Conservatory - Week 3, Day 4

Work In Progress / 07 November 2019

This week I have been working on some extra materials and meshes. Following my new blockout, I made a chest of drawers and a cabinet with shelves. This was my reference, I couldn't find anything exactly like I wanted for the cabinet but I used these measurements as a base:


The first material I made this week was wood, which I decided would be pine.

This is my reference:


And this is my material in its varnished form and painted form, plus a variation for vertex painting.





I used the painted wood material on the cabinet and chest of drawers, and vertex painted between them. I am planing on making some edge decals for them too, to have more controlled wear and tear. I have not tried edge decals yet so that will be something new to learn with this project:



Last week everything was too saturated and red and I was not liking it. That lead to the decision of making some of the walls white plaster instead of brick. I still kept half of the back wall as brick. Talking to my peers it was pointed out that the brick wall was distracting the eye from some nice details like the garden chair, providing a background that was too noisy. I still wanted some interest on the wall, so I made a textured plaster based on this reference:


I made the decision of keeping this material very simple, as I did not intend on making a variation of it for vertex painting and I did not want to have tiling problems. I might add some humidity decals to it later on.


Another material I made was a simple fabric material in a neutral colour so I could play around with colour multipliers within Unreal Engine, to better assess which colour would look better. I also kept this one very simple, as I intend on using it as a tiling material on the duvet, pillow and mattress sheets, but I also want to use a baked normal on these assets.



The final materials I made this week were terracotta variations. I want to make a trim sheet of terracottas and have my plant pots changing between them randomly when placed in the scene. This is my reference:


And these are the materials:









The last subject for now was lighting. I really needed to bake it to see how the environment could look like. I want an overcast day, perfect to stay home reading a book and drinking some hot beverage. For this reason I am not using a Directional Light, and instead I am relying on my Skylight as the main light source of my scene. The HDR used on the sky and on the Skylight is this one from HDRI Haven. Another issue I encountered was having seams in the light bake where my modular pieces met. To solve this I changed the Lightmass settings a little bit:


I know lots of people associate overcast days with sad days, but I wanted to make it a little magical. I wanted to test and see how fairy lights would look like in the scene, baking the light from the emissive texture. I just scattered some spheres around for testing, and I think I will go ahead with the fairy lights but I am still to model them. This is what the scene looks like today:



The light is still baked on preview as I am adding more things to the scene. I tested baking it on production to see if the artefacts in the bake would disappear and they have :) but forgot to take screenshots :( The duvet on the bed is still under construction, I will post updates about it soon.

Conservatory - Week 2, Day 5

Work In Progress / 03 November 2019

Yesterday I spent quite a lot of time making an ivy leaf material with  some shape and colour variations. 



I made the shape of the ivy by combining shape nodes and passing it through slope blur, then using Histogram Scan to get crisp edges. 



I then used lines and bevel, then mirror and warp nodes to create a wavy effect that was blended on the leaf shape. I also used cells to add small bumps to the leaf.



I used bevelled  cells again to get the big shapes for the leaf.


I used my own photos as reference:





The fern leaf material needed some tweaking as it looked too clean. I used the smooth curvature node (with some level passes) to make parts of the leaf older and yellow, and added some yellow spots (I have this plant at home and it often gets these spots if not watered enough).


I also made the fern plant and the Chinese evergreen plants with the leaf material from the day before. Here is how the look like in Engine:



Today I decided  to go back to my floor tiles material as I did not think the colours reflected my reference pictures. I also made it a little more distressed looking by using a mixture of sharp and soft noises, using Fill to Random as a mask to distribute them and warping them with Fill to Texture.



I also applied parallax occlusion on them, but kept it sutil. I used Unreal Engine's documentation as a guide to implement the parallax into my master material, that now has a POM Switch.

Here is a comparison of what it looked like before and after the tweaking:


I also felt like the room didn't look cosy enough, as there was too much space unfilled. I decided to block out some more furniture and mess in it with simple blocks in Unreal Engine. I think the extra mess will really add more to the feeling that someone is living in this conservatory.




Conservatory - Week 2, Day 3 - Leaf Materials

Work In Progress / 30 October 2019

Today I have been making a leaf material that I hope will be easy to change into other types of plants. I was looking into this tutorial for it, but I changed it quite considerably. I made 2 main colour variations, and further variations for different leaves on the same plant. I re used part of the graph for a different type of leaf. In the future I might turn this into a leaf generator.


Chinese Evergreen

Chinese Evergreen

Chinese Evergreen

Chinese Evergreen


Bird's Nest Fern

Bird's Nest Fern

The graph looks like this so far:

Here is some of the reference I used. Some of these pictures are my own:

I still have some more leaf types to make. I want to make an ivy, a rubber plant (I might use pictures I took of my own plant to make the textures for this one) and some other type of fern like Eagle Fern or Lady fern.

Conservatory - Week 2, Day 2 - Materials

General / 29 October 2019

I spent the rest of the week and yesterday still modelling and finishing my modular kit.

Today I made some materials, the first being a terracotta floor tile:



For this material I wanted to experiment with the nodes Flood Fill, Flood Fill to Random and Flood Fill Mapper. I could have made the herringbone pattern by using shapes and combining them but the Weave Generator already had the pattern ready. What it did not have, however, was the ability to give the "tiles" luminance variation and more random masks (it has masks for horizontal and vertical tiles. By using the Flood Fill nodes, I was able to add height and colour variation.


With the masks from the Weave Generator I was able to add some directional "damage" that terracotta tiles often have.

I also made a brick material today:




Here is some of the reference for it the materials:


The room is currently looking like this. The HDR being used at the moment is from HDRI Haven. It might change later.



I currently have the tiles on the floor set to World Position but I might change that in order to vertex paint in a less costly way. For now I just wanted to see what the texture looked like.

Tomorrow I will start modelling plants, which should populate the room a bit more and make it look less empty. I have other things needing modelling like a duvet, books, and other bits and bobs.

Conservatory - Week 1, Day 3

Work In Progress / 23 October 2019

I wasted one day changing my mind about what I wanted to do for this project, but today I went back to the original idea. As this environment is full of windows and windows use a lot of tris, I decided to make a modular kit for it:



  This is how it is looking in Unreal Engine at the moment:


Tomorrow I will start modelling the individual props.

Conservatory - Week 1, Day 1

Work In Progress / 21 October 2019

For the next project brief for university I have chosen the "Behind the Door" brief. It is about a sci fi door and what you would find behind it. I decided my door is a time machine door.

The story behind it that of the scientist that created it. They created the time machine in a world that has been almost wiped off by some sort of apocalypse. The scientist uses this machine to go to their favourite place pre apocalypse, when they used to live in a conservatory/potting shed surrounded by plants. At the time the scientist was a student, still learning the things that would bring them to create a time machine in the future.

This is my main moodboard (which will grow soon with smaller props and details):

I made a rough plan for the room:



 Following this morning's lesson on organisation and using Trello, I thought I would give it a try:




  

I am enjoying using Trello very much, I used to make Excel files for my projects but this seems much easier to use :)

I am also considering the possibility of making my environment modular, just because I would like to experiment with modular kits.

Captain's Cabin - Week 3

General / 17 October 2019

I decided to add some water to my level as the HDR water didn't look very good. The water I made was created with the help of my colleague Sophie Pette, a.k.a. the Water Master.




I have also decided to give the windows some dirt and grime, and some undulation as glass in the 18th/19th century was not very plane. I follow this tutorial to make a master glass material. I added many other things to it:




I wanted the windows to look more realistic so I modelled the groove where the glass planes would fit in the frame. I gave the window glass some depth and gave it a green/grey material to imitate glass thickness from the side.

I made wood variations for vertex painting and added a little more geometry on the floor. I vertex painted the parts of the floor that would be stepped on more often. The first picture is before vertex painting:


After vertex painting:


I didn't want to bake the chair and bookcase but I wanted pretty  decorations on them. I decided to make decals in order to apply them. I used some height maps I found online to make decorations, then brought them into substance painter and added details to it such as a wood material, wear marks and roughness variation. These are the originals:


These were from this website.

I am very pleased with how they look on the furniture:




The rug texture was taken from Wikipedia. It is a historical Persian rug.

Captain's Cabin - week 2

General / 11 October 2019

During week 2 I finished modelling and started making materials and texturing. I spent a while following this wood material tutorial by Jaako Saari, and adding some of my own touches to it.


 


  



I also made several other materials, some to be used as they are and others to import into Substance Painter to make textures. These included a metal base (to be multiplied with colours to make other metals):



  

A leather material:



  



  



  

A book pages material:



  


A chain material:



And a fabric material. For this one I used an image of a baroque pattern for time saving:



  


  

(This is the image I used, I did not make this. It was taken from the website Free Design File).


I also followed a tutorial by Mike Pickton (I don't think it is available online)  to make a material and blue print in Unreal Engine to randomise the colour of the books in the scene when I moved them. I textured the book in grey scale to add a colour overlay. I also added a mask so it would not affect the golden filigree:



  


  


  


The scene is currently looking like this:



  


  


  


  


  


The lighting is the next thing I will tackle (as well as finishing the texture for the globe). At the moment the light is not baked. I don't have any shadows yet so things appear to be disconnected.

To do list for week 3:

- Parallax occlusion for the floor planks

- Take a picture of a real rug and feather for texturing

- Trim Sheet

- Globe textures

- Lighting

- Letter texture (I will make it by hand with a calligraphy pen)


Stretch goals:

- Making a simple water texture and mountains in the horizon 

Captain's cabin - Week 1

General / 04 October 2019

I wanted to finish modelling by the end of the first week but unfortunately I still have some models to finish. I made a couple of textures too. Here is how things are looking like right now:







On Monday I will start making a wood material and hopefully finish modelling everything. I will spend week 2 probably texturing and making materials.

Starting 3rd year

General / 01 October 2019

I am going to be doing only environment briefs for the professional brief part of the year. I decided to start with the pirate ship, as it looks like a contained, small environment. I want to focus on small and well made environments for the first half of the year. While I looked for reference, I entertained the idea of making a pirate's tavern inside a ship; however that would mean I would have to spend time concepting. As the project is only 2,5 weeks long, I decided against it and went with the more common Captain's Cabin. For that I was able to find a concept I like and am basing my environment on (loosely), the concept is by Sergio Fernandez. It is a stylised concept but I wanted to make a realistic version of it:




Here is my PureRef:






I tend to start off with more general references, and as I get more into the details of the scene I look for more specific and detailed reference. I find it important for my process to start modelling the overall environment as soon as possible, because it makes me feel like things are getting done.


I like creating environments around a character's story, to add little pieces of narrative to it. The character for this room is a woman who left her fiancee, not because she did not love him, but because the sea was calling her. She misses him and fights feelings of guilt for leaving him, but she knew she needed a life of adventure and not that of a married woman. I intend on having and unsent letter on the desk addressing her ex-fiancee, maybe a locket with their names and a heart on it. As a counter balance, a pistol and gold coins will also populate the desk.


Right now most of my environment is a blockout, but the walls, windows, pillars, beams, ceiling and floors are almost done:





I have not started working on the lighting properly yet. I found an HDR that might change later, from the website HDRI Haven, and positioned the directional light to align with the sun. Other than changing the directional light's temperature, I have done nothing else at this point. Right now I just wanted to see if the room looked about the right size and if the light coming from the windows looked like it could work. Next I might start on a tiling wood material. Most things in this environment are made of wood and that will give me a jump start on mood, colours, contrast and lighting.