Featured image of post The Animal Shrine - 09 - Revamp on Layout

The Animal Shrine - 09 - Revamp on Layout

The development process of The Animal Shrine - 09

Revamp. Back to basics.

Unreal 4 screenshot showing the layout of the 3D scene. Everything is now moved around and reshuffled. The calligraphers hut is now on a level in Z lower than before. It sits to the right of the steps that lead to the main buildings. On the left of these steps is the shrine with the large, stone lantern.

If there is one thing that painting and illustration has taught me better than any anything else, it’s the fact that sometimes you can feel in your gut that there is a problem in your composition, but you cloud your mind and decide to ignore it because of fear of failing in trying to fix it. The truth in nearly 10 out of 10 cases, though, is that if you put the time in and you do not ignore it, there is no chance you will not succeed in improving it.

In this environment, I could feel the square, too perfect shape. I thought that it fits nicely a shrine, or a temple like that. According to my research, in Japan they did build them in that fashion quite frequently. But that does not change the fact, that no matter what angle I would take with my camera, most of the shots were way too flat and kind of boring.

So I went in and used to my advantage the modularity of my props. I left the two main buildings elevated, but took the square hut and shrine down one level. I did that in hopes of capturing more dynamic shots with more interesting silhouettes and better shapes.

Top-down, orthographic view of the scene. The screenshot to the left is before. The screenshot to the right is after all the changes. On the right one can observe the layout being slightly less condense and on two levels of verticality. There is also more of a middle point - the stairs that lead to the second vertical level.

I feel like it did improve quite a bit, and although I will still be posting shots capturing the whole place, I am going to stick to some specific angles and work on what is seen in them.

The textures you see for the landscape are placeholders (kind of obvious when you take a look at those roughness channel values).

Screenshot of the calligraphers hut. It’s lit in yellow from the interior. There are white, scroll blockout static meshes attached here and there, hanging.

In my very first post I mentioned that I have a special idea for the square hut. I finally went in and blocked it. I want it to look like the workshop of a master calligrapher. All around on the walls and the entrance are hanging countless of scrolls with all sorts of fortunes written in beautiful calligraphy. It needs lots of work but I will try to keep it relatively simple and give it more detail with the scrolls. A good friend of mine from Japan will help me put some proper sentences and texts on those.

Look specifically at the shrine where there are circular steps leading to a focal point of a stone lantern. On the little steps there are many tiny lanterns. They light up in oranges the otherwise gray area (UE4 screenshot).

I placed some tiny lamps on the shrine, but the idea is that they will be candles put in bamboo sticks cut at a sharp angle. I blocked out a few shapes in front of it. One will be a trough and the ones next to it will be vases, plants and some statues at the very front.


We haven’t had a GIF for a while so here is one as usual. Starting from the beginning.

Gif progression that shows up the build up of the scene to have atmospheric fog, bet lit up and have textures on the landscape (dirt and green grass base texture). Then a big revamp in the entire layout happens.

I hope you do agree that there is an improvement. I want to thank a few friends that gave me the valuable feedback of saying that the place was looking a bit too flat, even though I had it elevated and every single building was on a different construction level as well.

I have a few important props still missing, but I will get right to modelling those and then I will try to focus on getting finalized textures and models. I created a cobblestone material, which I still haven’t implemented in the scene.

UV sphere screenshot from inside Substance Designer. Showcases circular stones. A pavement-like texture. Between the stones, in the gaps, there is green moss.

Any comments are appreciated. Have a good night from me!

Go to next blog entry.

Writing and art by Peter Dimitrov. Website theme by Jimmy, modified heavily and customized by Miroslav Dimitrov.
Built with Hugo
Theme Stack designed by Jimmy