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[UE4] [WIP] Selesnya Guildgate fan art

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Ozz14 polycounter lvl 3
Hey everyone,
After making my last scene from my own imagination, I wanted to tackle a concept and focus on asset generating skills instead of designing a whole world.
For this project I will be tackling trim sheets, which I have not yet implemented into a portfolio piece. The other main skill I want to practice is using Speedtree. I have a thorough grasp on making organic assets from scratch, but that's simply not always feasible, and being proficient in speedtree will add some more tools to the box.

I decided to make use of the treasure trove of amazing environment art that is Magic the Gathering by recreating the guildgate of my favorite guild from the Ravnica world. There is a guild for every combination of the 5 magic colors, Selesnya being green and white. (as a side note, would Ravnica not be an amazing setting for an open world game? Imagine a procedurally generated fantasy city, but the buildings and areas change depending on which combination of the 5 magic colors has control of the area.) I like to jump right into a project and get the ball rolling by just blocking out the proportions with grey scale shapes.



I will make a basic mood board for this project, but since I'm working from a concept, and the subject matter is already very fleshed out, I'm going to thumb through all my old Selesnya cards and see how different artists decided to capture the mood of the green and white guild, and maybe borrow one of those for an alternate lighting setup, probably twilight or night time. I want this scene to be a fairly true to source recreation, but I will use the alternate light setup as a way to practice lighting and bring some originality into the scene.

Timeline - 8 to 10 weeks - because of the holidays and general corona craziness, I'm going to give myself flexibility with the weekly tasks, allowing tasks to bleed over into the following week, with an initial deadline for the last week of January.

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  • Ozz14
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    Ozz14 polycounter lvl 3
    At the tail end of the second week of work and pleased with the progress so far. Using a tree I whipped up in speedtree as a general placeholder, can already tell I'm going to need to make them skinnier and adjust the albedo maps of the leafs to make them more golden. I'm approaching the head sculpt iteratively. Instead of getting lost in the details and staring at it for a whole day, I'm going to keep making passes on it each week. Making a 16:9 image from a scene based on a 375 x 525 playing card illustration is giving my brain some composition pains. The imposing shape of the central gate is getting overshadowed by the widening of the rotunda building on the left. Going to have to adjust the widths to compensate for the new resolution.

  • timeyful
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    timeyful node
    Its looking great so far! Ive recently discovered that blocking out he environment actually helps alot, this is a very good example of that. 
  • Ozz14
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    Ozz14 polycounter lvl 3
    thank you @timeyful much appreciated :)  yep, making a scene based off a concept at a different resolution forces you to answer alot of important questions during the blockout stage, but its important to get it all sorted out before you start making textures.
  • Ozz14
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    Ozz14 polycounter lvl 3
    First of two trim sheets done, got in a matte painted sky off the unreal store, and did another pass on the head. I'm happy with the composition. Now I'm working on making sure the basecolor and roughness of the materials are reading well before I fully UV the assets and start to think about things like vertex painting or decals. I think that I've rushed this phase in the past and focused more on the "cherry on top" stuff instead of making sure my materials are really solid. Next thing to tackle is the gateway mesh.









  • Ozz14
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    Ozz14 polycounter lvl 3

    Progress update-

    A better version of the arch mesh (although it still needs a little more detail, maybe another metal fringe running through it), a first pass on the headdress, and just a little post process tinkering to start getting the thumbnail to look right. I'm excited to begin next week by bringing in vegetation from megascans. Since this project was mainly an excuse to practice trim sheets and speedtree I'm going to use mega scans for the vines, bushes, grass, and other small assets like that. I'll also need to tune up the trees and get some subsurface scattering in them. I'm using a light volumetric fog and the fog sheet blueprint from the particle effects demo to get some depth going. Distance field ambient occlusion and a stationary light are helping get the initial material reads I want to differentiate stone from granite from metal, but I still need to work on the lighting.

    I was preparing myself mentally for the sculpting of the detail on the headdress before I realized I could make the whole thing alot simpler with proper use of an opacity texture. I've only put in the opacity so far, but will probably handle the metal/rough/ao and color maps with a smart material in substance painter.









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