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[WIP][UE4 Environment] Village in the desert

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Fjordreig triangle
Hello there  =)

Here some boring information:
   My name is Egor Izotenkov and this is my first post here. I started this project some time ago while studying 3D graphics courses in Kyiv. Many thanks to the guys from ArtCraft, I learned a lot of new and interesting things from them. Unfortunately, for some reason, I was not able to finish the project then. And now, almost a year later, I am still slowly working on it and trying to learn as much as I can.

   I like the polycount community, you can always find a lot of great advice here, and I hope that I myself can show something to those who are still studying like me. I've already learned a lot on this project, so if anyone is still thinking, start doing :3  In the community of creators, we are all inspired by each other.

 Well for all this I mostly used such programs as blender (personally like this little dude) for modelling,  ZBrush for sculpting, RizomUV for UV of course, Photoshop, Substance Designer and Painter for texturing part and Unreal Engine I used it to put all together and render. I was also glad to try SpeedTree in vegetation part, cool stuff.

   The theme of the project was chosen at random and it sounds like "Aladdin", so this is a Middle Eastern Arabic theme in which I decided to add a little from fantasy and from the famous cartoon of course.  Further in the topic, I will share with you piece by piece what has already been done, perhaps some plans and certainly various breakdowns. When the project is finished, I think I'll post most of the models and materials for free as a kit. So I hope for some feedback about this or that.

   Let's start with the first blocking I did. Whith this I wanted to represent a small town with a piece of street filled with poor houses on it, a temple and such a local mini-palace but inaccessible inside + natural landscapes around. 
3d model can be rotated here on my Sketchfab


   But it seems to me that this variant lacks interesting areas. So I tried to make a new, simpler, but more lively version. This one is a small village on ancient ruins. Here we have the remnants of past buildings, a drying oasis, different areas of the village: market, stone ledge, well, part of the village falling into an oasis, and farm part.


Some close looks from Unreal 4:

What do you think, which variant is better and why?

Replies

  • simonBreumier
    Hi, nice blockout ! I really like the idea of the hidden buildings under the rocks in the second variant, it creates an iteresting focus point that makes us curious about the village history.
  • JamesBrisnehan
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    JamesBrisnehan polycounter
    I kind of like them both. I like the variety of building designs from the fist one, but I prefer the layout of the second one better. Perhaps they could be combined together in some way? Like adding the archway entrance and the towers to the second version.
  • Fjordreig
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    Fjordreig triangle
    Hi, nice blockout ! I really like the idea of the hidden buildings under the rocks in the second variant, it creates an iteresting focus point that makes us curious about the village history.
    I kind of like them both. I like the variety of building designs from the fist one, but I prefer the layout of the second one better. Perhaps they could be combined together in some way? Like adding the archway entrance and the towers to the second version.
    Thanks for ur opinion guys! I also stick more to the second option. To keep in touch, here's a quick look at some of the props I've already made (some maybe will be fixed). I plan to try different techniques on creating models, many parts will be modular. So later I will show them better, also soon I will make a post on arstation about ready vegetation and post some breakdowns here.  ;)


    By the way, one of the desert house models can be downloaded from my sketchfab page.
  • Fjordreig
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    Fjordreig triangle
       Hey, I want to share with u a breakdown of acacia bark material that I made for this project. In the first part we will make a height, normal, ao maps, and soon in the second part will be creation of color and roughness maps. You can change the nodes for ur needs and get different results. Creating a diverse bark is done on the same principle. Notify me if something is not clear, or if u notice a mistake. I would like to post similar stuff in the future.


    Substance Designer Acacia Bark - Part 1

    Overall graph view





     

     

     

     


       
    P.S. Attached mesh that I made specifically for the normal display of non-square textures in the Substance Designer
  • Mazzletov
    This looks great! I am going to try the bark in SD later on. Could you also advise me on how you made the foliage? Was this done using high poly and SP/SD or what was your workflow? Thanks!
  • Fjordreig
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    Fjordreig triangle
    Mazzletov said:
    This looks great! I am going to try the bark in SD later on. Could you also advise me on how you made the foliage? Was this done using high poly and SP/SD or what was your workflow? Thanks!
       Hey, u can find some of my notes underneath images on artstation. But in general, for acacia branches: sculpting and painting leaves in ZBrush, here you can get the main textures directly from the viewport (although I baked them on the plane in Marmoset, just my habit), then result modified in SDesigner, generated rest of the maps. Branches I modeled in Blender, put my bark material on them (choose modeling software to ur taste) and assembled it together with a low-poly version of leaves (which I cut out from the texture map) and baked it on plane again in Marmoset, then made a translucency map in Photoshop based on the opacity map and masks.
       Senna (bushes with yellow flowers) created in a similar way, but the flowers were modeled in Blender and after painted with rough UV in SPainter. Texture for stems I craeted in SDesigner.
       For the left plant, the texture is made only in SDesigner. The rest is just modeled, put some materials with custome textures on them, baked, finished in Photoshop. Here are some pics of texture parts I used to illustrate some for u.


  • Mazzletov
    So as I can understand correctly. You project the bushes and branches onto a plane? The large branch is actual geometry and the smaller branches/bushes are planes with opacity?
  • Fjordreig
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    Fjordreig triangle
    Mazzletov said:
    So as I can understand correctly. You project the bushes and branches onto a plane? The large branch is actual geometry and the smaller branches/bushes are planes with opacity?
       That's right. And if we're talking about tree, we need to bake our high-poly model of branches with leaves onto a plane. Next, cut out meshes from these textures, which we will later place on tree. Tree itself is actual geometry of trunk and big branches.
       Here nice tutorial from Tim Simpson https://youtu.be/LR7s_pFqVWo
  • Markiian_Mocherad
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    Markiian_Mocherad polycounter lvl 2
    Man this is so cool!
  • Fjordreig
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    Fjordreig triangle
       Hello everyone, this is a continuation of the first part of creating the acacia bark. Here we will add color and roughness to our material. One note, two custom nodes will be used in the color section: Get slope and Height slice, you can download them from the Substance Share website here and here . Also don't forget to experiment with nodes to get ur own interesting results. Be well  :)

    Substance Designer Acacia Bark - Part 2 

     U can pick color directly from the image

     
    Our final overall graph view
  • pixelpatron
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    pixelpatron greentooth
    Great stuff, if you enjoy this type of work, keep going with it. You'll get snatched up quick.
  • Ashervisalis
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    Ashervisalis high dynamic range
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