Environment Production With Quixel 2.0
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Environment Production With Quixel 2.0
23 May, 2016
Interview

3d artist Vistorovschi Victor talked about the production of his great UE4 scenes. He talked about the composition, materials, lighting and other little details.

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Introduction

Hi, my name is Vistorovschi Victor and I’m an aspiring 3d artist with my main focus being on hard surface modelling and I am currently working as a QA Tester over at Electronic Arts. So far I’ve only been working on personal projects and my portfolio.

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The Production of UE4 Scenes

The first thing I do is to try and find reference images relating to the environment I’m building to nail down the general mood. The next thing is doing a rough version of the scene and get the general composition and lighting. Once that is done, it’s time to start making a list with every model, textures, particles, effects I need to make for the scene. I normally use Trello since it’s easy to use when it comes to organising my work. It really creates a real sense of progression by having a clear overview of the project you’re working on. After I finish doing all the models and textures and adding them in the environment, I’ll make some last minute tweaks and fiddle with the post processing to nail down the final look of the scene.

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Building the General Composition

I always try to have a rough version up and running as early as possible and start to iterate on it until I have something close to what I want the scene to look like. When I start set dressing the scene, I always try to make it look believable like there’s some kind of history behind it.

Assets

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I have a pretty straightforward asset production pipeline. I do my high and low poly models and baking in 3D Studio Max and for texturing I’m using Photoshop along with Quixel Suite 2. The models I make vary depending on what I’m working on. If it’s for a static scene I don’t really worry about the poly count or how optimized the model is, the only thing that matters is the end result, but if it’s for a game environment then I have to take in consideration how big the model will be, how close will the player get to the model, LODs, the poly count, etc. And it also depends what platform you’re developing for in case you’re doing assets for a game.

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Materials

Quixel Suite really helped me speed up material production. It’s an awesome tool and I really like how it’s integrated directly with Photoshop.

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As for setting up the materials, it can vary depending on the production pipeline. Either by making unique textures for each model or using master materials along with texture masks. For example on the galley environment I only used one master material for most of the models and only changing the normal and AO maps. It all boils down to what is your preferred pipeline.

Lighting

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The lighting is done by using static and stationary lights and only using dynamic lights to add some highlights or light up darken areas in the scene. Also I start adding in lights early on to get a general look and feel and figure out in what areas of the scene should I focus on adding more details.

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Keeping the Artificiality Away

There are a lot of factors that contribute to making a scene look more natural. How the lighting is set up in order to achieve a more natural look, how the materials are done and look under different lighting conditions, how the effects are used, the post processing etc. It’s a combination of all these elements that, if done right, can make a scene stand out.

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Vistorovschi Victor, 3d artist

Interesting links

LIGHTING COMPARISON IN UE4 AND CRYENGINE

STUDYING LIGHTING & MATERIALS IN UNREAL ENGINE 4

LIGHTING SCENES: REALISTIC LIGHTING FOR AUTODESK MAYA AND MODO

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