Sergey Tyapkin recollected how he arranged a personal challenge One Environment per Day: difficulties, quick production tips, experience gained.
“Easy peasy! The challenge is going to be fun and easy. I’ll just try a few new tricks and implement some ideas I never had time for”, – those were my thoughts just before the challenge. But the reality happened to be tougher.
I didn’t prepare any concepts in advance. So, I began each new day from scratch, equipped only with a general idea and a desire to have something finished by the end of the day.
Quick Production Tips
Since the challenge put the time constraints, I had to use a few tricks. Here are some of them:
- Remember that you have no technical restrictions as long as your computer is able to work with all these fancy shaders and lights in real-time. Don’t bother with optimization, your main goal is to show your idea.
- Don’t be afraid of scaling and reusing the same meshes in different combinations to get the new elements or for fill the background. Create unique elements only if you really need them.
- Try to apply different materials to your meshes. A glowing wall? Why not, it could be just the thing you need.
- Make an automatic UV unwrapping. It only takes a minute and allows you to use patterns in tileable materials.
- Add dust, fog, steam effects from UE4 standard asset pack. It doesn’t take much time but brings life into your scene.
- Use ideas and assets from your old projects, if you have them.
- Show your progress on social media, it will encourage you to keep up the pace until the end of the project.
Each environment posed its own challenges. Sometimes there were problems in rendering, sometimes the idea was weak, but every time the hardest thing was to get to the final stage.
Every day I wasn’t happy with my results, each environment seemed to be a failure. Doubts were eating away my belief in myself as an artist. Right solutions usually came to me in dying minutes before the deadline, after another change in the lighting or composition.
The second challenge was fatigue, which had been accumulating day by day. On the fifth day, my determination began to melt like ice cream on a sunny day. So, I started streaming on a Youtube channel to get some support from followers. Their support, deepened by the support of my family, helped me to go the distance.
So, the main trick was to be determined, try again and again, find new approaches until you achieve the desired result.
Upon completion of the challenge, I got some experience in the production of interactive concepts as well as optimized my pipeline. As a bonus, I implemented some old ideas and got a few good artworks.
The most important thing though is that I won a victory over myself once again. Isn’t it one of the main aims of any challenge?
Sergey Tyapkin, 3D Artist / Concept Designer
Interview conducted by Kirill Tokarev
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