Standing Stone Butterflies
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Standing Stone Butterflies

by melBlalock on 31 May 2021 for Rookie Awards 2021

Celts believed that the butterfly was a departed human soul. High up amongst massive monoliths, there is a place where these souls congregate to start their journey anew. They fly to the heavens to start their metamorphosis into the next stage of their existence.

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This environment was based off of the Blue Wind concept by Valeria Dryzhak (https://www.artstation.com/artwork/mqrG61).  First I used Gaia to create the terrain, then I used vertex painting to blend the materials I made in Quixel Mixer for the ground. The rocks were sculpted in Zbrush. The scattered rocks used tilable textures but the main standing stones were textured using painter.  The butterfly had two versions modeled in Maya. One version was for the ribbons that was one mesh and uses a world offset material applied to get the flying wing flaps. The other was a separated version of the mesh so that the wings could be animated individually using timelines in a blueprint. The AI butterflies around the water were made with a blueprint and I used the Unreal Engine blueprint butterfly example as a reference for how to create the flying behavior and transitions. The clumps of butterflies on the rocks are a combination of butterfly meshes with different offset materials that were painted on using the foliage tool and variations of the AI blueprint utilizing only the resting animation timelines. The ground cover is Quixel Megascans plant assets with a grass wind node in the material to give it movement. This project was created for my game VFX class at Gnomon taught by Jason Burton. Many thanks to Jason for his valuable feedback and help along the way. 


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