Tips for creating environment scene for rendering

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I’ve been practicing modeling for 4 months now so excuse me if I am asking evident things here. I know this is a subject that has been asked many times in different sites and forums but I would like to get a clear understanding of the whole process of creating game environment scene. My goal is to create a portfolio consisting of props and environment where these different props are placed.

So far I know the basic workflow of prop creation and I’m using 3ds max for modeling, Zbrush for sculpting and Substance painter for baking and texturing. As I have a little experience working with Unity I think that is the engine I will be working with.

What is still unclear to me is how to build environment scene and how to render separate props and whole scene in a way that would look good. Few questions about this:

1.       Should I create my props (houses..etc) as a one big mesh in Max or should I create modular parts like pillars, floors…etc. and build the scene using these parts in Unity?

2.       Where and how should I render pictures of my props? In max, substance or Unity?

3.       Would it be the good way to create simple environment in unity and then place my props there? I was planning to create simple ground and add texture on it. Then add plants/trees, rocks and cliffs there to get the basic environment setup. After that I would add my houses and other props. So the question is that would this be a good way to build my scene for rendering?

4.       I haven’t really rendered that much. Only few test renders in Max using Vray. As I cannot add textures on my meshes in Max I guess I need to do rendering in Unity. Which rendering software do you guys recommend? and why? I guess lightning setup can be done in Unity?

5.       About portfolio. I was planning to use this environment as a background for my prop renders and then also add pictures of the whole scene. Do you think this would be a good idea for portfolio?

6.       Did I miss something essential? Should I use some other software to render? or build the whole scene differently for example with other software like World machine?

Thanks a lot for your responses!


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