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[WIP] Toy Workshop | UE5 Environment Art Dev Diary

The time has come for a new environment art piece to tackle and I'm super excited to get started on this scene and fully document this process through this blog to keep myself on track and not dawdle in the micro details. This project will also be my first time delving into Unreal Engine 5 which will be very interesting to learn lumen.

Project Aims

With this project my aims are to further develop:

  • Asset workflows; modelling and texturing, as well as focusing on High to low baking with Zbrush which I finally made the switch from the Core version.
  • Material Authoring; focusing on making more realistic materials by keeping to PBR and ensure roughness maps are in better ranges as recommended by Jeremy Estrellado in a portfolio review.
  • Lighting; Its currently my weakest area and whilst I have a basic understanding it's something I want to delve more into, especially colour grading, so diving into this vast topic will be interesting.


I'm mostly going to be following this oil painting by Gerard Jozef Portielje, but instead of boots, the attention will be focused on a small wooden boat. This scene is also quite empty which gives a nice insight into how poor this cobbler is, but I want to fill up the room with loads of props to give even more of a jumbled clutter aesthetic. Additionally, I aim to have a very ambient, north-facing lighting setup for a more relaxed mood with a muted colour palette to enforce this.


I've also spent a bit of time working on the blockout for the scene whilst trying to match my concept image with regard to the room shape. I've then placed a few furniture assets around to start forming the composition for the scene from the camera angle I have and threw on some basic materials to start thinking of where I want my contrasting colours to be. 

All the lighting is using Lumen and mostly uses an Area light to fake the ambient light coming through the window. And then another Area light to mimic the second floor light spilling down the stairs. I may also think about creating a couple of other lighting scenarios like Night and Sunrise but that will come later. 

Starting to think of production, I will probably use tiling textures for the architecture with vertex blending. Hopefully it will look ok as there's no height information available in UE5 of course. I also may use a trim sheet for the furniture and a few unique textures for the focal props.

If you have any feedback about improving the scene in its current form please leave a comment! That also includes any tips/suggestions for texturing this type of scene.

See you in the next post!


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