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Backyard Slice Project

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Hi everyone :)
I'm currently working on a university project and I'm having some trouble with deciding on an appealing composition.
Excuse the rough lighting and lack of textures, I just had to get my scene into Unreal for a deadline, but here is my scene so far


I'm actually pretty happy with the composition and layout of the above view of my focal point, but I'm struggling coming up with interesting elements for the rest of the scene (below).



My project brief limits me to a 6m square limit for the area I can use and I'm also already too near my 10k tri budget (once I ad my remaining foliage, including grape vines to sit atop the metal frame seen in the top left of the piece. Meaning the silhouette and zoom out of the backyard is really plain, boxy and boring :( 

I'm just wondering if anyone had any idea or inspiration for anything I could add or change to help with this! 
I did love the idea of trailing the cobbled patio off the edges as if they're falling/crumbling, however I think this would be too difficult for me and my limited knowledge to use with the tillable texture I have for the patio, as well as being too expensive tri wise.

Any thoughts would be appreciated, as well as critique! :)

Replies

  • SopheeJay
    I started playing around in 3ds Max to see if I could find anything interesting, tried giving the crumbling patio a go as well instead of just writing it off straight away.

    Something like this possibly, with extra plants in the bottom corners too?

    I think the pain issue is the main large wall at the back, as the base shape is literally just a square. Ideally I'd add some kind of sloping roof or tiles, but I don't have enough tri's to spare to do this :(
  • JamesBrisnehan
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    JamesBrisnehan polycounter
    If you need to free up polys for other areas, you could try redesigning some of the props. Like a square table instead of a round one, or square flower pots. You might even be able to remove a few edges here and there from the tree or glassware depending on how close you plan to get to them with the camera.

    You could spice-up the ground and walls with vertex painting and/or decals without adding any geometry. Things like drains, gutters puddles, wall damage, and trim could be added in with some clever use of decals and vertex painting. 

    Also, I don't think the big blocky chunks around the edge of the floor work with the scene. They feel more like something from an ancient crumbling ruins. Maybe I just don't fully understand what you are going for with "trailing the cobbled patio off the edges as if they're falling/crumbling".
  • SopheeJay
    @JamesBrisnehan

    I appreciate the input, thanks!

    I've previously already simplified most of the props geometry, mainly to make sure I had enough tris left for the foliage, but I might have to go in and do this again like you've said, yeah.

    Hadn't actually thought too much into decals and such I'll be honest so that's a good point! We're only just now being taught them so I'm not too confident with implementing them but I'll give it a go, I think that'll definitely help with the main wall.

    I do agree with you on that, it's just the only idea I have so far so I thought I'd just give it a try. But that's my bad that I haven't explained the scene too well, sorry! I'm going for a small, quant backyard of a cobbled French village, sort of a mini vineyard where a retired couple to enjoy their own wine! I'm using the below images as my main inspiration:

  • JamesBrisnehan
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    JamesBrisnehan polycounter
    I understood that you were going for European alley/patio type thing for the diorama. I was just wasn't sure what you meant by this part:

    SopheeJay said:
    I did love the idea of trailing the cobbled patio off the edges as if they're falling/crumbling, however I think this would be too difficult for me and my limited knowledge to use with the tillable texture I have for the patio, as well as being too expensive tri wise.

    Were you thinking of something like this? (see below:) They are cool, but yah they would eat up polys. And also I think that falling/crumbling look to the edge of a diorama ads a surreal or supernatural vibe to the scene, which works for these, but might be at odds with the mood of diorama you're making.


    I personally think an easier and more fitting way to transition between your ground/walls and the empty void would be with a simple base, or an alpha mask fade like one of these (See below:) The alpha mask fade can also be done with vertex colors by the way.
    It's a matter of taste though, so it's up to you. If it helps you can keyword search "Diorama" on Artstation and see if anything inspires you. 


  • teodar23
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    teodar23 interpolator
    Ok so 2 things stand out to me:
    1. You need to post a wireframe in order to discuss what else can be reduced polycount wise (its called visible edges or something in max). I suspect there's still room for improvement.
    2. Are you trying to do the broken edges like James mentioned or are you referring to the edges of your models that should have a nice transition and natural wear?

    If it was me, i would go with the camera position in the first screenshot and just add some cubes in the back of the camera so that light gets blocked and creates the illusion of a more complex scene. But that depends on how close you want the assets to be seen.
    I cant suggest vertex painting since that would increase polycount drastically. Instead you can create a non overlapping UW map of your scene (not all assets, just the floor and walls maybe) and render to a texture. Then paint it in photoshop or something and use it as a mask to blend between multiple textures. You can find tutorials on this and how to set up an unreal engine material on yt.
    Good luck!
  • SopheeJay
    @JamesBrisnehan

    My bad! But what you've posted there is exactly what I meant, though as you mentioned and as I said before, it definitely doesn't fit in with the style and mood of my scene (the crumbling/falling edge seems more suiting for temple ruins!)

    That piece you've shared with the alpha mask fade is actually really interesting, I hadn't thought about that, might try it and see how it looks! 

    Thanks again for the input James, it's greatly appreciated! :)
  • SopheeJay
    @teodar23

    1. Here's my current low poly wireframe, excuse the slightly messy geometry (especially on the stone wall, that's me rushing to reduce its tri count :# ) as it here it's currently 8787 tris. 
    I admit that my foliage could be simplified, but as I'm aiming to focus this project on foliage creation techniques (as well as PBR materials as required in the brief) I'm happy with these using more of the tri limit to get the best result, unless this is unnecessary and I'm giving far too many tris to foliage?



    2. What I meant was like the first two images James shared (I should shared a similar image to begin with, apologies!) but again, I don't think this would suit the scene too well and would definitely use too many tris.

    Thank you for the input by the way! :)
  • teodar23
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    teodar23 interpolator
    Polycount doesnt look bad but if you must keep under that limit there are some models that can be further optimised. The foliage is the first place to do that, then the stairs, doors and the table cloth. The cloth can be subdivided one level to make a high poly then optimise it a lot to get a low poly and bake out a normalmap. Or maybe you can lock the normals before decimating it and get a nice model without baking.
  • SopheeJay
    @teodar23
    I'm probably best to sort out my geometry first then, I'll get on it :)
    Thanks again for the feedback!
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