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[UE4] Rooftop Offices - mini-environment for a gumroad tutorial

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Minos polycounter lvl 13
>> DOWNLOAD PLAYABLE DEMO <<

NOW AVAILABLE!
Get it on Cubebrush or Gumroad.



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---------------- Original post below -------------------
Hey guys!

I've been meaning to make a gumroad tutorial pack for quite a while now and the time has finally come.

My plan is not necessarily to make a how-to tutorial, teaching you how to use Maya or Unreal (there are better people out there to do that than me), but instead I want to show my complete workflow for creating modular environments quickly and how to develop a vision for an environment. I think that's a more valuable thing I can share at this point.

I started this environment with no clear idea in mind, got a few shapes down and now I'm increasingly fleshing out the parts as I go. My process for this has been akin to a speed painting, I made a few shapes in the beginning and tried to see what I could extract out of them, each day fleshing the idea out a bit more. It started as a warehouse and ended up as a rooftop office lol

This mini-environment has been a really fun challenge for several reasons. First I can't noodle too much (something I've been a victim of in the past) because I want to keep this short and straight to the point, and second I have to trust my instincts and hope that everything will come together in the end.

Since the environment is starting to look like something, I thought it was a nice idea to start posting WIPs here too (i've been posting WIPs on my twitter account if you want to follow there too). My plan is to be done with this very soon to keep the tutorial manageable in size, so if there are any specific situations you want me to tackle on this post it here and I'll do my best to accommodate :)

So far I've got about 8 hours of video time, including the creating of brushes (everything was made from scratch) and planning stages.

A lot of the assets you see here are in early blockout stage btw, and will be fleshed out soon.


 


Replies

  • FreneticPonies
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    FreneticPonies polycounter lvl 3
    Ahh! It's a hospital! Ahh!
     
    Or at least that's my first, very strong impression. Something about the paint color and sterile, wide corridors with random benches around.

    It's a very nice futuristic looking hospital thing, but my first guess is still very much "hospital".
  • RobeOmega
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    RobeOmega polycounter lvl 7
    Looking nice! I will be sure keep an eye on this.
  • Minos
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    Minos polycounter lvl 13
    Ahh! It's a hospital! Ahh!
     
    Or at least that's my first, very strong impression. Something about the paint color and sterile, wide corridors with random benches around.

    It's a very nice futuristic looking hospital thing, but my first guess is still very much "hospital".
    Haha interesting feedback. The environment still needs props, company logos and whatnot, so hopefully it will look more corporate by then :)
    @robeomega: Thank you!
  • Ubuska
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    Ubuska polycounter lvl 7
    Nice start, looking forward to this.
  • ultramedia
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    ultramedia polycounter lvl 11
    Love it!

    Fwiw, I don't get a hospital vibe from it because the floors aren't right for it.  If they were a simple flat surface with a single material, then it *might* feel more like a hospital, but as it is I can't see anyone rolling beds around on that surface.
  • The Rizzler
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    The Rizzler polycounter lvl 7
    All you need is a futuristic water cooler and a futuristic potted plant and boom, no one would mistake this for anything other than a futuristic office :D Nice work, I like that you'll go over modularity but the developing of a vision sounds really good. I'll keep an eye on this
  • Minos
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    Minos polycounter lvl 13
    @Ubuska: Thanks!

    @ULTRAMEDIA: Thanks! Yeah that's a good point. I intend to replace the floor on this area with carpet anyway, the scale is way off on those tiles :pensive: 

    @The Rizzler : Thanks! Water cooler would be awesome, I might be able to squeeze that in :)

  • Minos
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    Minos polycounter lvl 13
    Hey everyone!

    Things have been pretty hectic at work so I couldn't get much work done during the week but today was a very productive day!

    I changed things up quite a bit. First I removed the lobby (which is not visible in the past screenshots) and made the two floors separate, so I can have two ambients. The bottom floor now will function as a full fledged office (where people get work done) and the top floor will feature a reception area and an helipad outside.




  • vertex_
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    vertex_ polycounter lvl 4
  • Polycruncher
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    Polycruncher polycounter lvl 4
    Just finish it and take my money!  :p
  • JamieMc
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    JamieMc polycounter lvl 15
    Your progress updates are a great improvement.  Really like the changes you made.  Adding the skylight was a nice touch.
  • IxenonI
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    IxenonI interpolator
    That looks awesome Thiago! Can`t wait to see the tutorial...
  • Minos
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    Minos polycounter lvl 13
    haha somehow missed the last comments! Thanks for the support, @IxenonI, @Fable, @Polycruncher and @vertex_ !

    Here's another update. Polished stuff up quite a bit since the last update, I think the architecture is mostly done (except for the skybox) and now I only need to dress this with props. Some materials still need another pass too, but I believe I'm getting close to being done (don't want a 200 hours long tutorial hehe). I also made some plants, they are not the best ever but they do the job. For this environment I'm not polishing stuff to perfection, since the point is to show the viewer my workflow and process, and not have hours and hours of me working on a single asset.

    I think that instead of narrating this I'll end up just writing a log for each video, explaining what I was doing and my reasoning behind each step. This should make the videos much easier to follow!

    Let me know if you guys see anything weird, I'm going pretty fast on this so I might be missing some obvious mistakes here and there ;)

    Anyways, pics time!





  • Magihat
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    Magihat ngon master
    This is looking great so far, can't wait to see the tutorial pop up on gumroad!
  • DweenieTodd
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    DweenieTodd polycounter lvl 3
    I'll definitely be picking this up! Looks extremely promising! I have a few questions about the tutorial however:

    - For Texturing will you be using Substance Designer and/or Painter? Or sticking with Photoshop?
    - The tutorials themselves, will they be at a normal speed or sped up?
    - This is a little hard to word, but will each section (modelling, texturing etc) have every asset you make, with no areas being skipped? Apologies if this isn't clear, it's extremely early here, and my brain isn't awake xD

       
  • keket
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    keket polycounter lvl 2
    Hurry up and take my money! Cant wait to sink my teeth into this, though as @DweenieTodd said will this be designer or painter for the texturing? Both of which I'd be hella' interested in.
  • Polycruncher
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    Polycruncher polycounter lvl 4
    Do you plan split up the tut in serveral parts, or do you release all at once? 
  • JamieMc
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    JamieMc polycounter lvl 15
    You should up your lightmap size to get rid of some of those super block shadows.  they detract for the awesomness of your work.   I really love that carpet you added.
  • MartinH
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    MartinH polycounter lvl 8
    Beatiful as always dude, kicking ass seabass!
  • ZombieDawgs
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    ZombieDawgs polycounter
    Let me give you my money

    Looks fantastic.
  • Minos
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    Minos polycounter lvl 13
    Magihat said:
    This is looking great so far, can't wait to see the tutorial pop up on gumroad!
    Thanks, hopefully it shouldn't take much longer now  :)
    I'll definitely be picking this up! Looks extremely promising! I have a few questions about the tutorial however:

    - For Texturing will you be using Substance Designer and/or Painter? Or sticking with Photoshop?
    - The tutorials themselves, will they be at a normal speed or sped up? 
    - This is a little hard to word, but will each section (modelling, texturing etc) have every asset you make, with no areas being skipped? Apologies if this isn't clear, it's extremely early here, and my brain isn't awake xD

    1) I'm sticking with Photoshop for this one. My intention is to show the entire workflow of creating an environment, and in order to do that in a timely manner I have to cut some corners. Unfortunately I have to move on with other projects once I'm done with this, but if I had time I could easily make an "addon" pack with a Substance pass on the materials. 

    2) This is something that I haven't decided yet, I was thinking of speeding them up just a little bit (1.25 maybe) for the sake of time. What would you guys prefer? 

    3) Yeah that's exactly my goal, to show how I made every single asset :) So if you are interested in how I did the lighting you can watch that, but if you are only curious about the architecture you can do that too. I always wanted to watch how others work and I hate it when I buy a tutorial and the author skips a few parts. I might edit some redundant parts though (like when I'm uving simple walls or something). I want this tutorial to be handy reference that you can always refer back to when you need to make similar stuff in your job.
    keket said:
    Hurry up and take my money! Cant wait to sink my teeth into this, though as @DweenieTodd said will this be designer or painter for the texturing? Both of which I'd be hella' interested in.

     No substance on this one. Since the materials are so clean I want to show how one can easily achieve a good look fast in Photoshop, in order to get the initial idea down, and then you can dive into substance and spend as much time as you want tweaking them :) Nothing worse than spending hours on a texture to find out it doesn't fit the environment or that you don't like it anymore :/
  • Minos
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    Minos polycounter lvl 13
    aw damn, something went wrong with the server I lost my reply. Let me try again.

    Magihat said:
    This is looking great so far, can't wait to see the tutorial pop up on gumroad!
    Thanks, hopefully it shouldn't take too long :)

    DweenieTodd said:
    I'll definitely be picking this up! Looks extremely promising! I have a few questions about the tutorial however:
    - For Texturing will you be using Substance Designer and/or Painter? Or sticking with Photoshop?
    - The tutorials themselves, will they be at a normal speed or sped up? 
    - This is a little hard to word, but will each section (modelling, texturing etc) have every asset you make, with no areas being skipped? Apologies if this isn't clear, it's extremely early here, and my brain isn't awake xD

       
    1) I'm sticking with Photoshop for this one. My intention is to show the entire workflow of creating an environment, and in order to do that in a timely manner I have to cut some corners. Unfortunately I have to move on with other projects once I'm done with this, but if I had time I could easily make an "addon" pack with a Substance pass on the materials. 

    2) This is something that I haven't decided yet, I was thinking of speeding them up just a little bit (1.25 maybe) for the sake of time. What would you guys prefer? 

    3) Yeah that's exactly my goal, to show how I made every single asset :) So if you are interested in how I did the lighting you can watch that, but if you are only curious about the architecture you can do that too. I always wanted to watch how others work and I hate it when I buy a tutorial and the author skips a few parts. I might edit some redundant parts though (like when I'm uving simple walls or something). I want this tutorial to be handy reference that you can always refer back to when you need to make similar stuff in your job.
    keket said:
    Hurry up and take my money! Cant wait to sink my teeth into this, though as @DweenieTodd said will this be designer or painter for the texturing? Both of which I'd be hella' interested in.

    No substance on this one. Since the materials are so clean I want to show how one can easily achieve a good look fast in Photoshop, in order to get the initial idea down, and then you can dive into substance and spend as much time as you want tweaking them :) Nothing worse than spending hours on a texture to find out later that it doesn't fit the environment or that you don't like it anymore :/

    Do you plan split up the tut in serveral parts, or do you release all at once? 
    So far my idea is to release it all as one package!

    Fable said:
    You should up your lightmap size to get rid of some of those super block shadows.  they detract for the awesomness of your work.   I really love that carpet you added.
    Thanks, the carpet was a fun one, was just experimenting with some patterns and it turned out nicely in the end :pensive: 

    Yeah I really need to take a look at what's going on with those shadows. Probably have to dig into some ini files to up the shadow maps resolution.

    MartinH said:
    Beatiful as always dude, kicking ass seabass!
    Thanks brah!

    Let me give you my money

    Looks fantastic.
    Thanks :D
  • DweenieTodd
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    DweenieTodd polycounter lvl 3
    I'm happy with that! I'm interested to see the whole workflow from start to finish! :)

    It'd be helpful if you kept the videos at real time, but a slight speed up would be fine too! I'll be definitely investing into this when you've completed the series!

    I understand you're extremely at work, but the million dollar question on everyone's mind, when should we expect this series finished, and released for? ;)
  • Stromberg90
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    Stromberg90 polycounter lvl 9
    Good job, really like the lighting you got going, will keep following this :)
  • Minos
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    Minos polycounter lvl 13
    I'm happy with that! I'm interested to see the whole workflow from start to finish! :)

    It'd be helpful if you kept the videos at real time, but a slight speed up would be fine too! I'll be definitely investing into this when you've completed the series!

    I understand you're extremely at work, but the million dollar question on everyone's mind, when should we expect this series finished, and released for? ;)
    Right now I'm planning to finish the actual environment no later than mid next-week because I got to move on to other projects. Editing shouldn't take long I hope so let's say 2 to 3 weeks maximum :)

    @STROMBERG90: Thanks!!
  • DweenieTodd
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    DweenieTodd polycounter lvl 3
    Minos said:
    I'm happy with that! I'm interested to see the whole workflow from start to finish! :)

    It'd be helpful if you kept the videos at real time, but a slight speed up would be fine too! I'll be definitely investing into this when you've completed the series!

    I understand you're extremely at work, but the million dollar question on everyone's mind, when should we expect this series finished, and released for? ;)

    Awesome! You definitely have my investment fine sir! :) 
  • z3phon
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    z3phon polycounter lvl 11
    Awesome work!
    Looking forward to getting the tutorial when you release it. 
  • dorodo
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    dorodo polycounter lvl 3
    Same here! Subbed! Keep up the great work!
  • keket
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    keket polycounter lvl 2
    Minos said:
     Unfortunately I have to move on with other projects once I'm done with this, but if I had time I could easily make an "addon" pack with a Substance pass on the materials. 
    I would totally buy an addon pack!

    What's the price point looking for this anyhow?
  • n4uj
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    n4uj polycounter lvl 5
    this looks amazing, I really love the light, which is one of my weak spots xD
    Congratullations, I don't know how can you imporve it, tbh, in my eyes it looks almost perfect xD. I'm looking forward for this tutorial to be out!
  • snakos
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    snakos polycounter lvl 8
    Hi Minos,
    As allways awesome stuff! Just came here to say thank you because i learnt and still learning a lot studying your tutorials and creations.

  • Norron
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    Norron polycounter lvl 11
    Oh man that carpet is so gross, I love it.

    Looking forward to the tutorial man! Love how this looks.
  • Issac
    OMG. You raised the Bar so much, Very Beautifully done.
  • Minos
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    Minos polycounter lvl 13
    @z3phon @dorodo @Norron @isaac Thanks a bunch for the support, appreciate it :D

    @SNAKOS: Glad to hear that :D I'm very confident this one will be very valuable to the community too!

    @N4UJ: Haha glad to hear that. The next update will be a huge improvement over this I hope. I'm finally reaching that last 5% stage where you start making a bunch of quick small adjustments that make everything look tons better. For example, I still need to add light fixtures to the ceiling. Yesterday I also made a new corner room in the office floor that make it look much more interesting.

    @KEKET: I haven't really decided the final price yet but I have some ideas. Ultimately, I'll look at the product when I'm done and ask: How much would I be willing to pay for this? I also plan to have different tiers, so it should be very affordable :)
  • Minos
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    Minos polycounter lvl 13
    Update!

    Spent the day making props and working on the small office room. Getting close to calling this done, still need to polish a bunch of stuff and make more props, but at least architecture wise this is about 98% done now.






  • garcellano
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    garcellano greentooth
    Nice! :) This would totally be fun to check out.
  • merwynl
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    merwynl polycounter lvl 7
    Looks amazing! Really liking the shapes and layout you got going on here!
  • snakos
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    snakos polycounter lvl 8
    Amazing!
    It is Sim city 2000 on the screen? Nice one!  :)
    Don't forget to add mouses.
  • Minos
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    Minos polycounter lvl 13
    @garcellano @cynnex thanks guys :smile:

    @snakos yup SC2000, I felt nostalgic this week :P (hope EA doesn't sue me)


  • PogoP
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    PogoP polycounter lvl 10
    That's got a real nice feel to it dude, nice work! What SSR settings are you using? Looks really accurate!
  • 0xffff
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    0xffff polycounter lvl 3
    I imagine it's a lot less to do with the ssr settings and a lot more to do with setting up the materials with correct values tbh
  • PogoP
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    PogoP polycounter lvl 10
    Well, yes, of course that's part of it. But there are multiple SSR options within Unreal 4 and I was wondering if Thiago is using the default settings or whether he is trying some of the other modes.
  • Minos
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    Minos polycounter lvl 13
    @PogoP @OXFFF

    Thanks! Just using the default settings so far.

    I'm planning to finish this today if all goes well, and go over post processing and possibly redo the lighting. Good call about the SSR, I'll see if I can find better values for it (let me know if you have any advice on this!)

    I did have to tweak some roughness settings so the SSR wouldn't look too shitty. I actually made the glass a bit rougher than I wanted because the SSR was looking super flickery on it :(


  • hersheybar
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    hersheybar polycounter lvl 2
    This looks amazing, can't wait to buy this! When will this be available and how much? Also do you do BSP Blocking?
  • Minos
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    Minos polycounter lvl 13
    This looks amazing, can't wait to buy this! When will this be available and how much? Also do you do BSP Blocking?
    Thanks! My current plan is to release it no later than next week more info (and final images) coming up later this week :)

    I didn't do BSP blocking for this, but I used a simple modular kit (walls, floors and ceiling) to block out the space. For some reason BSPs never stay on the grid for me...
  • hersheybar
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    hersheybar polycounter lvl 2
    Minos said:
    This looks amazing, can't wait to buy this! When will this be available and how much? Also do you do BSP Blocking?
    Thanks! My current plan is to release it no later than next week more info (and final images) coming up later this week :)

    I didn't do BSP blocking for this, but I used a simple modular kit (walls, floors and ceiling) to block out the space. For some reason BSPs never stay on the grid for me...
    Can't wait to see how you do it, my main problem when trying to do an environment is scale and size. Do you have any price plans yet?
  • Minos
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    Minos polycounter lvl 13
    @hersheybar Still haven't decided on the pricing but don't worry, it will something very affordable!

    Alright everyone, the environment is finished and I created a hotsite with more information of what you will get and ultra high res pictures. Also, if you subscribe now I'll send you a nice discount code when the tutorial launches :)

    Thanks everyone who supported me through this and for all the constructive feedback! I'm now editing this and will get it done as soon as possible! I still don't have an specific date but it shouldn't take long I hope.

    TLDR: For high res images and a discount when the product launches, head over here: www.unreal4environments.com






  • merwynl
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    merwynl polycounter lvl 7
    Subscribed! Good job man!
  • Bletzkarn
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    Bletzkarn polycounter lvl 5
    This looks amazing, I must follow your tutorial.
  • DweenieTodd
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    DweenieTodd polycounter lvl 3
    Subscribed! I can't wait for this!
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