Foliage Project


This project will be covering my first expedition into learning to produce game ready foliage by hand, throughout this blog I will be covering what actions I took to produce all the foliage in the scene and also how I overcame any of the problems that I encountered. For this project, I will be learning deeper into different software such as 3ds max and also substance suit. I would love to hear any and all feedback on how to improve my work or workflow. =)

Replies

  • JamieCooper
    I found this process through Polygon academy who is a great source and I would deeply recommend: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LR7s_pFqVWo&t=675s as I continue to get this up to date I will also cover some of the changes I made to this process in regards to the texture for the branches 
  • Ashervisalis
    Offline / Send Message
    Ashervisalis hero character
    Hey, a few tips:

    1) Your lighting and composition could use a lot of work. You can't really see any of your foliage clearly enough to give criticism.
    2) You should cut out more of the areas around your pine needles. There is so much empty space for your computer to process at the moment.
    3) Your branches don't look natural. Are you going for stylized?
    4) Grass doesn't grow this evenly on a dense forest floor.

    Do you have reference you're working from?
  • JamieCooper
    Hey, a few tips:

    1) Your lighting and composition could use a lot of work. You can't really see any of your foliage clearly enough to give criticism.
    2) You should cut out more of the areas around your pine needles. There is so much empty space for your computer to process at the moment.
    3) Your branches don't look natural. Are you going for stylized?
    4) Grass doesn't grow this evenly on a dense forest floor.

    Do you have reference you're working from?
    Thanks for the feedback, I am ideally aiming for realism with the final result of this project I'm just not very good at the moment and I am currently redoing the trees models to give the branches a more organic look, I would love to know any other ways I could make the branches look more realistic. For the grass I am currently at a loss as when I begin to decrease the density  the grass begins to become to patchy , I don't know if this is because the density of the grass patches but I will definitely be looking into it (I have also started re-doing the grass texture, making less stylized by thinning the grass) . I will also be looking into composition later on in the project as my main concerns are the assets but I will brighten up the next screenshot so it is easier to see. 
  • JonJo
    Offline / Send Message
    JonJo interpolator
    Yo dude, good to see you jumping onto Polycount! It's very good to see you jumping into software and trying to work out your own workflows. However, I think your materials and foliage definitely need work. 

    Here's some resources to get you started;

    http://wiki.polycount.com/wiki/Foliage - Polycount wiki specifically for foliage. There's some really cool projects in here and the forums go into workflows and techniques and such. 

    https://www.artstation.com/artwork/Z4v5N - Protege Foliage Tutorial by Peyton Varney. Incredibly workflow and great breakdown, should take you through all the steps quite nicely. 

    https://gumroad.com/l/vuUUX - Karen Stanley's Foliage Tut. Slightly different workflow to Peyton's, but it's all good to know. 

    As for the tree's, I recommend picking up something like Speedtree if you can get access to academic licenses. It's a lot easier to put trees together than in a conventional modelling package.

    Good luck!


  • JamieCooper

    update on the project so far.

    I have spent about the day and a half trying to improve the grass and small branches as it was not as high quality as I strived for, after looking at more of the recourses from @JonJo I was able to figure out that my main problem was due to the density that I had.

    grass, it was very noticeable that It was a plane and this was resolved after spending some of the time reducing the density of the grass blades on the texture.

    branches, I began to duplicate the smaller branches more to make them look less barren making sure to reduce the amount as I went up  the tree, this worked well when optimising the trees. 


    I have begun looking into speed tree as well, but I think I will aim to complete the first tree using purely the tools I know so I can use it to further my knowledge on the programs.

    I began developing the materials more as well for this, I set up a landscape material and produced two different variants of dirt, one with water and one without. I also am thinking about making one with leaves and twigs on, but I could also use textured planes to produce the same effect with more control, I think I will need to look more into what the processing cost is and see which one will be better.

    for the next two days, my main aims will be producing a texture atlas for ground foliage using substance designer and then adding the current textures onto it. this should then bring me to the stage where I can start composing the scene and study lighting and effects more for open environments.

  • JamieCooper

    now we're onto one of the last updates for this project with only thew tweaks to go in terms of assets, I was able to fully produce a ground foliage texture atlas with the use of substance designer and merging it with some of the other textures in the scene , when looking for help with lighting I looked at multiple resources from channels like quixel (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FzoY062kY1s) and Unreal Engine (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xd7-rTzfmCo&t=829s) this has given me a firm base in terms of the lighting setup, but I still believe that I could use the lighting more to break up some of the forms in the scene.
  • defragger
    Offline / Send Message
    defragger polycounter
    what reference are you using for the trees?
    The trunk is enormous compared to the branches.


  • JamieCooper
    @defragger
    your completely right thanks for the feedback, I've just gone and changed it now 
  • defragger
    Offline / Send Message
    defragger polycounter
    @JamieCooper ; much better! At the moment you are trying to achieve a natural "messy" forest look with the tree trunks which can be nice in a stylized environment but since you are aiming towards realism I suggest to have the trees less angled. The natural messy look should come from the branches and not the trunks.

    Ignore difference in perspective. It was the first best reference I could find.



  • JamieCooper
    https://www.artstation.com/artwork/A94kvy
    Here is my final post for this project, thank you for all the feedback, it has helped me a lot to push my art and now its time to move onto the next project  =)
  • defragger
    Offline / Send Message
    defragger polycounter
    oh ok so you are done already? I thought you wanted to learn about environment art but it must be pretty boring I guess.
  • Badhacks
    Offline / Send Message
    Badhacks triangle
    defragger said:
    oh ok so you are done already? I thought you wanted to learn about environment art but it must be pretty boring I guess.
    Maybe he doesnt want to burn out.. I do agree the project needs more work to fully sell what your original desire was, but sometimes, when being self-taught, moving on and then coming back is the best option. 
  • JamieCooper
    @defragger
    it's just as Badhacks says, I have mainly stopped the project at this point as I am suffering from burn out at the moment, for my first attempt at foliage I am quite proud with what I have produced and I have loved every second of making it I know there are still many adjustments I could make and I will most likely revisit this project in the near future to attempt to tackle them .

    • branches need to be redone entirely (not quite sure if I will attempt to redo the trees in max or if I will start using speed tree)
    • grass can be adjusted with the gradient needing to be the main change
    • I could also aim to produce different variants of grass patches
    • I would have loved to attempt at making ivy for the trees and other different foliage
    • I would also like to look into shaders for stuff like moss and snow 

    my main fear at the moment is the quality of work falling but I will still be looking into the foliage as I move onto my next project, where I can focus on interiors more.
  • defragger
    Offline / Send Message
    defragger polycounter
    hey that's totally fine. You do whatever you want to do. I was just trying to help and I didn't know that one could be burned-out after two weeks on a project but apparently it's possible if you put enough pressure on someone. You are probably in university or something.

    On polycount I always assume it's more of a seeking advice / long term iterative learning kind of thing. Nevermind
Sign In or Register to comment.