Mrs Weasley's Kitchen

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  • Asherleee
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    Asherleee triangle
    Sub-Surface Scattering

    Today I did some testing on Sub-Surface Scattering, or SSS to see how it would look in my scene. For testing purposes, I modified the 'Mug' mesh, first making it thinner and adapting the shape so I know its a test from a glace.

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    The initial material work was really simple, and turned out the material below. I'd gone wrong somewhere, as it looked more like wax than fine porcelain. Popping back in to max, I made the walls of the cup as thin as i could, then played with the values - the issue was the colour multiply of '6'.

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    Once the material was looking more like porcelain/fine china, I popped that mug alpha on . You can see it working best on the handle area of the mug on the imaeg below. Now I know the basics of how it'll work I can apply it to objects that'll show it best, such as the carrots, potentially the plates and so on.

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    Post-Processing

    I also had a dabble in the post-processing, adding film grain and vignette to make it look nice. As this is a warm kitchen, I gave it a yellow/orange wash to bring out the tones. As its based off a film, I'd like to add the cinematic black bars.

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  • Asherleee
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    Asherleee triangle
    Update

    Been doing more tinkering today, laying out and creating the smaller assets to fill in the scene. I've decided I wanted to lay out my kitchen as if it was just getting ready for breakfast, so i plan on having some more food items crammed on the table.

    I also did some tests to see if my software can capture in 1080p, ready for when I start setting up cameras to create my video flythrough. You can find this video below, though ignore the audio - had the telly on.

    http://youtu.be/AYk4-ouxH4Y

    I've also started to think about what angles my beauty shots should be at, as well as trying to think of what shots I need to create an interesting fly through. Its probably going to be a quick, 30 second fly through as repeated areas are just boring and I have quite a small area to cover.


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  • Asherleee
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    Asherleee triangle
    Lighting

    Built the lighting since the last post - I dare say its starting to look nice.

    Lighting currently takes 1.5 hours, but I expect to double that time for the final bake before submission. This is due to the lightmap sizes (1024) and there's a fair amount of SSS happening in there now.


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  • failhappy
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    failhappy polycounter lvl 3
    Wow, that seems excessive. My lighting build only takes 3 minutes on preview quality!

    If it's taking that long I would reduce all your lightmap sizes down, go into the lightmap density view mode and adjust the sizes so everything has a similar texel density. 1024 should be the highest you go and only on big assets such as the floor.
  • Asherleee
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    Asherleee triangle
    @ Failhappy - Its full on production lighting with all the lightmass ramped up :)
  • failhappy
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    failhappy polycounter lvl 3
    I did mine on production and it only took 8 minutes. Apart from a couple of asset that could do with an increased lightmap resolution that's my final lighting.

    Might have something to do with the lights in the scene though, I have no sky or directional light, just point lights.

    Out of curiosity do you have a lightmass importance volume set up?
  • Asherleee
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    Asherleee triangle
    My lightmass importance volume is set up just outside the walls of the kitchen. I've got a skylight and point lights in my scene. When I bring my lightmas settings back to the default it takes literally minutes, so its because I've got it baking on a high level. I don't mind too much, I just set it away when I go to bed.
  • Asherleee
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    Asherleee triangle
    Update

    At this point of the project, I'm now just doing a sort of 'spot the difference' between my scene, and the film screenshot. Need to create a few extra chairs, perhaps 3 more and a stool. Still got another 20-25 assets remaining on my list to complete and get in the scene, and to fix them horrid windows.


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  • Asherleee
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    Asherleee triangle
    Lighting

    I wanted some form of stain glass window in my scene, since theres one in the film. On closer inspection there's an awful lot less colour than i thought. First off I tested the process of which the glass would work, resulting in this:


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    So I went ahead and adapted the mesh for the walls, to include a plane that I can use in the same way. To get the unique lines, I created lines within Illustrator and imported them as splines in to Max. Trying the method above with so little colour looked utterly rubbish, so I decided to pop some interesting refraction on there. Unfortunately that also affected the colour. I tried putting 2 planes in, one for colour, one for refraction but that didn't quite work out so I took the decision to keep it at just refraction.

    I'm not fond of the image I picked for the outside, its similar to that used in the studio, but not that of the film. If I have time I'll change it.

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  • Doxturtle
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    Doxturtle polycounter lvl 4
    In my opinion the stone wall looks quite bland compared to the other assets, it seems to repeat quite a bit. Its also pretty much a single grey colour.

    The rest of the assets look really good, I just think the wall needs a bit of attention, seeing as it is quite a large piece.

    EDIT:

    In your initial moodboard your reference has a lot more variety in the colours.

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    The bricks also seem to be less rounded, and stick out less.
  • Asherleee
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    Asherleee triangle
    Colour Adjustment

    So my scene was oh so gradually getting more and more orangey yellow and naf, so I have used a LUT within the engine to adjust the colours to be more natural.

    Before:
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    After:
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    I feel this has drastically improved the overall look of my scene.

    ____

    @ Doxturtle - Initially the repeated bricks were intended to be a placeholder, but currently due to time restrictions of the deadline I may have to leave them like they are. I'll be continuing this project after the deadline however, and I'll be able to fix them good and proper then.
  • Asherleee
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    Asherleee triangle
    Update

    Needs more clutter! I'm starting to feel relatively happy with it now, there are still some big big issues that I need to fix, but I've popped a set of screenshots below.

    Major things to fix:
    Scale on sink and plates
    Increase levels ever so lightly through colour grading
    Implement: Door, pipe cluster, oven, clock
    Rough up the floor tiles
    Vary brick wall somehow

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  • Dobbler
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    Dobbler polycounter lvl 5
    This is coming along beautifully! The last clutter pass makes the room feel much more alive. I don't have any major crits for you, but there are a few spots that break the immersion for me:

    -The welcome door mat next to the wellies needs some more texture information, it's reading very flat and one dimensional from a distance.

    - The cereal boxes don't quite seem to fit in the same universe as the rest of your props. The high contrast and saturation of the box designs create a very strong focal point, yet they don't fit the style of the rest of the room. Maybe something vintage and toned down like these would fit the environment better?

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    - Same thing with the family photos, they look shopped into the picture frames, not quite like they exist in that universe.

    - The closest chair on the left in your last render looks super wet, maybe take the roughness up a bit?

    Great job overall, looking forward to more!
  • Asherleee
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    Asherleee triangle
    Thanks very much, this is the hardest part for me atm, trying to think and identify what exactly all the clutter is.

    For the cereal boxes, I tried to kinda follow this, but I am no 2D artist. At the same time, I don't want vintage labels as it is set in modern day, so I don't feel that would fit in the scene any more that my current ones. I'll bring down the brightness of the colours however, as you're right - they do shift the focus over.
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    I'll go fix that chair now, I'd not spotted that - hadn't plugged the roughness in (duh).

    Family photos might take a bit of thinking, not sure how to integrate them more aside perhaps putting dirt, or a layer of glass on top?
  • Holly Mellor
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    Holly Mellor polycounter lvl 4
    It looks so amazing! One thing I would say is, it doesn't feel very wizardy..more like a real life kitchen! Perhaps that famous clock?

    Also, how did you do that stack of plates? Did you model the whole stack or just repeat the plates?
  • YBourykina
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    YBourykina RIOT Games
    this is awesome! love all the character in this :D
  • Asherleee
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    Asherleee triangle
    @ Holly Cheers - the wizard-ness I feel comes from the moving elements of the kitchen in the film, like the floating pan being washed and so on. The clock is about half done at the moment, but it'll be in there :)

    for the plates, i just stacked them individually and grouped them for easy moving around.

    @YBourykina - Thanks very much :D
  • failhappy
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    failhappy polycounter lvl 3
    For a couple of quick fixes:

    3KHywCa.jpg

    I'd rotate the jar so the seam faces the wall, and fix the smoothing groups on the lid :)


    This has come on leaps and bounds really quickly. The clutter makes such a difference to the overall scene.
  • Asherleee
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    Asherleee triangle
    The smoothing groups have been fixed, but I didn't spot that seam - thanks :D
  • CatDixon
    Hi Ashley,

    Looks like your project is coming along really well, really like the direction its heading.

    I know lots of people have given great advice so I'll try not to repeat anything I'm sure you are already working on.

    What I'd really like to see is some more detail in the windows. I'm struggling to see depth out of them and its drawing my eye away from all the great detail you have.

    If you used a transparent material with a normal and a touch of refraction it would bring a lot to the scene with only a small amount of work. You can probably get away with just taking a diffuse and extracting the normal from there.

    ds1g0Bn.png

    I've just quickly done an image here in UE4, probably needs the normal map inverting to bring the leading out and a poured glass feel, but hopefully that'll give you an idea of what I mean.

    Looking forward to see how the rest of it goes :)
  • Asherleee
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    Asherleee triangle
    I honestly didn't think of doing it that way, thats 1000x easier - currently the lead pattern is actually a mesh because I wanted some shadows from the lead, and the window is a separate plane.

    If I get time before the deadline, I'll have a go with your method and see how it looks, thank you :) If not before the deadline, I'll still have a go once I get a few other uni modules out the way.

    Cheers very much :)
  • Asherleee
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    Asherleee triangle
    The little things

    I've started putting in some small general harry potter references in, I've also got Harry's glasses in, and hope to include his wand and luggage trunks.

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  • Asherleee
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    Asherleee triangle
    I did a quick polish phase, fixing small issues here and there before putting more assets in the scene.


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  • Kaine123
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    Kaine123 polycounter lvl 6
    I think you could fill up the empty space on the far wall a bit. Maybe with some hanging pictures or something.
  • Asherleee
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    Asherleee triangle
    The area just to the left of the plate rack will be filled with a door - just about finished that now. The blank area on the adjacent wall, i'm not sure yet - maybe a small cabinet and pictures.
  • Holly Mellor
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    Holly Mellor polycounter lvl 4
    Correct me if I'm wrong but shouldn't Harry's letter be addressed to the Burrow, instead of under the stairs. It changes the address depending on where you are right?
  • Asherleee
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    Asherleee triangle
    You are most certainly correct, but my actual thinking behind that was that Harry brought the letter with him, as this scene is just after he arrives at the Burrow for the first time, and even then, it should be 'The smallest bedroom' as thats where he lives at that point.

    Mainly it was for the iconic-ness of it :)
  • Asherleee
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    Asherleee triangle
    Got a door in, pretty much there now!

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  • Jakub
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    Jakub greentooth
    That is looking perfect, can't wait to see the end :)
  • atomander
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    atomander polycounter lvl 5
    Asherleee, this is looking so cool! I really love your attention to detail with this piece. One thing I would like to see is a bit of a brighter, more well-lit environment. A lot of the details in this piece are getting lost in shadow, and I think doing some interesting lighting composition would really make the existing work shine. (I know in the original still you are using as a concept, there are some high contrast shadows). Consider using contrasting colors in your shadows.
  • Deathstick
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    Deathstick polycounter lvl 4
    Looking good!

    I'd recommend bumping up your dynamic shadow cascade to 4 if you haven't already to get rid of those jagged/pixelated shadows (especially evident on the backwalls.)

    Another trick to increase dynamic shadow fidelity if you haven't already is to open up your scalability settings in your unreal engine/4.7orwhateverversionthisis/Engine/Config/BaseScalability document and edit it in there.

    [[email protected]] is the section for "Epic" settings, setting something like r.Shadow.MaxResolution to 2048 or even 4096 or higher (I keep mine at 4096 for crisp dynamic shadows all around in a large outdoor setting, although this will make it harder to have "soft" shadows due to its high res, 2048 is a nice inbetween)

    Changing the "r.Shadow.RadiusThreshold=0.03" to something like 0.01 will also help in having small/tiny objects like cups or pencils still cast shadows at a reasonable distance before disappearing.

    Note that these settings will stay for that particular engine and you can always edit the config back, but the settings will reset on an engine update/hotfix so you'll have to tweak your configs again.

    Keep it up!
  • Asherleee
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    Asherleee triangle
    Finished for project hand-in:

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  • Asherleee
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    Asherleee triangle
    I've also produced a short video flythrough

    [ame="
  • Dethling
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    Dethling polycounter lvl 7
    It looks really nice, but (there's always a but^^):
    I think one primary theme of the Weasleys were the dirt and used stuff.
    So for a believable Weasley Kitchen I would much more dirt, damaged & fixed stuff and a little more.. chaos :)
  • taotang
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    taotang polycounter lvl 3
    Looks awesome! Great work.

    One comment:
    I'm not sure if it is your intention but I'm not a fun of the glass texture for the cup.
  • Holly Mellor
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    Holly Mellor polycounter lvl 4
  • Steve Schulze
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    Steve Schulze polycounter lvl 13
    Man, that looks great in motion. Top notch work.

    The drinking glass shader really is the only thing that's standing out as still needing some tweaking. I'm not a shader guy, but I suspect turning down your reflection map considerably might help.
  • Liondog
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    Liondog polycounter lvl 3
  • Asherleee
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    Asherleee triangle
    @ Dethling - Looking at the kitchen references, the actual kitchen wasn't that dirty, it was just really used and cluttered. Molly's character seems to be quite house proud, so I felt dirt and grime wouldn't fit nice. But I agree on needing more banged up objects.

    @ Holly Mellor - thank you, you've been very supportive through my project :)

    @ taotang and Jackablade - Thanks very much. I'm also not a shader person, but I think it'll be either the normals or refraction I will need to play with. I was going for this type of glass, but without the colour.

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  • shadownet752
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    shadownet752 polycounter lvl 6
    Having just marathoned the series while working on a project myself, I must say, good job. Looooooove your organization.
  • slosh
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    slosh ngon master
    I think inside the kitchen looks great! I'm not a fan of how it looks outside of the window. I would play with that a bit more. Feels a tad bright and possible too saturated. Great work though!
  • Harrad
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    Harrad polycounter lvl 6
    Hey Ashley,

    Great work and fantastic research! ... few things that stand out and would be worth fixing as they are letting the rest down. Not sure if its too late for your hand in, but i'd still keep tweaking for your reel after anyway.

    + The glasses (like other people have mentioned) are really pop out. Try bringing diffraction down on them, check out this tut (http://goo.gl/4qlYcU) and how he hooks up the diffraction to a fresnel so its varied across the surface of the glass. It might be a case of changing style to something that renders better rather than having something that doesn't look right and is spoiling your work.

    + The window, this is one area that really doesn't match the reference. It reads as a flat poly with and alpha mask on it, with no glass in the stills and a funny warping effect in the video. The iron work is too thin, and you've missed out the stained glass. It'd be worth just spending some time modelling the window in 3D pulling off a nice alpha and normal map and then playing around with some shaders to get a coloured glass effect.

    + Same as above goes for the door window, it just reads like empty holes at the moment. Could do with having some grubby marks around where it meets the frames, it should read as a surface.

    + Your missing a lot of surface reflections, most things in real life have some kind of reflections, the great thing about PBR is that you can vary the roughness of your reflections. The floors, walls and roof all read as flat diffuse textures. Check out the screenshot on the first page, bottom left the floor has some gloss to it, the bottom right the counter is reflecting the window. Try playing around with more grunge in your roughness to varied areas of reflections (check out some of allegorithmic's videos on youtube about roughness).

    + Outside reads as a flat board, maybe just make a ground plane and a few alpha planes with blury photos applied, so your get some sense of parallax when the camera is moving.

    + I'd just noticed you'd missed the hanging lamp above the table, this would add some vertical break up to the space if you added that.

    + The Lighting is slightly off, have you placed a point light in the window? as you shouldn't have such a harsh light coming off the pipes above the sink. The harsh shadow coming in the door is fine as that would be direct sunlight but the bounce back onto the wall should be a lot softer. Have you played around with the lightmass indirect settings on the directional light?

    + You could do a couple of lighting setups, maybe a night time one. This could help vary your reel with the same bit of work. Ie, if this was in a game you might come back to it at different times of day and it would have a different feel to it.

    + Dirt, I know you'd said that the kitchen is that dirty, but it would benefit from just a little bit of contact dirt between surfaces, or knocks, chips etc... even the wellies are shinny and clean! :P

    Hope some of this helps. Like i said it just a few things that aren't matching the same level of work as the rest of your piece. Good luck!! :)
  • Asherleee
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    Asherleee triangle
    @ shadownet - thanks very much :)

    @ slosh - I agree, it's one of them items on my list to come back to

    @ Harrad - Thank you very much for the great feedback.

    The glass in my scene, both cups and windows, were my biggest issues through this project. I'm not the best of technical artists, so I really struggled. I seemed to either be able to have stained glass /or/ refraction on them, so I went with refraction - and it still ended up looking odd. I think I'm going to use a mixture of normal maps and thicker lead to make them more interesting.

    Funnily enough I ended up removing the roughness on the floor and wooden beams as they were coming through super shiney and I didn't quite have time to rectify this before the deadline.

    I'll certainly try that idea for the outside, it's a plane with an image attached and I was struggling to think of ways to create interest with that - thank you :)

    There were a few assets I would have liked to get in the kitchen, the gas lamp included, but simply put, I ran out of time. Going to implement these assets when I do a second pass after my other university modules are out the way.

    An after thought after the kitchen got submitted was actually to do a 24 hour cycle, to show off the PBR, so thats something else I will have a play with for sure :)

    I get what you mean about the dirt - after not looking at it for a few days, and coming back to it, it does look awful clean now.

    Thanks very much for the feedback, I'll be sure to implement and think about what you've said when I come to do my second pass on the scene
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