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Building an environment - Evil Genius hidden forest base

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  • Skillmister
    Ahh that looks so awesome. I wish the the forest area in my level looked even a fraction as good!

    As for the camera, i think it looks great with the jerky movement, but prophecies suggestion is great.
  • bbob
    One more camera crit: I think that what it lacks is anticipation, like it should go in the opposite direction for a few frames, like a subtle strechting of an elastic band before it shoots off, and then settles on the new target,.

    Perhaps this erratic movement would be further highlighted by making the animation longer. Give it more targets, some higher, some lower, to add to the confused, crack-cocaine thing it already has going.

    Hope this was somewhat helpful.

    Oh and I have to agree with hawken on the DOF thing, it really ruins it that the edges are sharp. If the alternative is no focal blur, I think that would be favourable.
  • adam
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    adam polycounter lvl 15
    Yeah I'm going to tackle this z-buffer malarkey some folks have suggested. And I'll definitely work on the camera movements some more.
  • Will Faucher
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    Will Faucher polycounter lvl 10
    Hmmm I definitely agree on the anticipation part, it would add that subtle realistic movement to it.
  • Skillmister
    I just read back about when your lighting was baking oddly and you fixed it by altering the lightmap resolution. Should this be the same fix in UE3, i'm getting no shadows at all on my terrain?
  • marlfox8
  • sleepingpenguin
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    sleepingpenguin polycounter lvl 10
    this is really cool!! love it! :)
    how did u go about doing the barb wire fence??
  • MaD
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    MaD polycounter lvl 7
    Makes me want to make a nature environment. Anyway i know it's all wip, but it would make more sense when the top part of the camera is fixed, now everything is rotating. You could also add some electric wires.
  • Progg
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    Progg polycounter lvl 10
    I was curious when you were laying out the UV's for the birch and conifer trees in your evil genius base, how did you go about stacking the UV's for the branches and the tree trunk to avoid seams since is a tileable texture. I'm relatively new to using tiling textures and I'm trying to figure out how I should layout tree UV's for the best tiling result.

    Do you happen to have a UV shot of one of the trees?
  • Justin Meisse
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    Justin Meisse polycounter lvl 15
    Progg wrote: »
    I was curious when you were laying out the UV's for the birch and conifer trees in your evil genius base, how did you go about stacking the UV's for the branches and the tree trunk to avoid seams since is a tileable texture. I'm relatively new to using tiling textures and I'm trying to figure out how I should layout tree UV's for the best tiling result.

    Do you happen to have a UV shot of one of the trees?

    usually tree bark is noisy enough to not really notice seems, and most of the time people don't really pay super close attention to trees. If you look closely, there are textures seems between the branches and the trunk.
  • Progg
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    Progg polycounter lvl 10
    So it would be generally accepted in the industry to stack UV shells for something that is tileable and not have to lay them out in a non-overlapping manner as you would for a unique texture.
  • vcortis
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    vcortis polycounter lvl 9
    Progg wrote: »
    So it would be generally accepted in the industry to stack UV shells for something that is tileable and not have to lay them out in a non-overlapping manner as you would for a unique texture.

    You can overlay/stack UVs as much as you want. Just make sure that when you have them in a game engine that you make a separate UV set for the lightmap and that is setup correctly. Otherwise your lightmap bakes will obviously have shadow bleeding all over them.

    At least that is what I do on semi-unique textures. I just cut the UVs where I need it to tile and drag it over. I do that a lot on props.

    The other option for tiling is obviously to just make a seamless tileable texture and apply it to the whole model. Then just plug in how many times you want the image to repeat. There is less control with that though, and I only do that on large repeating structures like ground, walls, etc. Then if I need to add in any "uniequeness" I do some vertex painting with another material or add some decals.

    Hope that makes sense, if not I can whip up a few images and UV layouts for you.

    EDIT: With trees sepcifically I would make one texture for it. Half of the UV space would go towards the trunk/base of the tree and be unique. The other half would be a tileable texture. To hide the seams you just have to fool around with dragging the UV's and stacking them in a way that it is least noticeable in the "tiled area". Then cover up any remaining obvious seams with alpha planed branches or leaves.
  • Fieldscarecrow
    Just watched the videos, tasty stuff! :D

    The environment is rich in character, fencing is really cool!

    Nice one on giving the camera personality
  • paulsvoboda
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    paulsvoboda polycounter lvl 8
    Adam - Thank you for doing this thread - It's incredible how much helpful information is shared over the pages and it's really great seeing how you have gone about building this.

    And as of the last video - all I can say is - wow, the environment looks amazing and you've done an exceptional job.

    I may have a question or two for you but I'm betting if I go back a few pages I'll probably find it.

    Edit: Aaaaand there it is...thanks
  • EMC3D
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    EMC3D polycounter lvl 7
    Really liking this Adam.

    I've noticed you and a few other guys have started doing widescreen renders (like on your website) i was wondering what your workflow is for rendering from the Engine, whether it's a straight up print-screen, or a tiledshot at a certain resolution to get that widescreen look on your WIP renders on the site.

    Thanks alot and keep on with those passes!
  • tmim6
    This looks very interesting! Looking forward to whats coming up.
  • adam
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    adam polycounter lvl 15
    Heya,

    So! Long time no update! The reason is I have something big cooking up that'll be another 'mega post' from me regarding something I never talked about in this scene but is SUPER important to any environment:
    • ERA
    • TIME OF DAY
    • COLOUR PALETTE
    Having started on these things on my end, I didn't want to post again until I had new content to see so I will keep this short. (Part of nailing the era meant changing my camera's design entirely). So once I have these things finalized I'll do a mega-post.

    In the mean time, I'm investigating full-screen effects over in Technical Talk.
  • Tom Ellis
    Just checked out the latest video, mind blowing stuff! Everything about the environment works so well together.

    I think when every last element is considered ( and I mean things like colour, composition, effects, as well as models/textures etc ) as deeply as this, it really shows and adds a whole new level of awesome.

    Just two quick questions, firstly what terrain size/res did you use?

    And secondly, if you get a chance could we get a shot of the terrain zoomed out without the fog? Basically from the same angle as in your video but without the fog!
  • mkandersson
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    mkandersson polycounter lvl 7
    Looking forward to your post Adam!
  • ZacD
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    ZacD polycounter
    I really like the redesign, makes me curious what style the rest of the evil masterminds base will be.
  • adam
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    adam polycounter lvl 15
    I am a ninja with links, it's true.

    Thanks Zac :D
  • duxun
    im very impressed by your work.. going into my inspiration folder!!!
  • adam
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    adam polycounter lvl 15
    One of the things I never really touched on (or established in my concepts/thumbnails) was the theme or era of the piece. In my head it always happened in or around the early 70's so I've been focusing on that inbetween Red Dead playing and Polycount.com launching.

    Here's a little teaser update to whet some appetites.

    forestbase_theme_01a.jpg
  • achmedthesnake
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    achmedthesnake polycounter lvl 11
    theme...suuuurrreeeee
  • Tom Ellis
    I'm gonna be controversial here...

    I LOVE the lens effect, I think if you are going for the 70s science era vibe then you've got it nailed. However, something doesn't seem right with the lighting.

    I want to say it's just too orange, but I can't work out if that effect is being made more apparent by the stark contrast with the blue of the sky. That contrast looks like it could work well, but to me it's pulling the hue/tint variation out of the orange and making it look a little flat.

    The cliffs on the left also look like they've suffered a bit too and look like they're lacking any normal and specular detail.
  • vahl
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    vahl polycounter lvl 14
    good start, but you went too far for the color grading, 70's decaying photos have reds wider but other colors are still present and strong, here it just looks like you added an orange overlay on top of everything :) blues and greens still have to be present :)

    it's more like shadows are becoming more red, so maybe play more with the ambient first instead of using color grading

    70-photography-2.jpg

    1970s-post-card.jpg

    see how the dark areas are reddish but how the rest of the photo still has color ? also note the sliiiiiiight desaturation (I wouldn't even add it, too many desaturated games these days)

    keep that sky blue, that sun yellow and that grass green :) just add a bit of red in them but focus on adding it in the shaded areas :)

    make her happy !
    1970s-color-photo.jpg
  • SHEPEIRO
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    SHEPEIRO polycounter lvl 13
    i agree vahl- but you can do that as part of a post process keeping the pipeline nice and non-destructive ( ie light it like a realworld object then use the postfx as lens/film effects) this will allow you to chop and change the effects without needing to re-light...

    i would add a colour correction using tyhe illumination buffer as a mask, pushing those areas to orange and yellow...

    cant tell if the vignetting in that image is light/atmosphere or a postfx, but it would be good to add, you can use the vingette mask for several postprocesses slight desat etc that would really help sell the effect
  • Jeremy Lindstrom
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    Jeremy Lindstrom polycounter lvl 14
    is it really lense treatment? Or lens treatment? ahhh i see your ninja edit.. :D
  • adam
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    adam polycounter lvl 15
    Good call vahl - you weren't around lastnight before I posted this :(

    Jeremy - Lens, shit!
  • PogoP
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    PogoP polycounter lvl 9
    Yeah - Way too much orange! Like the idea though.
  • kite
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    kite polycounter lvl 14
    awesome work Adam, the owl sentry is a great idea and love the look and feel of the scene.
  • sleepingpenguin
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    sleepingpenguin polycounter lvl 10
    dude i love you style and work. i have a Q, for the trees how big(tall) did u make them? and the texture sizes too, or was it done with speed tree in udk?? :D
  • adam
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    adam polycounter lvl 15
    Dropping this in here so I don't forget.
  • Tom Ellis
    Hey Adam,

    If you get a sec, could you please post the diffuse flats for your tree branches/leaves?

    Specifically the conifer and hemlock trees. I'm keen to see how you laid out the leaf textures.

    Lookin awesome man!
  • achillesian
    thought this was funnay, guess i'm weird

    2zyigww.jpg
  • adam
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    adam polycounter lvl 15
    Thought what was funny?
  • PixelMasher
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    PixelMasher high dynamic range
    haha Jeremy is starin at her pooter. haha also hows the post process comin along adam?
  • ZacD
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    ZacD polycounter
    Hows any progress comin along adam? :P
  • adam
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    adam polycounter lvl 15
    Actually, quite well :) I haven't posted much with reason - but rest assured work is being done. I haven't created any new artwork lately as I've focused purely on lighting & atmosphere over this time. Just now am I blocking in a new asset, one of Dr. Q's look-outs. I won't post an entire shot for the WIP, as I'd like to show the lighting in a different post. So for now, here's this slice:
    forestbase_slice_roost01.jpg
  • vahl
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    vahl polycounter lvl 14
    and you had to chose the one made 50% of a giant lensflare :D

    still too much red boyo !
  • adam
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    adam polycounter lvl 15
    Nah, you'll see later its not washed in red as previously shown.

    Lens flare is making a comeback in its cycle of awesomeness!
  • wi_2
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    wi_2 polycounter lvl 10
    Cool stuff.. Feels like I'm gonna get a sunburn..
  • Xoliul
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    Xoliul polycounter lvl 10
    Hey adam, superb stuff. I Just read the entire thread during lunch (should've done that earlier).
    I got a few questions:
    -It's pretty clear how you modeled the cliffs, but what about the boulders ? Did you use the same "model onto texture" approach there? How does that work, since it's obviously no simple planar mapping ?
    -Mind showing your grass texture (not the bush thing, but the one you use on planes)? I find those textures so hard to get right. Also, did you put specific care in making the grass texture colors match with the terrain colors ?
    -I think I read your grass is placed on foliage layers. Does that allow enough placement control (like to hide seams for trees and such). And does it get baked lighting ?
  • Shogun3d
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    Shogun3d polycounter lvl 8
    Personally, I like the colors and values. I think desaturation is overrated at times.
  • adam
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    adam polycounter lvl 15
    Kaburan - vahl's a friend of mien that I share projects with outside of the forums, and he's more aware of what I'm doing here, which is trying to nail a certain era & theme. his comment about being too red is totally valid. It's my fault for being so vague on that aspect. That said, I agree. Desaturated sucks.

    Xoliul - My boulders use the same texture as the cliff face, just wrapped on a boulder mesh. I am thinking about redoing my cliff faces completely, so we'll see if that method holds true to the new ones - if I do them.

    I'll show the grass and tree stuff in a bit.

    Thanks everyone.
  • Electro
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    Electro polycounter lvl 15
    Linda_Hamilton_-_Nuke_Scene.jpg

    ahaha seriously though, looking sweet. Vahl is right though with the colour grading, yeah... dial back the red a bit more and let those torquise bits pop out. Nice work dude.
  • Tom Ellis
    adam wrote: »
    I am thinking about redoing my cliff faces completely

    YES! The shader / texture looks awesome, but I've thought from the start they'd look much nicer with some sculpted detail baked in, at certain angles I think you catch too much of the 'low-poly' look, if you see what I mean.

    I kept my mouth shut up until now though since everyone else was loving them so much.

    *hides*
  • vahl
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    vahl polycounter lvl 14
    kaburan wrote: »
    Personally, I like the colors and values. I think desaturation is overrated at times.

    that has nothing to do with desaturation, it's actually the total opposite since my comment implies his render is too monochromatic on the red side and that the rock faces should be more yellowish, thus adding color and contrast. As Adam said, we're talking a lot outside of the forums and I may have some info you don't, but my comment was targetted to that precise discussion Adam and I had, sorry for the confusion, check my previous post on this very same thread to see some of the potential target results ^^
  • an aggressive napkin
    This is all great work! Keep it up!
  • Shogun3d
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    Shogun3d polycounter lvl 8
    vahl wrote: »
    that has nothing to do with desaturation, it's actually the total opposite since my comment implies his render is too monochromatic on the red side and that the rock faces should be more yellowish, thus adding color and contrast. As Adam said, we're talking a lot outside of the forums and I may have some info you don't, but my comment was targetted to that precise discussion Adam and I had, sorry for the confusion, check my previous post on this very same thread to see some of the potential target results ^^

    Sorry! Comment about desaturated wasn't directed at you nor was an opinion based off of your post about the red, I wasn't trying to throw a back side hand of dickery at your direction, so if any wiff of hostility was detected on the flame radar, I apologize (after all you made it clear your opinion on current trend of desaturation in games these days).

    It's about general desaturation in assets/lighting and giving him some options to think of. To pull closer to that vintage colour grade style film look, would he pull the saturation in the textures and achieve more with lighting? Or would he compliment more stylized colour in textures with lighting, post process, etc?

    I haven't approached anything like this so following this has been a great learning experience, and sure you guys may have been talking a great deal outside, I wouldnt know, but the directon clearly shows! And based off of general feedback over the series of posts, I would hate to see this fall into the Gears treatment.
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