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Retro Kitchen Real Time Environment

Retro Kitchen Real Time Environment

Olivia Curelariu
by oliviacurelariu on 24 May 2021 for Rookie Awards 2021

Hello, I am Olivia and I am a self taught 3D Artist. My journey towards Game Development and 3D Environment Art started at the beginning of 2019. My Retro Kitchen is the first Real Time Environment Scene that I did. I had the opportunity to try many new things and this has been a great learning experience.

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The song in the movie is called Smile, Royalty Free Music: from Bensound (

I tried to optimize everything from triangle count and texture size to lighting builds and editor organization. I needed to keep my scene manageable, because I was working on a 4 year old laptop.

Everything in this scene has a total of 437k triangles. I only had a couple of 4K texture sets, the majority of textures being 2k and 1k, with some textures being smaller.

For the floor tiles, I used 2 versions of the same material, one being dirtier than the other, because I would later use Height Blended materials and Vertex Paint in Unreal Engine. I wanted to be able to paint more "dirt" in certain areas directly in the Editor.

I also did simple patterns in Substance Designer, with certain parameters exposed. I wanted to have full control over these patterns in Substance Painter.

The general light sources that I used were a skylight, a directional light, a sky sphere and an exponential height fog (with volumetric option enabled). Then I had a couple of main lights, for the actual physical light sources and a couple of emissive materials. At the very end of the whole rendering setup, I decided to add a couple of key lights.

Throughout the project, I used many references, from pictures to drawings and even ads, in order to keep an eye out for my desired scene vibe: a cozy, cheerful mid-century kitchen. I have put together here only a small part of these references. 

I have kept track of my work and progress with checklists. I divided all my assets in some main categories and I made a checklist for each of these. I also made reminder notes to myself here. 

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