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[WIP] Abandoned Hotel Bar - UE4 Modular Environment

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ClaraTan triangle

WIP#1 - Research, reference and blockout

Hello everyone! Thanks for checking my post, I am currently attending CGMA's UE4 Modular Environment course taught by Clinton Crumpler and I decide to write a series of blog of my weekly update for this project.

It's a 10 week course and it is mainly focused on developing a game environment by using modular parts in Maya and UE4, and I decided to choose an abandoned bar environment to work on. Our first week of the course is mostly about gathering and analysing references, scheduling and planning the project, and creating blockout with an industry standard modular workflow.


I don't have a particular concept to follow, it's mostly a collage of different reference images. 


To start with, I quickly blockout the wall in Maya, without making it modular first, just to plan my interior space. Then I built very simple blockout of my main furniture modular pieces and throw them in it to adjust the space. Then in photoshop I did a quick sketch on it to divide my modular pieces. The goal is to use as few modular pieces as possible to build your space.

After I finalise the size of all my modular piece, I moved to Maya and start building my modular meshes with more details. It's still ok to amend the shapes at this stage if you found some errors when building them.

This is what I have in Maya at the time, the silhouette of your modular should be as close as your final pieces as possible. They should have a good pivot point on the grid, and every modular should nicely snapped to each other when you assemble them.

What's next?

For week02 of our course, the assignment will be properly setting up and assembling our modular piece in Unreal in an efficient manner. And I will start detail planning the texture I will be using for both tileable and unique ones, and same time keep developing my mesh.

Thanks for checking out my work and feel free to let me know your opinions about it so I can improve them in the future! 

Or check out more detailed post on my ArtStation blog: https://www.artstation.com/hsclaratan/blog

See you next week!


  • teodar23
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    teodar23 polycounter
    Really nice stuff!
    What tool are you using to organise all of this?
  • ClaraTan
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    ClaraTan triangle
    teodar23 said:
    Really nice stuff!
    What tool are you using to organise all of this?
    Hi,  I use notion  for all my notes and lists, Trello is also quite popular too :)
  • ElyesBens
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    ElyesBens polycounter lvl 3
    I'm really in love with the workflow and organization on the whole project - and that trim sheet is so satisfiying to look at haha - Good job , looking forward to see the results !
  • Ashervisalis
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    Ashervisalis veteran polycounter
    This is looking great, keep it up!
  • KrashDer
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    KrashDer polycounter lvl 2
    Very nice work ! love the Trim 
  • ClaraTan
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    ClaraTan triangle

    WIP#4 - Abandoned Hotel Bar - Set up Master Materials

    Hi there, just a quick update of my progress this week. It's been a super fun week, learned so much about master materials, never realised they can be so powerful! 

    My progress so far:

    Things I've changed since last update:
    - Finished off the trim  for the rest bar counter modulars, and moved on to the shelving area at the back using the same texture, still need to improve the geo and uv arrangement. 
    - Texture the ceiling above the bar area, need to add decor trim to give it more varieties.
    - change those mosaic glass trim around the door to a more matt material, cause I've got the comment that it didn't go with the rest.
    - give it more thickness to my lampshades so they don't look thin
    - Textured my sofa props, still work in progress and I don't want them look too repetitive. 
    - Did a small vertex paint test on my wall, but I want to have a more grungy look, like peeling plaster effect so I need to figure out how to achieve that.

    Some previews in marmoset:
    Think I need some feedback on my sofa asset, I want to make it look better than just a ' plain fabric material '. 

    Master Materials:

    - Master material for tile-able assets, like my walls, floors, ceilings. With feature to control tiling amount, bump offset, vertex blend, and directional dust.

    -Dust function:

    I set up a material function to have a noise map overlay on my basic texture, using a component mask with only blue channel turned on, so the noise will only appear on top of the surface. I learned this technique from this article  https://80.lv/articles/creating-an-abandoned-home-interior-in-ue4/

    - Glass Master Materials:

     For this particular project, I don't mind compromise a little bit performance to achieve a good visual result, so I choose to make a real glass shade with proper transparency and that. With controllable features like roughness variation, dust, and blurred effect for frosted glass.

    An example of how those features can give the bottle assets more texture variations.

    I'll keep working on the rest of the unique props, same time improve my shaders cause I'm thinking to add a dirt mask feature, and maybe using a second uv workflow.

    Thanks for checking my updates! Feedback is always welcomed!
  • ClaraTan
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    ClaraTan triangle

    WIP#5 - Abandoned Hotel Bar - lighting

    Hello! Some update for last week. Due to the schedule of the course, we were working on lighting set up last week, so this was my first light pass, all lightings are static except the light shaft, and they are baked in preview quality.

    My lamps had overlapped uv on lightmaps that's why the inside looks really dark, I'll need to re-create the lightmap uv and try bake again.
    Also the metal part looks dark on some area, I think I need to add more reflection capture near them.

    I also improved my vertex paint setting a bit, by adding some shadow effect on the edge of the mask, so It would have some depth on it.

    This was without the edge shadow.

    The edge information works better if the mesh has more subdivision, like below test mesh, where the shadow was distributed more evenly, but it would be too heavy for the engine since I have many modular pieces, so instead I used a  noise map to add to my height lerp.

    Besides that, I still need to work on my assets since the course is ending soon. My lighting is also just wip and still need lots of tweaking.
  • ClaraTan
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    ClaraTan triangle

    WIP#5 - Abandoned Hotel Bar - Story Props

    Hi! Haven't post here in a while, been working on some story prop for my environment. I wanted to create some props that are good enough to showcase in my portfolio like the gramophone so I spent more time making it.

    Here's my latest render previews in marmoset:

    The final model has 4.6k tris 

    Same high to low poly workflow using Maya and ZBrush, maps baked with marmoset:

    Textured in Substance Painter:

    Stickers and vinyl texture all made with Photoshop:

    My initial reference:

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