Featured image of post The Animal Shrine - 07 - Bits and Pieces

The Animal Shrine - 07 - Bits and Pieces

The development process of The Animal Shrine - 07

Bits and pieces (and a plank)

Low ground camera shot from Unreal 4. Close to the front are lots of stone shrine lanterns. Steps take one upwards towards the main layout of the whole place. Part of a building is seen with its wooden balcony and supports lit in oranges through hanging lanterns. In the background where the landscape ends, one can now observe large, lowpoly mountains range.

I finally replaced those cylinders I had at the very front that were supposed to be shrines.

There were still some crucial bits that I didn’t have even in greybox. Mainly because I was pretty confident that I know how I want them and it wont take that much to do them. Was I right? Well it took me 3-4 different iterations of doing the same balcony before I settled down on what I like, so maybe I wasn’t right after all. But I’ll tell you what - it felt refreshing and nice to do it after falling in the hole of “oh is this texture worth anything” yesterday and the day before that.

Screenshot of one of the buildings that sits on the most densely populated wooden supports. Lots of placeholder trees in the background (simple cylinders) and a lowpoly mountains range.

Props are still placeholders and some lack textures. Then there is the very long roof which is 3 shrunk huge roofs and thus the baked AO that has left marks as if from burnt. The bits that are not textured though I even UV mapped so it should be relatively quick to give them the wooden look.

I’m still working on the texture of the roof that you see on the big one. First version was very grey and dark, then I went into more of a brown warm wood look which helped a lot. The bits on the very top are gonna be metal and have oxidized green parts (bronze) that I hope will contrast nicely with the wood. Still I feel like it lacks a bit of variation and texture and as such I will go over the edges and add metal ornaments/rain plates and so on, that will hopefully break up the wood and make it more interesting.

Here is an ordinary wood planks texture I did in Substance Designer to go on the walls:

UV sphere screenshot from Substance Designer. Shows a wooden plank material, in a slightly stylized detail.

At first I though it was very boring and dull and is gonna look bad in Unreal. Turns out that wooden walls are very much ordinary, and maybe its for the best not to have anything crazy going on. I think i will leave it like that for now, see how it works with the metal and with the rest of the textures in the scene, and then maybe come back to it and add detail, make it actually realistic or completely change it.

Gif time

Progress gif from the angle where one can observer the dense, wooden supports. There is now a build up of balcony and shaded roof parts too. Place goes from unlit and flat to having hanging lanterns with dramatic, orange spotlights that have strong influence on the Volumetric Fog used in UE4.

The GIFs remind me of one last thought that I have about my scene development. Most of the angles I show in the GIFs have the thinking of “what would be the best angle to fit everything in the picture and show my progression in the most transparent way”. Thus the far-away aerial shots from some of the previous posts. What I really should do soon though, is pick some specific angles that look good and make the scene justice. Then I will have to stick to those and make sure they above all look the best so I can use them as final images.

The idea behind my whole level and development here is that I want the scene to have a “game ready” look, where if you throw the player in, no matter First or 3rd Person, they can traverse anywhere and everything will look perfect from any angle. Will that work though? I might have to accept the fact that I might not be able to do that for the short deadline we have. Not with the quality that I want anyway. And if that is the case, then I need to have proper angles and bits where I can fall back to and know that they will work.

For now though, I’m sticking to the “game ready” mentality, no matter the size.

As always, comments are much appreciated and have a good night from me.

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