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Building an environment - Evil Genius hidden forest base

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  • Justin Meisse
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    Justin Meisse polycounter lvl 15
    sweet, I'm planning on a doing a forest environment thread soon because I suck at trees and plants. Hopefully I can learn a thing or two from this.
  • doeseph
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    doeseph polycounter lvl 7
    I have a question going back to your foliage, specifically the texturing of it. Why don't the solid colors behind the leaf texture show up on the in-game model? How does that work with alpha needing to be present to have nothing else show on the plane except the leaf texture? Is the solid somehow above the texture/not effected by the alpha?

    I'm confused.
  • adam
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    adam polycounter lvl 15
    The solid colours are in the background layer and not the same layer as my foliage. So I just ctrl-click the foliage layer to get the marquee selection of my leaves and past that in the alpha channel. The solid colours are just there so that if & when its LOD's there's no bleeding of black or white pixels.
  • doeseph
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    doeseph polycounter lvl 7
    Ah, I understand now. Thank you!
  • doeseph
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    doeseph polycounter lvl 7
    I was messing around with your texturing method today and ran into an obstacle I can't seem to get over. I've duplicated my original image and applied the despeckle/dry brush filter to it and then created a new layer for the black and white clouds filter, but I'm confused by your instructions after that.

    How are you singling out the black in the clouds layer to apply it as a mask to the duplicate?

    edit: Nevermind I think I've figured it out. I used threshold and inverted my mask on the duplicate layer. Here is the result

    genericwood.th.jpg
  • adam
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    adam polycounter lvl 15
    Yes.

    And its Drybrush - Reduce Noise.
  • Grimm_Wrecking
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    Grimm_Wrecking polycounter lvl 8
    @adam:
    I've read through this entire thread a couple times to make sure you hadn't mentioned it before, and maybe I'm just a n00b, but are you doing the (finalized) terrain all in UDK via the terrain gen/mapper or in Max, importing the mesh, then doing all the foliage brushes/blending/etc on that?
  • ae.
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    ae. polycounter lvl 9
    I just wanted to pop in say your doing a great job with this thread, But most importantly it looks like your having a lot of fun which is the most important part!
  • Josh_Singh
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    Josh_Singh polycounter lvl 13
    Doing a little Collab Action with Adam. So here are some early concepts For a Henchman and The Evil Genius of Compound. Dr. Q!
    josh_drq_01.jpg

    A few notes on some design choices.
    I thought the base henchman should be a blank Soldier. In a generic Soldier/Drone Design you always want to hide the eyes and to anything you can to make them feel unified and as non-individual as possible. He hase a DEATH-O-MATIC laser pack and rifle, Standard issue.

    Design Thoughts on Dr.Q:
    I wanted a Dr. Evil Type vibe. Every Evil Genuis has a pet to stroke while they ponder their plans for world domination. In this case a mutated Cockroach, because Cockroaches are survivors, and Dr.Q admires that.
    He wears an air filtration system because he is allergic to everything.

    This will probably go through another iteration, but this is where I am currently at.
  • Mark Dygert
  • Lee3dee
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    Lee3dee polycounter lvl 12
    sweet concept Josh
  • Tom Ellis
    Erm, so now we know what's causing the problems with Polycount lately... there is too much awesomeness in this thread.

    I was already loving the progress on this piece, and it just got even better now we're getting some Josh Singh action too.

    Concepts look cool, love the note about the allergy thing being the reason for the filtration system on the evil genius!
  • Tumerboy
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    Tumerboy polycounter lvl 12
  • Will Faucher
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    Will Faucher polycounter lvl 10
    I have a question for you, Adam. For your environment, are you going to model the actual environment first? (Rocks, cliffs, bushes, grass, trees, etc) , move on to texturing all those, and then proceed to modelling the props? Or is there no particular order to follow?
  • adam
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    adam polycounter lvl 15
    Glad you guys are digging Dr. Q and his pet roach! Can't wait to see the next iterations, Josh.

    As for me, I've a small update from today to post before I move on to some Hemlocks for this scene.

    The birch tree is nearly done - finished enough for me to move on to the next tree. Once all 3 tree's are completed and placed around a bit I'll do their final passes to make sure their leaf colours and patterns are meshing well together.

    For this tree I'll do a quick rundown of the Birch tree bark. For the Hemlock I'll break down how I went about making it (no Speedtree!).

    forestbase_styletests_textures_birch01b.jpg
  • Joshua Stubbles
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    Joshua Stubbles polycounter lvl 15
    Handpainted birch! :) End result on that is really great. Highlights on the notches look a liiiiitle strange to me in the scene there, unless that over-accented look is what you're after. Nice work either way though - love to see the rest of the scene flushed out.
  • osman
    Haha this already looks like a kickass finished piece, so can't wait to see more!
  • ZacD
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    ZacD interpolator
    Check out that birch, I wanna scratch my back on those trees.
  • Sebeuroc
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    Sebeuroc polycounter lvl 9
    This is a really sweet looking project. Thanks for posting the birch tree textures, it's helpful to see how others handle textures. Awesome job overall! I can't wait to see the finished product.
  • System
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    System admin
    Hey Adam, looking nice so far :)
    One crit on the birch trees, something looked wrong so I looked up some reference to check: Those black recessed areas on the trunks have protruding upper and lower lips and the general trunk surface is pretty rough. It's not really a biggie but might add a bit more realism if your going to get in close.
  • adam
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    adam polycounter lvl 15
    GCMP - If I have time for little stuff like that I'll definitely come back to your suggestion. As for the surface of the tree, I couldn't go too noisy with my normal map if I wanted to maintain the softness of the lighting hitting it. So what I did was only bump the main shapes of a birch tree's patten in the normal map and do the rest in the diffuse.
  • adam
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    adam polycounter lvl 15
    Alright, my terrain is buggered and not baking shadows properly. Check out the images below to see what I mean. All my objects are set to cast shadows. Grr..

    forestbase_help_terrainshadow.jpg

    forestbase_help_terrainshadow2.jpg
  • adam
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    adam polycounter lvl 15
    A, the problem was my lightmap resolution on the terrain. Fixed now!

    For shits & giggles I've also adjust my lighting based on the square I outlined in the image above this post. I like taking little breaks to muck around with an environments lighting.
  • vcortis
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    vcortis polycounter lvl 9
    That's what I was going to suggest. Well at least you figured it out pretty quickly!
  • adam
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    adam polycounter lvl 15
  • Danglebob
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    Danglebob polycounter lvl 12
    im really digging where this is going dude. love your texture work and your cliff models are ace. you can definitely tell youve spent your time. :D
  • Flaringo
  • teaandcigarettes
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    teaandcigarettes polycounter lvl 10
    I've been following this project for a while; though I didn't have the time to comment.

    Sweet texture work Adam, those birches are looking sick. Mood is really nice, but I'm not a fan of that overblown DOF; seems a bit too strong for my taste.
  • adam
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    adam polycounter lvl 15
    Hahah the DOF and Bloom is just me fucking around with options when I'm bored. I'm in the same camp as you, they don't need to be that maxed out. Generally, when they are, the picture can scream out 'I WAS MADE IN UNREAL!' which I don't generally like to achieve :D
  • MikeF
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    MikeF polycounter lvl 15
    awesome looking project so far. I really dig the birch tree's the bark is spot on
  • DrunkShaman
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    DrunkShaman polycounter lvl 10
    Awsome work Mr. Adam!! Your project is really starting to make me jealous and study hard >.<
  • Anuxinamoon
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    Anuxinamoon polycounter lvl 11
    oh wow I love how you hand painted that bark =O

    Good to see you got the shadows working ^^ Looks ace!
  • g0th
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    g0th triangle
    Nice going!

    Looking forward to follow this thread.
  • ZacD
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    ZacD interpolator
    It looks soooo nice fixed, I think the trees/rocks almost have to similar of a color. I like the new water
  • duoxan
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    duoxan polycounter lvl 13
    i cannot express how awesome and inspiring this is. thank you so much for sharing this with us dude
  • Rurouni Strife
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    Rurouni Strife polycounter lvl 10
    Eagerly awaiting you're little foliage tutorial once your second set of trees is done! I absolutely love this work of yours.
  • Ben Apuna
    Looking good Adam.

    I like how you showed us that are focusing on the scene as a whole while you work and not getting caught up on the little things. That's a great technique for just getting things done.

    Would you mind showing us how you constructed the branches of those trees? They look pretty full yet not too triangle heavy.
  • MRico
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    MRico polycounter lvl 10
    Damn.

    Beautiful work, Adam!
  • willy-wilson
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    willy-wilson polycounter lvl 8
    those rocks look kinda slimy and wet, maybe a little too much rim lighting imo, if thats what's causing that.
  • SimonT
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    SimonT interpolator
    i really like this scene!
  • teaandcigarettes
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    teaandcigarettes polycounter lvl 10
    adam wrote: »
    Hahah the DOF and Bloom is just me fucking around with options when I'm bored. I'm in the same camp as you, they don't need to be that maxed out. Generally, when they are, the picture can scream out 'I WAS MADE IN UNREAL!' which I don't generally like to achieve :D

    Hehe. Glad to hear that - overblown DOF was the only thing that really bothered me.

    Nevertheless; looking forward to seeing what you will come up with next. I really like that swampy look you have going out there.
  • adam
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    adam polycounter lvl 15
  • Rurouni Strife
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    Rurouni Strife polycounter lvl 10
    Thanks Adam! Definitely going to study this thread more and more from page 1 to the eventual page 22. I'm putting bets on 22 anyway.
  • seforin
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    seforin polycounter lvl 12
    adam you cliffs really could use a blend,

    I suggest adding a lerp with a vector constand in the red and blue channels.

    Keep 2 textures and blend them , have 1 be moss/dirt with a bump offset on it and blend it easier that way.

    Just my 2 cents
  • Vrav
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    Vrav polycounter lvl 11
    I love yau adom. Keep up the good work and do your besht.

    sef, that is confounding advice. But if you mean moss on rocks -> hell yes!
  • adam
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    adam polycounter lvl 15
    Hmm!

    It's been a plan to explore different types of blends but for now while I am moving forward I'll stick with the two blends I'm already using*. I'm not convinced the rocks NEED that sort of texture blend happening on them but if they do, I'll add them in to the material.

    *Part of my goal was to investigate modulated vertex blending on static meshes and, right now, my rocks are doing that. It's subtle but its an easy way for me to remove any patterns seen in the rock from using 1 tiling texture. So, I've achieved that original goal of mine and if I find that they need a third blend, a grass/moss surface will be it.
  • seforin
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    seforin polycounter lvl 12
    vrav: Sorry im talking about unreal shader stuff...if hes doing a real time environment might as well make some interesting shaders that do more blends and crap right?

    its not as complicated as it sounds if adam knows the material nodes. He should know what im talking about (hopefully)


    SHORT ANSWER: Make moss >>to dirt>>to Rock = win
  • DennisGlowacki
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    DennisGlowacki polycounter lvl 7
    Adam! Epic.
    This is my first day here and I have learned so much. Thank you and your walls of text. And everyone who has provided great info on this thread.

    Question: With all the duplicate meshes used, does that automatically count as "instanced geometry" or is there a button/technique that needs to be pressed/used?
  • Emagdnim
    This is great stuff man, this is one of my favorite threads to keep track of. Keep up the good work!
  • adam
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    adam polycounter lvl 15
    Since the blend was setup already I mocked this together quickly. It looks nice! I'll come back to the rock blends on my 2nd pass through.

    forestbase_styletests_rocks04a.jpg
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