[WIP] [UE4] [Environment] Overgrown Abandoned Hospital

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AndrewMKelley polycounter lvl 4

OLD

Hey Polycount!

So after bouncing around for what to make for my folio next and pushing my shader skills in UE4, I finally decided on a theme. Seeing all of the awesome TLOU fanart and inspired environments lately, I thought I'd give it a go. 
My objective here is to create a believable, overgrown space that would match the theme of TLOU's world, and also to hone my Zbrush skills, learn Substance Painter since I just picked it up, and improve my Designer skills.

In my town we actually have an abandoned mental hospital (well, 2, but that one is boarded up), and thought it'd be awesome (and a great opportunity to gather reference) if I went in there and took a ton of photos, and based the architecture on that.
And yes, I'm a bit nuts :D 

The only downside is that it wasn't too overgrown in the places I wanted, so tomorrow and the day after I'll be researching/gathering a ton more ref for how that happens.

Now that that's out of the way, on to the actual plan!

Topdown Plan:

(Note this is the first iteration, it'll probably be changed around to make it flow better)
I'm giving myself a 3 and a half weeks to a month deadline to take this from start to finish, so I can really focus on what needs improving in my pipeline and what areas I can speed up in. 

This is going to be the funnest project I've had yet!
Cheers guys!

NEW

So as you could probably guess, some stuff came up and this project got left in the dust. I've wanted to return to it for a while. So I looked over my old project and realized that it's not at the skill level I'm at now, so I decided to redesign it and shorten the scope so I can really go in hard on detailing and such. Below is the same moodboard from the old version, which I'm still going to use.
Moodboard:



Just to help out with my idea of the scene, I made some layouts to get the ideas down. All of this is still early, so changes will probably happen.




Current Progress


Link to all of the photos I took:

Link HERE

Replies

  • nastobi123
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    nastobi123 polycounter lvl 3
    subbed, this looks dope as hell
  • macoll
  • AndrewMKelley
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    AndrewMKelley polycounter lvl 4
    @nastobi123 Thank ya!
    @macoll Thanks!

    Okay, after some ref gathering/research and looking at TLOU for a bit I noticed how height, or holes in the ceiling leading outside/to another floor, played a major factor in their vegetation encroachment, and I decided that's something that I'd like to focus on. So I rearranged the plan so the bottom and top floor are stacked on top on one another, that way I can create layers of destruction between the two and have a great opportunity for visual storytelling. I have all the major architecture blocked in Unreal, so for the next 3ish days I'll be getting most of my major modular pieces through a first pass and make sure they connect and work properly, and after that some trim texture and important texture first passes.

    Top down plan

    Blockout images in the spoiler


    My door heights and widths need some adjusting, so I'll be sure to look at how other games handled that and grab some ref for it.

  • Shirk
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    Shirk polycounter lvl 2
    I would just suggest using real world units for things like doors, which I believe are about 6 foot 8 inches tall, and between 28 and 32 inches wide. 
  • AndrewMKelley
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    AndrewMKelley polycounter lvl 4
    @Shirk Yep that's what I decided on, thanks for those numbers!

    I have most of the major modular pieces like floors and walls built out and placed, save for the second floor lobby and flooded area (and the destruction meshes) but I have enough to start the blocking and planning the textures and trims out. I'll probably be Substance Designing for the next 4-5 days 





  • EEEnt_OFFICIAL
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    EEEnt_OFFICIAL polycounter lvl 2
    @Shirk Yep that's what I decided on, thanks for those numbers!

    I have most of the major modular pieces like floors and walls built out and placed, save for the second floor lobby and flooded area (and the destruction meshes) but I have enough to start the blocking and planning the textures and trims out. I'll probably be Substance Designing for the next 4-5 days 





    Looking good; I can't think of anything to critique as of yet. Will there be an area outside of the hospital too; even if it's an illusion of an outside area?
  • AndrewMKelley
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    AndrewMKelley polycounter lvl 4
    Thanks!
    I'll have a couple of points where there'll be a view to the outside, so it'll be an illusion. Most of the windows will be blocked by wood or foliage, or the sun will be blowing it out like some of the pictures I took. That's my plan at the moment anyway. At my points of interest, I want to kind of achieve the same effect of this picture near the windows/light sources (Subsurface with the foliage)

    so I may have to model a bit more with the exterior to influence that light.
  • AndrewMKelley
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    AndrewMKelley polycounter lvl 4
    Hey guys,

    So I've been Substancing for a bit and got a couple of mats through a first pass. I figured I'd show you guys an example of the master material that most of my modular pieces will run with. I have a base mat, and can vert paint 3 different mats on top of it based on masks (height lerping) and then use the alpha channel to paint wetness/puddles.

    Everything's parameterized so I can fine tune it on an instance basis. Next on the list is getting the trim modeled out and baked down, and get the masks for some other base mats created in Substance. 
  • AndrewMKelley
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    AndrewMKelley polycounter lvl 4
    Hey guys and gals, been a bit, sorry for the silence this week!

    Most of the work that I've done this far is getting my mats into unreal, tweaking them in Substance, unwrapping and some quick vertex painting for a base that I can work off of when I start making decals, debris, and props to really spruce up the scene. I'm pretty much using my basement as a test type of area for all of my pieces, so I'll probably flesh that out first and then apply those changes to the top (with some unique differences of course) Here's some shots, lighting is super placeholder at the moment.



    The only 1:1 prop that I've created up to this point are the concrete stairs, and I did a quick sculpt/bake just to get something through Painter and learn how that program works (It's amazing btw). I'll revisit them probably sometime this week. So, on the list now is to create some variant modular pieces like wall with a hole in it, destroyed floor of each type (or 2) and things of that nature to help the modularity of the scene and break it up a bit. After that, the 2nd floor should get a vert paint first pass, and I should have my placements for my points of interest/hero assets pretty close to nailed down. And by the end of the week, I should be listing out all the props I want in here and establishing a timeline for them, and hopefully be well on the way in production with a few.
  • AndrewMKelley
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    AndrewMKelley polycounter lvl 4
    Hey guys, been a second. Got thrown a bit of a curveball, so I've gotten about 4ish days of work done in the past 12 days haha. This means i'll bust my deadline, but even from when I was able to work on it like I planned it showed me exactly where I need improvement, so that's a good thing :smile: 
    Anywho, I have a couple of shots. I tweaked quite a few things, and refined a bit of my master materials, did some first passes on props, and adjusted the layout a bit on everything. I'll edit this post with paintovers of each image soon so I can show what I think will visually help the comp of each shot. 

    So, for this shot I think foliage encroachment would be an easy way to lead the eye,
    so next on my list is making some modular vines/ivy to use throughout the scene.  Thankfully in this shot my masks for my trims and tileable materials aren't super apparent except for the rails, so I can break that up with hanging vegetation. Also, to get a bit of roughness variation, I can make 2 different rubble textures, one with just rocks and dirt, and one with a variety of materials, like plastic, glass, wood, etc., to help make the stairs pop a bit more (Not to much though). I can stop most of my laser lines in here by using some edge skirt decals, and warp the fence a bit to gather some interest. Also, the lighting needs to be addressed by the door in the center.


    Most of what I said in the first shot applies to this one as well. Since the camera is going to be close up, I may use masks for my hero asset (The door) instead of just baking in textures, but I'll have to experiment to see a good solution for that. The interior needs to be darkened a bit, and the water shader needs to be adjusted so it doesn't blow out like it is now. My mask is obviously tiling on the pipes, so I can use hanging vegetation and detail meshes like supports or junctions to hide that. Also, the ceiling tiles are way too perfect, so I need to bubble them out and water damage them a bit, that way there isn't too many straight lines.


    With this shot, a major point of interest will be the foliage coming from the ceiling hole, and how the light interacts with it and casts onto the water boiler in the corner. Like the above shot, the ceiling needs to be roughed up, and loose wires will help break up the lines where the ceiling meets. Also, I need to revisit my paint chip material, as well as add some decals of more paint chip variation and create geo that can represent larger peels coming off of the wall. A water meniscus decal can be put around the meshes that meet the water (just a slanted normal line), to make the objects grounded and show that they're interacting with each other.

    Sorry for the delay on this everyone, hopefully everything will calm down a bit so I can work on this more consistently. 

    EDIT: The paintover stuff up above.
  • AndrewMKelley
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    AndrewMKelley polycounter lvl 4
    Hey guys! Now that the holiday weekend shenanigans are over I should have WAY more time to update this. Currently I've gotten a first pass on all of the foliage (It definitely needs some love still) some decals sculpted out and photoshoped, and a lot of dressing in the "test" area of the scene (The first image with the stairs)
    Here's what I've got so far


    Once I feel comfortable with the progress of all the small dressing pieces and such, I can move forward into the building, which will be way easier than the exterior.  I also made a small hero prop to establish my workflow in Substance Painter, it's super fast and pretty fun!

    Shameless Crosspost, you can find more on this guy here 
    There'll be more updates this week, and I'm excited to finally be able to work on this fully again.
  • AndrewMKelley
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    AndrewMKelley polycounter lvl 4
    Alright guys, got most of what I wanted either sorted out or getting ready to be baked down for my foliage second pass, and while that's going in the background I worked on some improvements to the first interior room, as well as a hero asset to be the centerpiece of the interior room shot.

    I adjusted the colors of the lighting, going with a more afternoon time of day (Blueish) instead of a dusk (Orange) one, since I feel that it brings out the foliage a bit better, and I can use the warm colors inside to compliment the exterior, as well as give the interior an old feel. Fixed up that water shader, added wires and debris floating in the water, and got the ceiling tiles to where I want them. Here's a closeup of the water boiler
    I'll probably get a little breakdown of the boiler up on my artstation either tomorrow or tuesday, so you guys can see how it's put together. 
    There'll be more updates soon, and thanks for sticking with the thread so far!
  • RustySpannerz
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    RustySpannerz polycounter lvl 8
    This looking really great! Super last of us-y, and also reminds me of Half-Life 2. 
  • AndrewMKelley
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    AndrewMKelley polycounter lvl 4
    Thank you very much RustySpannerz! Half-Life 2 never even came to mind until you said something, I should go get ref from it now haha.
    I've got a small wireframe/texture breakdown of the boiler up on my artstation now, here, if you want to take a look at it. I don't want to flood the thread with huge images of it, so I'll post one up.

    Second pass foliage is baking as I speak, so while I wait for that I'm planning out my next moves. I'll have more updates this week if my plans pan out correctly. Thanks for stopping by!
  • AndrewMKelley
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    AndrewMKelley polycounter lvl 4
    Hey all! I'm not sure if it's appropriate to update an old thread, or to start a new one, so I'll update the new one to avoid filling the forums with more work threads. I don't believe this falls under spam(?) since I'm restarting the project, but if it does I'll happily delete this thread and start a new one :)

    I've wanted to return to this scene for a while. So, I looked over my old project and realized that it's not at the skill level I'm at now, and I decided to redesign it and shorten the scope so I can really go in hard on detailing and such.

    Anyway, everything has been BSP blocked out in UE4, and I'm currently in the process of getting rough modular pieces blocked in Max. I also hit Substance Designer up to start on some materials that I'll need for the first room, just to get them in engine and get my master material made and working.  You can see my new layouts for the scene at the OP.

    Blockouts

    Materials

    I can't wait to really kick this project into high gear!
  • AndrewMKelley
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    AndrewMKelley polycounter lvl 4
    Alright! I've gotten most of my first pass level geo blocked in and nice and modular, and I've gotten the UVs done and my texel density close to set. Here's one of the main shots of the environment with my UV/Texel density checker applied

    I've been working on my materials at the same time. I have most of the base materials done, so now I need to make some damaged variants, as well as masks to use in vertex painting.

    Next up I need to block in the main points of interest in the scene, like the roof caving in at a specific point, the hero props, and get an idea of how I want to incorporate foliage into the scene. Once that's done, I can start blocking in the lighting!
  • AndrewMKelley
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    AndrewMKelley polycounter lvl 4
    Hey guys, sorry for the delayed progress, I had a freelance thing come up that took some time. I've applied base materials to most of the level architecture, and started blocking in smaller things like trash, debris, etc., and I did a rough pass on lighting. It's suuuper dark though, it needs to be toned up.  Next up on my list is a paint over, and taking the trash bin and bags to completion to establish the quality bar I want to hit with the one off assets. Then back to Substance Designer to create vert paint masks for the tiling textures.




  • AndrewMKelley
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    AndrewMKelley polycounter lvl 4
    Hey all, decided to do a couple extra things before posting again. Got the lighting a bit further and changed the color a bit, took the trash to a finished state and sculpted out and finished the major concrete debris. Vert paint masks are all done, so next up is just some general dressing for the scene and making more small props to propagate everywhere. 


     
  • AndrewMKelley
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    AndrewMKelley polycounter lvl 4
    Another update, made some trash debris, edge skirt rubble, concrete rubble, and some very general props you'd find in a building like this. Also fixed my lightmap issues! I decided to de-noise the floor and ceiling a bit, just so there's a bit more of an area for your eyes to rest, might do some more of that.  Fixed up the first 3 cam angles too.

    Here's a paintover of what I'm hitting next (in this room anyway)

    Puddles and cloth should give me some more rest areas, and give the scene a wider range of rough values, because it's pretty flat at the moment. Grime and damage/cracks will help age the walls with the help of vert paint when I apply that. And, finally starting on the foliage and overgrowing this place. I didn't paint this in, but I'll also be experimenting with maybe some flood lights and a portable generator, to give some bright spots and do some small storytelling (They'll be pointed at graffiti that was left behind, or just signs that people were there before). Here's some shots of the assets that were one-offed (not final yet).

  • Stanley3DArt
    Starting to look really good, the green bricks could be slightly more damaged and have more depth in them, loving the composition so far
  • Shirk
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    Shirk polycounter lvl 2
    I would add more damage to the roof than the floor, doesnt quite make sense that the floor tiles would be uprooted like that, and even less so with the roof being in better shape.
  • AndrewMKelley
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    AndrewMKelley polycounter lvl 4
    @Stanley3DArt Thanks! Definitely need some damage on the walls, I'm authoring a paint peeled damaged variant of the texture right now, combining that with some crack decals should get me most of the way there. Adding some slightly protruding bricks should help with the depth.
    @Shirk Thanks for the input! That's a great point. Since I'm making this overgrown I was thinking it'd be quite damp in there, so adding water damage to the ceiling like leaks would help explain the ceiling and floor being so messed up, and explain the wetness on the floor I'm implementing. I'll definitely have to work on that.
  • AndrewMKelley
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    AndrewMKelley polycounter lvl 4
    Update time! Thanks again for the feedback you all, I Incorporated that into into the scene. I started placing decals to ground objects like where the walls meet the ceiling, made and painted some damage for the walls, roughed up the ceiling a bit and started to imply leaks, painted some wetness into the scene, and got my ground foliage placed. A really fun thing I did was use the actual graffiti from inside the asylum this is based on, and started putting those up to get some storytelling going. 

    Here's a paintover of what I'm thinking of doing next.

    Cloth and police tape are first on the list. Next, I want to start placing protruding bricks or some solution to give the walls a bit more depth, tackle the flood lights, portable generator, and maybe a flashlight in the scene. After that, I'll start on ivy that's encroaching into the building through the windows, and new ivy that's starting to form around my edge skirt dirt meshes. All of these will be made with re-usability in mind, so I can propagate them to the stairs leading to the flooded basement, along with  my other assets I've made to this point.  Then I'll tackle the centerpiece of this room, the wheelchair.
  • AndrewMKelley
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    AndrewMKelley polycounter lvl 4
    A little update that's a bit early, but I'll be pretty busy this upcoming week so I wanted to get some more wip shots in here just in case I can't update for a bit. I finally started vert painting lol, and got the ivy placed. I'm changing where the light will be pointing (not pictured) to shining on the wheelchair, since having a light shining on the "Safe House" graffiti would split the focus of the shot. I was able to fake some transmission lighting from the ivy on the sides of the windows, but I might increase the strength of it just to make it pop a slight bit more. 



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