a better way round. I'm spending too much time clicking on folders. Any suggestions let me know. 

    *Push customization and imagination with NDO2 and DDO
    I've had NDO2 for ages and never really took advantage of it. My plan after this project (i have many plans, one being a storage box concept from halo) and NDO2 will be a very valuable asset for that project. Me and DDO on the other had have had our problems in the past but this project it excelled and we have become the best of friends. I didn't use DDO for every texture but for the majority of the objects. The tiling was mainly done with photoshop. 


    *
    No Lighting/Shadow/Lightmap issues 
    I actually went through I terrible terrible issue that I couldn't seem to fix. I would update my static with working lightmap uv's and reimport the object. It wouldn't update, the uv's would change but I would still get the weird issue and error message. I ended having to reimport and reposition alot of my static meshes. With this scene it wasn't really problem but with more intricate scenes this would be a pain in the arse too manage. 

    All in all this definitely was a simple project in scale, and that was the point. I wanted to do an environment that included all the things I should have done in the past and especially for the art test.

    I have been kicking myself seeing as I have really fucked myself up by putting off working on environments especially that is something I want to be my focus. How could I do it as a focus if I kept putting it off with whatever excuse I came up with. I am a total idiot but now I know. The next environment will complicated, I want to more of a foliage focused scene like a jungle or forest but with also a man-made element involved, know of any concepts throw them my way.

    Thank you for looking if you have, and thanks to everyone that has commented and helped me. Keep an eye out for the next thread. 

  • Wesley
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    Wesley Polycount Sponsor
    Wow this came along fast. This is looking good, and I know you say you're done; but, depending on the time you have and what you're currently up to, I'd totally revisit this and try to push it further some more (sorry if this comes across too harsh or inconsiderate - I think this is shaping up really nice - I'm just typing in a bit of a hurry).

    I took a look at the concept and made a couple of mental notes of what I thought made it look great before checking out your final post, and here's a few things I'd consider revisiting (if you have the time):

    Lighting! I feel that you've let the nice blue/green lighting creep too far into the environment, it's present around the door closest to the camera (from the concept view). Having this sit further back down the hallway alone would be better and would create some nice contrast. This light itself in the concept seems to be coming from an open doorway, and is casting a really nice, fairly harsh band of light along the wall and carpet, I feel like this hasn't been pushed enough in your rendering; it's one of the stand out features in the concept and could also really help to highlight some of the dirt and grim along the walls and floor.

    I also feel the entire hallway itself has too much 'general brightness' and is making some of these surfaces feel a bit too fake/bland. I'd try dimming the entire thing a bit more and really allowing the wall lights and end of corridor green/blue light do more of the lighting work. You'll get some nicer contrast with your lighting (taking it back further in your June 1st direction - but not as far). Also, as for the actual lamps, these feel a little too basic. Your lighting in this, especially if it had less general lighting, would really draw your attention to these lamps, and I'd consider making them a little more believable. Right now they don't feel like they have a bulb sitting inside of them, they just feel like an object with a constant band of light. I'd also take a look at a subtle gobo/cookie for these, that could really help with making your lighting more interesting on the walls. Lastly, in the concept the wall light on the right has some nice bits missing from the lamp shade itself, I'd consider something like this. The concept of course doesn't have to be taken literally, but I think this lends a sense of believability to these shades - having them slightly worn and dirtied would allow the light to come through a bit more 'patchy' and feel less fake (gobos would do the work for the actual lighting itself).

    Dirt/worn surfaces - looking at the concept one thing I noted that this wasn't just a worn down motel hallway, but that it had maybe shitty people living there because of damage that looked deliberate (well, you know, police tape, too). But some of this stuff feels missing. The scratch marks on the painting, on the doors, for instance. Instead it just feels like general wear and tear you'd expect. Also I'd want to pull in some more localised wear that helps tell a story, even if this stuff isn't in the concept. I'd expect the main walkway on the carpet to be worn more; even patches that are looking almost threadbare, greater dirt around the skirting boards (you have this sort of thing going on where the ceiling meets the wall) and marks/dirt where the furniture sits/has been nudged around a bit.

    Also, while mentioning the carpet, I'd maybe have it tiled slightly less. I dunno if it's just because I see more stripes in this than the concept, but it just feels a little wrong. I'd also take another look at the carpet material in general, I do feel it's the weakest material in the scene (and it covers a lot of screen space).

    Ah, also, another thing I wanted to point out, there's torn wallpaper bits near the door frames and other areas that work quite nicely. But these feel really odd because for the most part the wallpaper seems to be in fairly good conditions. I'd expect some of this to be a bit more faded and have quite a few nicks and scuffs on it.

    Oh, and another couple of super minor things, your door handles/mechanisms, I'd personally black out/substantially darken the keyhole. And the number '4' on the door closest looks kind of odd... the others seem ok (from the main shot).

    Er, so, sorry, lot of text, hastily written, might come off too strong. I think this is nice and with just a bit more spit and polish it could really be pushed along and look great. Considering the time it took you to get all this down I don't think it'd take you long either! But it's understandable if you're looking to move onto some new. Keep it up! It's great to see you moving into environments.
  • JamesMeader
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    JamesMeader polycounter lvl 5
    @Wesley - Dude! thanks so much for such valuable feedback, so kind of you. Ok lots to get through...

    Lighting- Yeah I totally get what you mean and I'm gutted I let the fact the blue sharp light at the bottom of the hall on the final shot was as faint as it was. Maybe I was in such a rush to get it done when I intended. Also I completely fucked up, I had all the settings set up for production lighting and like an idiot forgot to turn it from preview to production. Dickhead. 

    I totally get the hallway was giving too much general brightness and it was a fine balance I was struggling with. Not sure what you mean by 'GOBO's/cookies' so will do some research...

    Don't get me started on the lamps, I actually despise them and wish I did something a bit more inventive but I guess I always think I have to be faithful to the concept then again I wasn't with the wallpaper being teared off. I will revisit this for sure! There are no bulbs and its literally just an angled pipe with a cylinder around it. The shader on the lamp has nothing but emissiveness and nothing else. Pretty terrible execution to be honest. Lastly I didn't notice the broken shade either, how shit of me. fuck. 

    Dirt/worn surfaces- Yeah i get what you are saying, would be better to have more scratches then just 'muck'. Also would I make the carpet in some areas be more worn out to others? Use a blend material?

    Carpet tiling is also something I was questioning a bit. Good shout. 

    Thanks about the wall paper damage. Do you mean having more smaller chips and scratches? 

    Don't get me started on the number '4', been annoying since day one. Weirdo. 

    Don't apologize fella, I honestly appreciate the feedback. I have started something new already but on a very smaller scale (just some hardsurface box thing) but I reckon tomorrow I'll write up some notes and prepare to get it all sorted, thanks again!



  • Savannakhet
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    Savannakhet polycounter lvl 5
    For me the carpet is too bright and clean, for this sort of roach motel it should be much more worn and faded, and possibly a bit loose and torn near the corners. I mean what you have now is pretty faithful to the concept art but I think you need something more to really take the scene there.
  • JamesMeader
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    JamesMeader polycounter lvl 5
    @Savannakhet Yeah I totally get what you're saying, I am working on it but a bit slowly for now. Thanks for the feedback! 
  • Wesley
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    Wesley Polycount Sponsor
    Just to clear up a couple of things. For the carpet; yeah I'd blend between a more worn texture. Wall; smaller chips and scratches for sure.

    And as for gobo/cookie stuff (https://docs.unrealengine.com/latest/INT/Resources/ContentExamples/Lighting/3_2/index.html)... hopefully the Unreal 4 in-engine example should be enough.
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