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Here’s our little talk with environment artist Jhosep Chevarria, where he talk about his most recent environment project. In ‘Mountain Splendor’ he tried to build a scene, which would capture the look of the famout sceneries painted by Bob Ross. He talked about the use of shaders, the work with post-effects, lighting and landscapes.
My name is Jhosep Chevarria, I am 22 years old and I live in Arequipa, Perú. I usually work as an Environment Artist, but I get involved in Level Design, Character Art, VFX. I work with tourism and video game companies as a freelance artist mostly. I’ve been educating myself with tutorials, documentation, and dev-blogs, related to environment art and game design, for more than 5 years, thanks to the motivation of Epic Games and friends. I’ve graduated with a degree in computer science and information technology from the institute Hipolito Unanue.
Every night I watch a video of ‘The Joy of Painting with Bob Ross‘, so one day I felt inspired to recreate his paintings with Unreal Engine 4 in the most fun and easy way possible. The Goal of this scene is simple: finish the scene with the video of Bob Ross! It took me 3 hours to build the forest with my collection of assets (from old projects).
It took me 3 hours to build the forest with my collection of assets (from old projects).
- The content browser is my palette of colors.
- Do it simple.
- Have fun.
The mountain is made of two static meshes of mountains (low poly background mountains) and the landscape was made with the landscape editor. For little details I used rocks (static meshes).
I started with the mountain, moving each piece and rescaling to have a mountain that would look like the one in the video. I’ve put spotlights to have some nice colors with the mountain (no shadows). The colors are really important this time, not just a mix of assets.
The reflections are blurred, like the canvas of Bob. It brings that “magic effect” (screen space reflections, Intensity 100).
Some happy little water lines (particle effects for the effect)
There are important questions every artist should ask before building a forest:
- What kind of trees should be in my scene – pines, banana plants, palms?
- How will the lighting affect my scene? Will it use GI?
- How big with the scene be?
- Maybe it’s a spooky forest, maybe it’s a jungle?
- How varied will my scene be?
If I don’t ask these questions myself, my scene will simply be a pile of pines of the same size on a green plane with grass. It is important to know how forest looks in the real life, how rocks are distributed, different sizes of trees, types of plants and flowers, not only green, we can find different colors. We can change orientation, size and textures of our trees.
The same tree in the first plane duplicated
The grass was placed with the foliage tool and the bushes and other plants placed manually to have the desired effect.
The effects of the painting comes from modified cell shader settings (available in the UE4 documentation) and modifications of the post-process settings such as contrast, DOF, LPV and SSR.
With some modifications of the blendable master material I get different variations of the scene.
I’m using LPV and point lights to have different colors over the grass, for the ambient, I’m using a skylight with a custom cubemap.