[UE4] Stylized Dungeon Set

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Jakob Gavelli interpolator
Heya!

Today marks one week since I started this project. The idea is to make a user-friendly set of modular pieces for creating dungeons. I want to go for quality and reusability instead of quantity.

I'm trying to use the pieces I have in different lighting conditions and think of different rooms. My workflow has been kinda fun so far. I make a set of stone slabs and metal pieces which I then kitbash inside UE4. When I feel happy with the results I simply export them and heavily optimize and edit them in Maya.

Personal Goals:
-Get a better grasp of the PBR workflow.
-Stylized metals using PBR.
-Get better at modular design and reusability.

What I have :
-Generic set of metal pieces.
-Generic set of stone slabs.
-Candles :p
-GOD-RAYS!

To Do:
-Generic Wood set?
-Torches
-More chains.
-Cages
-Proper Floor
-More Stuff

I'm putting this up at a pretty early stage in order to get some C&C early in the process. That's something I've been bad at in the past, showing stuff while it's still very WIP.

Less talk, more pictures :

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Replies

  • WarrenM
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    WarrenM Polycount Sponsor
    This would look a LOT cooler if you cranked up the bounce lighting and had less black surfaces. It's not doing your art work any favors at the moment.
  • Jakob Gavelli
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    Jakob Gavelli interpolator
    Thanks for the feedback, WarrenM. Would it be possible for you to do like a level-adjustment in Photoshop so I get a better idea of what you mean? My screen may be relatively bright so I don't see that much black at all =/

    Or maybe I'm missunderstanding ^^ I'll play around with diffuse boost and bounce lighting!
  • Mik2121
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    Mik2121 polycounter lvl 9
    Yeah, just checked your screenshots on my secondary monitor (darker than my main, I accidentally reset it the other day and didn't bother fixing it yet) and it's pretty damn dark. I can see it better on my main monitor, but that one is way too bright so...

    My monitors at work are also slightly dark so I assume I just wouldn't be able to see at all.

    Looking at my secondary monitor, I'd go with something like this:

    http://i.imgur.com/3ywdXHS.jpg

    But then again, it's not about how black or not are the dark areas, but rather the fact that most of the actual level is in the dark. I'd try to do a slightly different lighting or boost up some areas so the red bleeds into the main floor a bit.
  • Jakob Gavelli
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    Jakob Gavelli interpolator
    Still working on this little by little. At the moment I'm lacking direction.

    It's obviously highly WIP but it feels as if I'm getting a pretty solid collection of generic stuff. But as I said I'm kind of lacking direction, but what's hard is that it's supposed to be a user-friendly set.

    So I have to figure out how I'm supposed to make something that's kind of commercial but still has the quality and story of a portfolio piece.

    Please let me know if the lighting is still too dark, or any C&C!

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  • dzibarik
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    dzibarik polycounter lvl 5
    lighting looks sick. keep it up.
  • Sir Apple
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    Sir Apple polycounter lvl 8
    Looking cool man.

    Regarding the most recent lighting, I'd say it's still to dark and needs some adjustments. The first two images are close, but the last two are still pretty dark and flat. Its real difficult to see whats going on in the pathway between the lava, just looks a bit boring in those areas.
  • Walou
    this is just fantastic.
  • martinszeme
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    martinszeme polycounter lvl 8
    Generally looks good. As other have said the lighting needs some work. Its just too dark in some of those areas. Also those wall are visibly tiling in the last picture. Should add some decorations, decals like torches, cloth hanging, broken chains etc.
    Keep it up!
  • fullchaos13
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    fullchaos13 polycounter lvl 6
    Hey pretty good start you got going on here, one small question though. Your tilable stone textures look pretty sweet, are you using a height map and tessellation to achieve that 3d effect or do the stones have meshes?
  • noscope
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    noscope polycounter lvl 6
    this looks really cool. VERY repetitive which kills it a little for me but i love the style. Keep it up!
  • jestersheepy
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    jestersheepy polycounter lvl 7
    The white light/blues needs a boost by about 200% - 300% (Contrast). It's not the bounce, you have that down, just the brightness and contrasts.
    Some of the focal points need working out, you have quite a bit of frame light in some of your shots, often complimentary which draws the eyes to the frame a bit too much.

    Heres some levels/vignette.
    lpth656.jpg
  • arvinmoses
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    arvinmoses polycounter lvl 8
    Lighting is looking better, but still looks a little flat. I think the scene looks really nice - it just needs the right lighting to make it come out.

    You may also want to slightly vary the colors on the brick and do a few really light grunge passes on them. It might help to break some of the monotony. Not too heavy at all. I love the stylized look. Just subtle.
  • reverendK
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    reverendK polycounter lvl 7
    i really feel like you need some big shapes in there somewhere to break up the stones. they're pretty much the same size throughout the entire environment - every single surface, even the pillars aren't much of a different size. TO me it makes it mostly read as noisy - the same frequency of detail across the entire environment. it's especially distracting on the walls of the larger room.
  • Christo Oosthuizen
    Do you mind showing us a wireframe?
  • JLizzle
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    JLizzle polycounter lvl 8
    Lookin' pretty sweet so far. I think the consensus is that right now the scene maybe a little too dark and that you're lacking variety. I agree with jestersheepy's crit on the lighting. As for variety, every good modular kit should be complimented with some hero pieces to break up the monotony. Maybe some bloody torture devices or skeletons chained to the walls. You could also try making certain parts of the set stand out a little more. Like a floor covered in dirt with only a few bricks peeking through. Or, using straighter, more neatly placed bricks in the trim to contrast the haphazardly placed bricks on the walls and floor.
  • AngryMindtricks
    From looking at the scene you obviously know how to build your assets and environments however I'm just considering your choice of lighting... even with the few extra tweaks you've done I'm still unhappy with how dark it is... I'm actually just critiquing the high angle shot, the hall way is fine now. The values of contrast in your level/views aren't giving us anything... my eyes are more drawn to the walls or the lava in your high angle view... why not add a few spotlights along the path way? since it's supposed to be your main focus anyway I'm assuming.

    Maybe just two or even three cool blue point lights aiming directly down on the quarters of the path way... a soft falloff and then throw some chain like assets or crack decals onto the floor to bring out a little life into the path way too.

    Just a suggestion, keep up the good work though!
  • Jakob Gavelli
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    Jakob Gavelli interpolator
    @dzibarik : Thanks, dude!

    @Sir Apple : You're right about the lighting, let me know what you think of the new lighting!

    @Walou : Thanks, man!

    @martinszeme : Yeah, it's very bare boned at the moment. For once I wanted to post an environment during the early stages, so that's why it's like that ^^

    @fullchaos13 : It's actually geometry! I've got three LoDs so that it won't be too heavy!

    @noscope : Thanks! It's kinda bare at the moment, hopefully it won't be as obvious when I start adding props! But I'm thinking about how to fix it!

    @jestersheepy : Thanks alot! Really helpful! I may have overdone it with the vingette now, and I tried to follow your image as much as possible, I really like it. I had to do some fundamental changes to the scale of the environment though..

    @arvinmoses : Thanks! I actually have quite alot of grunge on the tilables but not the slabs, so I added that now, it looks a bit more cohesive!

    @ reverendK : You're right. I'm thinking about adding another floor with just large square slabs, so atleast the floor is alot cleaner. But it's all kind of up in the air atm.

    @Christo Oosthuizen : I guess you were after the wall wireframes? So here's the wires and LoDs! jniX9lc.png

    @JLizzle : Thanks, man. I'm very early in the process so most of the stuff is bashed from a bunch of metal/wood/stone stuff I did. And I still have alot of more wood stuff to add. I agree that all textures are noisy now. So maybe another floor or as you said, a trim, to break it up. It's also lacking stuff like large cloth banners or the like. But maybe that's too clich
  • Gannon
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    Gannon greentooth
    This is really cool! I think.. It's super dark still. Mind posting unlit pics or just boost your shadow color. I have a feeling it's set to black at the moment.
  • reverendK
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    reverendK polycounter lvl 7
    did a couple really quick paintovers to illustrate the breaking up of the detail frequency.
    8JtboOR.jpg

    it might help you to introduce some more wood or something as well - break up the gray stone material with more than just metal. maybe some beams, even furniture or something.

    structurally those ceilings need some sort of support though methinks - especially in the larger rooms they don't look like they should stay up there on their own.
  • Andy H
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    Andy H polycounter lvl 5
    Hey Jakob, this is coming along nicely and it's cool to see all the updates! I have to agree with what's been said so far in that it's still just too dark. Increasing your shadow saturation would help get a little more color in to the scene as Gannon suggested.

    The only other nitpick I have at the moment is that, if this will be a portfolio piece, there's something about the scene that makes it look similar to your Darksiders Homage piece. Particularly the floor may be what's standing out to me. It could be just the overall style/setting/materials that are doing it. Introducing different materials would help with this. Not necessarily a bad thing, just something that came to mind when looking at the scene. Looking forward to seeing more!
  • Jakob Gavelli
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    Jakob Gavelli interpolator
    @Gannon : Damn, I thought it was alot better.. *Goes back to the drawing board*

    @reverendK : Wow, man. Those are great! I don't know what to say really, thanks alot. I see what you mean about giving the eyes some rest.

    @Andy H : Hey, man. Love your Maleficent scene! Yeah, I'm kind of damaged from the doing the Darksiders Homage. ^^ I'm using a very similar workflow but I've gotten alot faster and consistent with it.
    Alot of the angles I'm taking screenshots from are similar to the Darksiders scene aswell. I don't have any environment color or fog at the moment, because I get weird results.

    What do you think of the update overall, do you think it's going in the right direction?

    I'm going to spend alot of time on it until the next update and hopefully give the viewers eyes more rest. If there's anything you want to see or ask about the workflow just shoot!
  • Jakob Gavelli
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    Jakob Gavelli interpolator
    Here we go again!

    Lots of stuff happening behind the scenes on this one, and it's actually getting pretty large. So it's kind of weird working on such a large environment, but I use the room with the pillars as a kind of guide.

    At the moment I'm really worried about the noise. Or rather, the balance between noise and the scene just looking empty.

    Thanks for all the feedback so far, I'm doing my best to get everything in there!

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  • reverendK
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    reverendK polycounter lvl 7
    the walls and ceiling look SO much better now! i esepecially like the hallway. If you could get more of that detail on the rest of the rooms they'd be awesome.

    You might play with the idea of removing the small stones from the doorway and along the top of the large stones on the walls of the large room - see how it feels with just large stone meeting the smaller stone and the doorway without the frame.

    a little more specific detail and sculpting on the larger stones could hep as well. get some cracks, some gouges, etc. in there.
  • Tobbo
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    Tobbo polycounter lvl 7
    Just wanted to drop in and say this is looking really nice! On the last pick the wooden boards on the ceiling have a noticeable seam.
  • Jakob Gavelli
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    Jakob Gavelli interpolator
    @reverendK : Thanks alot man, awesome paint-over! I've been really careful with the cracks and detail on the large slabs, since they repeat alot, but at the moment it's not even visible. Sooo, yeah.

    @Tobbo : Thanks! You're right, I'll get right on that ^^

    I still get the feeling that it's too damn dark. I tried playing around with the exposure but it looks a bit washed out now... I don't know, if you prefer this lighter version, please tell!

    Did alot of stuff on the slabs, had weird UVs so they look alot better now. And I see some ugly seams on the floor aswell as the wood obviously, so I'll fix that asap.



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  • Jakob Gavelli
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    Jakob Gavelli interpolator
    Well, damn. So this weekend I've been converting all the modular assets from "power of 2"-snapping to "multiple of 10"-snapping. Really, really tedious. Because apparently the UE4 marketplace requires the "multiple of 10"-snapping variety so, yeah. There we go.

    So I've kinda ran out of steam actually ^^ Replacing everything and redoing the layout to fit sucks, but I've only got myself to blame!

    Trying out some more stoneworky stuff instead of just having bricks everywhere. And I also brightened the lighting.

    Please tell me what you think, if I'm going in the wrong direction or if it's getting worse.

    The whole environment is really large aswell.. there's 3 large rooms + Stairs room + 2 corridors. So the quality is taking a pounding and I'm kind of loosing control :S

    Enough with the excuses, here are some pics!

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  • Jakob Gavelli
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    Jakob Gavelli interpolator
    lo

    I don't know if it was a good choice to add even more clutter to the scene, but I'll let you be the judge.

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  • JoeTyas
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    JoeTyas polycounter lvl 4
    I like the clutter personally, keep it up!
    I've been following this silently.
  • Jakob Gavelli
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    Jakob Gavelli interpolator
    @JoeTyas : Thanks man, glad you like it.

    I'm still struggling. One step forwards and two steps back kind of. Any feedback, comments or just statements are welcome!
  • Jakob Gavelli
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    Jakob Gavelli interpolator
    Keeping this one going. Any feedback would be lovely.

    Here are a bunch of textures. I reinverted the normals and roughness just for showing.
    I don't know if my process sucks or not for making the textures.
    pty0eRp.png

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  • WarrenM
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    WarrenM Polycount Sponsor
    I think it's a cool scene but I think it lacks a focal point. There are spots of hot fire in various locations and my eye doesn't really know what you want me to look at. It might be the door, but the door is very unassuming. Maybe work on the composition somewhat and figure out where you want the viewers eye to go.
  • Pookhan
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    Pookhan polycounter lvl 8
    Hey Jakob, I really like the style and the assets look well made. However I have to agree with WarrenM about the focal point. Figure out how you want the viewer's eye to be led and work the composition accordingly. You could try the rule of thirds, which would establish a clearer focal point around, say, the door. Here is a quick example.

    s45t9z.jpg

    Nice work all round though, keep it up!
  • Jeff Parrott
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    Jeff Parrott polycounter lvl 14
    Just saw this Jakob. You're making great progress. This is definitely lacking a purpose. What's out the door? It looks like nothing. Make a boss door or something. Pull the viewer on a ride to that doorway. Also I totally agree with changing the camera angle.

    Love the overall color scheme. Doesn't really shot off texture work. More modeling and composition. Which is great to show too.
  • JasonHeckmen
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    JasonHeckmen polycounter lvl 4
    Are you planning on selling this pack on the Unreal Marketplace? How many different pieces do you intend to include in this set? What would you say is the best way to go about learning modular designed environments such as this? How did you go about planning for the molecular pieces for the environment?

    How did you blend the dirt piles with the rocks? There aren't any obvious seams. Is there a special technique to make chains? They look wonderful and are sagging in all the right places.

    Thank you!
  • Jakob Gavelli
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    Jakob Gavelli interpolator
    @ WarrenM : Thanks for the advice, I've been very ham-fisted with composition in pretty much all of my pieces so far. Hopefully I can step it up with this one.

    @ Pookhan : Thanks for the tips, man. let me know what you think of the composition on this one.

    @ Jeff Parroy : HI JEFF! Thanks, it's a bit of a clich
  • Jakob Gavelli
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    Jakob Gavelli interpolator
    So I just realized that this got featured in the January Recap. Yay, us! Must've been a slow month.

    I went on a manic craze and changed a bunch of stuff. I'm happy with the results. Please tell me what you think.

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  • Pookhan
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    Pookhan polycounter lvl 8
    I think this is a big improvement. Focal point is much clearer. Just for future reference, there is a great video on Blender Guru about composition.

    http://www.blenderguru.com/tutorials/understanding-composition/#.VK0lDmSsVZE

    Good work!
  • Sweetangel0467
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    Sweetangel0467 polycounter lvl 6
    That orange depth fog really did do well in your background.
  • photonarbiter
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    photonarbiter polycounter lvl 4
    This is looking so sweet. I have a question about the openings in your floors that have lava in them. Are the floor pieces modeled with the openings for those spots in them or is there something else at work here? I guess what I'm asking is, if those openings are objects that can be placed on top of the floor how do you avoid clipping?
  • Narlyteeth
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    Narlyteeth polycounter lvl 5
    Those Stone Walls are super sexy. I personally think you should try experimenting with more angles and shapes for the structures. Everything seems to be at 90 angles which feels kinda artificial for a fantasy dungeon level. I think that skewing the angles of structures will give a better feel of instability and hostility. Keep up the good work, I'll keep my eye on this one.
  • nastobi123
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    nastobi123 polycounter lvl 3
    looks beautiful, blurange worked well.
  • Jakob Gavelli
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    Jakob Gavelli interpolator
    @Pookhan : Thanks! I think I'm getting a hang of it. Still experimenting though. Great link!

    @Sweetangel0467 : Yeah, it sure did. A concept artist friend of mine did a paintover which really, really helped me get some perspective.

    @photonarbiter : Thanks! There's no magic here sadly. It's a separate mesh which is just a modified version of a floor-piece. So that I can just replace some floor-pieces with the custom one. :)

    @Narlyteeth : Thank you! Yeah, it's very square, only chains breaking it up really. I'll play around with it!

    @nastobi123 : Thanks! Suuuure did!
  • Jakob Gavelli
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    Jakob Gavelli interpolator
    Dropping by with this. Just trying out composition stuffs. Tried to be a slave to the rule of thirds, for fun.

    Better or worse, I don't know! Getting really nitpicky.

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  • Sweetangel0467
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    Sweetangel0467 polycounter lvl 6
    Dunno if you saw my crit on the 2015 thread.. but your walls and ceiling could use some more ways of breaking up your tileable textures. They are the only thing that's really bothering me right now. Maybe making the tiles bigger could help or just some decals.

    If you did see my crit.. then nvm :D
  • Jakob Gavelli
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    Jakob Gavelli interpolator
    @Sweetangel0467 : Yeah, you're right. The floor has some basic vertex painting. I could do something similar for the walls/ceiling. Or create some more modules.

    Someone asked for a tutorial. ( Yeah, yeah, I've read the "How to post on the Internet"-topic but I wanted to do it =P ) So I did a really quick tutorial for the bricks, just a few easy steps.

    Badly put together with average results. But there you go, mr. person!

    If anyone wants to know anything else, don't hesitate to ask or send a PM if you're shy! :)

    QpEKVtU.jpg
  • pixelpatron
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    pixelpatron polycounter lvl 6
    Thanks for the awesome tutorial breakdown Jakob. What's your typical subdivision level/polycount for something like that? You subdivide evenly in max/maya or you using dynamesh?
  • atomander
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    atomander polycounter lvl 5
    Cool stuff Jakob, nice break down.
  • Jakob Gavelli
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    Jakob Gavelli interpolator
    @pixelpatron : No problem! I just dynamesh it at a reasonable resolution and work from there. The brick above was about 700k polys. But with this method of masking and moving, you will get stretching. So at that point feel free to dynamesh again.

    @atomander : Thanks, no problemo.

    Here's a link to the project on Epic's forum. It's a collaboration between me and Chris, who is doing all the coding. It's supposed to work as a RPG framework and dungeon tileset in one. Take a look if you're interested!

    https://forums.unrealengine.com/showthread.php?56007-Coming-Soon-RPG-Sample-Game&p=203249#post203249
  • Noren
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    Noren polycounter lvl 14
    Coming along nicely! I remember your other piece you showed here some time ago.

    I don't think the tiles on the ceiling work. Too small and if anyone ever decided to tile a ceiling with some sort of cobblestone, most of it would have fallen off by now.
    Some rock surface would be more interesting, in my opinion.
    Also it looks like the ceiling is floating above the beams.
    (Sorry if any of this was discussed already, only skimmed over the thread.)

    One other big problem is the lighting and colors, right now. There is a bit of a hierarchy between the fiery lightsources, but not enough or in a counterproductive way. (The smaller fires don't need that much attention, though they idea of adding one more focus point on the right isn't bad.)
    With the high contrast and little hot areas spread over the screen the image falls apart, in my opinion, and parts of the foreground get lost in the background. Maybe you could try even stronger fog or separate the foreground otherwise without giving up your gloomy atmosphere.
    I'd also give the vertical tunnel above the door some more hints of the light coming out of it.

    edit: Another problem might be the chains in the foreground. Would be a plus if you somehow managed to separate them a bit from the middleground.
  • Jakob Gavelli
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    Jakob Gavelli interpolator
    @Noren : Thanks! Yeah, the roof was kind of lazy, I'm not going to lie.

    The beams are, as you say, not in contact with the roof. Which is unpractical to say the least, but the parallax looks really good :S

    I hear what you're saying about the lighting and foreground/background, but I'm not sure what you mean. Could I be so bold as to ask for a paint-over?

    Here's me replacing the roof with a dark rock surface. It may be too dark right now, so please tell me what you think.

    GeGnWhP.png

    EDIT : Damn that roof was dark. Is this better?
    P41VRXY.png
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