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[WIP] Arctic Environment. Need feedback.

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FV_3D polycounter lvl 2

Hi, I'm building a real time environment that will have a weather forecast information. It is a project run from a Real time engine but the environment is all made in UE5. For the test I am creating an Artic setting scene that will have a Northern lights story as a visual experience. I have put together these screenshots and I wonder if you could gave me a feedback. Light, colour, composition. There is a lot of work to do but I very much appreciate any comment on how it is looking so far. This will be display in a space with LED HD screens and it will have an interface with the weather information but the idea is to have the environment on the background with a camera panning slowly showing the space. Any question please shot. Thanks in advance

Thank you!


  • Eric Chadwick

    Looking nice so far.

    What are you using as your primary visual reference? Might help others to see what you're shooting for.

    Also would help to see a mockup of how the end result would look, with overlays etc.

    I'm guessing the character is just there for this thread, to show scale, but won't be in the finished piece? If they're not meant to be a part of the finished work, it might be better to show the character as a flat silhouette instead.

    I think the water-to-snow transition could be better, maybe the snow is darker near the water, an icy edge along the waterline?

    Why do some of the rocks have almost no snow on them?

    The moon's reflection seems too hot and bright.

    Otherwise looking great. Curious to see the northern lights in motion!

  • FV_3D
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    FV_3D polycounter lvl 2

    Hey @Eric Chadwick thank you so much. This is the goal in term of mood and tone, the first image is more for the kind of location I want bring the user, right somewhere in the arctic circle an the other two images is the what I really want to achieve.

    The character is just for human scale, I have in the background a model of a arctic station and currently working on the props that will cast some light as well as some flickering lights, but it will always be in the background, I and I have a polar bear which will be walking on the top of the hills (I have the following path bp but having some technical issues making it work). But so far the big challenge has been the optimisation as this will be running at 50fps in real time.

    But thanks a lot this is very helpful, I will look into the rocks and the snow transition!!

    And just for context this is the way it will be running, I guess my aim is to keep it as simple as possible as the northern lights would be the real show of the experience and in front there is a interface with a weather information with minimal vector/lines style.

    ....And just a quick GIF with the NL, but again it is still in progress.

  • PipFaz

    I think it's looking pretty good so far!

    You maybe need to have a look at the scale of the water ripple effects, it seems like a very large body of water but ripples are almost pond-like. A lot of borealis photographs are very long exposure images, so that will flatten out water in the final image. Your end result however is going to be in motion so the water should be a little more dynamic.

    I think you should also look at making some fog to sit around the far edge of the water to soften the coast line. It should just hover around the waters surface though, like a witches brew! There are a few methods for getting this kind of local fog, I'll send you some links on discord.

    I also think the borealis effect is lighting the environment too much, it should be more of a reflective element rather then a light source.

    Even here with a really bright borealis the green light reaching the surface is very minimal, it is mostly a reflection, and that will actually give a very nice colour contrast. If you can get more blue into the snow areas the green in the sky and reflected on the lake will look really nice against each other.

    In terms of performance, if you are using a lot of Quixel assets to build up the environment, make sure you're using Nanite or they are going to be very expensive to have that many on screen. You could also look at using some 2d cards of large, distant features like mountains.

    It wouldn't be very simple, but it could also be fun to try and use particles to simulate the borealis as well.

    If nothing else, I think it's looking pretty good, but you should look at the colour correction/grading options in your Post Process volume to try and get a more considered colour pallet in the image.

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