Abandoned Gas Station - UE4

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kimmokaunela ngon master
I´ve been blocking out this scene for some time now. My goal is to make a small scene about abandoned gas station and diner. I also want to learn UE4 and this is going to be my first project with it. I also going to use Substance tools as much as possible.

This is what I got so far.

Latest:


Basic blockout:

p7IVmrZjpg

This is what I got so far modeled and textured.

RztFEAIjpg

UcnwXosjpg

ZuNQcUGjpg




Replies

  • qwedeath
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    qwedeath polycounter lvl 4
    Maybe it is me but i think it is a bit monochromatic, try to push colors a bit. Cafe seems to be empty a bit but i think you will fill it with models. Blockout looks really decent! Models and textures done well, waiting for more on this :)
  • kimmokaunela
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    kimmokaunela ngon master
    Thanks @qwedeath!

    I´m going to try make it more colourful. I also want to add much more assets there. I just want to get the lighting and master material right before that.
  • EpicBeardMan
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    EpicBeardMan polycounter lvl 3
    Nice job so far. I like the atmosphere you are going for. One thing which's of to me is the reflectance of the floor. You might wanna bring it down a bit, or add another Reflection Capture Actor and add a Post-Process Volume and in it increase the quality of the reflections. This way we can get the better look onto your scene.
    Keep it coming!

    Cheers!
  • Matt_Billeci
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    Matt_Billeci polycounter lvl 5
    Looking cool. Right now everything just looks incredibly dirty and there isn't really a spot for the eye to rest. I'd think about what you'd want your focal point to be and make the adjustments the others have said around that.
  • CharacterCarl
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    CharacterCarl polycounter lvl 5
    I like what you've got so far. The window blinds give it a nice touch. :D
    I'm certain you will get to it in time but be sure to add sufficient lighting inside or tone the exterior light down. Because right now, the sight is drawn towards these big bright spots.

    Good work on the textures. That's a lot of progress from the blackout.
    I'd advise against making them 'too dirty' from the beginning on, though. It also leaves more room for decals and things you really want to draw attention to that way. I know these are just the main textures without any assets but you can spot tiling pretty easily currently.

    I don't know if it's intended but the cloth on the seats also looks a bit too 'saggy' for my taste.
  • kimmokaunela
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    kimmokaunela ngon master
    Thanks all for the great feedback. That helps a lot!

    I tried to fix some of those issues and tweaked the lighting and textures. I also added more models there. I need to learn more that UE4 light mapping stuff.

    t5mMPaW.jpg
  • Xendance
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    Xendance polycounter lvl 7
    I liked the before shots more. Now it looks like the light just bounces away inside the cafe without any attenuation. Lighting wise the only problem with the before shots was the specular light leaking through the walls, plus the overbright outdoors caused by tone mapping (you can tweak those also, I've found it's best to use constant tone mapping while working with lighting: viewmode -> exposure -> fixed at log 0)
  • krystalcampioni
    It looks awesome so far! I love the atmosphere, and the reflections on the floor. Are you looking for a realistic or a more stylized result? If you are going for a realistic goal, I'd reduce a bit the black contours of the scene, it looks a bit cartoonish. On the ceiling, we can kinda see the texture seems on the edges.

    Keep up the good work :)
  • kimmokaunela
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    kimmokaunela ngon master
    @Xendance Thanks for that exposure tip! I liked that first iteration too but it didn´t have interesting shadows and it lacked diffuse lighting a lot in some places.

    @krystalcampioni I´m trying to go with semi realisic style. Taking some freedom with things but still try to keep materials and proportions right. Those seams are made there to illustrate rubber borders that I saw in one of my reference shots but I think I´m going to change that too :)

    I deleted the old lighting setup and started it from the ground up. I wanted to have very strong contrast between shadows and bright spots. I also put indirect bounces to 60 so the light is able to diffuse there more. Previously I put a simple light inside the room that made it look too burned out. Baking was much faster but it looked wrong :) I also disabled the baked AO. So much stuff to learn. I worked previously with Unity 4 and 5 light baking and they all have different settings even thought the basic concept is the same.

    I still don´t know how this interior lighting will work with the exterior lighting.

    I also played a lot with the post process volume and kind of like this hi contrast setting. There are too many settings to play with :)

    So long story short, here is the latest:

    PkDJFST.jpg

    I also worked with my master material a bit:

    m7MZpvR.jpg
  • kimmokaunela
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    kimmokaunela ngon master
    Made a fast Substance Designer work for the logo. I think I will try to re-use this graph for other assets.

    nftp6d7.jpg
  • kimmokaunela
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    kimmokaunela ngon master
    Finally had some time to work with this scene. There are a lot of stuff that I need to do but I´m starting to like the diner so far. My goal is that the scene would run on my low-spec pc @30fps.








    WIP exterior stuff :)

  • FreneticPonies
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    FreneticPonies polycounter lvl 3
    That is just amazingly impressive  :o
  • praesidenter
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    praesidenter polycounter lvl 4
    Wow, this looks impressive. I like the colors and the desaturated look!
    One thing: Is that supposed to be water on the ground, next to the jukebox? It looks a bit blue, almost like paint to me
  • kimmokaunela
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    kimmokaunela ngon master
    Thanks! Yes its water. I need to tweak some values. It does look like paint right now :)
  • eirikm
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    eirikm polycounter lvl 2
    Love the composition and colors! Great work! Though I must say  I really liked the last sunlight iteration you had!
    What size are the textures, and are they mostly procedurals or? :)
  • kimmokaunela
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    kimmokaunela ngon master

    @eirikm Textures are mostly 1k or 512. I use a lot of Substance Designer but I also use Photoshop for some stuff if I want to get super fast results.

    Long time since my last update. I´ve been testing a lot of different stuff and made s¤¤t loads of assets. Mostly playing with different lighting setups. I ended up using full dynamic lighting outside and baked lighting for interior parts. I wanted to use DFAO and other cool stuff but my old pc can´t handle those.  This is starting to be way too big project for just a personal work :smile: So much stuff that I want to show you but here are few shots:





    Here´s some shots from the diner lit mostly with indirect lighting. I liked this dark mood that it has now.




    For the car (Toyota Yaris) I just modeled hi-poly, sculpted damage in ZBrush, made low-poly and then baked some maps and did a fast Substance Designer run with this graph.


    For the ground texture (asphalt) I built this graph. I use it in outside with the material that is blending three different materials. I need to make rest of those.

    I made a pretty big set of different props that I´m using to set dress the whole scene. Here is a small shot of them as well. They are very optimized so I can use a lot of them and I also used texture atlases so I could combine models into different sets that I can place to thescene + can save draw calls. Need to make more for the shop and garage locations tho.

    Here are some shots about the hi-poly vegetation. I modeled them all in max and baked camera space normal maps. For base colors I just heavily used basic gradients and noises that max have and baked them as well. So far I got the small foliage done. Trees and other bigger assets are still at the WIP stage. I use basic two sided foliage material in UE4 for the low-poly foliage.

    Here is btw my ground master material that is doing a lot of stuff :)


    So that´s the latest updates. Still sooooo much to do :)

  • nekema
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    nekema polycounter lvl 3
    Really impressive so far, sub'd.
  • jestersheepy
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    jestersheepy polycounter lvl 8
    Nice man, I would say bring some of the light back into the diner though, in a literal sense, right now it's all reading quite dark, if you had some more contrast with the light shining through the windows it would make the scene much more interesting and give it more of a focal point. 
  • ekul
    As a novice environment artist, can I ask why blockout a scene in 3DS Max rather than arrange models in-engine?
  • kimmokaunela
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    kimmokaunela ngon master
    @nekema Thanks!

    @Jestersheepy Thanks, need to tweak that indoor lighting more. I´ve been testing so many different lighting test there that it´s hard to say which looks the best :)

    @ekul I´m much faster with 3ds max for doing blockouts than with UE4. It´s much easier to start making the final assets when using this blockout  in max. For the final scene I will be exporting individual models and place them pretty much the same way in UE4. I don´t know if this is the right way to do it but I think it´s pretty fast and easy to iterate with different elements.
  • ekul
    @kimmokaunela Gotcha, thanks for clarifying that. Keep up the awesome work, I'll be watching and learning :)
  • kimmokaunela
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    kimmokaunela ngon master
    Been making better ground textures and cleaning things up. So far there are 0% photo sourced texture. So fast to make textures with Substance Designer :)



  • kimmokaunela
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    kimmokaunela ngon master
    Got some time this weekend to do some props and playing with decals. Slowly getting forward with this one.






  • Edgar T
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    Edgar T interpolator
    The textures are fantastic and gives to the ambientation a really cool atmosphere... Super job!
  • kimmokaunela
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    kimmokaunela ngon master
    Sorry for my lack of updates. Been really busy @ work and used all my free time making more foliage stuff into this project. Reading more UE4 documentation and testing different lighting setups. I also made pretty fast World Machine landscape there too. I´m planning to make very detail post mortem breakdown when I got everything done. Useful for me to sit down and write stuff about my mistakes and different solutions that I came up during the project. Maybe even but the whole scene out at some form. There´s a lot of textures and generic foliage stuff to share :)

    Anyway here is the latest shot:






  • Kid.in.the.Dark
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    Kid.in.the.Dark polycounter lvl 3
    Daaaayum, that's some nice work (Y) Love this.

    I've always been a little weak on overhanging foliage... care to share how you approach it?

    In terms of critique...

    I don't actually see any pump stations so I'm not sure if you'll be adding them in or if they're currently just covered by the car but if they're there or you plan to put them in later on.. I suggest moving the outside vehicle from the 2 vehicles parked on both sides of the pump stations... It easily masks what your piece actually is, If I didn't already know the title of this piece it would have taken me some time to actually realize this was a gas station and also they're both of the same colour variation & parallel to each other which makes it feel a little bit dull as well.... Although the gas price board is a good hint it still doesn't give off enough information to your viewers to what it could actually be and from the second screenshot it almost looks like it's a chiseled slab of concrete.

    Other than that, there's not much I have to say about this, great work so far (Y)


  • kimmokaunela
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    kimmokaunela ngon master
    KID.IN.THE.DARK Thanks! I´m going to make the pump stations there and I also going to model more cars there. Right now there´s only one car with different color variations but I really want to make a pick-up and maybe some sort of rv there. Also that gas price board is just a block out model with a random material. It´s just there to fill the space until I finish the final one.

    As for the foliage stuff I just simply model hi-polys and then bake things down in 3ds max. Max also has awesome graphite tools that really helps when making different pine trees. It takes some time to model all the little grass and flowers but I really like making those. I use UE4 two-sided foliage shader with some parameters to play with :)
  • Kid.in.the.Dark
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    Kid.in.the.Dark polycounter lvl 3
    Haha no wonder, Alright ignore the critique on the gas board then haha.

    When you say the graphite modelling tools for pine tree modelling, what specific tools are you using? I've always been curious on what additional features the ribbon tools held, I only really use it for quick access stuff like swift loops, retopology functions etc... Haven't explored much into it haha
  • kimmokaunela
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    kimmokaunela ngon master
    For foliage stuff I use Object Paint features and Branches tool that can be found under Freeform tab. It makes life much easier to just paint all the needles into the branches :)
    In Vertex 3 there´s pretty similar workflow that I use. It´s the one that is on the cover. 
  • GIOCASTO
    Amazing work. Can you put more framings of the gas station  (like framing 30, but on the back, on the side)?
    thank you very much and congratulations for the excellent work
  • mats effect
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    mats effect Polycount Sponsor
    Really love the art style the textures have a very last of us vibe. 
  • GIOCASTO
    • Amazing work. Can you put more framings of the gas station  (like framing 30, but on the back, on the side)?
      thank you very much and congratulations for the excellent work
  • kimmokaunela
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    kimmokaunela ngon master
    Thanks all!

    I used this whole weekend with this project. Added a lot of trees, grass, etc... I also started modeling gas pumps and other props. Here is the latest shots.






  • GIOCASTO
    Can you put a framing of the structure of the gas station (like framing 30 but on the back )?
  • Kid.in.the.Dark
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    Kid.in.the.Dark polycounter lvl 3
    Ahhh, now that... that right there is love haha...

    Great update, I'd say the gas price plaque/billboard thing could do with some more washing out, bleached from the top and blending back to full saturation at the bottom.

    Great work (Y)
  • kimmokaunela
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    kimmokaunela ngon master
    GIOCASTO I´m not sure what do you mean. Can you explain more?

    KID.IN.THE.DARK Thanks! Yeah that´s a good point. I still testing different color themes and tweaking maps so I will definitely do that tweak. 
  • GIOCASTO
    i mean the structure of the gas station, like on this photo, but on the back
  • kimmokaunela
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    kimmokaunela ngon master
    @ GIOCASTO Okay, here are some shots.


  • nekema
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    nekema polycounter lvl 3
    Been following this for awhile, I am literally in love with this. Really impressive.
  • FreneticPonies
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    FreneticPonies polycounter lvl 3
    Well that's just awesome, has a very "Last of Us" look, nice job indeed!
  • stefan_armand
    Maybe in Fallout 5 we'll see your work, who knows. Looks great!
  • kippernicus
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    kippernicus polycounter lvl 7
    Beautiful work, Kimmo; very inspiring. I read earlier in the post that you're planning on doing a post-mortem (to some extent) on this scene. If/when you do, would you also mention some of the tutorials you used when researching the technical aspects of this project? Personally, I'm particularly interested in how you structured your master materials and substances, as well as how you approached lighting the scene.

    Keeping my fingers crossed that you release the project itself. I'd love to walk around in the scene with the HTC Vive. ;)
  • somedoggy
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    somedoggy greentooth
    Hi, great work on this. One small thing is that your color balance is off. It looked nicer in earlier shots when it wasn't so yellow.



    Comparing this to your original is as if a thin film has been removed from over the image. This is a critical step because it mirrors how our visual system expects to see things, but sadly proper color correction is often skipped or otherwise neglected for some reason.
  • kimmokaunela
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    kimmokaunela ngon master
    @ NEKEMA Thanks! Going to keep you updated!

    @ FRENETICPONIES Thanks! I´m not aiming for Last of Us style but it´s always a good thing if it has the look :)

    @ STEFAN_ARMAND Maybe, would be awesome to be part of a team that make big games. Maybe some day :)

    @ KIPPERNICUS Yeah, sure thing. It´s going to be a big kind of making of because there is a lot to cover. This has been really big project so there´s quite a few tips I can share and trying to add as much shots as possible.

    @ SOMEDOGGY Thanks! My monitor is very old and can´t be calibrated anymore so it´s very tricky to get the colors right. I still like that it has this warm looking theme but definitely tweak it more and maybe even get a better display :) Thanks again!
  • somedoggy
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    somedoggy greentooth
    Granted, balancing color with lighting is very challenging even on a "perfect" monitor haha

    I agree that a warm look is what you want for this scene, my pointer is on getting a white balanced interpretation of the lighting before color grading. I think both could be pushed further for awesome results. Hope this helps!
  • kimmokaunela
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    kimmokaunela ngon master
    Started to make things more dynamic so the camera fly would look more interesting. First time making bluebrints and I really like how

    much I can do with UE4 wihtout any knowledge about coding :)



  • kimmokaunela
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    kimmokaunela ngon master
    I used this sunday for modeling garbage, literally :) I found some information about Chernobyl and Fukushima accident where they removed a lot of dirt that had radiation particles/material and put that stuff to bags and buried all of that into different waste graves.

    I also tweaked a lot of shaders, lighting, made more simpler post processing volume + a lot of different fixes like grass is now moving and there is simple camera movement done. I also converted my old pick up model there and textured it with the same SD template that other stuff uses so it fits there nicely. There has been a lot of shader compiling so I had some time to start writing the making of. Now it´s around 10 pages + images :)

    BTW! I calculated roughtly that so far I used around 1000 hours for this project. I really hope to finish it soon because that is way to much time put into personal project I think :)










  • Cremuss
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    Cremuss polycounter lvl 9
    a thousand hours ? wow, I would have lost patience long ago :D
    anyway, really strong piece! nice work :)

    the only thing that really bugs me is the plastic thrash bag. Those wrinkles really looks wrong to me and material doesn't read to good I think.
  • Sunray
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    Sunray polycounter lvl 3
  • kimmokaunela
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    kimmokaunela ngon master
    @Cremuss Thanks! I need to tweak those bags more. Well that sounded a little weird to say that :) I have some ideas to make the material better.

    @Sunray Thanks!
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