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Hi Elliott, This is a great breakdown and very generous in sharing your process and insights, you came a long way from the vending machine days!
Are you planning on releasing the UE4 project to the public? Or only builds? I'd love to play around with it in the editor if possible!
Mark Knight continues to teach us the tricks of Hexels 3, talking about constructing architectural scenes.
Hexels is great for quickly creating clean isometric and geometric shapes. Architectural scenes can be efficiently constructed by viewing the grid like x,y,z, coordinates. With this in mind it can be really helpful to plan out a scene accurately with simple math.
Using this technique, and with the inclusion of pixel mode, extra layers of detail can be applied to a scene for complex shapes and details that previously wouldn’t have been possible.
The first image (left) shows the initial Trixel isometric blockout. I used the standard Trixel and ramp tools with varying opacity layers for the glass. The second example (centre) shows pixel layer details, reflections and varying gradient layers to simulate shadows and ambient occlusion. The final image (right) shows both sets of layer type and a hue/saturation effect added to the whole document.
I used the Outline Tool to create the brick wall pattern. This method reduces the visible mortar width without resorting to a memory hungry subdivision to create a larger brick to mortar ratio.
I used pixel mode almost exclusively for props and details like this bowl of fruit.
By transforming a layer (T on the keyboard), drawings can be resized to suit your scene. When switching from vector to pixel mode, the entire image is shown at one uniform pixel resolution. This means that there will be no inconsistencies in pixel scale for the final exported image.
You can use lighting to add a sense of depth and complexity to your artwork with a combination of detail painted at varied opacity, gradients, effects and pixel layers. With subtle control of these dynamic parameters, the possible uses for Hexels 3 are considerably more varied.