[UE4] Baroque Bedroom Environment

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Setting

This environment has long been on my mind and has seen many different iterations. The idea came from a game concept that came out a very ambitious and quite impossible to make in my spare time. Nonetheless, I very much liked the setting that so I decided to work on one of the environments.

The bedroom is the first environment in the story where our character wakes up. From here she will explore the mansion and we learn that we're in a dark, yet precious horror story. This story was written as a short story so it could be used for a game demo where in the end our character gets killed (like every horror game demo). 

For this environment I want to focus on telling the story of this character. The visuals should reflect her personality and her story arch. This inspiration came from film sets by Dan Laustsen (like Edith's room in Crimson Peak, where the furniture and color scheme reflect her position in contrast to the other characters, Elisa's house that shows water elements to foreshadow the plot in Shape of Water). 


Persephone

In Greek mythology there is a story about Persephone. The story tells of a young girl, daughter to Demeter (goddess of the harvest), who was abducted by Hades (god of the underworld). Her mother was left in grief and asked her husband Zeus to retrieve her. When Persephone was brought back from the underworld she was tricked by Hades. Persephone had tasted one pomegranate seed before leaving the Underworld. This obliged her to remain in the Underworld. Zeus proposed a compromise: Persephone would spend two-thirds of the year with her mother, and one-third with her new husband. Everybody agreed – and that’s how the seasons were born and how the growth of crops was explained.

Most baroque rooms have references to such myths and stories in their architecture, sculptures and paintings. Since Persephone's story shares many similarities with our character's story arch, I want to create several references to it. 


Progress

I started with blocking out the room and some of the assets. Afterwards I did some quick paintovers to explore several different lighting scenarios.





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  • polygons
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    polygons polycounter lvl 3
    I think since the middle window is the focal point it might help to cover the window on the left slightly with part of the curtain. Looks interesting so far keep it up
  • TuurSangers
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    TuurSangers polycounter lvl 4
    @polygons yeah, I'm still quite struggling with the overall composition. I wanted to use only natural light from the windows. But the more I close the curtains, the more the bed gets lost in the darkness :(
  • polygons
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    polygons polycounter lvl 3
    make sure you use a skylight with skylight bounces turned up a bit. increases bake times a lot but it helps light rooms. 
  • TuurSangers
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    TuurSangers polycounter lvl 4


    I've been modeling the room after the princess' bedroom from Hotel de Soubise in Paris. I made the layout more like an ellipse, to make it more baroque. After all, the name baroque refers to a irregular rough pearl.



    I tried different variation for the curtains. The back curtain uses a dithered masked opacity so it gets a similar look to tulle. For the curtains in the front I wanted a thicker material, while still letting some light trough (using sss). I like the curved shapes in v3, though it might block a bit too much light.
    For now I used the highpoly from marvelous designer to test the shapes in the scene. I'm planning on decimating or zremeshing it afterwards and then bake the normals. 



    The floor pattern was made in maya, which gave me the best control of creating the individual planks. I wanted to bake the pattern on a plane, but I couldn't get it to show up correctly. The spacing between the planks was too small or they would be at the same height. I did a workaround where I used Xnormal to bake the wireframe and did a cleanup in photoshop. From there I brought it to SD and used the flood fill nodes to work their magic.
  • FreneticPonies
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    FreneticPonies polycounter lvl 3
    Wow, great curtains! I'd say the floor could use, more definition? It's very dominated by the lighting right now, does it have albedo?
  • TuurSangers
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    TuurSangers polycounter lvl 4
    @FreneticPonies It does not yet have an albedo. I wanted to focus on the height and normals first. It indeed looks really flat at some places, not sure if that's the flat color or the normal map itself.
  • TuurSangers
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    TuurSangers polycounter lvl 4
    I haven't updated this blog for a while, though there has been quite some progress ...


    The floor material finally has a basecolor. I wanted a darker wood color, so the reflections became more readable in the scene.

    I started working on the panel walls. It took me a while to figure out what would be the best way to create all the details.

    I wanted two types of flowers which both represent a different element of the story.
    The daylily stands for the main character, for this flower last no longer than a day. Which is a foreshadowing that our character is very likely to die in the demo of the game. Because it is unclear what type of flower Persophone picked in the original story, the daylily will also represents the start of the troubling events that will follow.
    The other flower is a aconitum, which is highly poisonous. Although I am planning on changing that to a pomegranate flower/fruit, which is what eventually bounded Persophone to the underworld. 

    In Maya I arranged the aconitum flowers and used a custom material in UE4 and baked a height map. Which I would bring to Substance for the final texture.


    The bed now has a proper model with uv's, which I will be bringing into Zbrush for some final details. 

    The room starts to come together more nicely. Though there is still more work to be done, so any feedback is appreciated 
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