[UE4] Carousel Environment

polygon
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Lurcisia polygon
Hey guys! 

Just finished up my environment in ue4.



Couldn't decide so I have versions of both daytime and night time
Find more images and breakdowns here: https://www.artstation.com/artwork/Dx5z6A 

Modeled in Maya and ZBrush, textured using a mix of substance painter & designer and polypaint, then brought into unreal. 
Plants were hand painted, whereas the rest is PBR.
Inspiration was gathered from a bunch of different real life images and plants.

Was hoping to get some feedback from you guys in order to really refine this! This is was my first time doing foliage, it was an interesting experience for sure. I discovered that trees are a pain (:

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  • Lurcisia
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    Lurcisia polygon
    Thank you so much for front page!
    I'd love some feedback from you guys ! :smiley:
  • MrJar0
    Looks absolutely wonderful.

    Maybe it's just me, but the trees look a bit thin and dead compared to how full of life the rest of the vegetation is. Some more leafs might help.
    The carousel is too clean and shiny. For the plants to grow that big would take quite a lot of time. Weather and animals would leave some kind of mark on it.
    Maybe it's just my obsession but if you are going for pbr you should not forget dirt and dust. Perhaps even spider webs or sth similar. Reality is actually quite dirty.
    You might want to dial down some of the edge wear. Some of it makes no logical sense.
    You already have those wonderful floorboards and the superb carousel design. Creepy yet inviting. Exactly the way a carousel is supposed to make one feel.

    Keep up the good work.
  • Lurcisia
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    Lurcisia polygon
    MrJar0 said:
    Looks absolutely wonderful.

    Maybe it's just me, but the trees look a bit thin and dead compared to how full of life the rest of the vegetation is. Some more leafs might help.
    The carousel is too clean and shiny. For the plants to grow that big would take quite a lot of time. Weather and animals would leave some kind of mark on it.
    Maybe it's just my obsession but if you are going for pbr you should not forget dirt and dust. Perhaps even spider webs or sth similar. Reality is actually quite dirty.
    You might want to dial down some of the edge wear. Some of it makes no logical sense.
    You already have those wonderful floorboards and the superb carousel design. Creepy yet inviting. Exactly the way a carousel is supposed to make one feel.

    Keep up the good work.
    Thank you so much for the feedback Jar! Much appreciated.

    I was trying to go for thinner trees, but then I laid them out as if it were a forest, which was poor planning on my part. That's a good point though! I believe making them fuller should help, thank you.

    It seems like one of the big things I struggled with this project was being too afraid to "cover up" my work. Like dirtying up the carousel in my head would cover up all the detail I put into it. But I just need to learn to suck it up haha. Learning to let go is important sometimes.

  • MrJar0
    I am terribly sorry to criticize your wonderful work again.
    I love the whole idea of an abandoned carousel and i want to see it "perfected" ( nothing is ever perfect).
    The carousel lights at night are way too unanimous. Some difference in the light bulbs, like maybe cracks or once again some imperfections would make a big difference.
    Also the horses are too perfect. Maybe a broken piece here and there could help. Missing leg parts, or a broken head would be interesting to see. The same goes for the Handrail( i don't know the proper term for it. The part "where you hold yourself").
    In regards to the middle part of the carousel. I don't exactly know how others have leaned it, but i was always told: " if you can see the "copied part from the same angle, it should be unique"

    Overall i really love this scene and i understand that at some point you have to decide where to cut some stuff. Which is why not all of what i criticized should be taken to heart.
    The whole idea of beauty vs efficiency is sadly a big part of environment art right now, but still i hope too see some more beautiful art from you.




  • chriszuko
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    chriszuko polycounter lvl 7
    I think you have great sense of modeling and overall taking shots of your work. I like the piece but I can see it being so much better. 

    Lighting is everything right now for your finishing steps. Your models are fine but the way you present them is missing some real time and effort. I'm not saying that you didn't put in the time and effort, but it is presented as if you didn't really spend much time lighting the scene and threw in maybe a couple lights for the daytime and only one color light for night-time and cranked the bloom. So here is a few things that I see that you could maybe apply to the scene to help it. 

    Night Scene
    1. The bloom is way too high on the night scene. Try to get it so it shows the actual bulb a little bit as that could be a nice sweet spot for brightness and detail. From the thumbnail shot, the scene looks great, but when expanded you see just 100's of blurry yellow spots.. which doesn't present well.
    2. Create a silhouetted matte painting for your background sky sphere. This will help it feel like a completed environment. Something similar to the imagine below color wise to help the Yellows Pop more.
    This imagine is really awesome for color reference and just overall brightness comparison.

    For this scene, going a little darker than that image is probably preferred, but it kinda shows how the trees look and fog in general to help separate the layering in your shot. FOG would help so much just to add layers and overall help to keep the focus on your carousel rather than the trees. After all, the carousel is the main object you wanna show and I think it looks great. 
     



    Day Scene
    Right now, the daytime shots are hurting you a bit and I think similar things I said above can apply.

    1. Your carousel is the main focus once again however my eye is drawn to the trees because they are so contrasty and blend right into the carousel itself. There is almost no separation from the background vs the foreground. So something simple you can do is try to get some stronger fog in there to help give some more layering to the actual shot. The red outline is kinda what I am trying to say. Try to separate each side of the red line to make it so the eye is drawn towards the stuff in the foreground that you want people to see. The trees are there just to add overall immersion and mood to the shot.
    [Edit, forgot to include the image]


    2. Im not sure exactly what you are going for colorwise but I would try to do something softer just to help lessen the contrast of the trees. Once you tweak the fog to be a bit closer to help make the carousel more focused it might automatically look better. But I'd try to stay away from going full white for the background as that is only making my eye draw towards the light. 

    To sum everything up for all of your shots just try to think about where you want people's eyes to focus first. Use lights to draw the eye to certain areas of the image. :smile:

    Hope I wasn't too blunt and I hope you can apply some stuff I said to either this scene or the next one you make :smile:

  • Ged
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    Ged greentooth
    that first shot is great but in some of the other shots the background seems way too bright, nice work overall. (other people have probably mentioned this stuff but I didnt read it all sorry)
  • Lurcisia
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    Lurcisia polygon
    MrJar0 said:
    I am terribly sorry to criticize your wonderful work again.
    I love the whole idea of an abandoned carousel and i want to see it "perfected" ( nothing is ever perfect).
    The carousel lights at night are way too unanimous. Some difference in the light bulbs, like maybe cracks or once again some imperfections would make a big difference.
    Also the horses are too perfect. Maybe a broken piece here and there could help. Missing leg parts, or a broken head would be interesting to see. The same goes for the Handrail( i don't know the proper term for it. The part "where you hold yourself").
    In regards to the middle part of the carousel. I don't exactly know how others have leaned it, but i was always told: " if you can see the "copied part from the same angle, it should be unique"

    Overall i really love this scene and i understand that at some point you have to decide where to cut some stuff. Which is why not all of what i criticized should be taken to heart.
    The whole idea of beauty vs efficiency is sadly a big part of environment art right now, but still i hope too see some more beautiful art from you.




    No need to apologize! The more feedback the merrier!

    The bulbs were indeed last minute (deadline), I agree I could go back in there and add some variety to them.
    My professor suggested some decals to make the poles (handrails) more dynamic and less "duplicated"? I'm considering exploring that idea.

    I could introduce some broken horses, I could introduce some more damage in general? I think the biggest thing is really going for the "abandoned" part of this project, which I kind of abandoned in the middle of it, pun intended. I kind of started to steer towards more of a random carousel found in the middle of a forest. More of a fantasy theme maybe? 

    I can definitely agree on the beauty vs efficiency thing. I just didn't want to go too heavy on the scene, but I think I can push it further in some ways. 
  • Lurcisia
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    Lurcisia polygon
    chriszuko said:
    I think you have great sense of modeling and overall taking shots of your work. I like the piece but I can see it being so much better. 

    Lighting is everything right now for your finishing steps. Your models are fine but the way you present them is missing some real time and effort. I'm not saying that you didn't put in the time and effort, but it is presented as if you didn't really spend much time lighting the scene and threw in maybe a couple lights for the daytime and only one color light for night-time and cranked the bloom. So here is a few things that I see that you could maybe apply to the scene to help it. 

    Night Scene
    1. The bloom is way too high on the night scene. Try to get it so it shows the actual bulb a little bit as that could be a nice sweet spot for brightness and detail. From the thumbnail shot, the scene looks great, but when expanded you see just 100's of blurry yellow spots.. which doesn't present well.
    2. Create a silhouetted matte painting for your background sky sphere. This will help it feel like a completed environment. Something similar to the imagine below color wise to help the Yellows Pop more.
    This imagine is really awesome for color reference and just overall brightness comparison.

    For this scene, going a little darker than that image is probably preferred, but it kinda shows how the trees look and fog in general to help separate the layering in your shot. FOG would help so much just to add layers and overall help to keep the focus on your carousel rather than the trees. After all, the carousel is the main object you wanna show and I think it looks great. 
     
    [image]

    Day Scene
    Right now, the daytime shots are hurting you a bit and I think similar things I said above can apply.

    1. Your carousel is the main focus once again however my eye is drawn to the trees because they are so contrasty and blend right into the carousel itself. There is almost no separation from the background vs the foreground. So something simple you can do is try to get some stronger fog in there to help give some more layering to the actual shot. The red outline is kinda what I am trying to say. Try to separate each side of the red line to make it so the eye is drawn towards the stuff in the foreground that you want people to see. The trees are there just to add overall immersion and mood to the shot.
    [image]

    2. Im not sure exactly what you are going for colorwise but I would try to do something softer just to help lessen the contrast of the trees. Once you tweak the fog to be a bit closer to help make the carousel more focused it might automatically look better. But I'd try to stay away from going full white for the background as that is only making my eye draw towards the light. 

    To sum everything up for all of your shots just try to think about where you want people's eyes to focus first. Use lights to draw the eye to certain areas of the image. :smile:

    Hope I wasn't too blunt and I hope you can apply some stuff I said to either this scene or the next one you make :smile:

    Thank you for taking time out of your day for the constructive criticism, I greatly appreciate it.

    Let me start by saying, wow, I did not notice how intense those bulbs were until you pointed it out. hahaha
    Turns out I had the emissive cranked way too high on those bad boys. Gotta go in and refine that.

    I can definitely agree on taking some time into bringing in a sky sphere. I'll do that. The bright sky is quite distracting now that I look at it.

    My biggest post issue was actually the fog. I couldn't get it to look right. 

    as you can see in the image, it would block off the top of the trees? instead of staying at more of a horizon level, and I wasn't sure how to make it work. I'll have to look into it more, the lighting was a little rushed because of the deadline but I would like to refine it for my portfolio. I don't have too much experience in that regard. 

    Thank you once again.
  • Lurcisia
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    Lurcisia polygon
    Ged said:
    that first shot is great but in some of the other shots the background seems way too bright, nice work overall. (other people have probably mentioned this stuff but I didnt read it all sorry)
    Thank you! I definitely need to go back in and refine the lighting.
  • chriszuko
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    chriszuko polycounter lvl 7
    @Lurcisia I think if you just used the simple exponential fog you'd have better results. It looks like you are trying to use the atmospheric fog, but that fog is more complex and really geared towards wide open spaces. Fog can be tricky in general though. I'd make the near distance super close somewhere around 100 or 250 so that the fog goes almost all the way to the camera. Then mess with the height and falloff of it so it has a subtle gradient from top to bottom. UE4's unreal height fog can take in a sphere map for its color information as well. This way you can tell it to gradially get a different color from top to bottom. I Look forward to updates if you choose to take this scene another step further. Class deadlines can be tough but in my experience its worth going back and fixing it up. The little things make all the difference.
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