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UDK country village environment

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polycounter lvl 6
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jonas-144 polycounter lvl 6
Hi guys

I deicided to create a spanish/italian inspired environment for udk.
This is what I've got so far.
The woodfence, hills, groundtexture, trees are all placeholder so they need fixing.

Im also thinking of adding a waterstream and a small bridge to make it more interesting.

my next step is adding some more spanishlooking treescountryvillage01.jpg

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  • Envart
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    Envart polycounter lvl 6
    This is looking cool. I like the colours and composition. You've got some pretty dark shadows though on the fence and the house. I can see this beaing very beautiful with a filled in background and mid-ground. +1 for the stream and bridge!
  • choco
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    choco polycounter lvl 10
    Its a good start, Id suggest to lower down the AO power, its too strong right now :)
  • marq4porsche
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    marq4porsche polycounter lvl 9
    This is looking solid, great start here. Your shadows are a bit dark as mentioned before. Maybe the lighting is a bit high because the wall of the house is just pure white right now. I can't wait to see what kinds of trees you add to it, it's going to be a great piece.
  • jonas-144
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    jonas-144 polycounter lvl 6
    Quick update before I start working on the trees.
    I tried adding this fugly bridge to get the feel of how it might look.
    I dont know if i like it yet...
    countryvillage02.jpg
  • marq4porsche
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    marq4porsche polycounter lvl 9
    Nice blockout for the stream it looks better already.
  • jonas-144
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    jonas-144 polycounter lvl 6
    yea I agree with the shadows and the AO, I tend to always over do them haha
    Ill fix it in the next update.
    Thx for the compliments and tips much appreciated!:)
  • chrisradsby
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    chrisradsby polycounter lvl 10
    I approve of this stream *thumbs up* , greener grass around the stream might be nice? Might look a bit odd though ^^
  • jonas-144
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    jonas-144 polycounter lvl 6
    Okay so I tried making some trees
    didn't turn out that great...
    Im having trubble getting them to look the way I want. Well here's a print
    countryvillage03.jpg
  • Darkleopard
    Stream and bridge look nice. I kind of feel that side of the house facing the sun looks a little to bright, what does everyone else think?
  • marq4porsche
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    marq4porsche polycounter lvl 9
    I find that when making trees having a texture that has a lot of negative space is better than having solid pieces with alpha only in the outside of the silhouette. Here's my alpha chanel for most of the trees in my scene. After you have a good texture you can move on to the actual models. I find that creating a canopy works well by creating a group of maybe 5-10 polygons all rotated differently for randomness. Take that group then move and rotate it as you need to until it looks like a tree canopy.meuzx.jpg
    OolO2.jpg
  • dragan01
    yeah I agree with Darkleopard regarding that the front of the house looks just a tad too bright. Also I don't know if it would look a little off, but maybe you could add just a little more life into the grass. It might throw it off though.
  • jonas-144
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    jonas-144 polycounter lvl 6
    Okay first off thx marq4porsche for the foliage tips!

    I was going for a "monterey cypress" look on the trees but Im thinking of switching to leaf instead of conifer because I just couldn't get it to look right

    if anyone has any tips on how to make the trees look more like monterey cypress please tell me.

    Anyway I decided to put the trees aside for the moment and focus on some props.
    here's a quick update with some props.. and a bridge =)

    aaaand the ao and overexposure will be fixed i promise =)

    countryvillage05.jpgcountryvillage06.jpg
  • salacious_Crumb
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    salacious_Crumb polycounter lvl 7
    Looks great. About the trees- might help if you show the texture you used for the leaves. Go by what marq4porsche said and use more negative space- more gaps between the leaves.
  • jonas-144
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    jonas-144 polycounter lvl 6
    here's a tiny update i just got the grass and trees to sway. Ill post viedos later on.
    I also remade the trees.
    They're each about 1000 tris at the moment, Is that to much?

    countryvillage07.jpg
  • pseudoBug
    Too tired to crit. . besides, too distracted by all the awesome.


    Okay, so one crit. Maybe try to get the grass looking a little less in rows.

    Keep tweaking, this piece has an awesome "feel" to it.
  • megalmn2000
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    megalmn2000 polycounter lvl 9
    Start to looks like a painting, which is awesome. I would tend to make the rock sharper, now it looks a bit plastic. But overall, I like it.
  • marq4porsche
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    marq4porsche polycounter lvl 9
    Looking good so far. Maybe you can change the environment color so that your shadows aren't pure black. Maybe go with a dark blue?
  • Jessica Dinh
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    Jessica Dinh polycounter lvl 8
    Agreed with pseudoBug, this piece has a really nice feel :] I love the stream and bridge addition! Also looking forward to when you fix the ao/overexposure, it just feels like your lights are too bright or something. Another thing maybe, the top bricks for the bridge feel a bit blobby, kind of like loaves of bread or something x] Perhaps give them some sharper edges? Anyway I really like this, keep going! :D
  • Jeff Parrott
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    Jeff Parrott polycounter lvl 15
    Looking nice but tone back the SSAO.

    Do more with the background. The fog isn't cutting it. More houses, trees, maybe a windmill.
  • l.croxton
    Just an idea, how about the field to the left of the shot, making that look as if it has been ploud (if I have spelt that correctly). To my eyes it looks like its empty but anything taking up the verticle space would be to much since you already have those trees there.

    Just a suggestion of course :P
  • jonas-144
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    jonas-144 polycounter lvl 6
    pseudoBug: haha thanks for the crit =) and I agree. Im not overly happy with the grass

    megalmn2000: Awsome, thats what I was going for. I have drawn a lot of inspiration from old oil paintings.

    marq4porsche: Yea Ill try that out =)

    Jessica Dinh: Yes the top row looks a bit wierd. Ill fix that!

    jeffro: The backround is just a placeholder terrain, Im thinking of adding some crop and small villages in the backround.

    l.croxton: Yea thats a good idea!. Aside from the trees I haven't much in that area. I was thinking some sort of crop...and a broken down wagon =)

    Thanks everyone for the crit and nice words. Much appreciated!.
    The reason this is moving a bit slow is because im in school working on a game project at the same time so bare with me =)

    this is kinda what I want the hills in the background to look like

    tuscany_01.jpg
  • pseudoBug
    The Mediterannean Cyprus trees are looking pretty nice.

    Wine barrels don't break down like that. They're friction fit. If the Bands fail, the whole thing could come apart into individual planks. Not to mention that the bands would never fail in that fashion. I'd find something else for clutter. Maybe an abandoned donkey cart or something of that nature.

    Also, you've got steel bands crossing over into the inside? o.O

    How barrels are made:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oak_%28wine%29#Barrel_construction


    Best vids I could find on the subject.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3LBGPKgQ2ac

    http://videos.howstuffworks.com/discovery/27751-dirty-jobs-building-a-barrel-video.htm

    It always helps to know a little bit about what you're Modeling, especially if you're going to try to break it down into it's components.


    Also: Bright white spot on the stone texture.
  • jonas-144
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    jonas-144 polycounter lvl 6
    Wow I watched the videos and I had no idea such hard work went in to making one barrel

    Thanks pseudoBug for really going the extra mile with your reply!

    And about the white spot. thanks I hadn't noticed and now its all I can think about haha.
    Im on it!
  • jonas-144
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    jonas-144 polycounter lvl 6
    Okay new update.
    I made a landscape surounding the scene. I think it came out pretty nice (going to add houses to)
    And added some more color to the scene.

    countryvillage09.jpg
  • pseudoBug
    Glad it was appreciated!

    I don't know what it is about this scene, but I just want to step into it.


    It's very contrasty though. Not sure if it's post process or what, but there's a lot of solid black and blown out highlights going on. Tad to saturated for me now too.

    The hills in the background with the vineyards are coming along splendidly.
  • pseudoBug
    Fuuu. . .second time polycount has eaten my post.

    -__- Wait. Maybe it didn't eat it. Apparently.
  • SirCalalot
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    SirCalalot polycounter lvl 8
    jonas-144 wrote: »
    countryvillage09.jpg
    YES!

    The background really helps make this place believable.
    Perhaps more variation/grit/stones on the road would add to this too? :)

    The only thing I'm not sold on is the water though, as it's looking too opaque in my opinion.
  • WarrenM
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    WarrenM Polycount Sponsor
    Gotta say, I really liked the camera angle in the previous shots where you could see the side of the bridge better. It hung together better for me.

    Love this scene, BTW. :)
  • kodde
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    kodde polycounter lvl 15
    Nice work so far.

    I also preferred the previous camera angle. That backdrop is a nice addition. Post processing this latest one is better imo. More reddish ward, last one was a bit to desturated and greenish. Clouds are also better in this later one.

    What time of day is this? Did you try having a gradient color in your backdrop/skybox? Maybe something like this?
    tuscan-landscape-art-tuscany.jpg
  • salacious_Crumb
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    salacious_Crumb polycounter lvl 7
    Awesome! Has a real painterly feel to it.
  • SirCalalot
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    SirCalalot polycounter lvl 8
    I just noticed - the transition between the dusty floor and the stony bridge is far too abrupt and really gives it away that this is CG.

    If you get a good blend between the two (with dust settling between the stones via heightmap) then I reckon it will really push the realism. :)
  • Jungsik
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    Jungsik polycounter lvl 6
    Really well done! I do agree about what SirCalalot said! the transition between the bridge and the road is too sudden!
  • jonas-144
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    jonas-144 polycounter lvl 6
    Update time.
    -Added winefields
    -fixed the transition between the bridge and the road.
    -Remade the foliage
    -Fixed some textures
    -Added one new house
    -Made an oillamp

    Im starting to feel done with this one.
    Im thinking of reedoing the postprocessing and maybe make a night version of it
    But overall its finished.
    Ill post a video of it to later on and the final final versions to =).
    Thanks everyone for responding and helping me out along the way
    Much appreciated!:)
    jonasaxelsson02.jpgjonasaxelsson01.jpgjonasaxelsson03.jpg
  • teaandcigarettes
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    teaandcigarettes polycounter lvl 10
    Great work jonas! The only thing that bothers me is that little bridge in the foreground. Compared to the other models, it strikes me as a bit "meh". You might want to displace the individual bricks and perhaps create a nice HP for the textures.
  • toxic_h2o
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    toxic_h2o polycounter lvl 8
    This is coming along nicely. I agree with teaandcigarettes also the images feel a little blown out to me I might make it look less washed out. :)
  • jonas-144
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    jonas-144 polycounter lvl 6
    Thank's teaandcigarettes I've watched a lot of your stuff and your "Riverside udk project" was a big inspiration during this project. It kinda set the bar for my foliage so Im glad you liked it:)
    And I'm going to remake the bridge so stay tuned.

    toxic_h2o. Thanks!. Yea I kinda went for the blown out look because it made some colour's pop really nice. But I can agree with you that it looks a bit too much. Im thinking of reedoing the post processing and lighting so I'll keep that in mind while doing that.
  • pseudoBug
    Saw your post in waywo thread, was too enthralled to notice much.

    What was obvious was the harshness of the post processing.

    I am in agreement that the foreground with the bridge is letting the scene down a bit. the arch below the bridge specifically looks quite flat.

    Not sure if 3D cattails are justified, but some of them are turned in such a way that gives away that they are 2D planes.

    Not totally sold on the floating debris, mostly because they all look like the same unique piece, and I don't really understand what they are supposed to be, so I look at them twice.

    Some of the shadowing on the trees in the background are really showing their "X" plane geometry and killing the illusion particularly to the right and behind the house.

    And. . . I wanna be like you. :) Love your stuff.

    *edit* Also, I just noticed that the normals or something on the stone bridge look quite odd, the noise pattern is "filtery" and weird looking. I definitely thing that's the part that needs some more love.
  • Schrodinger's Backface
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    Schrodinger's Backface polycounter lvl 6
    I tried something similar recently and it didn't turn out as well as yours. I need to know how you gave it such a dreamy, warm feeling. Is it post processing? It is textures? Did you do something special with your normals? Big noob and I am in love with this scene.

    Plllleeeease explain!!
  • PhilipK
    Looking awesome! Very nice to see the progress shots on this. Second shot is great :)
    I do agree a bit about the contrast though. It'd be nice to see some of the pitch black stuff gone.
    Personally I don't mind the foreground bridge much. Think it looks pretty fine. But yeah displacing a few stones couldn't hurt.
  • jonas-144
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    jonas-144 polycounter lvl 6
    pseudoBug: Yea I think the floating debris works best in real time when you can see it flying by, so maybe I should remove it from the stills.
    The bridge will be redone this weekend.
    And about the trees, I tried to get them to face the player but i couldn't figure out how, so this was kind of a plan b. But I should turn of the self-shadowing (dunno why I haven't done that yet:S)

    Schrodinger's Backface
    The warm dreamy feeling comes from the post processing, and the bright sun
    And mainly just making the darker parts a bit more blue, and the highlights a bit more red.
    I tried giving it that retro look without overdoing it.

    PhilipK. I agree with you the contrast is a bit much. Iv'e tried toning it down but I end up loosing some nice colours. but 'll try n have it fixed in the next update :)


    And thx guys for the the response and nice words :D
  • Darkleopard
    This is beautiful. Learnt a lot of stuff watching you, so thanks!
  • Rai
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    Rai keyframe
    I'm new to environment design and would really love to know how you would manage the transition from the gravel to the cobble on the bridge..

    Is this something that's UDK specific? If so, are there other techniques with older tech?

    Amazing work, cheers!
  • pseudoBug
    The issue isn't quite so much the brightness, as much as it is the ultra blacks. There should be much more blue in these shadows, and not nearly as harsh.

    I don't have the technical skill to suggest how to go about this or if it even can be done, but here's the direction I'd try to steer the post process.

    (Did some photoshop tweaking - I need to recalibrate my monitor. I also need to get familiar with the post processing in udk. . .)
    3EPOH.jpg

    Here's the main bit that I noticed on the bridge as far as the normal weirdness goes. I actually had to glance at it twice because when I first looked at it, it looked like the fake motion blur in some games.

    Also, couple of arrows to point out the very harsh ultra black shadows on top that seem out of place. Not so much because they're shadows, but because they're so dark.
    eqYJh.jpg

    I very much want to jump into this scene and, I dunno, tend vines or something. It's so very inviting.
  • jonas-144
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    jonas-144 polycounter lvl 6
    Rai: I used vertexpainting to manage the transition from gravel to cobble.

    It's a really usefull techniqe when building modular stuff because you can add variation to tiling textures (my houses for instance)
    or just making a bridge blend into the enviroment.

    This techniqe is not udk specific

    but

    Tor Frick has a good tutorial on how to do this in Udk and it might give you a better understanding of how it works.

    http://eat3d.com/free/vertex_painting

    and btw what older tech are you referring to:)?
  • jonas-144
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    jonas-144 polycounter lvl 6
    once again thanks pseudoBug for going the extra mile :D

    And yea I see what you mean, And it can definitly be fixed with post processing.

    However i've tried doing it but I always end up liking the contrasty version more somehow.
    But Im thinking of redoing the PP along with the bridge this weekend so hopefully the ultrablacks will be gone by sunday:).

    And about the bridge. yea up close it really looks messed up. And it's so wierd that I haven't noticed it
    I think it must have gotten broken somewhere along the way

    But it will be fixed so stay tuned !

    And like I said thanks for really good feedback :D
  • MainManiac
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    MainManiac polycounter lvl 8
    oman :s

    in awe right now
  • Rai
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    Rai keyframe
    jonas-144 wrote: »
    Tor Frick has a good tutorial on how to do this in Udk and it might give you a better understanding of how it works.

    http://eat3d.com/free/vertex_painting

    and btw what older tech are you referring to:)?

    We're using HeroEngine, nothing fancy.. The shaders/materials that are available to us are pretty basic, so we aren't doing too much without an HLSL programmer. :x

    Thanks for the tut though!

    Edit: We do apparently have vertex painting.. Just looks like shades though, ohgawd I'm confused as hell.
    I think the vertex painting is only done in Maya or 3DS, not the engine itself.. Other than that, the engine will do Vertex Coloring easily.
  • Minos
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    Minos polycounter lvl 12
    I like the overblown lighting better! Environment looks super cool.
  • pseudoBug
    Glad it's appreciated! :thumbup:

    Looking at my photoshop tweak again, it's introduced a lot more blue in areas where I don't necessarily want to see it(ends up looking a bit smokey), but yeah. . .just a rough idea of the direction I wanted to show.

    I got a chance to look at the post processing tools and techniques in udk, and as a noob I'd love to see what kind of tree you've got going for it. the lut based color toning seems like an incredibly powerful tool. Love this kind of artistic tech stuff. I think it's why I enjoy game art so much. I'm half tinkerer, half artist. Or perhaps 100% of each. :)
    And about the bridge. yea up close it really looks messed up. And it's so wierd that I haven't noticed it
    I think it must have gotten broken somewhere along the way

    It's so easy to get tunnel vision as an artist. Which is why breaks to come back with fresh eyes, and getting others to look at stuff is so important. It's amazing how often we can completely overlook things that would otherwise be obvious.
  • pseudoBug
    One more thought -it's kind of compositional nitpicking based on the one camera view- but I noticed the wheels kind of mimic each other a bit in position etc.

    xRghS.jpg
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