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[FINISHED] Western Saloon - Red Dead Redemption inspired Environment

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stefanWilliams_C polycounter lvl 4


Over the past 2 months, I've been working on a Red Dead inspired interior saloon environment. Although I've marked this as WIP, this environment is almost finished and I've been polishing it for a while now. Just posted it here to see if I can get any feedback before posting to Artstation!

My references were mainly the game's Smithfield's saloon in Valentine and a few other saloons both in the real world and other environments. I started by getting together some reference images and create a quick greybox in UE4 to get the dimensions correct and set up the modularity. After that I iterated the greybox models to include more detailed geometry according to my references from RDR.

With the materials and textures, I tried to focus entirely on trims and tileable textures for this one as I wanted to keep this environment as optimized as possible. Since most of the saloon is made of wood, all the larger modular pieces use 1 trim sheet. I made a seperate trim for the walls and a wood tileable for some of the rougher objects and edges. Then it was mostly set dressing after that, trying to emphasise a bit of environmental storytelling.

(Above) These were some of the early blockout screens. At this point I wanted to give the player enough space in the center of the space to be able to get around easily. I changed this later as it made the saloon look too empty.

(Above)I then added a tileable plank texture I made in Designer on all the wooden pieces to get a feel for how everything would look with some colour attached.

This is now where I currently am! My main goal with this interior is to make it feel like there has just been a brawl, so everything should look very bruised and beat up. I also wanted to make the scene feel more intimate by adding more tables and moving everything a little closer together whilst giving enough space to move around. I also made some particle systems for dust, the candle flame and candle smoke.

Thanks for reading, feedback is greatly appreciated!


  • KatharinaSuhany
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    KatharinaSuhany polycounter lvl 3

    I realy like the process you made - it looks better with every step!

    Personally I think it would be a good idea to make the light colour a bit warmer to make it feel more realistic.

    Another idea that immediatly came to mind when you mentioned a brawl is that you could also have some toppled over furniture or some othe props lying around the main area.

    Hope that helps!

  • stefanWilliams_C
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    stefanWilliams_C polycounter lvl 4

    Thanks for the feedback! @KatharinaSuhany !

    I've worked a little bit on the lighting and tried to clutter up the space more. Also, my reference in RDR2 has some light atmospheric fog so I tried to replicate that here too!

  • stefanWilliams_C
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    stefanWilliams_C polycounter lvl 4

    After playing around with the lighting, I ended up going back to a more intense lighting setup with harsher contrast since the warm feeling didn't match the brawl mood I wanted to give off. Also removed some wooden planks as it was starting to get too busy.

    Check it out on artstation here: https://www.artstation.com/artwork/qQoGDz

    please feel free to give feedback on this piece since I'm still happy to polish and adjust! Thanks for reading :D

  • Fabi_G
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    Fabi_G polycount lvl 666

    Hi @stefanWilliams_C

    Some points on the scene:

    Room Construction

    The scene still has a lot of large shapes which gives it a blockout vibe. The most glaring case is the underside of the balcony/walkway. Support beams carrying the floor resting on pillars would be a solution here. I'd look up real world references - or in this case how they solved this in RDR2. I think by following "construction rules" you will visually break up large areas by default. It's not about making everything work static wise, but making the construction believable.


    Currently, the individual meshes have a bit of a low poly look. A solution would be to increase detail on trims and fillings, and add more geometry for curved surfaces. I recommend extracting some profiles from the reference scene or from reference pictures.

    I'd also double check the construction of furniture. Often times you will find plates resting on frames and supports for more stability, instead of having them attached directly to the legs.

    With the boards texture, it's hard to read gaps between the boards and it would be nice to see some slight color variance across boards.

    For some trims it would be cool to have a more elaborate, carved ornament style to elevate them from regular treated wood.


    What's your goal with the lighting? Do you want to employ a specific technique? Maybe you can find similar UE4 scene realized with your desired technique and deconstruct it?

    Right now, I think there is some baked shadows blotchiness. You can try adjusting the lightmass settings, improve the Lightmap UVs, or you have to increase the Lightmap resolution.

    Seems to me the reflection on the surfaces is very bright and even, which makes it look a flat.

    Hope it helps, I think it's a cool project! Keep it up 👍️

  • stefanWilliams_C
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    stefanWilliams_C polycounter lvl 4

    Working more on this environment from some of the advice given by @Fabi_G and others. I felt the overall lighting was too soft for the splintered wooden look I'm going for with this piece so I emphasised the directional light and changed a few of the specular values on the wood materials. Think I still want to work on the floodboards as the spacing at the top of the texture currently make the seams quite obvious.

    Thanks for all the feedback so far and thanks for reading! :)

  • Fabi_G
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    Fabi_G polycount lvl 666

    Hey! cool to see your progress 👍️

    Specifically about the light: I'd recommend to create a situation that follows real life rules, can be very simple (outer shell of house blocks light, directional light and skylight, find good lightmass settings). RIght now it seems like some modules don't cast shadows.

    Once you have the base lighting working, you can improve on it using fill lights, detail lights and post-processing.

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