If you’d read my previous blog post you will know that I have recently started working on an ‘Architectural Visualisation’ project I am doing in my spare time while doing my Final Major Project for University. Over the past week I have been whiteboxing the environment so that I have the scaled base assets set ready to start making the final meshes.
I have found that getting realistic scale between objects is surprisingly difficult especially when working from a 2d image. So most of my time has been spent trying to get that correct so that I don’t have to worry about it later on down the line when I’m making the final assets.
I started out by blocking the environment out using BSP in engine so that I could quickly get a sense of the environment. I used the 5cm grid as a guide so that I had relatively fine control over the placement. By using the grid I was then able to setup the grid in Max so that it was the same so that when it came to creating the Static Meshes to replace the BSP it would transfer exactly.
I have now replaced almost all the BSP with nearly final custom meshes. This has means I no longer have any of the lighting bugs I was getting and I could apply basic materials to the scene to get a better idea of what the finished image will look like.
Finding reference for some of the elements has proven tricky. Getting furniture reference isn’t too bad as most furniture stores give dimensions and a variety of photographs of the products. But with things like the floor to ceiling windows they are slightly more bespoke and getting close-ups and dimensions for them has taken longer that I first anticipated.
From here I’ll be continuing to add more meshes and add further detail, refining the assets I have already made until they are ready to unwrap and texture. While doing this I’ll also be working on the lighting in the scene as this is going to be key to showcase the assets and make the scene look realistic. I have researched into different techniques that other people have used to get realistic lighting working in UE4 and have done a first pass of the lighting, although it’s not close to correct it’s, giving me a base to further work from.
So the Final Major Project is in full flow at the moment, but aside from that I have been working on finishing off some other pieces and starting a new personal project (Updates on final project at: www.keproject.co.uk).
I finished texturing my lawn mower and have done renders in Marmoset Toolbag 2. Which I thought would be straight forward but it turns out the workflow from Substance painter to marmoset isn’t as straight forward as I first hoped. It took a lot longer to get it looking how it did in painter in maramoset and although it’s still not quite 100% there; not showing all the detail the shader in painter does, I am happy with the renders I got.
The main purpose behind doing the Lawn Mower project was to practice working firstly on hard surface modelling, as well as working with a variety of different materials on a single asset. As a lot of my University work has been technically based recently I wanted to make sure that I kept on top of my modelling and texturing skills, especially working on PBR workflows.
Now that I have finished this project I am going to take what I have learnt from it and apply it to a new one. I have set out on doing an Architectural Visualisation piece in UE4. This will not only allow me to continue working on my hard surface modelling and material definition but also getting realistic lighting and working more on environment based work in engine.
I want keep the project to a decent scale so I have opted to doing an interior piece. After doing some research I have chosen on basing the project on a Foster and Partners project.
I was drawn to this particular image due to the colour and lighting. The soft blue hues from the external lighting reflecting off the interior furniture sits beautifully against the glow of the artificial lighting and wooden units. I wanted to pick an image that would be achievable but also challenging to get looking just right and that’s exactly what this gives me.
As all I’ve got to go off is the one image I have had to guess room’s dimensions. Using real-world dimensions from similar looking furniture got from IKEA I was able to model those and use them as a guide to setting the scale of the rest of apartment. As I fill out more of the furniture I will be able to refine the scale as well as work on getting the lighting right before moving into full production of final models for assets.
I am Elliott Pacel, a Technical Artist at Reflections, Ubisoft.