I've been lucky enough to make a trip to Mykonos last summer and it left a strong impression on me. Coincidentally, where i was staying, i saw this beautiful painting by Cerutti Felugo Bruna:
So, naturally, when i got back home i wanted to recreate this piece of Mykonos.
Warning! May contain heavy usage of megascans
A lot of work went into this "quick" scene mostly because i wanted to do things a bit differently.
First, the near-camera scene is one continuous mesh. Reason being: I wanted to have nice soft transitions between the buildings, fences and the floor/ground. The materials had to be blended through vertex colors and i decided to use the Material Layering system instead of functions. This works great but as with anything it can get very complex very soon. In the beginning i was using RTX everything and in combination with the heavy material functions like POM and triplanar (meh, i'm lazy) the performance wasn't the best. After some optimization and light baking i got back a big chunk of sweet performance. During the optimization phase i even took the time to create some nice material functions like mesh edge detection, dirt mask based on angle/position/AO and my own custom triplanar projection (still lazy).
Another thing that i wanted from the beginning was a nice mesh density in order to deform the mesh slightly (give it a hand-made look) and for vertex painting. I ended up using a noise to blend in some variation in the materials since the vertex colors are used to blend the main materials.
Apart from the main scene (buildings, doors, windows, floor, islands, fences, stairs) i also did the big urn on the ground, the ivy and the sky. The rest of the scene is Megascans, including some textures for the walls and floors.
All in all, i wouldn't recommend doing things like this (one continuous mesh for most of the scene) for a full environment. I knew from the start that this was going to be just a render scene with one main camera angle so the decision was easy. Also, current mesh blending options are not very good. If i were to redo things all over i would probably go modular and will definitely stay away from Quadrify mesh in max (don't ask).
I know things look a bit different in real-life Mykonos, but i took the decision to use the painting as a reference and follow it as close as possible.