Medieval Village Production Guide

Medieval Village Production Guide

Sourav Kumar participated in the Artstation Challenge and did a huge breakdown of his impressing game environment project, Medieval Village.

Introduction

Hello! I'm Sourav. I am 27 years old, and I am from India. In 2012, I attended the Maya Academy of Advanced Cinematic in my hometown, Patna, where I received a bachelor's degree in 3D Animation and Visual Effects. For the past three years, I've been working in this industry. I started as a Prop artist and currently working as an environment artist. I have worked on Overkill's The Walking Dead, Forza Horizon 4, and a couple of unreleased projects. 

Participation in the Artstation Challenge

This was the second time I participated in the Artstation Challenge. In the first challenge, I was not confident in creating Environment Artwork, so I took part in the Prop challenge. But this time, I wanted to put all my excuses aside and challenge myself, so I joined the Environment Challenge.  After seeing lots of amazing artworks, I decided to make this beautiful concept by Cmy Cai. While creating artwork, I always try to implement my creativity and thoughts besides of original concept. And since I knew that a lot of participants are going to pick the same artwork, I wanted to make something different from others.

My initial thought was the level should be playable, and it should look beautiful. And one major issue was the center area of the market. In concept, the center part is covered by people, so I have to find a way to balance that area. Then, I started gathering references and making a mood board. I took most of my inspiration from the Witcher 3 and A Plague Tale: Innocence Game.

Pureref Production 

I divided my environment into three major parts: foreground, midground, and background. I was a little nervous about Backdrop. It was looking big and dense. For trees, my initial thought was to use Imposter. I was worried about how my PC is going to handle this huge scene.

Modeling

I started blocking out the buildings and main shapes in Autodesk Maya. The idea here is to keep primitives and extremely simple geometry. During this stage, I planned how big this environment is going to be and the constructions of the streets. I finally came up with the idea of a king’s statue to fulfill the center space.

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After the block-out, I started the construction of modular buildings and placing them in the engine. I also did a basic landscape sculpting in UE4.

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Additional Tips 

There are a few things I kept in mind during the modeling stage. First was breaking the silhouette, and since I was planning to use tileable texture for the wood, I gave chamfer on edges, where needed, and weighted the vertex to fix the shading issue.

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Market Props

A few basket models. The same models, but using two different tileable texture. 

I worked in ZBrush on one small and large sack. I have created two texture for the sack.

I created a simply-shaped vase and pots. Also, I created some broken pieces for scattering. I applied four different color texture to the same models for variations. 

Other Props

Other Models

I did a cloth simulation in Marvelous Designer.

The castle was made with simple box shapes and black color applied to windows since it was too far.

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Some of these props were made with the use of tileable wood texture. For backdrop tress, I was planning to use Imposter, but it wasn’t giving me desired depth, so I created a basic tree in speed tree to scatter on the mountain. I made two color variations of the tree. 

King’s Statue

After a couple of designs, I came up with this one.

Other Ideas and Helmet Reference

Texturing 

Substance Designer Materials

As I was studying Substance Designer for quite some time, I thought this project is good for some more exploration in SD. Here are a few breakdowns of materials.

Ground Breakdown

I have used 3 blend texture shaders along with puddle and Parallax Occlusion Mapping. I have used POM shader by CG_Spartans. 

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UE4 Materials 

With the help of UE4 documents and online tutorials, I manage to make some materials for my scene. Here is the breakdown of a few materials. Big thanks to all of them, keep making useful content for the community. 

House Breakdown

Scene Setup in UE4

Lighting in UE4

I used dynamic lights for my scene. Here is the process. 

Lighting & Post-Process Parameters

Afterword

I enjoyed participating in the Artstation challenge. It gives you a good platform to learn and compete with some of the best artists in the industry. The biggest challenge for me is balancing time. After 8 hours of office work, it is really hard to do some personal work, but it feels good to see your 40 days of hard work in your portfolio piece and people are appreciating your work. This is enough for me to get motivated. Keep supporting, and I will continue to make beautiful and amazing artworks. Thanks for watching. See you soon.

Sourav Kumar, Game Artist

Interview conducted by Kirill Tokarev

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