Home Allegorithmic's 'the THRONE ROOM'

THRONE ROOM - The Dark Throne - Bants

polycounter lvl 6
Offline / Send Message
Bants polycounter lvl 6
This Prometheus inspired throne room was an idea which provided personal challenges to me, meanwhile I could explore new techniques that I've been wanting to practice. I went 'File > New Level' in UE4 and designed the level a week ago today. I wouldn't have been able to produce the quality in my materials within that time frame without the help of proceduralism.

Software used:

zBrush
3DS Max
Substance Painter
Bitmap 2 Material
Photoshop
nDo
xNormal
UE4
Marmoset Toolbag

8HiaQFk.jpg

g9Dm4IL.jpg

5Ogee3O.jpg

kmUHHkn.jpg

pn0CKzN.png

F6F0qYB.jpg

TcKyi9T.png

Vg4EWsA.png

Original Post:

Hello Polycount, this will be my first Polycount contest I've entered. I've never made dark art in 3D before, but it's super cool and I hope to learn loads from it. My idea was a captain's chair as the throne, with his control deck as the room originally. I thought about setting the vista in space. The main inspirational artist would be H.R Giger.

I started with some scribbles to work out plans and spacings. Once I had something in my head that I liked, I took it to Max and made a blockout. I wanted to establish the 3 viewpoints early on. Each needed a purpose. After setting them up and pushing things into the correct composition I did some quick mental ray renders for a base to paint over and photobash... that didn't go all too well for the design. I did these in a day.

Cam 1 - Majesty/Context. Demonstrating the importance of the throne. Symmetry enforcing it's majesty.
ZHRyd9G.jpg

Cam 2 - Crew/Throne. Closer to the throne, up one level. Crew workstations in the foreground.
x1gwyVY.jpg

Cam 3 - Space/Captain's View. Showing the vast view into space, up another level. Other side from cam 2.
gSuLYs9.jpg

After speaking to my workmate he touched on key architectural flaws regarding the art style. His help also made rethink my layout and space illogically. My mind set was to make it logical and safe. Dark art is completely the opposite. It needs to be as uncomfortable as it can be. It needs to make the least amount of sense it can.

eshKu47.jpg

I started again and I'm much happier with the design now. It's going in the right direction. I removed all the straight lines from what I had before. Also, having massive views into space didn't make it so dark either. That was an obvious one. I'll be able to keep 2 of my cameras, so I'll need to find a new third one.

Space / Design
This room simply wasn't grand enough. The idea of opening it up to interstellar space wasn't working so I needed another solution. A floating platform supported only from the wall where the door was. Boundless floor and ceiling yet surrounded with curved collumns. I pulled the high ceiling from gothic cathedral architecture as a base. Still maintaining that grand staircase, with plenty of symmetry to reinforce dark regality to the throne. The throne has gained power with these changes and with the reduction of a crew deck (abandoning the control room idea altogether and focusing soley on the throne).

No balustrades! I needed to reduce safety not heighten it! I've concepted skulls on sticks in their stead. And their potential purpose could be to help with lighting. Shallow stairs behind the throne.

Lighting
Firstly, drastically reducing visibility into interstellar space had to happen. Well, my idea so far is to have the lighting style in Bladerunner with lany louvres allowing only streaks of light into the scene. This works well as it enhances eeriness, decreases light bleeding into the scene and only allows glimpses into space. The louvres will have to be organic and curved to maintain the art style.

Materials
I did some colour concepts before I monochromed them to see if I could use bronzes or golds. Colour just didn't work for this, nor should it. It goes against all the hard work of making it unfamiliar. Fortunately this topic isn't as important as it is in the majority of other realistic styled projects. It will likely be a metal. I'll play with some desaturated hues once some assets are in and the base lighting is set up. The light hue itself will be edited to complement the materials. Not a problem... in space!

I've also made a gantt chart to plan how I should spend my time. They're general tasks but they provide me with the right structure to make it in (and time allocated to it too). Lots of zBrush! I will have to swap out tasks such as making the desks in exchange for making the collumn skulls, but the quantity of work is the same.

JtYCqBx.png

I'd appreciate your suggestions throughout the project, most importantly now during the concept stage whilst I have a week remaining to freely edit anything. Any pointers, techniques, or reference links is always welcomed!

Replies

  • Lawrence Preston
    Offline / Send Message
    Lawrence Preston polycounter lvl 5
    Your process is awesome, thanks for sharing. No suggestions though, so sorry, but I will say this: the "skulls on sticks" look like Giger versions of creepy Darth Vader, test-tube babies
  • wvaughn409
    Great organization! seeing ur chart made me realize i need one too.
  • nyloc
    Offline / Send Message
    nyloc polycounter lvl 8
    great job with the overall design and organization! keep up the great work
  • Bants
    Offline / Send Message
    Bants polycounter lvl 6
    Thanks guys, helps me not lose track of time. I've booked a few days off work near the deadline as a precautionary measure too.

    I've done another concept explaining the other end of the room (throne down the stairs).

    8yPmj3y.jpg

    I've also not included any skulls in this design (as of yet). I just don't want to overdo the skulls like in Darksiders. Many people default to skulls as scary, but they're simply not. I'm going for something darker here. Faces, vertabrae and flies' heads. As much as I can get away with without it being outright profane. Can't have Giger making me break the rules.

    Architecturally speaking, I like the alcoves on the sides of the curved "support" collumns. I could make those fade into darkness with the correct fog density. Curved verticality is a strong theme for this room. Playing against linear lines of a box as much as possible. The godless line.
  • Bants
    Offline / Send Message
    Bants polycounter lvl 6
    So I haven't touched much on the throne yet. I spent some pulling together interesting images on Pinterest and bashed them together, constantly refining the idea until I ended up with this:

    LKyE57V.jpg

    I'm quite happy with the outcome. I had an option where there was a skull on top but it felt like a star on a Christmas tree. This thing is going to be big anyway. I'm debating whether it's grand enough. I can revise this another time by adding ztools to it if I need to. At least it's a great base to get started as it has all the key features. Time for the whitebox.
  • Bants
    Offline / Send Message
    Bants polycounter lvl 6
    Today has been productive. Before I go to sleep, here is my blockout:

    UgLaOd0.jpg

    Cameras
    Camera 1 - Same principle looking up at the throne.

    Camera 2 - Same principle, from the thrones perspective (with it feaured in the foreground).

    Camera 3 - The new camera that couldn't work from my original idea. Having it in plan sets the context and shows the depth into darkness. It's also the only other logical angle on the scene could possibly have without repeating so much from the other 2 cameras.

    Lighting
    I'm no longer having it in space. It no longer has a reason for it. Therefore I'm dropping the Bladerunner lighting idea as it's going to be lit internally like my concept.

    Collum sconces is a good idea for establishing the boundaries of the room, whilst staircase lighting to fill in the central space. it also resembles Rembrandt lighting on the flies heads.

    The sources for the staircase lighting could be the Alien facehugger capsules hanging upside down, or the Prometheus snakes. They could be saving grace into adding colour to my scene. Luminous Necron green? Or is that too cliche?

    Materials
    Still thinking of metals and glossy surfaces, just because they look awesome on baked work. Ideally need another material, or I could use variations of metals. Bone for the vertabrae, and pale flesh - almost corpse like on the face. Anyone else got any ideas on this?

    Planning
    I've updated my chart with the latest assets. It feels more comfortable than my inital one. This one means I can spend longer on indiviusal assets, creating higher quality work.

    3bFE7PF.png
  • Bants
    Offline / Send Message
    Bants polycounter lvl 6
    So begins the 3D! So I have one wall piece which is a quad of the ellipitcal room. This one piece has 4 alcoves in, and I'm essentially sculpting the hell out of it. So I'm builidng a small library of ztools to help. Here's the first one:

    O2ThkN9.png

    Lighting Update
    So as we know I couldn't have any natural light piercing this scene. I was looking at bioluminescent pods to lighten up the area but with some discussion with a friend at work we came up with the idea of halogen light worklights. So the story could be a team of paleontologists looking for stuff on this excavation site whilst these worklights they've brought along with them they've left behind (and still running because they all had to dash back for a sandwich). Yes it's very Prometheus - esque, but they didn't have worklights, they just had helmet lights. This also means I get to make a sci-fi generator (replaces pods nearer the end of project).
  • Bants
    Offline / Send Message
    Bants polycounter lvl 6
    I'm not calling these done just yet. More for the micro-library

    Li6jsQA.png

    JUgVXzs.png
  • Bants
    Offline / Send Message
    Bants polycounter lvl 6
    QkeudGp.png

    Above is the piece I did tonight. I have much to catch up on as life happened. I'll be colloboarting the wall pieces together, along with doing the staircase this week (as per my gantt chart).

    QnEr50G.jpg
  • Bants
    Offline / Send Message
    Bants polycounter lvl 6
    Started this tonight, heavily work in progress, needs refinement. Just one more alcove to plan. Going on Pinterest now to see if there's anything I like. Looking forward for all this mishap randomness to come together.

    q651FMw.png
  • Atokal
    Offline / Send Message
    Atokal polygon
    your giving me nightmares, keep it up.
  • Bants
    Offline / Send Message
    Bants polycounter lvl 6
    weFnxJn.png

    Hey guys, so I'm a little behind at the moment. But that's ok because I have days booked off over the next month and a half for this. So no stairs yet, but here's the wall. I'm currently retopoing in Max. A couple tools down. Also, half of this will be covered by the collumns. I can't skimp on quality for the sake of speeding up time.
  • Bants
    Offline / Send Message
    Bants polycounter lvl 6
    Hey guys, my job has consumed all my time this week. I know some of you may think I'm being lazy but I'm honestly not, I'm further behind my Gantt than I would like to be. Amongst other things today, I've tested the first full pipeline with an asset.

    RCcTnBK.jpg

    It's also good to know that Substance reads -Y green like UE4. So my pipeline is zBrush to Max for retopo, then xNormals for maps then into Painter for materials and then finally into UE4. I've read some bake tests results and xNormal is the best all rounder so I'm sticking to that.
  • Bants
  • Bants
    Offline / Send Message
    Bants polycounter lvl 6
    Modelled, UVd and baked the platform for the throne to sit on today. Change it to a circle for a more mechanical Prometheus feel:

    4rMkOmj.png
  • Bants
    Offline / Send Message
    Bants polycounter lvl 6
    Got some time to start working on the throne. Here's some elements of it:
    i2K0kV8.jpg
  • Bants
    Offline / Send Message
    Bants polycounter lvl 6
    Slowly catching up, here's the high poly throne mostly done now. Few problem areas need work. It matches my concept for the most part. I redesigned the large tubular element at the back to be a vertabrae as it holds everything together so its not a clustermuck of ztools stuck together. I'm happy with the result.

    Also, please could a mod change my title to 'The Throne of Dissolute' please?

    SzZszjB.jpg
  • Bants
    Offline / Send Message
    Bants polycounter lvl 6
    It's taken me 3 days to retopo (the most time consuming part), UV and bake this mammoth. I went HAM on this, even the teeth are baked.

    ztcm0i2.jpg

    Here's the wireframe:

    0AYFIp3.jpg

    These materials are no way final. It's taking me the duration to make a character so I'm putting all the effort in for this hero asset. I was taking advantage of how quick the texturing process is with smart materials. Once I've made my bone material (it will be bone eventually - metal is just too cool), I can spam it on all my other assets, CTRL+E in Painter, and with UE4 4.7 auto import means I can relax and make my materials look awesome.

    SUBSTANCE SMART MATERIALS + ID MASKS = WINNING!!

    I needed to explode cage bake every element due to it's complex forms, but it came out super clean in the end. Here's my source maps.

    X776tsj.jpg

    Oh and Marmoset.... you're awesome!

    I should also mention, that there's been in-engine images lacking. Well not for too much longer. I wasn't happy the architecture because it didn't feel like it made sense. I want to add a floor in for dem glossy pan shots yo. Also floors just help ground scale issues.

    Also, with my circular platform I have a wicked idea of the throne platform being a rotating lift. The story could be that the boss who sits on the throne only comes down to this level to perhaps consult the face wall (not done yet but it's on the roadmap). So the room would be round aside from the room entry ledge. It's time to bring out the environment art modular mesh and material guns.
  • Bants
    Offline / Send Message
    Bants polycounter lvl 6
    Today I started a new map as I mentioned earlier and just starting to put my assets together in the level. It's given me time to think about the materials and colour scheme as it's something that hasn't been resolved, only value work.

    I do however have an idea. This may sound outrageous but what about luminous green emissive maps on the hard surfaces and elements of the organic pieces? After all it is Alien-esque. Additionally, the complimentary to lime green is a violet, which is great for all the organic flesh tones I have. And to harmonise these in between gloss black metals. This could very much work... tomorrows job is cleaning the tileset, unwrapping and begin materials and lighting as you can see the lighting is just blocked in at the moment. I do of course have to make this light source object itself...

    dZXdwIG.jpg
  • Bants
    Offline / Send Message
    Bants polycounter lvl 6
    Progress update. The green and violet thing did not work out. I gave it a good go. I'm opting more towards yellow and muted blues/blacks.. somewhat like Prometheus. These colours are beginning to read better. Definitely not blorange though!

    0hSOV1X.jpg
  • Bants
    Offline / Send Message
    Bants polycounter lvl 6
    GIANT TOAST IS HERE!

    So I today and tomorrow left (submitting Monday night). I've prioritised everything and I'm back on track (cheers Gantt chart). So where's this massive female face as per my concepts? Fear no more, here she is! What's better than a giant door? A giant Medusa! Giger must've been doing his own rendition of her (from the concept I based this on).

    ZRqr2yX.png
  • Bants
    Offline / Send Message
    Bants polycounter lvl 6
    A PROCESS IN SUBSTANCE PAINTER WORTH SHARING

    So as this is my first proper Substanced project where nearly everything has touched Substance at some point, I've learnt a lot but I'd like to share this particular process with you that I've picked up.

    1. Start with your mid/light base colour
    2. Work your darks into it. Multiplying a fill layer with your AO mask.
    3. Here's the cool part, you can go lighter on top with a new fill layer, adding a Levels to your AO mask and inverting it. (see image below). Then pinch those levels to create highlights (with the appropriate blend mode). Top it off with an edge wear generator / MG Masks.
    4. Then make it a smart material and have an instant material pipeline waiting for you. That's how I've constructed the level in a week.

    05Qlrk7.png
  • Bants
    Offline / Send Message
    Bants polycounter lvl 6
    This Prometheus inspired throne room was an idea which provided personal challenges to me, meanwhile I could explore new techniques that I've been wanting to practice. I went 'File > New Level' in UE4 and designed the level a week ago today. I wouldn't have been able to produce the quality in my materials within that time frame without the help of proceduralism.

    Software used:

    zBrush
    3DS Max
    Substance Painter
    Bitmap 2 Material
    Photoshop
    nDo
    xNormal
    UE4
    Marmoset Toolbag

    j8J9j26.jpg

    7Cv6fsH.jpg

    jOaBzXL.jpg

    ZVtA6me.jpg

    F6F0qYB.jpg

    TcKyi9T.png

    Vg4EWsA.png
  • Bants
    Offline / Send Message
    Bants polycounter lvl 6
    Hi guys,
    So the deadline is 5 hours away (yay american time); and I've made a lighting adjustment tonight. I've gone back to blue as the primary as the yellow wasn't cold and grim enough. I prefer this blue over the previous colour scheme.

    8HiaQFk.jpg

    g9Dm4IL.jpg

    5Ogee3O.jpg

    kmUHHkn.jpg

    pn0CKzN.png
Sign In or Register to comment.