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Post Apocalyptic Checkpoint Environment (Critique Welcome!)

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Zalek4 polycounter lvl 3
Hey all!

I recently decided to pivot my career in the direction of prop and environment art, instead of focusing exclusively on props. I found this concept by Maciej Kuciara that I absolutely loved. It seemed simple, approachable, and had room for me to put my own spin on things. I've never worked on an environment before, so this was a breath of fresh air in terms of learning and trying new things. I've got one year left until I graduate college, so I'm pushing to produce my best work before then. 

Concept piece:

A few of my renders:

I gave myself two weeks to get this project to a place I was happy with personally, and then one week (this week) for feedback and polish. 
Some of the critiques I have or have gotten from others so far:
- Blood should be dryer/darker
- Blood on the body bags may not make a whole lot of sense. It seems like how much blood is on them would be related to where in the area they were wrapped. If they were wrapped across the way, there may be less blood. The placement/distribution may also need to be refined.
- Needs a little graffiti. I made an attempt in about an hour, but it didn't look right so I elected to take it out for the meantime. 
- Skyscrapers don't look quite right. I'm actually super stumped on the best approach for skyscrapers and large buildings in games. Currently, I'm making a small section and then stacking it like a modular piece. I've got 3 different styles in this scene.

Any and all feedback is welcome!


  • icegodofhungary
    I think everything looks pretty tight. Only a couple of nitpicks: More wear for the yellow paint on the poles and dividers, and the plastic over the door doesn't read well. I think it could benefit from more reflection/shininess and a little more of a drapery look.
  • bhenderson
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    bhenderson polycounter lvl 2
    I would say for the sky scrapers a modular approach would be your best bet especially if this would be running real time. As for them looking a little off I think that may be because they are so far apart and there are no medium buildings in between so they look like everything is far apart at the moment. I would try making more buildings in between to make it feel more like a city. Other than that this looks fantastic! All of the other critiques you received hit all of the other points. As for the graffiti I would say making it a stamp/sticker/decal and using it that way and I am sure you could find and alpha of some graffiti somewhere and us it as a decal. I think that would give the best results!
  • quatic
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    quatic polycounter lvl 7
    got sketchfab?, add some tower lights in the scene as well and generators.
  • icegodofhungary
    Paint and plastic look good, more natural looking.
  • snake85027
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    snake85027 polycounter lvl 14
    For your concrete slabs and wall pieces are you using a tile texture for your diffuse or was the texture created using substance painter? It looks like it has good fidelity so I was just curious. Or are you just using large textures?
  • Zalek4
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    Zalek4 polycounter lvl 3
    Thanks @icegodofhungary ! Again, I appreciate the help.

    @snake85027 Those pieces are uniquely baked and textured in Painter. If I could do it again, I think I would try and get the same result with tiling textures instead. Then I could give the UVs a random per-instance offset in the material and really get some crazy variation. I gave myself a 2 1/2 week time limit though, so I had a limited amount of that I could use to learn new things. I used 1k maps for the walls with channel packed AO/Metallic/Roughness textures. Looking back at it, I probably could have packed all the walls and barricades into one 0-1 space and baked at a higher resolution. Would have been more efficient with UV packing that way too.

  • JamesRay
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    JamesRay polycounter lvl 2
    Wow! Looks amazing, So cool seeing the progress.
  • samdelfanti
    Nice work. Couple things, you may want to ease off the AO. I know it is tempting to pump it all the way up, makes things more graphical but it does take away some realism. Also add some more buildings to the back of the scene and watch the scale on the clouds they could be smaller to suggest distance. 
  • samdelfanti
    Also watch the size of the windows in the background, scale is half the battle when trying to make a believable scene. 
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