[WIP][UE4] Sanctuary Tomb

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JMBraley polygon
Hello everyone!

After getting portfolio feedback from multiple sources, the general consensus was that I have too many stand-alone props (they are 100% correct) and not enough environments so I decided to remedy that situation and work on an environment for my next project. After much deliberation and many, many different concepts I decided that I was going to model Tim Kaminski's Sanctuary Tomb Concept. I feel in love with this concept the moment that I saw it up on ArtStation and I've wanted to model it for quite so I'm glad that I'm finally getting started with it.


PROJECT GOALS

  • Learn Substance Designer
  • Implement trim textures into workflow
  • Learn techniques to create stylized foliage / grass
  • Further develop knowledge of Unreal Engine
  • Learn how to properly light an environment in UE
  • Create a polished stylized environment for my portfolio

PREPARATION

Before starting to create any assets in Maya I took some time to break down the concept so I had a reference of what unique assets / textures / trim I would need when moving into the asset / texture creation stage of the process.

Props


Foliage


Texture Sheets


Trim


During this stage I also gathered style references and compiled them into a mood-board.

Mood-board

I've always been a huge fan of stylized PBR so I want to have a similar aesthetic as games such as Spyro: Re-ignited, Crash N-Sane Trilogy, and Overwatch, while still being unique. 



BLOCK-OUT

After a few days of stressing myself out researching methods of blocking out environments and how to match perspective from a concept perfectly in Maya, I decided to stop worrying so much and to just start creating. Once I stopped stressing out about finding the "perfect" methods I started to have a lot more fun and eventually this is where I ended up with the block-out. I'm sure it's not perfect but it's a good start and it gives me a solid base that I can refine and develop further moving forward.


After a few tests and some iterating on the placement and scale of some of the objects I imported the block out into Unreal to get a feel for the scale of the environment.


Here's the scene with a 3rd person character for scale.



Remarks

Ultimately, this is relatively uncharted territory for me. I don't have a whole lot of experience when it comes to creating a cohesive environment like this so I'm figuring it all out as I go. I'm going to take my time with this project as I want to use it to test new workflows and learn new software. In the end I want to end up with the most polished portfolio piece possible.

I appreciate any comments, critiques or advice that anyone has for me during this journey. I want to learn and grow as much as possible during this project and I welcome any help along the way.  I look forward to posting more progress  (hopefully) soon.

Thank you all!

Replies

  • Chuwakcz23
    I like the preparation and how you've described it before starting the project. I was lacking in this part when starting something new. I will copy this approach ASAP 😁

    Nice work btw the blockout looks really good, looking forward to some updates 😊
  • Aydhe
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    Aydhe polygon
    so far so good, though i feel like blockout doesn't quite match up with proportions of the environment, that ring in middle seems to be quite a bit wider in terms of radius and chains appear thicker?
  • JMBraley
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    JMBraley polygon
    I like the preparation and how you've described it before starting the project. I was lacking in this part when starting something new. I will copy this approach ASAP 😁

    Nice work btw the blockout looks really good, looking forward to some updates 😊
    Thanks! I never used to do this kind of preparation myself until I did a mentorship with Chuy Salinas (https://twitter.com/chyslns). Since then though I've implemented it into my workflow and I've found it helps a lot to have a detailed plan early on.
    Aydhe said:
    so far so good, though i feel like blockout doesn't quite match up with proportions of the environment, that ring in middle seems to be quite a bit wider in terms of radius and chains appear thicker?
    Did you mean that the ring/platform seems wider and the chains seem thicker in the concept or in my blockout?

  • JMBraley
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    JMBraley polygon
    It's been a week since the last update and while I've made some pretty good progress, I'm still only just starting out on this journey.


    UPDATING ASSETS


    In the past week I've been working towards creating more detailed models and tweaking the scale of the assets while doing so. As of today I've managed to create updated versions of every model in the scene with much higher poly counts and details that more closely match the concept.

    Asset Overview:


    Low Poly:


    High Poly:



    I've also replaced each of the block-out versions with the updated higher poly assets and brought the updated scene back into Unreal to ensure the player scale still matched.

    Maya Scene:


    Unreal Scene:


    TRIM TEXTURES

    Trim textures are something that I've had vague knowledge of for a long time and I've decided that with this project I was going to finally unravel the mystery behind them. Initially I was only going to use trim textures sparingly during this project but after some suggestions I may end up implementing them more than I had had originally planned. Taking a closer look at the concept, the bulk of the texturing can be accomplished between trim textures and texture sheets with a few outlying assets that require unique textures.

    The first step that I took towards creating these trim textures was figuring out and listing what materials I would need to cover in my trim sheets. Here's what I came up with in the end:

    Trim Sheets

    • Plain Gold
    • Ornamental Gold
    • Indented Stone
    • Ornamental Stone x 2
    • Gold Inlaid Stone Panels
    • Ornamental Silver
    • Plain (Light) Stone

    Tiling Texture Sheets

    • Stone Bricks
    • Plain Stone
    • Dirt
    • Grass

    Once I had my list of required textures I blocked out some Trim Sheets to get an idea on how I was going to approach them in Zbrush / Substance Designer (Yes, I know these are very rough and not representational of what the final versions will be at all):

    Trim Sheet 1:


    Trim Sheet 2:


    Going Forward:

    Today I started going through some Substance Designer tutorials to start to learn the basics of the program. This is a vastly different workflow from what I'm used to so this is probably going to take some time to get up to speed. Hopefully once I'm done with this project I'll have another tool that I can add to my toolkit. Once I figure out how to do what I need to do in Designer, I will be focusing my efforts on creating these trim sheets.

    As always, I welcome any critique and feedback that anyone can provide. A lot of what I'm trying to accomplish with this project is new to me so I am definitely open to any suggestions that can help to make this environment as polished as possible.

    Thank you all!






  • Sweetangel0467
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    Sweetangel0467 polycounter lvl 6
    Nice progress on this James! Can't wait to see how you continue on it :3
  • JMBraley
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    JMBraley polygon
    Nice progress on this James! Can't wait to see how you continue on it :3
    Thanks! :) I appreciate you taking the time to check it out. If you have any suggestions please let me know!
  • JMBraley
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    JMBraley polygon
    Not much to show this week towards the project since I've spent the majority of my free time during the last week learning Substance Designer so that I can implement it into my workflow for this project. I've learned a lot about Designer in a very short amount of time and I'll be ready to start creating the trim textures and tiling texturing soon!

    Here's a link to my Designer progress thread with more materials to come soon: https://polycount.com/discussion/210506/learning-substance-designer#latest.

  • JMBraley
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    JMBraley polygon
    I've spent the last week doubling down on learning Designer and I feel like I'm really starting to get the hang of things (though I still have a long way to go). I'm still splitting my time between working on practice materials to figure out how some of the nodes work and getting started on the textures for this project. So far I've laid out the basic patterns for my trim textures and going forward I'm going to be adding the details and tweaking them as I learn better workflows within Designer.

    Trim Sheet 1:


    Trim Sheet 2:


    As always, I'm open to feedback and suggestions.

    Thank you all for checking out the project!

  • Stanley3DArt
  • JMBraley
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    JMBraley polygon
    solid progress!
    Thanks Stanley!
  • randomspirits
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    randomspirits polycounter lvl 3
    This is coming along really nicely!
  • JMBraley
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    JMBraley polygon
    This week has been been pretty busy and I didn't make too much progress towards the project. I did find some time to tweak the trim textures a bit and start working on the tiling textures.

    Here are the new, slightly adjusted trims:

    Trim 1:


    Trim 2:



    Hopefully, I'll have more time and make more progress this week.

    As always, I'm open to feedback and suggestions.

    Thank you all for checking out the project!

  • I_Art_Men
    Nice progress, hope to see more soon :D
  • JMBraley
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    JMBraley polygon
    I_Art_Men said:
    Nice progress, hope to see more soon :D
    Thanks I_Art_Men!

    This week I did an overhaul on the graphs from my trim sheets. Originally I had each trim as a separate graph and then another main graph which linked them all into the trim sheet. While working on the sheets it was very frustrating having to open a dozen graphs to make changes to the layouts of the trim so instead I decided to just do the entire trim sheet within the same graph.

    Over the past week I've continued to create practice materials and watch Designer tutorials to figure out how I was going to create my tiling textures and trims and I've finally started to add some details and colors to my first trim sheet. It's not complete yet but it's blocked in enough where I can start to implement it into my environment soon and get a feel for what changes need to be made going forward. 


    Trim 01:


    Trim 01 Graph:


    Planned Adjustments:
    • Clean up muddy details
    • Add Edge Wear
    • Adjust Color Values
    • Color Variation
    • Edge Highlights
    • Roughness Pass

    As always, I'm open to feedback and suggestions.

    Thank you all for checking out the project!




  • JMBraley
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    JMBraley polygon
    This week I've made some decent progress toward my tiling textures and my trim sheets. As of right now the Tiling Bricks texture is the furthest along and the second Trim sheet needs the most work. I'll be continuing to push forward with these and hopefully have them finished and implemented soon.


    Tiling Bricks:


    Tiling Stone:


    Trim 01:


    Trim 02:



    As always, I'm open to feedback and suggestions.

    Thank you all for checking out the project!
  • JMBraley
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    JMBraley polygon
    What a difference a week makes. Over the past week I've taken all of the feedback that I've received from twitter, discord etc and really tried to push my tiling textures and trims to the next level. They're not quite done, I still have a bit of tweaking (especially on the ornamental gold on trim 2) and some cracks and minor details to add in but they're getting close!

    Tiling Stone Bricks:


    Tiling Stone Base:


    Trim Sheet 1:


    Trim Sheet 2:


    As always, I'm open to feedback and suggestions.

    Thank you all for checking out the project!
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