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Building an environment - Evil Genius hidden forest base

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adam polycounter lvl 15
I've been dropping these concepts in the WAYWO thread long enough that I might as well get my own thread going.

I've wanted to do something like this for awhile now, but never wanted to pull the trigger on the idea because I didn't want to get myself in to something I'd just stress over at home. Since this is a personal project, the least amount of stress there is the better.

The goal is to end up with a fun environment piece that was planned, discussed and executed on openly from the very beginning. Hopefully by doing this I or others will have learned something along the way.

Let's begin!




An evil genius' hidden forest base

Summary

An evil mastermind's base, hidden deep within a North American forest.
Inspiration, purpose
  • Interest in learning advanced blending methods
  • Create environment as a whole, final result shown in a video.
    • Forced to think of the environment as a whole, rather than a couple choice framed shots
  • UDK
  • Show how a strong atmosphere ties an environment together
  • Fun environment idea
  • Breaking down the planning of the scene, to be posted on Polycount
  • Release UDK + Package files
  • Bram's forest environment LINK
  • James Bond
  • Austin Powers
  • Hank Scorpio
Techniques, Plans, Goals
  • Using UDK
  • Utilize lightmass
  • advance texture blending techniques
Useful links
Assets (2D)


Vegetation
  • Ground textures, horizontal
    • grass
    • rock face
    • dirt
  • Ground textures, vertical
    • grass
    • rock face
    • dirt
  • moved terrain/dirt
  • water

Assets (3D)


Landscape (ref collected)
  • rock set
  • tree set
  • fallen tree set
  • bush
  • grass
  • weeds
  • leaves
  • flowers

Perimeter defence
  • fence set (ref collected)
    • concept
  • cameras (ref collected)
  • hidden turret (disguised owl)
  • warhead
  • warhead silo
  • trip wire
  • wire for electronics
  • wire grounding unit
  • communication box (telephone/walkie-talkie). (ref collected)
    • perhaps view screen/keyboard
  • Signage
    • Warning / caution signs
    • Company signage
  • 'Look-out' nest
  • Speakers (TF2 style)

Base/headquarters
  • entrances
    • vehicle & persons, side-by-side
    • concept
  • Communication arrays
  • Possible power source
    • Waterfall
    • Hidden solar panels
Critters
  • Birds
  • butterflies
  • squirrels?

Background elements
  • Mountains?
  • Thick forest line

========================================================



Important Scenes/Visuals

For the 'beauty' video most (if not all) of these shots will be still shots with not much camera movement. Perhaps some slight panning or rotating, but the point is to show the environment as being a live, without distraction of more organic camera movement.

The 'commentary' video can include more organic camera movement.
  • Landscape shots
    • 3 or 4 "filler" shots of the landscape and environment
      • Leaves blowing/swaying
      • Birds flying
    • Any story aspects (read: security or hidden base) should not be the focus of these shots. It is ok if they are noticeable in the shots.
  • Camera connected to tree, over looking area
    • Possibly a break in the security fence, near a river bed
    • Scene needs significance. Cannot be JUST a camera in a tree.
  • Fence perimeter
    • Running through a group of trees, up a hill
    • Slight curve/bend in the lay of the fence
  • Trip wire along a beaten path
    • If possible, show the wire using strong dof from closest to the screen to furthest
      • Possibly a trap its linked too?
  • Strong tree line, cliff side
    • Birds flying off
  • Riverside
    • Running river water
    • splashes off rocks (small)
    • Floating branch making its way down the river?
  • Fallen tree
    • Crossing a river
    • A camera can be seen overlooking, but is not the focus point.
  • The base of a look-out nest
    • Camouflaged with foliage
    • Signage visible
    • Possibly have the camera rotate upwards to show the top of the nest
  • HQ entrances
    • low shot, showing the vehicle and persons entrance
    • side of a cliff
    • doors visible, not very hidden
    • some signage
  • communications relay/antenna positioning
    • on top of cliff where entrance is
    • perhaps shown via camera panning from the entrance shot to this shot
REFERENCES - ALL THAT I'VE COLLECTED, SO FAR.

http://www.dropbox.com/gallery/17188/1/refs?h=138b19

CONCEPTS

(NOTE: These concepts may or may not drive the final art style of the environment. This will be determined once I start doing tests in side of UDK, and have some fun with rendering techniques.)

forestbase_concept_comps01b.jpg

forestbase_concept_comps01b.png

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