3D environment designer Jeryce Dianingana talked about creating awesome lighting and reflections in Unity.
80.lv had a talk with Jeryce Dianingana, one of the most promising Unity 5 environmental artists. In this exclusive interview he talked about his career, the most important aspects of environmental design, and the comparison between Unity 5 and Unreal Engine 4.
About Jeryce Dianingana
My name is Jeryce Dianingana, but you can call me Jey for short. I’m 22 years old and I work at Mycloud3D, a French company based in Paris that makes and shares 3D Virtual Tours in the Cloud. I received my Bachelor’s in Game Design from ICAN in Paris. This is where I learned how to make games from scratch. I naturally went into 3D design because I like beautiful things and ever since I was young, I have always wanted to make games. Making a story and creating environments that I can navigate in, is childhood dream come true.
Picking up Unity 5
Unity is the first engine that I used and now I’m attached to it. The engine is very easy to manipulate and when you have a programmer with you, it’s like being in a candy store – everything is moddable. You can extend the editor and create new tools just for yourself. Another good thing is that it’s very easy to port your project onto multiple platforms. For a small one-man team like me, I think this is the best engine. I’m also very comfortable with it and very satisfied with what I can do with it.
About Environment Design
I have a couple of environments I’ve been working on.
“Trudaine House” was a project at MyCloud3D. For inspiration, I checked websites like Pinterest and Evermotion. I then created a big file of interior images that I found on these sites and selected four main sites of inspiration which include: a living room, kitchen, adult bedroom, and children’s bedroom. I then showed them to my team and this allowed us to reproduce, customize, and totally imagine new furniture.
The “Archviz – Living Room” scene from Evermotion was quite a challenge. The most difficult thing was not to crash Unity, so I had to reduce some polygons over the 3D meshes, and unwrap and texture them with Quixel SUITE. This was very hard because the high numbers of polygons caused a huge decrease in the FPS (frames per second), so patience was a necessity when working with a scene like this.
Above everything, I think the most important thing is the lighting. The lighting and materials have a bigger role than the model or number of the polygons in the scene. All my textures are done with Quixel SUITE. The lighting in Unity isn’t that difficult to use and the company has some great video tutorials with documentations. I always strive to create the most realistic lighting.
For the reflections, I used the new reflection probe system in Unity. This is like a camera that takes screenshots in a spherical view in all directions. You can choose the resolution, so it depends on what you want for the scene.
I coupled that with the SSRR plugin from Livenda called Candela. It’s not yet fully compatible with the new PBR shader of Unity 5, so it’s a little hard to have a good render with it and it can hurt the performance really bad.
Comparing UE4 and Unity 5
I tried Unreal Engine 4 to see how it compared with Unity 5, and I have to say that Unreal is really effective. The outstanding AA and the SSRR are the things that really make the difference for me. The main advantage of it is that it’s hard to make a bad thing graphically. Unreal also has the Cascade particle editor, Blueprint visual scripting, and the Matinee animation tool. It would be great to have those things in Unity.
The disadvantages for Unreal, however, are connected with the usability mostly. The interface is not user-friendly enough when you compare it to Unity. It’s much more difficult to export a project to different platforms.
Plans for the Future
Currently, I’m working on an environment for a game with my team. Stay tuned for it!