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.