[UE4] [Quixel Suite 2] Cryogenic Chamber Environment + Breakdown

Hi all, I recently completed this sci-fi environment with the intention of using Quixel Suite 2 as extensively as possible. After posting it on the Quixel Tools Group on Facebook I was contacted by Eric Ramberg from Quixel who asked if I would be interested in posting a breakdown of it, so here we are. I'm not sure how much these images will be shrunk or compressed so here is an Artstation link.

Here's a final render done in UE4:


For this environment my workflow was pretty standard. I modeled and UV'd all of the assets in Maya and then baked the AO maps using xNormals. Here's the low poly + AO rendered in Marmoset Toolbag as well as the UV maps.



  • Ceiling - 28128 tris, 4k textures
  • Chamber - 27782 tris, 4k textures
  • Door - 7370 tris, 4k textures
  • Door Back - 20612 tris, 4k textures
  • Floor - 47198 tris, 4k textures
  • Wall - 6999 tris, 4k textures
  • Ventilation - 26624, 2k textures
So, absolutely not conservative poly counts on this geometry, nor clever tiling texture use, but that wasn't really the goal of this environment. 
I decided I wanted to make the normal maps using 100% nDo. The only exception were the ventilation pipes which had a high poly baked on them (also created in Maya).



Before and after normal maps:


After this I began texturing with DDO. The new mesh painting tools are amazing, adding details to meshes with so much control was my favourite part of the workflow. Some detail shots:


Here are some renders from 3DO of the individual assets with their textures:


And some wireframes and texture sheets:


All textures were done in DDO besides the emissive maps which I just created in Photoshop. For the most part I left them black and white so I could control their colour later in UE4. The ventilation pipes only need a normal map and AO, so I didn't run them through DDO, instead opting to use UE4's material editor for them. After importing everything to Unreal, I made the master shader, which is really simple. I set up controls for the emissive colour and power as well a parameter for lowering the roughness for some greater control over reflections as well as a control for increasing the metalness slightly in case I wanted to make the white paint a little more reflective too. The only other materials in the scene are a simple glass shader and the ventilation pipes (just a normal + AO, colour and BRDF parameter).



From this point on all that was left was some final touches in the UE4 scene. I added some steam particles to the vents and fiddled with a post processing volume until I was happy with it. So I guess I'll wrap up this thread here, this is my first breakdown post so hopefully I did it right. if you want to see any other stuff don't hesitate to ask. Thanks for reading! A couple more final renders:




Replies

  • zXe
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    zXe polycounter lvl 3
    Awesome breakdown, found it really insightful. Thank you!
  • CandyStripes05
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    CandyStripes05 polycounter lvl 8
    sub'in for later when I have time to check it all out, but at a glance it looks really solid, good work!
  • Bourne89
    Amazing work, thanks for the write-up!
  • s1dK
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    s1dK interpolator
    Very nice details man, great job!!
  • ilyaivanovart
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    ilyaivanovart polycounter lvl 5
    SubD instantly
  • Snefer
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    Snefer polycounter lvl 11
    The scene looks real nice, good job on that :) A little bit of feedback/thoughts: I am assuming this is not intended as a portfolio piece for game art considering the workflow? More of a previz thing? If its gameart, I would have understood the polycount and wireframe a bit more if you used tiling modular textures and had to make cuts and extra bevels for highlights, but since you are using large, unique textures they serve no purpose other than its fast to work with. I understand that was not the purpose of the scene like you write, but you still have a ton of geo that does not serve any shading or UV purpose. Using bevels for shading is a great substitute for baked normals, but if the texturespace is still unique anyway its only a missed opportunity to use that texturespace :)

    Then again, if this is just a previz thing and not game art then of course that does not apply :)
  • xChris
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    xChris polycounter lvl 5
    Sick scene, really like how you made use of NDO for the panels!

    @Snefer Are you talking about this from a optimization stand point? If it was for an environment for a portfolio would you just to push for a more optimized scene or something that looks really good and being reasonable with budgets? How would you make use of the texturespace, now I'm curious how you approached your hallway that you just put up using quixel, just wanna pick your brain a bit :)
  • samdrewpictures
    Thanks everyone!
    Snefer said:
    The scene looks real nice, good job on that :) A little bit of feedback/thoughts: I am assuming this is not intended as a portfolio piece for game art considering the workflow? More of a previz thing? If its gameart, I would have understood the polycount and wireframe a bit more if you used tiling modular textures and had to make cuts and extra bevels for highlights, but since you are using large, unique textures they serve no purpose other than its fast to work with. I understand that was not the purpose of the scene like you write, but you still have a ton of geo that does not serve any shading or UV purpose. Using bevels for shading is a great substitute for baked normals, but if the texturespace is still unique anyway its only a missed opportunity to use that texturespace :)

    Then again, if this is just a previz thing and not game art then of course that does not apply :)
    Hey Tor, I guess you could say this scene was just sort of a fun project to see what I could get out of the new Suite tools. I don't know if you'd call that previz, but it's certainly not optimized enough to be used for game art either. Next time I have enough free time to do a personal piece I definitely want to do something that is a lot more modular, both with geometry and textures. Thanks for your feedback!
  • Shrike
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    Shrike greentooth
    Looks good, nice breakdown
    The thing I do not like is the random unnessecary lights. In the future we will not put random LEDs in all our inanimate objects just for the lols, that feels very unauthentic.  In addition, the room is very brightly lit, but posesses no real light source that could provide adequate lumen. 
  • Tea Monster
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    Tea Monster polycounter lvl 10
    Thank you for this. 
  • griffiti
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    griffiti polycounter lvl 4
    Thanks for posting! It's good to see your workflow, assets, UVs and maps. Also nice that you did all the normals in nDo. I'm always unsure whether to do a high to low bake or do it within the painting program (nDo/Substance).
  • NeonMonkey
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    NeonMonkey polycounter lvl 6
    For what it is, fantastic job, thanks for breaking it down as well!
  • travisdreams
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    travisdreams polycounter lvl 6
    It's work like this that inspires me to drop work as a character artist and want to do environments instead :smiley: Good work dude!
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