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The Bi-Monthly ENVIRONMENT ART Challenge | July - August (67)

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  • Donato
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    Donato polygon
    @b_beauchamp
    Thanks for the tips. You're right about the light. I will try to improve it. Thanks also for the compliments. As for cloth overhangs I created a small video of about 5 minutes (I think a video is better than creating a wall of text and maybe not explaining it well) in which I show you the two methods I used (I suggest the second method which is easier and faster in my opinion) . If anything is not shown clearly, don't hesitate to ask.
    This is the link:
    However, both the scene and the trim texture look great.
    I hope I have been helpful.
  • Lairelosse
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    Lairelosse triangle
    Here is my progress so far on the Cuban House, I imported the greybox into Unreal and began creating the trim sheets and modeling a few of the related models. I am going for more of a stylized simple look.


    This is the first time I have done a project like this in Unreal and so I have run into a problem with the lighting on one of my models. The corners of the building are separate modular pieces, and when I bake the lighting they seem to not match up with the rest of the walls. Does anyone have any guesses as to why this is happening and a possible fix?





  • Donato
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    Donato polygon
    @Pinkfox
    I am happy to have been a little help. Your diorama is fantastic. Good job.

    @Lairelosse
    I recommend this video in which a problem very similar to yours is solved (in practice it increases the lightmap resolution). You can start watching it from the minute 13:00. If you don't solve the problem with this video, you can try setting the lights to dynamic and not static (decreasing performance). Let me know how it goes.
  • b_beauchamp
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    b_beauchamp keyframe
    @Donato Thank you for sharing your video about the overhangs. Cloth is not my strong suit so every tip helps. :) I look forward to seeing your scene in 360 degrees! Since there is a lot of repetition with the assets, you should be able to copy/paste groups of them to save even more time.

    @IanVal Your high poly tower light looks great. All of the little details fit together really well. 

    I have made some progress with my scene, but there is still a long way to go. I couldn't find matches for all of the artwork in the reference image, so I grabbed some comparable Byzantine pieces from The Met Collection. 





  • Donato
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    Donato polygon
    @b_beauchamp
    I must admit that your work is much more original than mine. In my opinion you will get an excellent result because it is already starting to look very well done.

    This time I focused on making the scene observable from all angles for a future 360 degree screenshoot. I hope there are not too repetitive parts since I have always used the same assets.






  • b_beauchamp
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    b_beauchamp keyframe
    @Donato Thank you for the compliment. I learned a lot from the last environment challenge so this one is going much smoother for me. I'm also allowing myself some artistic licence so I don't spend forever trying to replicate the concept art exactly. That was my main problem in the last challenge.  :#
    I wouldn't worry too much about reusing the same assets. In my scene, (if I counted right) I have 38 unique meshes for the metal decorations. 6 of these (such as the portraits) required traditional UVs. Pretty much everything is very simple, for example a cylinder bent 90 degrees with a couple of extrusions. If you are concerned about your scene looking too repetitive, remember that scaling and rotating can make a mesh appear completely different, and varying how assets are grouped together will make them appear unique. Other options are creating a couple more assets based on the pieces in the concept art, or making another version of your trim sheet. For example, in Substance Painter you could add a different metal type and save it as a new texture while keeping all your original work. Then it's just drag-n-drop in UE4 on the assets you want.

    @GUYPHILL Thank you for the advice. This project is all about pacing and taking it one step at a time. :) Your Substance Designer materials look great!

    In my scene, the metal layering is pretty much finished for the main courtyard. My next step is to make the final trim sheet for the lamps, little decorations, and cloth overhangs. I also need to fix some bad lightmaps.



  • Donato
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    Donato polygon
    @b_beauchamp
    Thanks a lot for the tips. Your scene is becoming very detailed and original. In my opinion you should only add a small variation of colors here and there so to have many types of assets with colors that are not too similar. Regarding the repetitiveness of the assets in my scene, in my opinion since the interior of the scene is practically finished, I can ask you if in your opinion there is too much repetitiveness or other flaws?And one last thing: how did you get the second image?


    These are other images of the scene. 







    In addition I add the first two images in 360 degrees. Unfortunately I can't show you how on artstation because I would have to publish the project for these screenshots only. I post them anyway  if you are interested and know how to view them in 360 degrees.


  • Lairelosse
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    Lairelosse triangle

    @Łukasz and @Donato Thanks for the suggestions! The links you gave me didn't seem to work in my situation, so I posted this question on the Unreal forums as well and they told me that this is a problem with baking lightmaps on multiple cores. They said a fix is coming in 4.26, and they gave a few workarounds, but the only one that really seemed to work in this situation is making the entire house one mesh and joining all the pieces, which would raise the poly count of the house by a decent amount. With the end of August coming quickly, I decided to switch over to Unity, since I have way more experienced in it, and will have to continue trying to learn Unreal in my next project.


    I've got most the objects and textures exported over to unity, and began adjusting the lighting and post processing effects to try and get a good sense of how it is going to look in unity. The grass texture is just a standin, as is the skybox, until I have time to find ones that work better for the scene.

    I also built a bush. 


  • Łukasz
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    Łukasz greentooth
    Another week, updated all the props placeholders:



    Thanks for sharing info @Lairelosse , I might need to try the merging since some faces get weird lighting bake.

  • b_beauchamp
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    b_beauchamp keyframe
    @Donato I agree that the metal elements in my scene could use some "highlights". I have a metal-stone trim variation that could work well for this, or maybe the trim I am making for the lamps. For the second image in my post, in the top left of the UE4 viewport there are 4 buttons. Click on the one that says "lit". In the drop-down menu click "lighting only". Try out the other lighting options in the menu as well, 
    they can be really helpful for isolating certain aspects of your scene!

    The metal texture on the pipes and vents looks flat, almost plastic. I would experiment with a few different materials and find something that gives a "worn metal" look.  I'll admit my favorite materials library is Substance Source, which is included with a paid Substance subscription. If you don't have access to this, both Quixel Bridge and textures.com have many excellent surfaces available for free.  A nice material will give you a solid foundation for creating more realistic textures.

    It could also be a couple of export issues causing your textures to look flat. If you used Substance Painter for your trim and other textures, 
    make sure you exported with the UE4 (packed) preset in the output templates window. The default seems to be Amazon Lumberyard, and if you don't use the UE4 preset it can cause your textures to look strange. Once your textures are in UE4, click on the Roughness-AO-Metallic combo map and switch the compression settings to "Masks (no sRGB)".  If you don't switch this UE4 won't read the map correctly. It took me a while to learn about these settings when I first started using UE4, so hopefully this saves you some time.  :)

    I think you could extend the metal elements over the stone walls so that they don't stop suddenly in some areas. This will help if look like the old building has been mechanized over time. A few more areas that have pipes and other elements overlapping should add some variation.

    Some of the cloth overhangs in your scene are floating I think? Or it could just be that I can't see the supports in the pictures. I also don't think the white squares in the metal grid on the floor look right for the scene. Just a simple metal texture would look fine, or maybe some
    grungy glass if you want to keep more of a checker look. If you want, you could also add some pots and lamps like in the concept art to add an extra level of detail. 

    I hope all this was helpful! Keep up the great work.  B)

    @Lairelosse The Substance Source library has some stylized grass that might work as a nice texture base for you. 
  • Pinkfox
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    Pinkfox polycounter lvl 3
    Pretty awesome how far everyone has come with their scenes!

    @Łukasz Awesome work on what you've got, it looks fantastic! Hopefully I'm not jumping the gun with these suggestions but it looks as though you're closing in on the finish line so I had some polishing thoughts:
    • The glass panes are overly clean looking. I see there is some grime on the windows but overall it's still incredibly smooth and really stands out compared to it's surroundings.
    • The corners of your walls are super perfect in your close up. Try doing some edge decals like this to rough them up without having to have a unique unwrap for them: https://www.artstation.com/artwork/l3wwa
  • ggamboa77
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    ggamboa77 polycounter lvl 3

    Hey everyone,  here is my take on the Prop modeling challenge,

    I do like how this is coming along so far. and noticing a lot of details I can fix already.

    Using Rhino 3D for the modeling and hope to get it into Unreal soon.


    Feedback welcomed!


    Thanks.


  • Donato
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    Donato polygon
    @b_beauchamp
    Thanks so much for the suggestions. I changed the texture of the pipes trying to make them more metallic and rusty and I will try to change the texture of the vents. As for the metal elements that stop, I'm not sure if you are referring to tubes that stop in the air or something else. If you are referring to the first case, I should have completed all the pipe routes. As for the white squares, I removed them by completing the floor by adding a grid under which there is a section full of pipes that pass underground with the addition of some light to give more atmosphere. As for substance painter, I use the plugin which should automatically do what you said even if it is no longer working since the last substance painter update. I take this opportunity to thank you again for the suggestions and the time you have spent. I hope I can reciprocate.

    Also, I tried adding some local volumetric fog which should give the feel of a sandstorm. To increase the feeling of the wind, in addition to the plants in motion, I also tried to give movement to the pieces of cloth through the cloth simulation present in UE4 that I show you in a short video (let me know if you can open the video).








  • b_beauchamp
    @Donato Your metal grate looks fantastic! The depth beneath it and the glows are a nice touch. I also really like the animations you made. 
    They add a whole new dimension to your scene.
    I'll use my project as an example of what I meant about extending metal elements over the stone. However, this is just a stylistic choice, so don't feel like you have to do this for your environment. 
    My final suggestion would be to add some more lighting to your scene, akin to the pink light shaft in the concept art. I still need to learn a lot about lighting in UE4, so I can't say what the best way to do this would be. Maybe open up a hole in your ceiling and shine a directional light through it? You could also turn your glowing elements into blueprints and stick a point/rectangle light on them to make them pop a little more. But again, there is probably a better way to achieve this. :)


  • dyceus
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    dyceus triangle
    @b_beauchamp those materials are really nice, the detail and grunge are super crisp and readable.  

    @Donato liking that dark grungy atmosphere you've got going on, it contrasts well with the plant assets you have in the scene and makes them pop.

    I've fallen wayyy behind due to personal life issues so I need to spend a few days working on my materials and things, but I started with sculpting the large relief in the center of the background.  I sculpted the figures out of a plane in ZBrush and then did the lettering in Photoshop.  I brought the heightmap from the zbrush sculpt and the lettering into substance designer to assemble into the final heightmap.  I then added some texture and noise and created all of my output maps for diffuse, metallic, roughness, etc.  The outputs aren't final, I'm planning on adjusting the diffuse once I've done my trims and tiling textures for the rest of the scene to match.  I rendered out the material using designers new PBR Render node (which is incredible convenient).  I couldn't find direct reference for the relief @b_beauchamp, so I just cropped in the reference art, used it as a rough guide, and then extrapolated the rest of the detail based on reference I could find of similar Byzantine reliefs and took some creative liberties.

       




  • jpeele
    I wanted to try the China environment. But really struggling with unreal materials.

    Couple of annoying problems, hopefully someone could help with:
    The tree isn't picking up shadows. It came in really small from zbrush, could this be why?
    Is there a way to force materials to user higher resolution mips? The textures on the back wall are blurry fro m a distance, but fine closer.

    I still have a long way to go. But I've been learning a lot. Next steps are more prop modeling and adding decals. What is a good tutorial on adjusting the level atmosphere?
  • dyceus
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    dyceus triangle
    @jpeele if you open up the texture itself (not the material) in unreal there is a mipmap filtering section under the level of detail section where you can change the blur amount, sharpness, or just turn mipmaps off.  You'll have to do this for every texture.  Turning them off can cause the textures to sort of flicker at distance though.  For the tree, what blend mode is it's material set to?

  • GUYPHILL
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    GUYPHILL polycounter lvl 6

    Armenian District


     
  • Donato
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    Donato polygon
    @b_beauchamp Thanks again for the tips. As for the tubes I will add more in the scene and try to follow your example. As for the lights, I have added several species in the underground part. Unfortunately I am forced to limit the number of my lights because I can only use dynamic lights because in the final phase I would like to activate raytracing which does not support static lights (from what I know). Also, I tried to get the godrays in the central area through the ExponentialHeightFog but they are only visible if I get close to the light source so for now I don't know how. Also I kept adding other small props as you suggested in a previous post. I will add a couple more but I hope what I got for now is decent.

    @dyceus Thanks for the compliment. Your work is excellent. I look forward to seeing him inside the scene.

    @Łukasz Your animation is spectacular. I love the atmosphere and the effect of the rain falling from the roof (how did you do that?)







  • b_beauchamp
    @dyceus The relief sculpt you made is incredible. I look forward to seeing it in your scene! It seems like original artist (Max Bedulenko) mixed actual ancient art with some pieces he created himself. The strangest one for me is the lion relief on the top right. The closest real-world example I could find is the "Lion of St. Mark", but this symbol seems to have never been rendered in the style found in Bedulenko's piece. 

    @jpeele I would make sure you are using UE4 packed presets on your texture exports, and set the AO-Roughness-Metalic map compression settings to "Masks (no sRGB)". UE4 won't read your textures correctly if you don't use these settings. As for the tree, how are your UV/lightmaps? 

    @Donato I look forward to seeing how ray tracing turns out! (I haven't tried it yet myself.) I'm currently learning about how to make god-rays with this UE4 tutorial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Akb4P71KL0s  . I haven't finished it yet but hopefully it's useful. 

    I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel for my project. I think everything is coming together really well. :) Thanks again to everyone for the helpful feedback and kind words. I'm currently working on fixing the lighting which is a mess right now. My next step after that will be to add the final debris and details. 

  • Donato
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    Donato polygon
    @b_beauchamp
    The work looks excellent. I look forward to seeing more images of the scene. As for godrays using the same method as the video you linked, I achieved this (maybe too strongs):

    The downside of this method is that if I look towards the light source it becomes a mess so I would have to adjust the options based on the angle and position of the camera. Maybe I did something wrong. I look forward to what you get and hope you don't get this problem:



    Also post the settings I used in case you were interested. I tried to decrease some settings like bloom scale or max Brightness but doing so solved the problem of the second image but I couldn't get the first one. Hope you or someone else have some suggestions or solutions.
  • PatSaenzG
    It has been quite a while since I last posted about my potion bottle but in the time since I've finalized the model and have moved on to texturing. I'm using substance painter for this and I feel like the snakes are done (unless there are any comments/criticisms about them) but when I went to texture the bottle I got an unsual look when I added opacity to it. I'll keep working on the problem but any help from here would be appreciated. 



    Any help and comments are welcome.

    As for all the other projects they are coming along great in my opinion but with that said I don't have much professional experience. The only thing I would say is maybe consider adding some elements in the backgrounds of the armenian distric enviroments so that there isn't just a void though the archways.
  • b_beauchamp
    @Donato I had the same problem you did with the volumetric fog and bloom. The light shafts weren't visible enough for me, and turning up the settings only washed out the color and light. Right now I am working with fog/light sheets mixed with a slight amount of volumetric fog to get a more controllable effect. This Polygon Academy tutorial gives a lot of useful tips on UE4 lighting and using fog/light sheets: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jsN0LBgrj14  . The fog and light sheets are available for free from the "Blueprints" project in the UE4 "Learn" tab in the Epic Launcher. (Don't search in the Marketplace). You may have to scroll down a bit to find it.
    You can see how the fog and light sheets are working out so far in my project below. 

    Quick update: Since I went for an open air marketplace in my design, I'm struggling with how to get the lighting to match the reference art, or at least look realistic. Any advice is appreciated! 

  • Łukasz
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    Łukasz greentooth
    Donato said:

    @Łukasz Your animation is spectacular. I love the atmosphere and the effect of the rain falling from the roof (how did you do that?)

    Thanks :)  For the rain I was more or less following this video https://youtu.be/sXyMfUjZKQU and the dripping water is slightly modified version of this particle system, just reduced spread and initial velocity

    @[email protected]_beauchamp
    I think the pink lights look overly strong. In the daytime glow from bulbs lights would be probably hardly noticeble outdoors unless they're super strong.

  • GUYPHILL
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    GUYPHILL polycounter lvl 6

    Armenian District

    _ made a door 
    _ 2nd pass on the lighting

    Next, I will work on more assets. then I will refine the materials and break the repetition.




  • Donato
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    Donato polygon
    This post compared to my previous one will not add new images but it serves to say that my project of this challenge ends here. I want to thank everyone who helped me and gave me suggestions (especially @b_beauchamp with whom I had the most dialogue). I published the project on artstation inserting, in addition to the normal screenshots, also a small animation and 360 degrees screenshots.
    This is the link (if you are interested) and screenshot of the final work:

    I hope that a wonderful and stimulating concept like this will be proposed in the next challenge ;)
  • ickhugo
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    ickhugo polycounter lvl 6


    So here is my submission. Like the last time I contributed to one of these challenges 2 years ago I tried to create a retro feeling scene. All the textures are low-resolution on purpose except for the normal maps.

    I used Blender for the first time. UV’ing was very difficult in the beginning, but eventually I got used to it

    I had difficulties making sure that the pixel density was consistent over all the models. The way I went about it was that I made one huge object that basically was the entire scene. Then after that I UV’d the whole scene and separated the huge model into separate parts.

    Next challenge I’m going to use the pixel density tool that comes with TexTools

    I’m feeling a light to decent 6/10 on my submission, but I think armed with the knowledge I learned from this project the next one will turn out better.


  • Pinkfox
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    Pinkfox polycounter lvl 3
    @Lairelosse Solid how far you've gotten! Hope you'll keep pushing to finish since you're the only one doing that concept for this challenge. No real critique in this, just excited to see where it ends up!
  • alytlebird
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    alytlebird greentooth
    The voting thread for Challenge #68 is up! Check it out here, and post some concepts you'd like to make! https://polycount.com/discussion/222131/the-bi-monthly-environment-art-challenge-concept-thread-september-october-68
  • PatSaenzG
    Alright, here's the final render of the potion bottle I've made for the challenge. It was done using Iray in Substance Painter.
    Looking forward to the next challenge.

    Artstation Post: https://www.artstation.com/artwork/5XeDQE

    Final Render:
  • Pinkfox
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    Pinkfox polycounter lvl 3
    @PatSaenzG Nice work, looks really well done! My only critique of it would be that it doesn't appear you set it to soft edges so the polygons are pretty obvious on places like the bottle itself. Hard to say if it's happening on the snakes as well since the scales makes it difficult to tell.
  • PatSaenzG
    @Pinkfox Thanks! And yeah, I noticed it while I was rendering it. I tried to fix it but was having some issues and since that one was basically done I decided to just let it be and make sure to remember for the next one. 
  • Lairelosse
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    Lairelosse triangle
    @Pinkfox Thank!

    Here is the latest progress for my scene. I've gotten the roof and the door built, as well as general placement of a bunch of small props.


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