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[WIP] Sci-Fi Cave Environment

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polycounter lvl 9
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chriszuko polycounter lvl 9
Figured I should probably get some other side project going and actually finish it this time. So in an effort to do so here is my cleverly named "Sci-Fi Cave"

Its a cave thing.. with a circular light thing.. and some power things.. with rocks, railings, and things. Working out the details as I go along from whatever I can find randomly on the internet that inspires me. Most likely the circular thing will be a giant machine that does something important.:poly124:

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Right now I am in the white-box phase with just simple colors and first pass shapes. I'll have more on what the story is when I get further into it but hopefully this should start shaping up nicely in the next few weeks.

Any feedback, critiques, or whatever good or bad is welcome! Hit me!! Thanks!

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  • serriffe
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    serriffe polycounter lvl 8
    looks interesting, just waiting for the next wip shots ;)
  • luge
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    luge polycounter lvl 4
    i like the "concept" of it, i think you need to do some more with your lighting, but i feel that we need more screens to get a better idea of what we got here.
  • shrogg
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    shrogg polycounter lvl 7
    From what i see now, it looks and feels like some off-world research station investigating some alien tech (the big circular thing)
    That or some sort of warp gate, but that seems too stargatey ;)
  • luge
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    luge polycounter lvl 4
    @shrogg: I kind of got that feel about the thing being somelike a warp gate, but then thought maybe a door? like the vault doors in fall out. or like a mayan tomb door that you see in movies.
  • prolow
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    prolow polycounter lvl 11
    looking good zucchini
  • Mechadus
    This is looking awesome man, the catwalks add so much scale to the scene and makes it look so much bigger than I thought it was from your first post. I agree, this looks like some kind of off-world research station now. Would be cool if the circle was a part of some ancient forgotten machine or some nonsense. Keep it up dude, cant wait to see it finished!
  • Ootrick
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    Ootrick polycounter lvl 6
    Really digging the light thing, is it the outside? A portal? a window of sorts?
    Subbed
  • chriszuko
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    chriszuko polycounter lvl 9
    Thanks for the feedback!

    @prolow :..) I miss you man! thanks!

    @luge The lighting will be tweaked like crazy as I move forward with it as well as everything else. So I'll keep that in mind. I already started by dialing back the big light a bit, and other minor things.

    @shrogg The warp gate Idea is definitely one that keeps coming up and it is a really cool one! However, I keep straying towards the machine approach and today I thought maybe it could be a machine that controls the cave atmosphere and keeps the miners from suffocating from "emissive green lung" or something.

    I do really like the off-world research station idea though! So maybe they found this weather device and some power source that could hold the secrets to a whole new era of technology! Boom! :poly122:

    So here's the start of that idea.

    06.PNG
    07.PNG


    The 4 cylinders at the top of the main circle will probably be pumping something somewhere where as the middle will be almost as if dyson built it with a ton of "suction" .. maybe... or probably just be more like eureka and spin, claiming that it has the same power. :poly142:

    Thanks again! Keep tossing the kisses and punches at me!
  • luge
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    luge polycounter lvl 4
    love the update on the machine, dont really have any comments except i do have a question is that just an AO/Norm on the machine? i can't really see color, other than what might be a base color under the diffuse, or even the lighting itself.
  • chriszuko
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    chriszuko polycounter lvl 9
    Actually right now its just a super inefficient quick medium-poly model with a flat color. Most of the color is coming from just the lights and shadows. Since I am just blocking out shapes and ideas at this point, I like to just throw things in quick to see em. I'll get to making it efficient in the next process. Glad you like the update!
  • luge
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    luge polycounter lvl 4
    Ok, makes sense. it does look good for what it is. I'm sure when you get more in there, there will be more to get into.
  • seir
    That rocks. OMG, awesome! I see water so how about few stalagmites?

    stalactite-stalagmite-1.jpg

    Keep up a good work!
  • shrogg
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    shrogg polycounter lvl 7
    Wow, I'm seriously loving the machine! Right now there is so much mystery to this image, with the seemingly ancient machine and what appears to be modern constructions. Keep this up!
    Also, I agree with seir, Those rocks.
  • chriszuko
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    chriszuko polycounter lvl 9
    Here is a minor update! Little bit of a lighting change. Got the rocks retopo'd and painted simple colors and minor definition on em. They are no means finished but good enough and ready for a final pass.

    Thanks for the feedback! Seir, I totally agree with the stalagmites. Those will be the icing on the rock kit. Right now I have a Pointy Rock cluster, cliff rock, and a spire rock that I am using in the kit. I am working on adding the stalagmite rocks and lastly the runoff rock pile that will be the way that all of the rocks fit together and show a little bit more of a natural look.
    Hoping to make some super progress this week! :poly124:

    Thanks for the feedback! Truly appreciated!!

    08.PNG
  • Makkon
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    Makkon interpolator
    This looks like a painting. Just beautiful.
  • PhilipK
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    PhilipK polycounter lvl 10
    Looking great! Love the mood in this one.
    The rocks close to the machine look sweet, I think the other one's further away could do with some more size variation in the details. Looks like a lot of them are the same sized blocks pretty much. I think the scene would benefit from a couple of areas with just some bigger flatter rock areas.

    Looking forward to see more from this, I've been having some similar ideas I'd like to try for an environment but never got around doing it.. as usual :)
  • serriffe
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    serriffe polycounter lvl 8
    this is coming along really well- loved the style. As I was taking a closer look into it, the center of interest of the image , it's starting to look like an eye of a gigantic robot buried- just a thought :)
  • DavidBrumbley
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    DavidBrumbley polycounter lvl 8
  • sMak
    Can't wait to see how this develops, looking forward to seeing the progress shots :D
  • chris89
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    chris89 polycounter lvl 10
    This has the potential to be great! keep it up :)
  • SaboR1996
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    SaboR1996 polycounter lvl 7
    this looks amazing!!
    i would love to know how you do your walls and rocks, these look great!
  • chriszuko
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    chriszuko polycounter lvl 9
    Thanks for the feedback everyone!! Warms my heart to see such nice comments :poly136:

    Here is a rock update, they are ready for a polish pass. I'll get the individual rock pics up soon, but right now its a cliff Rock, rubble rock, and a pointy rock that make up the entire rock kit. I'll toy around with stalagmites soon as well but right now I kinda wanna get rolling on the machine and the other props.

    PhilipK: I took your advice on the cliff rock and focused on the over-repetitive spots on the mesh. I might still add a flatter rock because It does seem like its a bit too much in some areas or I may just scale up the rock and see how it looks as well. Thanks!

    Serriffe: Oddly enough you aren't the first person to mention that one already. (: That would be pretty sweet, however I don't know how I would execute that well while still keeping focus on the eye. Cool Idea though!

    Keep the feedback rollin! Thanks again!

    09.PNG
    10.PNG
  • luge
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    luge polycounter lvl 4
    this is looking more and more gorgeous. i do feel like the water is very bland and flat.
  • sltrOlsson
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    sltrOlsson polycounter lvl 11
    Incredible inspiring! Is all the stones and rocks uniquely mapped? Subscribed!
  • jsargent
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    jsargent polycounter lvl 5
    I love this, cant wait to see it finished. I agree about the rocks, would be great to see how you did them!
  • chriszuko
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    chriszuko polycounter lvl 9
    @jsargent/sltrOlsson: Thanks! I'll throw them up so you all can see sometime either today or tomorrow.

    @luge Yea I am messing with the water a bit still. Debating a few things here and there but for the most part cave still-water usually is 100% reflective almost like glass. But I do agree it is missing some pop. I was thinking maybe it won't be still water and actually be flowing from the machine as a coolant. But idk Water is tough. Thanks!
  • Mr Smo
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    Mr Smo polycounter lvl 13
    this is sweeeet
  • chriszuko
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    chriszuko polycounter lvl 9
    So for those who asked. Here is my rock kit so far. Mainly 3 rocks (there is a spire but it is so far off in the backdrop that it doesn't need to be finished to look good.)

    Basically I have setup the rocks to be able to make almost any type of shape/foundation that I would need for the cave. I am missing stalagmites, but at this moment these are doing pretty well. I've set it up for easy adjustments through unreal and so that it has a tiling diffuse/detail normal mixed with an epic normal map and an epic color/highlight texture. This way I can have the detail I want without having super huge texture maps. Lastly, these textures are still WIP, they need a final detail pass, but here ya go :poly121:

    Hope this helps (:

    Oh! One last thing. I do have a time-lapse video of how I sculpted the final shapes for the cliff rock. If anyone is interested in that let me know and I'll throw it up on the tubes.

    bts_RockPile.jpg
    bts_Rock01_02.jpg
  • CordellC
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    CordellC polycounter lvl 8
    The lighting is really selling this! Neat setting.
  • jsargent
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    jsargent polycounter lvl 5
    Nice :) And a timelapse would be great :) The shapes are really effective in a big group!
  • Skillmister
  • foosart
    Very nice. I love the surface contrast: rock, metal, water.
  • sltrOlsson
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    sltrOlsson polycounter lvl 11
    Great use of those few assets! Really looking forward to see how this develop.
  • passerby
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    passerby polycounter lvl 10
    how does the multiply and highlight in one map work, are you just doing 50% grey and multiplying low values, and adding high? and doing nothing with mid grey?
  • chriszuko
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    chriszuko polycounter lvl 9
    Thanks for the feedback everybody!

    @Passerby: I don't use 50% Gray, but I use a 20-30% gray more towards white so that I can still paint highlights in the image. Then when it is multiplied the highlights are just the 100% diffuse color coming through the texture rather than what you would normally think with photoshop overlayed hightlights. Hope that helps.
  • Armangelo
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    Armangelo polycounter lvl 6
    Awesome work! I like the handmade feel it has, and those rocks look good. I'd also like to check out the time-lapse. Sculpting rocks is a deficiency I want to fix.
  • chriszuko
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    chriszuko polycounter lvl 9
    Thanks! Much appreciate. I have the video exported at the moment from zbrush so I'll get it up sometime either early or late tomorrow.
  • chriszuko
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    chriszuko polycounter lvl 9
    So here is a minor update on the High Poly for the machine. It still has a bit to go like little plates and bolts. I am planning to get some crazy pipes action in there and wonky up a few areas as well. Also, the Pistons jutting out of the side of it need a connecting fulcrum and stuff like that. I started experimenting with the moving parts in unreal as well and I'll have a video of that once I get the model in.

    Lastly, I have the video that you guys requested. Its a time-lapse of the finishing sculpt of the cliff rock. I explain what my process is in the beginning of the vid. I hope its at least a little helpful (:

    Thanks again for all of the comments so far and keep em coming!

    .... oh and the funky angle in the first pic is because I have the whole scene rotated to match the angle of which it is in the level to allow me to model on the axis without having funky transforms.

    MachineWIP01.jpg
    MachineWIP02.jpg

    [ame=" Scene Cliff Rock Sculpt - YouTube[/ame]
  • chriszuko
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    chriszuko polycounter lvl 9
    Finally back on this now that the pipe script is stable. Got the bakes done for the pumps at the top. Moving on to the rest of the machine now. I am going to rig up the pumps to move in and out and probably have some other nifty color thingamajig as well.
    The top pump is 2704 tris
    The bottom is 1978 tris
    Damn cylindrical shapes!
    Thoughts? Thanks!
    MachineWIP03.PNG
    MachineWIP04.PNG
  • desktoppirate
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    desktoppirate polycounter lvl 9
    Man this is looking super tasty. I really love the rocks and just the general theme of the environment. Reminds me of a mission from mass effect actually. I think the cavity maps on the pipe are looking very strong, but thats probably because you haven't started to texture yet.

    Excited to see where this goes.
  • chriszuko
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    chriszuko polycounter lvl 9
    I can definitely see a mass effect vibe going on. I do agree with the cavity maps tho. I will definitely keep that in mind when I start the texture.

    Thanks, Much Appreciated!
  • ZeroStrike
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    ZeroStrike polycounter lvl 8
    Your scene is really coming together. Thank you for the video, like the music in it too. Is the Highlight/color pass in your texture maps just a dirt/ao/zbrush polypaint pass? I would make the water back to blueish or greenish color. Also you will have reflections on the walls too, that will be down the road a bit. It also might be cool to have some bones or something like that.
  • GabrielP
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    GabrielP polycounter lvl 7
    Man I love this, cant wait to see more!
  • chriszuko
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    chriszuko polycounter lvl 9
    @ZeroStrike Glad I could help with the video! And you are correct. The highlight/color pass is a cavity map mixed with baked AO, Painted in AO, Painted in details, and cracks. Also, I have been improving the water a bit since my last image and have settled with a greenish haze on it for now. Maybe At some point there will be a small prop pass, but we shall see what I end up going with. Bones is a pretty neat Idea tho! (:

    @GabrielP Thanks!
  • Fozwroth
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    Fozwroth polycounter lvl 9
    this is epic! like the music too ;) any special tricks you use to hide your normalmap seams? I have a bunch of rocks that are UVd pretty similar and I get buttugly seams at my UV edges in UDK, and yes I have the correct compression and such :)

    looking forward for more!
  • chriszuko
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    chriszuko polycounter lvl 9
    That is always a constant battle. I try my hardest to make sure my seams are up in cracks and in areas that aren't seen much. However if there is just one you can't get rid of and its right in your face you can do the fancy 2nd uvset method.

    Basically you can Make your second UV set have different seams. Or even a camera projection works as long as your not baking lighting to it. Then in UDK set up your shader to use either vert painting or a mask along the seam edge and set it up to have the tiling texture be the same except use the 2nd uvSet. That will completely eliminate the seam all together.

    If that didn't make sense I can whip up a few images to demonstrate what I am talking about.

    Thanks! Glad you like the music as well (:
  • Fozwroth
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    Fozwroth polycounter lvl 9
    would love to see how to do that!
  • chriszuko
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    chriszuko polycounter lvl 9
    Here ya go. It is a very simple technique that works for almost any rock. You can get fancier, but I just tried to make it as simple as possible to get the idea across.

    So we start off with the UV seams. I just did a quick planar projection on the whole mesh in my second UV set to quickly eliminate the top seams. You can go through and spend some serious time on making the seams go away without stretching in all areas, but I just went the simple route instead.

    rockSeamFinal01.png

    Next, we setup a simple shader, lerping with a vertex color between the 1st and 2nd UV sets. This is saying that it is going to use the same diffuse, but read off of the 2nd UV set anywhere I paint.


    rockSeamFinal02.png

    And lastly, we go ahead and paint right over the seams. Simple and neat.

    rockSeamFinal03.gif

    If you want to do the normals as well, I recommend blending in a flat normal with as little specular as possible. It will almost completely remove the seam and should be almost undetectable. Also, remember to set your light-map to read the 1st UV set instead of the second one so that you can have funky UV's without unreal having a fit. :poly124:

    Hope that helps!
  • Fozwroth
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    Fozwroth polycounter lvl 9
    thanks a lot! that helps a ton :D the ones I have so far are smaller rocks that don't have any cracks to hide things in so they get a bad seam running across the UV edge :(

    very helpful video as well :) some neat brushes you went through, really refreshing to learn some new rock tricks to improve the old workflow
  • chriszuko
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    chriszuko polycounter lvl 9
    Awesome. Glad I could help!
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