Still Trying to Finish ArtStation's T.L.O.K.A. Challenge

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JamesBrisnehan polycounter lvl 6
Hello everyone,
So I participated in the Legend of King Arthur challenge on ArtStation. However, I could not complete it on time because I had a lot going on those two months and chose a larger scale project than I probably should have. Oh well. But I am still plugging away at it since I really like the concept and would love to put this scene on my portfolio. Anyway, I decided to move my old and new work in progress updates over here now that the challenge is over.


So the original concept is "Merlin's Cave" by Erik Nykvist from Stockholm Sweden: 



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  • JamesBrisnehan
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    JamesBrisnehan polycounter lvl 6
    Block Out:



    Lighting Test:


  • JamesBrisnehan
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    JamesBrisnehan polycounter lvl 6
    Created Rock sculpting height maps in Substance Designer and started sculpting assets:




  • JamesBrisnehan
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    JamesBrisnehan polycounter lvl 6
    First Materials and building up the landscape:




  • JamesBrisnehan
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    JamesBrisnehan polycounter lvl 6
    Decided that the scene needed some additional lights and I took inspiration from of Erik Nykvist's other TLOKA submission "Avalon". Also as far as I got on the environment before the challenge's deadline.


  • JamesBrisnehan
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    JamesBrisnehan polycounter lvl 6
    And this is where I am now:

    I have replaced almost all of the BSP and block out meshes. I reworked the lighting. I built in some things that were not in explicitly in the original concept like a sea entrance, a stairway entrance and a secondary stone circle. I should mention that I did not make the fire particle system. It is from UE4's starter content. I threw it in to see how it made the smaller stone circle feel.

    I still feel like there is a long way to go, but I am determined to finish it (foliage, stalactites, boats, waterfalls, etc.) . I am open to critiques if anyone sees something that needs to be fixed.


  • JamesBrisnehan
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    JamesBrisnehan polycounter lvl 6
    This week I worked on sculpting the lantern holding statue. It's been a while since I have tried to do anything close to a character, so please let me know if there is anything that looks wrong or needs to be fixed. I still need to detail the hands a bit though.

    Also, I could use a some opinions on what sort of base for the statue I should go with. Right now I am leaning toward a simple design, but I'm not sure.




    Reference/inspiration:

  • JamesBrisnehan
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    JamesBrisnehan polycounter lvl 6
    Since last time I posted an update, I textured the cave ceiling, made some stalactites, started vertex painting, worked on the lighting, learned how to create a volumetric cloud particle system, tested out my lantern statue, and then threw out the lantern meshes. I didn't like the shadows the block-out lantern was casting, and all of the time period accurate lantern designs I was looking at would probably end up being worse. I'm now thinking a tray of candles, or maybe just candles dripping through her fingers, ha ha. Still playing with ideas.

    If anyone has any suggestions or critiques, let me know.


  • WillPowell
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    WillPowell polygon
    The candle idea would look great, with the wax dripping down the statue. Candles don't give off a whole lot of light but you could always take some artistic license and have them brighter (may not be necessary as you have a good amount of lighting coming from the ceiling and being dispersed throughout the cave).

    The central island looks awesome, has a mystical feeling to it, fitting in line with the original source material!
  • pistachio
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    pistachio greentooth
    Lighting/color grading is the bomb, I can always go for that ICO vibe.
    Grass/dirt needs more work and geo detail (for a first pass it's cool)
    BG ruins closest to us starting to look good but it's darker in the original. Depends how accurate you wanna be there but it amps up the focal point. Also pretty roughed up in the original
    Foreground is gonna need more rubble.
    I'm not an env artist, take this with a grain of salt.
    It's definitely shaping up.
  • JamesBrisnehan
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    JamesBrisnehan polycounter lvl 6
    @WillPowell ; Thanks. I will try to make the candles and post an update soon

    @pistachio Yep, those are all on the to-do list. Ha ha. I'm just doing things a bit out of order because lighting was starting to get fun. Thanks for the feedback though.
  • JamesBrisnehan
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    JamesBrisnehan polycounter lvl 6
    Hello again. 
    I have sculpted the candles and textured the statue. And I'm noticing some thing weird. My textures look great in substance painter, but not great in Unreal, and I'm curious if anyone has any ideas as to why. In Unreal it looked splotchier and noisier. I had to remove a couple of the grunge maps that looked really good on it in SP. And I noticed that some of the UV seams are showing up in unreal in the light map. I have a fairly dense light map resolution for it though. Maybe It would look better if I do a full 'production' build. Maybe Iray will always look better because of the way it renders things. Or maybe I'm just nit-picking and it's all in my head. I don't know. At least the candles look cool in unreal with the subsurface scattering, even though the flames are over exposed.

    Substance Painter's Iray:


    Unreal light build on 'high' with grunge maps removed:





  • JamesBrisnehan
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    JamesBrisnehan polycounter lvl 6
    In other news, I built the low polly and  UV'd the boat. I also decided that the hypothetical Druid Monks needed short wooden style docks to help them get up out of the boats and onto the tall stone docks. 

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