Maleficent's Throne Room [WIP]

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Andy H polycounter lvl 5
Final Render
resample(lanczos).png

eYwu7GO.png

Introduction
Hi folks! Welcome to the crazy ride that is planning an environment from the beginning and seeing it through all the way to the end. I can't really speak from experience though because well... I have yet to truly make a fully fleshed out environment. Way back when I first started posting on Polycount, I had plans to make a miniature environment, but I never saw it through to completion. After that, everything has been textures and models for practice and toying with ideas. More so thinking of ideas, then starting to make the first asset to go along with that idea.

That is of course, all going to change with this thread! I know that by thoroughly planning, gathering my references, and taking it one step at a time, I'll see the light at the end of the tunnel. One of the most important things though is just having everything down and planned so it isn't all jumbled in my head. This I believe, is the biggest part of tackling a project at this scale.

I'll always be crazy about hand painted, low poly work and that is primarily what this project will be. I think there's something truly special about the style and I think it'll work very well with this piece. I'm also a huge classic Disney fan, so recreating an environment such as this is going to be super fun! 8)

Goals
  • Become faster and more efficient while painting.
  • Become faster and more efficient while modeling and UVing.
  • Become faster and more efficient while sculpting.
  • Work on concept and traditional skills.
  • Obtain a better understanding of mixing colors, color theory, etc.
  • Gain more experience working in a game engine.
  • Create a solid portfolio piece.

Planning
  1. Basic block out.
  2. Refine block out (add detail to simple shapes).
  3. Basic lighting setup (use lights to exaggerate focal points).
  4. Sculpts (when it may help).
  5. Retopo if needed.
  6. UVing and Textures.
  7. Prop placement (fill environment).
  8. Final tweaks.
  9. Renders.
  10. Portfolio shots.

Color Palette
SphRLUv.png
Greens and purples are the biggest colors that are in play for the environment. Things that should be remembered through out is how these colors set the mood for the piece. Remember to include subtle hue shifts for each texture. Brighter greens should communicate where light hits, and is the strongest. Purples may be used for shadows and where less light is located. Less saturated hues may be used for mid tones. I think it can be *really* easy for things to get muddy very fast using the colors provided in the reference, and I should definitely make changes as necessary.

The color palette will likely be refined later on when I reach the texture process but for now, these are the basic ideas.

Reference
scsj5K9.jpg
Try to incorporate visual elements from the reference material. I should always be thinking about the aesthetic, and how it may translate in the textures.

Asset List
tt2patE.jpg
After breaking down the image above, the full asset list will likely be the following:

Models:
  1. Pillar Bases
  2. Royal Carpet
  3. Tapestry
  4. Throne*
  5. Broken Pillar Pieces
  6. Rubble
  7. Stairs
  8. Lower Wall/Trimmings
  9. Throne Pillars
  10. Edge Pillars
  11. Archways
  12. High Wall Decor

Textures:
  1. Pillar Bases
  2. Royal Carpet
  3. Tapestry
  4. Throne*
  5. Broken Pillar Pieces
  6. Rubble
  7. Stairs
  8. Lower Wall/Trimmings
  9. Base Wall Texture (May create variations)
  10. Throne Pillars
  11. Edge Pillars
  12. Round Floor Centerpiece
  13. Archways
  14. High Wall Decor
  15. Upper Floor
  16. Lower Level Wall
  17. Skydome (?)

The model/texture that should receive the most love is the throne as it is a focal point and is one of the more unique objects in the scene.

Beginnings
Before sitting down and deciding to really plan everything out, I did do some texturing which at this point, I may consider as "tests" while I mess with the overall look of the scene:
HjDAMwh.png
pjx2cMJ.png
61PeE5f.jpg
I don't think I'm happy with these just yet though. Sculpts were used for these and I'm not sure if I've quite figured out how to get it to look the way I want. I want to get the overall look of the textures similar to the set I did below, a little softer:
vGdSdOC.jpg

Okay! That's it for planning and now it's time to move on to beginning my block out and then getting it in to UDK. I'm really excited now that everything's all written down here, and I'm hoping to learn a lottttttt from this. :poly142:

Replies

  • Adrian.Howden
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    Adrian.Howden polycounter lvl 6
    Bookmarked, Can't wait to see more.
    iJIW89B.gif
  • Pabs
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    Pabs polycounter lvl 7
  • DougClayton4231
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    DougClayton4231 polycounter lvl 3
    Color me excited :P
  • Jack Ryan
  • Blaisoid
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    Blaisoid polycounter lvl 7
    Good job, those textures look very nice.

    I feel that they are more monochromatic than original paintings though.

    For example, on the top of your color palette there's a bright yellowish green color which is used on ref pics a lot.
    I don't really see it used on your textures that much. Your highlights seem to use a colder green hue, which made them feel less balanced and more tinted.
    On movie shots in some areas (for example the throne) highlights are actually more green than other stuff but i think the important aspect is that their hue is almost always different than surrounding area.

    Also, movies's backgrounds seem to use lots of soft, large scale transitions between dark blue, brown and green. Large, soft spots of color wouldn't tile well if you put them on texture so perhaps you could make a few color versions of brick texture and blend between them in editor. Or maybe just proper lighting can do the job.

    Another thing i noticed is that on film shots details seem less sharp, highlights are more bold but less shiny and glossy.

    Other than that it looks quite promising.
  • tac0m
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    tac0m polycounter lvl 6
    DAT textures gon be niiiiice :)

    Keep it up man
  • AbKI
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    AbKI polycounter lvl 6
    *_*

    Gorgeous start, what a cool scene to pick. :D
  • Andy H
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    Andy H polycounter lvl 5
    @Adrian.Howden, scapulator, DougClayton4231, Jack Ryan, tac0m, AbKI - Thanks guys for the awesome pictures/gifs/words of encouragement!

    @Blasoid - Thank you for the feedback! I totally agree with you regarding the shifts in color and I think that's exactly what the first few textures are missing at the moment. There needs to be more than just a lot of green and maybe a dash of purple. The "glossy" look is an issue and I will definitely keep it in mind moving forward. It will be interesting trying to push a lot of variation in to tileables with out it being too noticeable.
  • SoulWind
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    SoulWind polycounter lvl 6
    excited.gif

    This should be an interesting exercise in colour usage. Excellent source material!
  • Nefarius24
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    Nefarius24 polycounter lvl 6
    Yay! I love hand painted texture threads. :) Can't wait to see more!
  • EmmanuelLawrence
    Hello there! I really like how you planned out everything. It really gives a solid place to start from. Definitely taught a beginner like me a thing or two haha
    Really looking forward to seeing it completed
  • Hannah
    Oh maaan, I love these textures! I once worked on a project that used the green/purple colour palettes and they're such fun to work with as they create a really memorable effect. I really like how you've planned everything out so meticulously as well. :) Subscribed!
  • almighty_gir
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    almighty_gir sublime tool
    couple of nit-picks...

    while it isn't implicitly described in the scene, the colouration on the rocks comes from the lighting, not the rock itself. Melificent's magic colours are generally speaking, purple and green.

    So, if you're building a scene from modular assets, consider making them a more neutral colour and allowing the lighting to take control, otherwise you risk having some areas be more difficult to light effectively later on.
  • Lowpawly
    Hey man, I can't do a paint over right now, but something will help with your brick wall. I do like the colors, I think Almighty_gir pointed out the color of her room is based on the lighting and I do agree with him. It's *okay* that your bricks are green, but there is very little bounce light, I would bring that out a bit, also trying varying up your brick shapes, and depth of some of the bricks.
  • Rokugan
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    Rokugan polycounter lvl 5
    Really awesome start

    45c.gif
  • sezmra
    Great work so far, looking forward to where you take us with this scene!
  • Andy H
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    Andy H polycounter lvl 5
    @SoulWind - I can't wait to see what happens!

    @Nefarius24 - Thank ya!

    @EmmanuelLawrence - Thanks! It definitely takes a lot of stress out of the whole process once you have it all down and in front of you. :)

    @Hannah - Thanks for subscribing! I'm pretty excited to work around the palette and see what I can come up with!

    @Rokugan - Haha, thank you!

    @almighty_gir - I feel kind of silly for not seeing it this way, but you're right. I literally just rewatched the movie the other day and just now reviewing some scenes, it's quite apparent that this is the case for the most part. I'll definitely be keeping this in mind while texturing! Thanks for the tip before I got too far ahead. B)

    @Lowpawly - Thanks so much for the suggestions! I do agree that there can of course be some green still, but for sure, it is probably best to keep things a little more neutral. Some variation in shapes would help the bricks not feel as basic. Varying the depth would also help with giving them some more dimension. I'll be remembering all of this moving forward!
  • Andy H
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    Andy H polycounter lvl 5
    @sezmra - Thank you!! :)

    Part 1: Block Out

    Here's the initial block out that I have done for the scene! There are some smaller pieces missing, such as the parts that connect the ceiling to the pillars, as well as some of the tapestry that is placed through out the scene. I didn't think these were important to have at the moment though, but I will be adding these later!

    Some Max viewport shots:
    ZwN4EQO.png
    Q6xikhd.png
    OqCCBdk.png
    4vAr4F1.png

    So some issues that I did encounter along the way that I will need to figure out how to fix, is mainly connecting the little entrances where the archways are at. Right now the hallways are currently welded to the main room's walls but this is apparently causing some issues with my smoothing groups. :shifty:

    But with the archways being where they are, I could potentially just disconnect the hallways and just have more intersecting planes perhaps... I guess I will be playing around with this to see what works best! Maybe using a BSP to complete the hallways may be a bit easier too? Also, I have an urge to add windows to the scene, even if the reference material may not include them.

    For fun, I threw the scene in to UDK using just the default packaged night settings:
    3ujsjZG.png
    hJtwafj.png[
    4lIJbZ3.png
    3RMjOvV.png

    Such cute shadow errors, right? :poly116:

    I may also play around with using a BSP instead for the walls and ceiling, but for now the max model appears to be doing an okay job for these. More updates on the way while I start tackling each prop and making them more detailed (and also make all the current models more efficient)!
  • Andy H
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    Andy H polycounter lvl 5
    Part 2: Refining Block Out

    Thanksgiving has slowed progress on this a bit, but now that I'm back at my Desktop, I'm starting to refine pieces of the block out. To begin, I started working on the base side corner pillars, as well as the front side archways, and the back side archways.
    vyUQw41.png

    The purpose of these current models, are for them to eventually be brought in to ZBrush and start sculpting in details. After that, they will then be retopo'd, so the final models will definitely be way more low poly. The archways will be mirrored horizontally however the center top piece will be unique. The pillars will be mirrored vertically on the side.

    More updates on the way while I continue to chisel away at the rest of the props!
  • Andy H
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    Andy H polycounter lvl 5
    Part 3: Basic Lighting Setup

    Here's some very basic lighting being thrown in to go over the models in their current state. I'm itching to do some texturing so I'm going to go ahead and move on to this part of the project! :poly142:
    l34ukry.png

    I will be continuing to create more props as I complete textures, as the scene is still pretty empty, and the models will continue to be changed (this includes damaging pillars, archways, editing the ceiling, etc).
  • nyx702
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    nyx702 Polycount Sponsor
    Looking good! Love what you have done with the center floor already.

    Are you going to add the drainage hole things in the walls below the steps?
  • AimBiZ
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    AimBiZ polycounter lvl 10
    Looking good so far. Those texture tests look really nice already. I'm impressed by the amount of pre-planning you put into this. Looking forward to the broken pillars.
  • Andy H
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    Andy H polycounter lvl 5
    @nyx702 - Thanks so much! Definitely going to add the little drainage areas, but I'm trying to figure out how I want to go about doing so. Would probably be best to just make them modular pieces rather than apart of the texture for that area.

    @AimBiZ - Thank you! I'm excited to start texturing/making the scene more damaged. :)
  • Andy H
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    Andy H polycounter lvl 5
    Part 4/5/6: Textures/Etc.

    Going to go ahead and update with the base wall texture I did after taking in the feedback I got from the test textures. I thought brownish/neutral colors would work best with the lighting. :poly121:

    I started with a sculpt for this one but I just couldn't get it to look the way I wanted to without just completely painting over the entire thing so I'm sort of hesitant to spend time on another sculpt for any of the other tileable portions of the piece... Although having the lighting information did help.

    Any feedback is appreciated! :)
  • Azaraen
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    Azaraen polycounter lvl 9
    This is really organized and visually interesting! I look forward to running into this again when you have more! Great idea choosing an old Disney movie. Those were truly works of traditional art.
  • Andy H
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    Andy H polycounter lvl 5
    @Evolvyn - Thanks! Classic Disney movies are a huge inspiration for me, so I'm pretty excited to adapt a part of them in to a game environment.

    Here's a little update with what I've come up with for the center floor piece while keeping in mind the feedback that's been provided. I will likely model out some of the specific floor stones with the final model just to give it a little bit more depth. I wanted this portion to be much more sharper than the wall texture, as the floor is a more unique piece and is meant to be focused on.
    ZtUtlmf.png

    Just a representation of what it will look like together:
    Skaix3T.jpg

    Critiques are always appreciated, wall trimming is next! :poly121:

    EDIT: After comparing the wall texture to the center floor, thought I'd do a few tweaks and bring the saturation up a bit more:
    YsysOvv.png
  • Andy H
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    Andy H polycounter lvl 5
    Quick update, got the wall trimmings done! May revisit it later to damage it a little more but for now, would like to move on to something else in the room.
    2DhcK2B.png

    Together:
    piqYDH6.png
  • Pixelatedkiwi
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    Pixelatedkiwi interpolator
    Nice work, loving those stone textures - keep it up :)
  • toxic_h2o
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    toxic_h2o polycounter lvl 8
    Loving this! :) Keep up the awesome work Andy!
  • Nefarius24
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    Nefarius24 polycounter lvl 6
    Keep up this amazing work! :)
  • Andy H
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    Andy H polycounter lvl 5
    @Pixelatedkiwi, toxic_h2o, Nefarius24 - Thank you! Really appreciate it guys!
  • Optinium
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    Optinium polycounter
    Brilliant stuff :D
  • Andy H
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    Andy H polycounter lvl 5
    @Optinium - Thank you!

    Hoping to get some more frequent updates going on this! Here's what I've got for the lower wall:

    Seeing as how there appears to be some sort of sewer system attached to this wall, I thought it made sense to make it a little more dingy with some grime going on.

    Going to do a prop next, need a little change. :poly122:
  • fabio brasilien
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    fabio brasilien polycounter lvl 9
    This texture is perfect! :thumbup:
  • Yuke
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    Yuke polycounter lvl 5
    The textures are spot on, really nice contrast, colour variation and a good amount of detail/interest/damage.. great job!

    Really glad to see you've gone with adding the Maleficent's green lighting via actual lighting rather than adding it into the diffuse, should give you a lot more freedom with the scene.
  • sezmra
    Dat brick.

    I can't say it enough, I'm in love with these textures. The varied depth really draws my eyes in. Particularly for the decorative borders. Great work so far!
  • Eliteabix
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    Eliteabix polycounter lvl 5
    SO much depth in these textures, especially that last one. Love it. I shall continue to watch this thread closely :D
  • Andy H
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    Andy H polycounter lvl 5
    @fabio brasilien, Yuke, sezmra, Eliteabix - Thanks so much guys for all the encouragement!

    So I wasn't aware of this, but it seems as though one of the Kingdom Hearts games tackled this area (I've only played Kingdom Hearts 1 and 2).

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D2OqDDzoN1w

    It's been pretty nice seeing how the area can be tackled and now it's making me second guess my tileables once more. :poly115:

    Specifically my wall textures may be a little too overbearing, but I think it's best to get some props done before revisiting them.
  • Andy H
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    Andy H polycounter lvl 5
    ybOFLuP.png

    One of the basic archways finished, 196 Tris and one 512x512 Diffuse. Going to start on some simple debris and tiny props to place through out next.
  • Adrian.Howden
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    Adrian.Howden polycounter lvl 6
    Andy H wrote: »
    AndyHansenArchway1WIP.png

    One of the basic archways finished, 196 Tris and one 512x512 Diffuse. Going to start on some simple debris and tiny props to place through out next.

    This looks amazing. Any chance of a time lapse video so we can see your texturing technique?
  • Andy H
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    Andy H polycounter lvl 5
    @Adrian.Howden - Thanks! I'm actually not sure if my machine can handle recording at the moment but maybe I can look in to doing a breakdown some time soon.

    I finished up some rubble so I can make little pebbles and such to place around the scene. Also going to use it for when I make the pillars and damage/cut them up:

    Also made a little shield and crest/plate prop, both use a 256 Diffuse each. I didn't want to make them that detailed due to their purpose in the scene:
    pqqMucz.png

    Thinking about working on some pillars or the royal carpet next, cheers and thanks for looking!
  • Andy H
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    Andy H polycounter lvl 5
    G9OWf9k.png

    I decided to go with a very simple design for the carpet as due to the length, I didn't want the design to be way too obvious when tiling the carpet in the other direction. I kind of picture the carpet that is in the reference material to be very thin and worn out so thus, why I went with the folds in the fabric the way they are.

    Really at this stage, it may be best to visit the block out again and try to address the wall and floor tiles once more. If the basics of the room do not mesh together, then this will probably cause a lot of issues later on in the pipeline.
  • darkmag07
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    darkmag07 polycounter lvl 8
    Looking great and instantly subscribed! I was going to mention that this was a level in Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep, but I see that you've already stumbled upon that.
  • Andy H
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    Andy H polycounter lvl 5
    Hey all, long time since an update! All I can really say is, lots of stuff has happened personally since I've last updated... But! I have been working on the environment when I can and I'm excited to show you what I've been up to. I've been revising textures along the way and this may have slowed progress a bit...

    To begin, I decided to make a stab at the walls again, and here is where I ended up first:
    LqlG49X.png

    I decided that the bricks just looked like pillows, so I then went back and made them again:
    A0vd9T8.png

    Being much happier with these results I also went back and revised the lower wall area as well, thus resulting in this version:

    After that, I then moved on to working with the floor texture, which I'm okay with but kind of have an itching to go back redo this one as well:
    DaVOZJP.png

    Next were the stairs which I kept really simple, but still damaged:
    P64ii3M.png

    The center floor area still just wasn't working for me so I went ahead and remade it:
    D42JeYO.png

    So, with everything combined, I give you a progress shot!
    Enc0P4x.png

    I'm trying to not get stuck in an endless cycle of reiterating but I would appreciate any feedback that can be given on the scene while I move forward. I know there has to be a stopping point for these things but I'm still always more than willing to make improvements when needed. Thanks for looking! :)
  • almighty_gir
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    almighty_gir sublime tool
    i think one thing the scene could benefit from right now is some geometric variation. the textures look fantastic, but you can see that they're all on flat planes. try to break it up a little bit by having some of the bricks protrude from the plane. you can use the same textures and the same uv's and everything, just add some cuts to the plane and make some of the rocks protrude a little.
  • Alismuffin
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    Alismuffin polycounter lvl 7
    DAAAAAAAYUM
    Those textures are hot!

    I agree with a_g for sure. Make them pop geometry wise and it will look even better.
    Can't wait to see the final piece!
  • Andy H
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    Andy H polycounter lvl 5
    @almighty_gir - Thank you for the feedback! You're totally right and I'll be breaking up the scene in my next update! I'll also try what you suggested with just uv'ing some open meshes to the texture.

    @Alismuffin - Thanks! :)
  • Andy H
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    Andy H polycounter lvl 5
    Just thought I'd drop this here while I continue to break up the geometry in the room. I discovered the ProCutter tool in 3ds Max and it was pretty handy for the pillars. :poly142:
    ijMf7Jp.png
  • Fenyce
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    Fenyce polycounter lvl 6
    Wow super awesome and promising work! Can't wait for more! Subscribed!
  • dayMdel
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    dayMdel polycounter lvl 5
    It's truly very beautiful and interesting to see the work in progress of this Throne Room, makes me wanna see more!
    Keep'em coming, I'm sure it'll be stunning in the end :D
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