Featured image of post The Animal Shrine - 02 - Blockout

The Animal Shrine - 02 - Blockout

The development process of The Animal Shrine - 02


I’ve been greyboxing the concept for my level for a few hours now. I’m quite excited how its shaping already and wanted to update all of you with some screenshots.

A few days ago I did a sketch on paper looking at the level top-down. In that one, I made every single shape and the buildings square. Today, playing with the shapes in Unreal, I decided that I want to break up the level a bit more than that.

First look at the 3D scene blockout. Unreal 4 screenshot. High level camera view of a blocked out space with little huts that still don’t have roofs. Everything uses checkerboard, placeholder, blockout materials. Some gray, other green checkerboards.

I wanted to be sure that there is variety in height too, and as such I elevated the whole place. I created wooden structures for each building to sit on. I still don’t have the roofs, and I don’t think its much worth it to even greybox them in Unreal. Making them to look like anything, even for illustrative purposes, will take far too long, and now that I have figured most of the measurements I can just dive into Maya and make them there.

The fencing around the whole place will be from stone. It will also have its own mini triangular roofing that is probably gonna be wooden (in the style of the rest of the buildings). For the square building to the right I have an interesting idea, but I will share it with you given that everything else goes according to plan the next few weeks.

Here are some progress GIFs:

Gif preview showing the progression of building up the blockout. It all starts first with simple rectangular platforms only to later be build up by smaller “wooden” structures of supports that then host other square buildings on top.

It’s kind of fun to see it get built like this in an animation, as if some invisible workers are putting it in place.

An angular shot for a better view:

Identical gif progressions preview as above (as in the action is the same). The difference is that the camera is a bit more to the side.

And here is an aerial shot:

The gif progression seen in the two files above, but this time around from a camera nearing a top down look. The progress on building up the layout can be showcased much more easily here.

Further work

I’m imagining prolific and bulky (but smooth) triangular roofs that go on 2 or even 3 levels. I think they will compliment the squarish shapes underneath and create some interesting silhouettes.

Around the whole place I want to scatter lots of trees, as to make this whole place in a remote, tranquil location. In one of the reference books that I got, the author put it so nicely in words, that its quite the inspiration for me – “…the plains would have formed a veritable sea of trees, their tips stretching into the distance like waves.”

Well, given technical limitations on the number of trees I can have and also the fact that I’ve never done a serious foliage before, let alone a tree, we shall see if I manage to accomplish view worthy of that description. But that is something for the very end, and as such not worth any worry right now.

I hope that you like what you see and that your projects are coming along nicely guys! Until next time.

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