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THRONE ROOM - Fisherman's Kingdom - Kimmokaunela

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kimmokaunela ngon master
This is going to be awesome comp! Nice ideas you got there fellow polycounters!

I want to do something different. No epic halls, or gold. I want to create something more modest. I also want to learn some new tricks.

New story:

A fisherman named Thomas lived on an small island. He was the only person in that huge sea area so naturally he felt himself like a king. That´s why he build a throne for him by just using an old rowing boat and a few meters of rope. He used to sit there and look over the sea. Thomas was a simple man that liked to fish and enjoy the nature. One day he left to fishing like he did every morning but he never returned. Since then the throne has been waiting it´s master to return.

The tools are going to be:
3ds max
ZBrush
Unity 4.6
Photoshop
Xnormal
Substance Designer
ShaderForge for Unity to build my own shaders

This is going to be fun but also very time consuming so I need to start concepting!

Latest progress:

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Replies

  • Awoken
    This is a really nice idea, should be very different too. Have you decided on an art style yet? Really looking forward to seeing your progress on this
  • kimmokaunela
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    kimmokaunela ngon master
    I think I´m going to mix realistic and stylized styles together. I´m really liking the Dishonored style but a little more realistic would be the style I´m looking for. Just played the Half-Life - Lost Coast and that gave me some ideas about the scene and layout. Need to make a trip to nature and collect some more reference material.
  • Jacqueline
    I'm the other team member, Zocliac. I'm looking forward to diving into this project!
  • kimmokaunela
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    kimmokaunela ngon master
    Okay, I collected some reference/inspiration material. I want to make it look like it could be an island somewhere in Scandinavia.

    Here is something that I collected for the envy itself:

    Iq7QKY7.jpg

    Here is something that may help me to make that throne:

    PqeU3wS.jpg

    And here is the mood that I want to have in the final shots:

    Tfm1eFP.jpg
  • kimmokaunela
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    kimmokaunela ngon master
    Here it´s starts. I think I´m going to block the environment first and then I´m going to focus on the throne. I like to model basic things before going full speed ahead.

    Can´t wait to start making some textures and shaders there. I don´t know if I have any changes agains UE4 or CE3 with a simple Unity 4.6 but I´m going to do my best. My pc is too weak for the other engines :)


    KYmOw01.jpg

    BTW. That pink thing is just for the scale.
  • kimmokaunela
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    kimmokaunela ngon master
    Starting to make more details to these stones. Can´t wait to test the Painter! I´m going to blend micro normal map in Unity and other stuff like moss.

    6ngupmD.jpg
  • kimmokaunela
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    kimmokaunela ngon master
    Finished the stone texturing for now. Might do some more but I just want to have some basic textures to test in Unity. Going to atleast do a final tweaking in Substance Painter. Next I need to start making the ground textures and the shader that blends those.

    61mjl24.jpg
  • kimmokaunela
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    kimmokaunela ngon master
    Starting to make the ground textures. I want them to be very unnoticeable. When I got these somehow done I´m going to start making the shaders in Unity and start bringing this whole thing together.

    qR400Uh.jpg

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  • William3DArtist
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    William3DArtist polycounter lvl 9
    I really like your tilable ground textures. Is each rock a separate object you bake on the ground? That is sweet. Like your techniques. Looking forward to seeing your throne.
  • kimmokaunela
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    kimmokaunela ngon master
    Thanks @william21984. I made a set of different rocks and then used insert multi mesh in ZBrush to place them. It´s not perfect but for the start it will do just fine and I can change that later on if I find it bad. I´m pretty lazy so if there´s a shortcut I will use it :)

    I´m trying to use all my freetime with this project and make more assets when I can. Now that I have some ground textures I want to have some vegetation stuff aswell so I can start creating the scene in Unity. I modeled the grass in 3ds max and use a camera to render it out. I also placed green, red and blue lights in there to get a nice normal map. Need to add more variation in the textures later on.


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  • kimmokaunela
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    kimmokaunela ngon master
    So here are the textures so far. I already started to make the ground shader.

    sbedDUW.jpg
  • kimmokaunela
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    kimmokaunela ngon master
    Been working all night with the shader. I´m using vertex paints to control the different areas of the ground. Since it´s near water I wanted to get the sea shore effect. It´s using vertex alpha to color the ground dark in that area and adjust the specular. Vertex green is controlling the glossness and it also tone down the normal maps and the results looks like a water puddle (need more tweaking). Then I blend the sand and sand with rocks textures (diffuse & normal). I also added a custom IBL system in there. There are also some useless nodes there but I just wanted to show what´s coming :)

    nXAOWmI.jpg

    And here is the Unity shot with that shader in action. I need to modify the uvs at some point and also the lighting and billion other thing.

    xj40nUV.jpg
  • kimmokaunela
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    kimmokaunela ngon master
    Added the stones and some cliffs in the back. I did a fast sculpt for placeholder rock cliff texture. Shaders and textures needs more tweaking. Next I need to start creating the lighting and adding the grass and other vegetation there.

    Zc05LIY.jpg

    sHJfXWB.jpg
  • kimmokaunela
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    kimmokaunela ngon master
    Been working with the lighting a lot. I also changed some shader side things as well. I´m starting to like this setting. There is something wrong with the cliff in the background but don´t mind that :)

    Mkd6M8r.jpg
  • kimmokaunela
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    kimmokaunela ngon master
    Is weekend already over? Little closer to to what I want but still a lot to tweak. Feels like I´m just playing with the shaders here and not so much with the models and textures :)

    I tweaked the ground shader to blend better with the different textures. I did also add more control for blending the normal maps so now I can blend the bigger details better with the smaller ones. I also added the grass but that needs more fixing. I also tweaked the lighting a little more. Really liking the mood of those orange lights. I´m planning to add some lanters there to emit that light. Chrome balls are just placeholders for those.

    sVX1zL1.jpg

    Now that the envy is pretty good shade I can start making the throne. That is just a small blockout but I want it to be pretty simple. I think it´s much easier to build the envy first and then the props. This way they fit better to surrounding.

    I found this small poem that I like and that really works as a reference.

    The fisherman goes out at dawn - When every one's abed, - And from the bottom of the sea - Draws up his daily bread.
    His life is strange ; half on the shore - And half upon the sea - Not quite a fish, - and yet not quite - The same as you and me.
    The fisherman has curious eyes - They make you feel so queer, - As if they had seen many things - Of wonder and of fear.
    They're like the sea on foggy days, - Not gray, nor yet quite blue - They 're like the wondrous tales he tells - Not quite -- yet maybe -- true.
    He knows so much of boats and tides, - Of winds and clouds and sky - But when I tell of city things, - He sniffs and shuts one eye!


    Source: http://www.familyfriendpoems.com/poem/the-fisherman-by-abbie-farwell-brown#ixzz3QU81jZHl
    Family Frie

    So the next step is to model the throne and start texturing with substance painter!
  • kimmokaunela
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    kimmokaunela ngon master
    I have been stuck for the last few days. I just don´t think that this is going to be interesting enough so I started to think the back story. I like sci-fi and that´s why I want to add a little twist here. The story goes like this:

    In near future the Earth almost vanished due to the high human population and waste. This caused the Earth´s core to start collapsing and that meant huge destructions and events in the global scale. Ground layers started to fall.

    The population that survived started to build the STRUCTURE. Huge machine that supports the whole Earth and prevent it from dying. 70% of the planet vanished and the cities were rebuild on top of the STRUCTURE. Rest of the planet was split into different sectors that were the quarantine zones. In these zones the nature started to grow back stronger than ever before.

    Many moved to these complex stations but some wanted to stay. One of those was the old fisherman named Thomas. He was the only human in that sector so he was able to rule how he wanted. When there were no others to fish, Thomas had full control of the nature.

    One day he went to fishing with his boat like usual but never returned. It maybe because the nature has it´s ways to reclaim what belongs to it. Since then the throne has been waiting for him to return.
  • kimmokaunela
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    kimmokaunela ngon master
    Been crunching at work lately and that is why I didn´t get anything done. I´m starting to feel kind of sick also so I need to hurry before it hits hard :)

    I started to model the new throne. Hi-poly modeling so far. I´m starting to like it´s design. I also started to block out the STRUCTURE pillars that are going to hold the ground. I also tweaked the lighting in Unity and added grass but I´m not fully happy how it looks. I also hand paint some flowers there but they need more work like everything in the scene.

    I think this sci-fi look will work much better than what I had in mind when I started this.

    QDBrTav.jpg

    I run the pro optimizer in max to decimate the throne hi-poly model a bit to get it in Unity so that´s why it looks like sh<3t :)

    lTzrvxg.jpg
  • kimmokaunela
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    kimmokaunela ngon master
    Working more with the hi-poly models. I also starting to test different color variations. What do you guys think about this orange&black theme?

    ey96bDM.jpg
  • arya-bagus
    The non Sci-fi theme is actually better, IMO. Great work though!
  • kimmokaunela
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    kimmokaunela ngon master
    Once again I lost 5 days for being sick! Fever made me think the whole lighting again :) I don´t know why but every time when I´m trying to do some sort of outdoor lighting it´s end up being dark and kind of boring. Now it´s much brighter and I like it.

    I also added more control to the ground shader and it´s starting to be really complex but I think it´s still pretty cheap to render. Now I can paint grass there using my blue vertex color, green is for the stones and red is for sand. Vertex alpha is blending dark color and boost the specularity for vet areas.

    I also made the low poly pillars and baked fast maps to test in Unity. Next I´m going to model the throne hi poly and the low. Bake down some maps and then start to texture stuff in Designer and test the Painter.

    xnc4y5o.jpg
  • kimmokaunela
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    kimmokaunela ngon master
    Shader, rocks, little more shader, crunching at work and more rock cliffs :) That´s pretty much what I have done lately. I´m testing a lot of different things right now. I also started to make the whole island. Now that I have the shaders and modular pieces done it´s pretty straight forward to build bigger level.

    One big thing is that I´m still figuring out the right throne design. I modeled hi-poly robotic chair but it´s not looking the way I want. I have a crazy idea about some sort of old rocking chair. That would create a nice contrast between the scifi and old times. Time is also running very fast so I need to get that design in my head soon.

    9G0RsqE.jpg


    YFwGOZB.jpg

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    I also started to model more props and vegetation but their priority are very low. It feels that no matter how hard I try, Unity 4.6 can´t match the level of eye candy that UE4 has. It feels that I´m doing 80% of time technical stuff and 20% is the art. Maybe I´m just optimizing too much but I decided to go with a little more stylized with this one. This project showed me that shaders are fun to work with. DX11 tesselation would be awesome but my 5,5 years old DX10 GPU thinks otherwise :)
  • kimmokaunela
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    kimmokaunela ngon master
    Here is the hi-poly for the chair that I did but I don´t like it. That´s why I started to build new one that I´m going to post soon.

    VXhfN4D.jpg
  • kimmokaunela
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    kimmokaunela ngon master
    Finally I got the idea for the final throne design. I started thinking what kind of chair can I build if I was on an island and using the parts that I can find there. Maybe I cut that old rowing boat in half and use those old wood planks to build a chassis. Using rope I can connect the pieces together and that is also going to make it more flexible. I´m going to model the low-poly first and then do a hi-poly parts where needed. This way I hopefully save some time.

    cBxDuIU.jpg

    XR8612B.jpg

    I also started to build more props.

    YiJ59gz.jpg
  • kimmokaunela
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    kimmokaunela ngon master
    Started to sculpt hi-poly throne. Next step is to bake down some maps and start playing with the substance designer & painter.

    bLVhnqF.jpg
  • kimmokaunela
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    kimmokaunela ngon master
    Damn that Unity 5 is out now. I tried to convert this into 5 but everything just exploded and at this point it´s just too much work to fix that so 4.6 is the way to go.

    I made a low poly throne around 10k. I also made uvs and baked some maps. Then I created a fast template in Substance Designer. Always nice to work with Designer even thought I´m a noob with it but I managed to get good results and it was fast. I wanted to test Painter but my GPU is too damn old and weak. Then I continued with photoshop to add small things and throw textures to Unity. I also made a shader for that and now every shader is hand made. Next I need to start making better uv´s for the ground, add more vegetations, props, tweaked shaders more and so on :)

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  • kimmokaunela
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    kimmokaunela ngon master
    Did this model fast. I don´t know what´s the name in english but we called it "katiska" in Finland. I would like to know if anyone knows. It was very fun to model and turned out pretty good I think. Hi-poly has about 2mil polys and the low poly has 84 tris :)

    I´m planning to add more props into that same texture atlas to optimize a bit.

    TTVJE6B.jpg


    6dvTIFP.jpg
  • SaboR1996
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    SaboR1996 polycounter lvl 7
    Did this model fast. I don´t know what´s the name in english but we called it "katiska" in Finland. I would like to know if anyone knows. It was very fun to model and turned out pretty good I think. Hi-poly has about 2mil polys and the low poly has 84 tris :)

    I´m planning to add more props into that same texture atlas to optimize a bit.

    TTVJE6B.jpg


    6dvTIFP.jpg

    Its a fish trap in English.
  • kimmokaunela
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    kimmokaunela ngon master
    Well that makes sense :) Thanks SaboR1996. I guess that sometimes the answer is too simple to figure out. I thought that it was a Finnish invention but once again I was wrong.
  • kimmokaunela
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    kimmokaunela ngon master
    I want to share my workflow that I used to make the ropes. I wanted to test this workflow that I figured out by accident and I think it´s pretty fast also. Ropes are going to be very important for this project so I want to have a lot of control.

    wjajFMh.jpg
  • kimmokaunela
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    kimmokaunela ngon master
    Starting to scult hi-details to some of the props. Then little SD magic and export into Unity 4.6.

    29vmGrn.jpg
  • kimmokaunela
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    kimmokaunela ngon master
    I didn´t like that lighting so I tweaked it a bit and then I started to test the post process candy thing in Unity. Finally I understand how the curves works there :) I also tweaked the grass shaders and now they are casting shadows that makes the whole scene to look better. I´m not happy how the rocks looks so I want to tweak those aswell. For some odd reason some of the models normals are messed so I need to find the solution for that too. Testing continues!

    tV8w6hv.jpg
  • kimmokaunela
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    kimmokaunela ngon master
    Finally started to texture some props. I made this fast graph in SD. I´m going to make it better if I have time.

    k3aBCMn.jpg

    I also modeled some hi-poly plants and baked those down with the same workflow that I used with the grass. I found out that using simple gradient maps inside 3ds max allowed me to create a pretty good base for the color pass. Using UV1 and UV2 I could add different gradients and blended those together with some noise. It´s so fast to set up something like this.

    8DqjYZY.jpg

    hfBE2Cz.jpg

    I basically rendered plants with camera inside 3ds max with a simple lighting. I also found out a really nice way to render normal maps by using red, green and blue lights and using another lights that are negative and opposite to them. Then I just combined those in Photoshop and hand painted some parts. Vegetation was one of the thing that I wanted to learn during this project.

    I also modeled some alga but I´m not sure if I´m going to use it. I also decided to forget that scifi theme and go with this.
  • kimmokaunela
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    kimmokaunela ngon master
    I put all the changes into Unity. Starting to look a scene that I have in mind. There are a lot of mistakes to fix.

    fFfh3jQ.jpg
  • kimmokaunela
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    kimmokaunela ngon master
    It´s still pretty simple in Unity. I´m fixing the vertex paints right now.

    TLaSEmX.jpg
  • Geno527
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    Geno527 polycounter lvl 3
    Ow, this is awesome, you've a really good design for you throne and the scene is very clean and relaxing.
  • Lawrence Preston
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    Lawrence Preston polycounter lvl 5
    I think that it's a good choice to have ditched the sci-fi. It did look cool, but almost forced. This is one of my favorites, and love following your process
  • kimmokaunela
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    kimmokaunela ngon master
    Thanks Geno527 and Lawrence Preston! Nice to hear the feedback!

    Yes that scifi theme was a bad choice. I realized that real-life can be as interesting. I also wanted to keep nature elements there because those are important for the backstory.

    I think it´s much more interesting to see more modest and organic environment than big halls with gold everywhere or scifi pillars standing for no reason on the ground so that´s why I went with this nature idea.

    Thinking now it was maybe a bad choice because there are so much work that you need to with nature and Unity 4.6 can´t really do all that stuff that is possible with UE4. However I think it was more interesting this way because I needed to find solutions for those issues and that is something I like to do a lot :)
  • kimmokaunela
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    kimmokaunela ngon master
    A lot of small changes. I fixed the vertex paints and made better uvs for the ground and some of the stones. Here is the latest:

    316VZoB.jpg

    BTW One cool trick to add fake kind of moss into stones is to just simply use normal map blue channel and lerp a green color with that. It´s not perfect but it´s very fast to set up and since it´s in the shader so then you can animate it.
  • kimmokaunela
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    kimmokaunela ngon master
    I wasn´t happy with the full red color theme so I started to test more. I kind of like this. I don´t know why imgur is compressing my images so much. I think I need to start using something else for uploading my images.

    8VZOBPy.jpg
  • kimmokaunela
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    kimmokaunela ngon master
    Starting to sculpt the fence that is going to be on top of the hill. I use three planks to get more variation. I have a list of things to do and it starting to look pretty empty except the part that says "Fix all the little things" :)

    Yp4OHVR.jpg
  • kimmokaunela
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    kimmokaunela ngon master
    I had a crazy idea that what if some sort of tree trunk has fallen on top of the hill. So I started to sculpt this.

    DKLnEV3.jpg
  • kimmokaunela
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    kimmokaunela ngon master
    Doing all sort of fixing and tweaking. I also cleaned shaders a bit. Here is the sculpts for the tree trunk and the fence. I didn´t want to go too detail because the shader in Unity is adding details aswell. It´s blending two different diffuse textures together with a blend mask. I textured these in Photoshop by combining different bakes together.

    x61xa8a.jpg

    7D01ju8.jpg

    I also start to concept the way that tree trunk is going to lay in the scene.

    uL5NN7B.jpg

    Right now I´m tweaking the normals in the vegetations and adding some particle systems to add more depth to the scene.

    I want to model a fish skull that is going to go in the throne. I think it will give it the final touch :)
  • kimmokaunela
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    kimmokaunela ngon master
    Once again I lost myself to test different camera angles and dof effect. For some reason I like this one. I never knew that the old version of Unity could do something like this :)

    Cs4Sy6h.jpg

    There is some depth alpha sorting kind of problems with that fish trap. Once again something that I need to solve.
  • kimmokaunela
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    kimmokaunela ngon master
    Continue testing different camera angles.

    woBDeYU.jpg

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  • WarrenM
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    WarrenM Polycount Sponsor
    Nice work! I love the throne built out of old rowboats ... cool idea.
  • Spoon
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    Spoon polycounter lvl 7
    Hey, didnt see this before. This is super idyllic and nice! Really nice work :)
  • kimmokaunela
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    kimmokaunela ngon master
    Thanks WarrenM and Spoon!

    It took a lot of time and testing to find that throne design. Sometimes you have to iterate a lot to get what you want. I think it fit well in there but it´s also a little different so that the eye catch it.
  • WarrenM
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    WarrenM Polycount Sponsor
    If I were to say anything, I might suggest playing with your saturation either through materials or through post process or whatever ... basically, you could try bringing the throne out a little more, visually, by saturating it's colors while de-saturating some of the props like the red fishing gear beside it.

    2015-03-22%2009_14_51-Untitled-1%20%40%20110%25%20%28Layer%201%2C%20RGB_8%29%20_.jpg

    Just a thought!
  • Spoon
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    Spoon polycounter lvl 7
    Very valid point!
  • kimmokaunela
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    kimmokaunela ngon master
    Thanks WarrenM! That´s a really good point. I´m going to try that. I can´t control individual elements with post process effects in Unity but it should be pretty fast to tweak saturation in textures.

    I did that fish skull that I was talking about. I think it will give a little more attitude for the throne. I still need to tweak textures. I also found a better place to upload images so good bye potato quality shots :)

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