Environment - Scifi forge/furnace

polycounter lvl 6
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Dethling polycounter lvl 6
Managed to finish my first environment piece last week and want to share it with you all now.




I used a weighted normal workflow with tileable textures/substances for most of the parts (only the drone, box and the control panel use unique UVs)

More pictures of the drone can be found here:
http://polycount.com/discussion/185869/scifi-camera-drone
https://www.artstation.com/artwork/GDW3d

Comments & Critics welcome :)




Replies

  • RobeOmega
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    RobeOmega polycounter lvl 5
    Sorry for the bad paintover, this would look much better than this if you implement it in engine.



    The basic principle is this. Your current scene has some very flat lighting where it is not too clear where the light is coming from. On the paintover I tried to make the lights contribution on the scene more evident. I also added some lights where light would be emitted (e.g. the lava would cast a red/orange light on the surrounding area, the monitor and the lights on the boxes would emit light in a small area, the lava in the machine thing at the back would also emit light from the lava. 
  • X-One
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    X-One polycounter lvl 12
    As RobeOmega mentioned, your lighting is very flat at the moment. Your scene lights don't currently reflect the hues in your environment. I would expect much more orange/red light bouncing around due to the lava running below. In addition to the lighting, I think you should work on you materials. Specifically, I feel like you have large areas of under-developed textures. In an environment like that, I would expect ash deposits building up in corners, scratches, more more signage, mechanical details (panels, screws, gears, clasps, locks, etc.)

    If you're not in a rush to more on to a new project, I think you should spend some more time on really concentrating on the details.
  • Dethling
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    Dethling polycounter lvl 6
    Thanks a lot for the feedback.
    I will work on the lighting setup to try to push it more (still new to environments in Unreal).
    Currently I only rely on the material/emissive lighting and added one global light.

    Regarding the materials, dirt and details:
    I didn't added much additional details as I wanted to keep the scene "clean" and also was a little bit afraid of adding to much dirt to the materials, since they are tiling and I didn't want any obvious repeating areas.
    Stylewise I oriented myself on the "clean & new" areas at Mass Effect or Star Citizen.

    But let's see if I can push it a little bit.
  • JLHGameArt
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    JLHGameArt greentooth
    That lava would look much better if you implemented some displacement into the material, it's a very obvious plane right now, and you could really do a lot more with it. I agree also with what the others have said here about the lighting, it's flat, and you could do with deciding where you want the player/viewer to look, and create those focal points with your lighting.

    Also, I feel like the molten metal would be giving off huge amounts of heat which you could also bring into the scene. Look at this 
    Now this scene FEELS hot, because of the lighting, and the artist has made sure that the red from the lava is seeping onto the rocks to give the impression of how hot the scene is. The paint over above also covers this.

    Good luck with it!
  • Dethling
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    Dethling polycounter lvl 6
    Updated light setup:

    Still working on it, but I think it's better now (thanks again for the feedback)
  • JLHGameArt
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    JLHGameArt greentooth
    Here's the thing. The brightest area's in this shot are the least interesting part of it. By making those tube lights so bright they draw the eye, but you're drawing the eye towards and area with little detail. If you draw a players eye to an area, make sure there's something interesting to look at.

    I would say it's worth deleting your lighting setup and starting from scratch. Put in a single key light in the area you want people to focus on, probably the green console as it's a natural focal point. Try and light the scene as best you can with a single light by doing multiple iterations with different lightmass settings. Once you are happy with the the result you can start adding lights that compliment your key light, but everything should be focused on complimenting it, not distracting from it.

    Check out how Naughty Dog approached lighting their interiors in Uncharted 4. A single strong light that draws the attention of the player, and also bounces light around the room. You will get dark spots that you can brighten up later by playing with you global illumination and secondary lights, but this approach will help your scene a lot.




  • RobeOmega
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    RobeOmega polycounter lvl 5
    Looking better!

    I second @JLHGameArt on removing those all of the tube lights (including the curved one at the back) When I originally make my critique before I flirted with the idea of telling you to remove them, but decided to withhold my judgement until you made the other fixes. 

    How did you make the scene coloured red? There are some parts in the scene that seem to not be too affected by the red light (despite being next to the lava) and the distribution of light from the lava seems very evenly spread (not too much intense light near the lava in comparison to the rest of the scene.
  • Dethling
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    Dethling polycounter lvl 6
    I have to admit, I didn't thought that much about the lighting when designing the scene.
    The light elements were placed as points of intrest, to make the scene more intressting and then I used them as source for the scene lighting.
    It's my first complete scene (did only props before that) and so I have still a LOT to learn. An because of this your feedback is very helpfull.

    Removed the light elements (no mesh change, simply put a normal material there), set highlights to the console/drone, the furnances and added a directional environment light (intensity 0.1):


  • JLHGameArt
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    JLHGameArt greentooth
    You're getting some contrast now which is better than the flat lighting you had before. Is everything red because you are using coloured height fog?
    The change you have made has already helped your scene a lot, I'm now drawn to look at the more interesting parts, I hadn't even noticed the drone before.

    In the future when you are putting a scene together, set up a couple cameras and have some lighting reference. As you piece it together keep checking you shot camera and look at the composition. Always try and have an idea of what you want the focus to be, and use reference to figure out how best to light it.

    For now, I'd suggest toning down the red everywhere and localise it around the areas that actually produce that red light. Set your emissive mesh's that have emissive materials to bake those lights if you haven't already. 
    I'd say you could boost that light on the console and drone even more, and put a subtle green spotlight under the drone coming from the console, so it looks like it's picking up the light from it. 
    Your drone is an interesting part of the scene and looks like a nice model, so draw attention to it.
  • Dethling
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    Dethling polycounter lvl 6
    Thank you all for the feedback, it helps me a lot.
    Indeed there was a red height fog in the scene (totally forgot about it^^).
    I set it to a darker grey now and added the spotlight JLHGameArt suggested.

    Even if it's much darker now, it looks more intressting and engaging.
    Thanks a lot guys for your feedback, it really helped me to improve the scene (and if you still have feedback, PLEASE post it, I still have a lot to learn regarding scene set-ups and presentation).



  • JLHGameArt
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    JLHGameArt greentooth
    Looking much more interesting now!
    Lighting can come down to personal taste, but all that matters is that you establish a mood and look that you want to aim for, and work towards that. Doing some research and having reference on hand for your lighting is important in that regard. 
    Good stuff!

    You could probably get away with adding a tint of colour to that spot light, something complimentary to the orange you've got dominating the scene. Check out a colour scheme web-site and see what goes well with the colours you have, and light blue might be nice. Just something to play around with, but it only needs to a little bit of colour, nothing crazily over saturated.

    Now you have your lighting established, you can really bring the scene together with the post process volume. Play around with the scene saturation (a slight global de-saturation, something like 0.9 or 0.85, really helps props in a scene feel like they belong together). Play around with depth of field, scene colours, global illumination, adding some colour to the shadows would be nice (again go with something complimentary, and don't over do it). 
    It's just a case of playing with the settings until you find a look you like. You can really push a scene that much more with the post process.
  • RobeOmega
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    RobeOmega polycounter lvl 5
    Agreed on the post process, A tad bit more of indirect light bouncing may go down well also. 

    Is there any plans on expanding the scene e.g. adding walls, window/sci-fi airlock shielding to be able to see space etc.
  • Dethling
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    Dethling polycounter lvl 6
    Thanks a lot. I will see if I can push it a little bit further. Unfortunately I have no clue of how to do all the post process stuff in UE4, so still a lot to learn.

    So far there are no plans to expanding the scene. The basic idea was to do a small scifi scene (and finally complete one^^) while using current gen workflows (tiling substances, weighted normal and decals), and get something for my portfolio from this.
  • Di$array
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    Di$array polycounter lvl 5
    Hello Dethling,

    Its good to see such a dramatic change from your first posting. The lighting has definitely improved, Maybe add some low intensity point lights over the lava to give it a bigger punch. Especially the grating on the left-hand side.

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