Courtyard Project

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purplekami vertex
Hey gang!
First time tackling an environment, worked on this over the course of 5 weeks. As such the textures and lighting are first passes. I'd love to hear any feedback or what I can work on to improve my next environment. 


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    Hey Purplekami,

    Could you post some reference you're working from?
    This is a nice start... I'm just going to bullet point issues I can see.

    - Feeling of Miniature Scale
    I feel it's probably because your brick sizes aren't very well balanced... the brick pillars/walls in the courtyard have the smallest brick density as everything else in the level have huge brick sizes. What I'm about to say could be wrong and may not fix the issue but it's what I would experiment with to fix it, I feel if you distributed the small brick sizes over other assets in your scene it won't look as odd and scale disruptive. I also would scale up that roof tiling, even if by chance it happens to be from reference you're working with I personally feel like you'd benefit more from scaling it up to easily break that miniature look.

    - Noisy
    Right now your scene is very noisy, That may very well be from what I can guess is a screenshot from the UE4 editor... which can often compress quite badly and doesn't really show off the detail you'd have in full... so when you're in Play-mode, hit the ` (Tilde Key) and it will pop up with a code dialogue box... type in "HighResShot X' replace the "X' with any number 0-3, I feel 2 is generally enough, the higher you go the higher res it is... and post from that. HOWEVER, that only fixes what I see to be noisiness from weird Anti-aliasing artifacts etc... the other thing that makes this feel noisy is the tonal value distribution, you have what almost seems like pure white harshly blending into what feels like pure black... I'd just bring those values closer in the scene. however sometimes pure black and pure white can come together and that's just how it is so to bring down that noisiness even more is to drop the overly reflective surfaces on a lot of your materials... since there is something overly reflective in almost every grid spacing of your level and it harshly fights for attention from your viewer's eyes. Just be sensible with reflection, it looks pretty on a single object but it could very well destroy your scene composition/eye mechanics. Also, turn down the saturation on your grass foliage & soil... it fights with your scene as well because it's too rich in colour.

    - Windows
    They could be more creative in the cutting... just 1 by 1 squares seems very dull for an environment with this kind of architecture.

    - Anti-Climax
    Everything here faces towards the middle, it's literally a football stadium... but in a football stadium everyone is facing the middle to actually watch the middle of the stadium... as you have the exact same complex built into your scene and there's nothing there... I'll fireball some ideas for a center piece... MY personal favourite would be a sculpture of some sort which fits into your architectural theme... OR a flower bed, fountain, etc etc... something that you don't rush, it's a center piece and requires far more time/effort than any other asset in your scene since it will become your scene focus.

    - Cage Pattern on Courtyard Corner Pieces
    I'm talking about the really black corner block things roofing the tables/chairs... I'd have another go at the squarish patterns, they don't seem to fit in very comfortable and I'm not sure if it's because it's so dense and dark in value but I feel that if they weren't so dense and the patterns were just the outlines of those squares or something then it would probably work better.

    - Cylindrical Brick asset
    This asset's hole literally serves no purpose to your composition, it also reveals bad tiling which also doesn't do your scene any favours. I would cover this up and place perhaps a plaque/badge of some sort which will give your scene some character/direction... as right now it's a very generic courtyard scene, adding some sort of badge would make it seem like some kind of country club/royal garden/ etc etc...

    - Foliage
    Add some foliage in this, off window sills/pillar tops, dropping from the roofs, etc etc... it's very uniform right now and possesses nearly no "living' factor right now... unless you're aiming for architectural hyper-realism then ignore this.

    Either way, this is definitely a good start.
    Keep going! Hope this helps.
  • purplekami
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    purplekami vertex

    Thank you so so so much for taking the time and explaining all of this, really means a lot to me and has given me a lot of direction on what I can improve. I want to go back and make all those revisions sadly my class is going straight into the next project. Thankfully I can definitely make use of this advice for my next environment!
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