Thursday, August 5, 2021

Sunday, August 1, 2021

Project 3 Week 3

 This week I am finishing all of my sculpts and baking all of my textures. I fell a little behind due to wanting to finish my research project for this week first. I am having some major normals issues with zBrush exports that need to be resolves with the cliff piece.

Research Project - World Machine

 For my research project, I decided to investigate World Machine, as I have seen many studios seek out environment artists with knowledge of the software. Unfortunately, due to budgeting, this only goes over the free license version of the software, which limits your export to 1024x1024 and does not support a multi-monitor setup. 


World Machine is a terrain builder that uses procedural noise textures to generate textures and geometry for a landscape. It starts with the Green area, the Terrain Creation tool where you will be building out the basis for the rest of your landscape. This area uses procedural textures and generates normals and geometry that can be modified and pushed through filters, in the Blue area, and then exported as a mesh and map in the Red area.

For me and my portfolio project, I wished to create some simple hills in the background, and then some mountains that frame my building model. I will walk you through the creation of the hills, the tools within World Machine that I used, and the process of exporting the landscape for use in Unreal Engine 4.
Part One - Terrain Creation

When you double click the Advance Perlin Node, you will be given the following options. You can start with a preset, which ranges from Billowy Hills to Sharp Mountain Ranges. Some experimental options are also given that you can blend together to create more unique landscapes. You can adjust the scale of the range here, so you can have a large range of mountains or just a few on an island. The persistence controls the persistence of the selected fractal. The seed allow you to randomize your landscape until you find one that fits. The steepness increases the highest and lowest values to create steeper hills or mountains. The Middle elevation allows you to control the overall sealevel.

Next you may choose to go through another generator. There is the Radial Gradient generator that helps build a single radial hill or mountain. You can adjust the radius and the blur around the edges of the hill/mountain.
Another generator that you can run your landscape through is the shape generator. This allows you to to have control of shapes on your landscape, or even create custom shaped islands or ranges!

Last, you could run it through a Voronai fractal to get more abstract shapes in your landscape. 
Part Two: Filters

Now that you have the basic shape of your landscape created, you may want to run it through some filters. You can terrace your landscape or add erosion to make the landscape feel more weathered.
First you can terrace the landscape by double clicking the terrace node. 
Then you can run your landscape through an erosion filter to mimic the idea of the landscape being affected by years of rain and other weather conditions.
Part Three: Exporting your Project for UE4. 

Next you may want to generate some simple textures and normals for your landscape for UE4. if you pull of from your final node, make sure the first one goes into a mesh output. Then, you can create a basic coverage and select the colors for your landscape. You will need to add a Bitmap Output so World Machine knows to generate a map. You must do the same with your normal map.
Time to Build your maps!
Part Four: Setup in UE4

I fyou would like to import the landscape to your project as a landscape, you can go to Landscape Mode > New Landscape > Import from file, then select your heighmap file which was generated from your height output. Then , create a material with both your basic coverage and normal maps. 

Then press Import! Voila!
Alternatively,  if you would like to export your mesh as a model that you can bring into Maya and Zbrush, set an output to a Mesh Output. 
This will give you an OBJ export which can be used to create a static mesh asset, and can be modified within ZBrush!

Sunday, July 25, 2021

Project 3 Week 2

 This week I generated more of my high-res pieces and pushed some to ZBrush to sculpt. I am planning on finishing all of my hi-res by the end of the day today and focus on retopo and UVs for this next sprint. I also am tackling a new solution to the World Machine problem as we still do not have a full license.

Friday, July 23, 2021

Labyrinth Sprint 5

 This week I worked on fixing lighting and materials and optimization. A major part of what I worked on was updated the water shader to interact with the cartoon water shader and attempting to make it look as close to the concept as I could.

Sunday, July 18, 2021

Project 3 Week 1

 This week I started the blockout and proxy for my final portfolio piece of this semester. I modeled the proxy parts in Maya and spent a lot of time learning the nodes for World Machine and figuring out the best ways to export from World Machine to UE4

Concept Art by Grady Frederick

Week 1 Blockout Progress in UE4

For the remainder of my schedule my plan continues to be:
Week 2 - Hi Res all and Generate trees and Foilage SpeedTree
Week 3 - Game Res + UVs + First Pass of Textures
Week 4 - Polish & Present

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Project 3 Selection

 Nick and I discussed my final project for the summer semester.

I picked a concept by Grady Frederick to do a 3D study of. I am going to attempt to recreate this whole scene, but in case it does not happen I really want to push the center building and cliffs!
For my research, I am going to create the mountains in World Machine and the trees in SpeedTree and document my use of tools.

Schedule :
Week 1 - Proxy all element and set up with lighting UE4
Week 2 - Hi Res all and Generate trees and Foilage SpeedTree
Week 3 - Game Res + UVs + First Pass of Textures
Week 4 - Polish & Present

Sunday, July 11, 2021

Project 2 Week 4

This week I finalized most of my textures, I spend more time on certain assets so I would like to go back and polish some this week as I set up my next project!

This is my UE4 Render and a sequencer capture showing the steam I added to the coffee!

Friday, July 9, 2021

Labyrinth Sprint 4

 This week I didn't really have any tasks left to do but I made adjustments to existing assets and worked on lighting and post processing.  I also gave assistance to Daniela for texturing the tower with the material i created for the wall.

I worked on tweaking the lighting and making a postprocessing adjustment that added some noise and slight chromatic aberration.

I also removed the in game text and textured the sign to have the bog of eternal stench.

Lighting Practice


I was on team 4 so I got the opportunity to light Team 1  (fireflies) project lighting. 

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

Project 2 - Week 3

This week I focused on getting all my uvs done and getting my textures into engine to start finalizing this scene by the end of this sprint. I didn't quite get all the pieces done, but I am well on my way!

Sunday, June 27, 2021

Project 2 Week 2

 This week I pushed the low poly to high poly and began UVs for my project.