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Graduation Work 2021/2022 | Realism and Stylized

Graduation Work 2021/2022 | Realism and Stylized

Marta Ribeiro
by martaribeiro on 16 May 2022 for Rookie Awards 2022

I wanted to share my most recent work from my current graduation at BUAS (NL). Here you will see the work I did during my internship, which is more stylized, and my work to learn more realism, for my personal projects!

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Adapted Monitor

Learning Realistic and PBR Workflow + Game Ready Asset

My most recent project created for my graduation year.
This project is based on a real life asset, my (adapted) monitor, which became a great work of observation. My main goal for the personal projects I created during this year is to learn the realistic and PBR workflow, to better understand the process and get the best results. All of this, keeping in mind that I would have them be game ready.

My Process

Visual Gathering

Although it is based on a real life object I own, a lot of its detail are on the back so in order to have a better constant view of the asset, I took some pictures and close ups to be able to work on it.

High Poly Modeling (Sub D / Hard Surface)

First time going through this process and I got to learn so much about it. Here are some of my key learnings:

- Importance of light bounce from edges (depending on distance from camera, size of details, etc)
- Creating all (important) details!
- Learning new techniques
- Creating floaters to avoid adding unnecessary complicated topology.
- Good and clean topology (quads!)

High Poly: Close Ups & Details

Low Poly Model

Although it's a back and forth learning process between creating the Low Poly and Baking, creating the low poly model is its own category.
I worked on lowering the polys as much as possible (ended with 3.7K verts) while keeping the silhouette and key details that would be seen from a first person view.
Keeping the topology clean, going for triangles to lower the poly count as much as possible and avoiding any lighting issues on the model.

High to Low Poly Baking

I started this process in Substance Painter, but there were still a lot of issues I wasn't able to fix. I got feedback to try it out in Marmoset Toolbag, which was the first time I used it. This helped solving so many issues and created incredible bakes!

Texturing (PBR)

For the final phase of this asset creation I learned more about the PBR workflow in Substance Painter. I used an ID map to be able to mask and add texture to areas that are not seen in the Low Poly anymore, like the vents for example.
For the final texture details. I decided to include more on the texture to add more character. So I added more dust, dirt and scratches than my monitor, which is a few months old.

Unreal 5 Render and Close Ups


First Small Attempt at Realism

(project created before the monitor asset seen above)

Small project inspired in my home country, Portugal. I wanted to create a quick and small project first to try a more realistic style with some storytelling, and I got inspired by the café breaks in Portugal with some coffee and a sweet pastry!

NOTE: The pastry asset is NOT created by me. It is from Quixel and I used it as a reference for Realism.

Created in Maya.
Textured in Substance Painter.
Rendered in Unreal Engine 5.


My First Internship

This is based on all the work I did for Codeglue on Spellbenders during my first internship and first half of my graduation year (work done before the above projects).

- The work seen below is for Codeglue, done during my internship.
- I made sure to try and be clear about the work I specifically did, but vegetation for example was done by Marcel de Boer (my supervisor) and Concept Art I based some of my work on was done by Iuliia Chesnokova (Intern). I did not make every little thing seen in the screenshots, but the ones I try to make clear.
- The project is still a work in progress hence why you can see assets that are not textured, areas not finished, etc

Moving Engines and Asset Optimization

Moved all props and assets (minus vegetation) from the old Unity project to the new Unreal project. With this move, I made sure to have things organized and optimize the assets topology and modularity.

Style Rework: Texturing

I was tasked to create the new style based off of the work in the Unity project. This went through several iterations and feedback in order to achieve the results wanted by my supervisor/lead.

Texture Iterations

Final Result (First Iteration)

Church Rework (Based on New Theme and Concepts)

After brainstorming and new ideas, I was tasked to rework the textures and models based on the new theme and concepts (created by Iuliia).

Process Views



Assets Reworked

Textures Reworked

Brazier Prop: Clean Up and Textures

Worked on recreating the texture style in Substance Painter. Also created some especial Master Materials that I will address later.

Overall View

VFX, Master Materials and Blueprints

During my internship I got to experiment and learn a lot by working in engine more, finding solutions to solve problems, creating master materials and VFX, etc

Stylized VFX Fire

Created the fire 2D images in Substance Designer and created a sprite in Substance Painter. To create the VFX, I used Niagara for the first time to create the fire, smoke and embers.

Brazier Blueprint

Created a blueprint for the first time to make things more reusable:
- Can change color of fire, smoke and embers.
- Can change intensity of light and color opacity.
- Can turn Fire VFX ON or OFF

In Game View

Master Material: World Aligned Height Blending

Created to solve a few problems:
- World aligned solves the issues of textures having seams on broken and uneven walls.
- Be able to add another texture/material to add noise and extra detail to walls, helping with the overgrown feeling. These assets do not allow for vertex painting so I had to come up with the solution: using height blending to blend two materials and add more detail. You can choose a noise mask to add the type of detail you want.

Master Materials: Burnt and Smolder

Created a master material that can add a burnt texture to any asset. The height, intensity and edge noise can also be tweaked.
A smolder texture effect can also be added and tweaked, if wanted to be used on something that is currently burning (with fire VFX) or was just burning.

All Above Results Seen in Engine

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