[WIP]- Crooked Forest environment- critiques needed

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My attempt at creating a unique and memorable AAA-looking environment. 

UE4+SpeedTree. Next, I'll be sculpting an 'Angel of Grief' statue in ZBrush to replace the placeholder and creating some more ground materials and moss in Substance.  

All feedback is welcome!

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  • BIGTIMEMASTER
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    BIGTIMEMASTER sublime tool
    Now this looks cool. 

    The tree in mid-left foreground with the exposed roots seems a bit chunky down there, and the long branch stretching into the camera isn't exactly clear to me what is going on. The archway shaped tree might look better if it's tapered -- like a normal standing tree that has just bent over completely. Otherwise it seems like a root or something. The cool trees surrounding the shrine may benefit from a little more variety in form. I mean, I think they should be all fairly uniform, but have enough difference of branches, material, or unique trunk sculpting to make the area feel very heroic.

    Where the small draw is cutting into the ground and the foreground rock is lining the border, you might need another texture to blend there. It looks like the pine needles are resting on a vertical slope. Or maybe you can hide that spot with some little shrubs or whatever. If you check out the artstation art dumps from Uncharted 4, specifically the Madagascar environ, you'll see how they made some modular pieces of ground overlapping big rocks. Maybe something like that could be used in a few spots here, since you have that draw running along a good portion of the scene.

    If you have time, maybe try mixing in some more undergrowth? Rose bushes or other shrubs, large rocks. I dunno, just a little something to kind of surround the shrine area so it's in a clearing and feels more special. Just an idea. It may make the scene too busy for a game environment. Maybe some lighting tricks could accomplish the same thing.

    For years I have been saying I wanted to see more realistic forest in video games, too include bent trees, deadfall, just all the stuff besides perfectly straight and upright trees. Adding a touch of fantasy like this is really awesome, and I think focusing on the micro-terrain like you have here is really nice. I spent a few years living remotely in Alaska, and one thing I learned is that every little corner of the wilderness has a unique character. Just like you easily recognize the rooms in a building based on their shape, décor, lighting, and so on, you get to know sections of a forest based on the microterrain, the vegetation, the lighting... all the million things that come together to give an area a distinct feel that you just know like an old friend. 


    Sorry for the rambling, but I feel you are touching on some cool stuff here. 

    addition : 
    I was just listening to this talk while working, and i think it's relevant. I haven't finished it yet, I think at some point speaker may reference Tao Te Ching, but if not, I'd recommend that as another reading which I think goes along well with the "The Timeless Way of Building".


  • kierangoodson
    Hey @BIGTIMEMASTER !

    Good to see you on hear again. Thank you once again for the feedback.

    I'll definitely be re-looking at the foreground tree and routes, it's a busy part of the scene and not sure it's entirely helping the piece or focal point. Making the statue even bigger may help here!

    There are 4 varieties of trees around the statue, 12 trees in total but I shall play with the height and scale a bit more. 

    Vertex blending and material creation are next in line :smiley:

    Uncharted 4 Madagascar- Sounds like the work of Anthony Vaccaro. I'm thinking of making a mesh that can go where the ground meets the "wall". 

     Thank you. I was really inspired by the odd shapes from the Crooked Forests of Poland and I've not seen any artwork that's replicated it. The 'rambling' is great and you're dead right, it's so crazy how these biomes change from season to season. 

    I've definitely heard of Tao Te Ching before so I'll bend my ear to the talk during my next sit down with the environment :D 
  • Ashervisalis
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    Ashervisalis polycounter
    This is looking really cool. I'd lower the intensity of the light beams a little.
  • renocrade
    this is awesome, I love the render you made in ue4. 
  • kierangoodson
    @Ashervisalis ; @renocrade

    Thanks guys. I shall tone down those light beams! 

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