I feel like you can shoot this after printing it out...
And yes, these video are made using the standard unity pipeline but we will release soon also the HDRP version. Stay tuned!
Hi khiree.taylan, the projects could run in multiplatform. The graphics showed in these videos are made using a gtx 1070 but soon we will release also the mobile version :)
Efrem Pivetti gave a talk on his beautiful stylized scenes with an awesome warm mood made with UE4, Substance Painter, Maya, and ZBrush.
Hi! My name is Efrem Pivetti, I am a student of 3D art from Milan, Italy.
After my Bachelor’s Degree in Architecture at Polimi, I started a 3 years-course of Real-Time Graphics at the Event Horizon School. Now I am a 3rd-year student and, in addition to the school program, I collaborate as a 3D environment artist with the school, and work on asset production for VR Archiviz application as a freelance artist.
At the same time, with my personal projects, I keep practicing every day in order to improve my knowledge and skills as a 3D artist.
The scene was born from the possibility to make a piece for my portfolio. It was built around the little house, that was an asset that I have done as an exercise on ZBrush sculpt and stylized texture.
(The house is based on a concept by Airborn Studios – Albion Online ).
Having a break between school and work projects, I took the opportunity to challenge myself in stylized production and test crunch time environment art, so I gave myself a week to complete the project.
For the house, I started with a detailed blockout following the concept. I sculpted all the details with ZBrush, using mostly the basic tools (trim dynamic, hpolish, clay), and some brushes from the Orb-brushes pack by Michael Vicente.
For the UV’s I made 2 sets, one for the base and one for the top to achieve a good resolution. With a good level of detail baked from the hi poly mesh, I was able to use some masks with flat colors for the edges and the dirt to obtain a nice-looking stylized texture.
With soft brushes, I made some color adjustment and I used a mask with a light generator to create a cool shade of color to highlight more details.
I had the scene in my mind for a while but before starting I searched for some reference to build the mood, the lighting and assets style.
I also made my color palette based on the colors I used for the house.
The first step for me was to set up a very simple blockout to better visualize the scene with a basic lighting setup that can show me the best direction for the project.
I started creating the rock that in a natural environment usually help me to define the space.
With these 2 assets and with the help of some sketches made on paper I started to compose the scene and made some lighting tests working with hot and cold contrast.
After this, first I made a list of simple and fast props to do, following some reference, I made the blockout out of the meshes and composed the almost definitive scene.
To finalize the assets I followed the same workflow used for the house: details in Zbrush, retopo in Maya, and texturing in Substance.
Thanks to the work previously done for the house I was able to create smart materials and work more quickly on the props texturing, so I adjusted only some color and added some details by hand.
For plants and trees, I just did some planes for the leaves and made my own simple texture using Substance Painter. With the opacity channel, I made the shape of the branches, some color variation and added the snow on the top.
In order to obtain a nice view from the cliff, I thought to create a mountain.
I used World Machine with very simple settings, exported the mesh that I decimated in Zbrush and bake normal and occlusion maps that I used in Unreal 4 with just a flat gray color.
For this asset I really don’t care too much about optimization, the mountain works really good for the scene so that was enough for me.
Materials and Terrain
Regarding the materials, I set up the master materials I need in Unreal 4 with some parameters in order to control with instance materials all the maps in real time.
I use a master material with vertex normal to make the snow fall naturally on the meshes.
For the terrain, I used 3 layers with 2 materials functions for soft snow and ice, I also added a color+normal layer to make some color variation painting by hand.
Using materials instances, I was able to change in no time the textures and balance the parameters to achieve the result that works better for the scene.
For the snow, I used some texture I had in my library and increased the intensity of the dots in Photoshop in order to maximize the reflection on the ground and to get a more toon and soft looking.
For the ice I used this material of which I used only the normal map to keep a more flat style.
Lighting and Post Process
The lighting for me was the most difficult part, from the very first steps I made a lot of small changes. I worked with all static lights and draft settings to see all the changes on the lightmap in less time. I used orange lights to obtain a warm mood near the house and I created a contrast with cold blue from the skylight and the directional light. I also added a green spotlight from the left with the intent to recall northern lights and, thanks to the fog, I obtained a nice shade on the background. To make some details more visible I used some point lights without shadow casting.
The post process finalized the scene. I added a little more saturation to obtain a more toon-like effect, furthermore, I increased the value of the bloom that creates a sort of fairy and peaceful mood.
Considering this exercise as a speed test, I am really happy about the result.
I managed to do all I had in my mind, which means I was able to proportion the size of the project based on my skills. I accomplished the project in 6 days and I use the last one to produce screenshots and cinematic.
This small personal “art test” challenged me to work and think faster moreover I had to carefully manage my time. Thanks to this exciting project, I get some more confidence on my skills for the stylized environments and improved my knowledge of the engine.
I am aware that I still have a lot to learn but I think that this project has taken me a step forward to enter the field as a professional.