Setting Up High-Quality Vegetation in CryEngine

Setting Up High-Quality Vegetation in CryEngine

Rahimullah Sharifi talked about his marvelous forest scene created with the help of CryEngine, Substance and some Megascans assets.

Rahimullah Sharifi talked about his marvelous forest scene created with the help of CryEngine, Substance and some Megascans assets.


Hello, My name is Rahimullah Sharifi and I’m from Afghanistan, now living in Frankfurt, Germany. It’s been three years I have been living here and I have done my Bachelors in London, England. I have worked on many projects and all of them were for my portfolio to get into the gaming industry.  It’s been 2 years I got interested in 3d and VFX but later I found out about CryEngine and Game Development and start learning and working on various things which later I wanted to be a “Lightning Artist” and from that day own I have been learning new stuff and wants to get better.    


The only referenced I had was the Unity demo of the Book of the Dead video on Youtube and I really liked it, and I said to myself I can create it in CryEngine too. This only video was my only reference watching to, again and again, to get everything right.

Around the river, I wanted to have a collection of cliff and pine trees to give it a realistic look. I didn’t think of a river but later after making a sample river scene in another project, I decided to implement it here and came out to be good. 


Most of the vegetation is from within the engine, and one of the flowers was from Megascans assets library, And there is a lot of stuff like tree logs, stone, tree stump, cliff rocks, and river rock. I have scanned those myself with my 90D Nikon camera, and Photoscan Agisoft, 3ds Max, Crazy Bump, and Photoshop have been used in this process.


I wanted to make the river to be really realistic, so I went with scanned models and most of the assets in the river is scanned model. which I wanted to have a realistic Look. CryEngine is a really good engine to be used for this kind of situation because it can speed up the workflow cause of the real-time light system while working. The water animation wasn’t that challenging, I used the river tool within the engine and all I did was to select a water shader and played around in the properties to get what I want in my scene. I’ll be sharing the river properties settings.

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The materials in this scene I used, Forest Ground, were made in Quixel Mixer to give it mossy and dirty look with a combination of 2 textures. And for the assets, I have used the mentioned software solutions. For my personal projects, I use CryEngine fbx importer and it makes my workflow quick. But I prefer to use 3ds Max to bring materials to Cryengine with the help of CryExport tool. I have used Crazy Bump, Photoshop, and most of the time I use Substance Designer as my one of my favourite material creation tools.   


The ToD I wanted to have an evening time of 16:00, and most of the work has been done in beautiful environment editor in Cryengine with a combination of Volumetric fog, skylight settings, Depth of field, Total illumination, and for the sky I have used an amazing static sky from CGSkies as my skybox material and applied to a skydome, and all the lights are real-time.

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The whole scene itself took about a week to fully finished, the hard part was scanning and taking pictures of various stuff for a realistic look and feels was the photogrammetry part. which I did take about 150 to 200 pics for each model and more time in scanning and rendering and ready to use. I think yes we have already seen in many games the studios have already used the photogrammetry tactics to get a realistic look in games and also in as we know that Cryengine is an engine that uses a real-time lightning system. We can get the same results for games in real-time not only just for CG-like videos or cinematics. In this scene, the player can roam around the level with the same looks as we have it in the video. 

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Rahimullah Sharifi, Level Designer / Lightning Artist

Interview conducted by Kirill Tokarev

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