Morriña - Portal of memories

Morriña - Portal of memories

by vgpavon on 30 May 2022 for Rookie Awards 2022

I am Chilean and live in Germany and the pandemic has been very difficult for me. I miss a lot of important things. For this reason, I want to create a representation of my internal world and show you, as if it was a dream, the things that I have missed.

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I am 49 years old, I am Chilean and have been living in Germany for 13 years, reinventing myself and looking for ways to provide for my family. I worked in Chile as an architect for more than 10 years, and during my life in Germany, I have dedicated myself to raising my son, who is in the autism spectrum and to work where I have been allowed to do so.

Two years ago, a little after the beginning of the pandemic, I lost my job. At that time, a good friend of mine told me: “Watch out! You are reaching the golden gate. If you don't manage to accumulate a lot of specific work experience before the age of 50, you will have a very hard time finding a job afterwards.”

Not only did I not listen to my friend's warning, but I decided to find out what was the thing I was really passionate about and what I should prepare myself for, because it is the thing I am going to be doing professionally starting my 50 years of age.

In this way, in January 2021 I discovered the exciting world of Unreal Engine and the development of interactive visualizations in real time and since then, I have been learning and developing my skills.

This is the first time that I present a project at The Rookies. The lack of specific experience and the time that I have spent learning, made it very difficult for me to define a specific topic to present my work. For this reason, I wanted to introduce myself first through it.

I am a foreigner in Germany. The pandemic and unemployment have made me live locked up for a long time. From this place, in front of my computer, I travel within myself and go through landscapes and memories. From this place, I have Morriña. From this place, through my visualization project, portals to my memories open.

Morriña - Portals of memories

The main difficulty I had at the beginning of the project was to define the scales of the spaces that dwell in me. First of all, the nature had to represent the landscapes of Chilean Patagonia. Secondly, an island, land that represents me and where the labyrinth of my challenges and uncertainties are. The mother, as origin and birth, and the home, the space where we can feel safe and develop. Finally, I wanted to subtly represent how time and virtualization can cause the loss of memories.

To model the terrain I had to obtain cartographic references from the Torres del Paine National Park (Chile) and work with them and adapt the terrain to the needs of my project, using GAEA. With this terrain, I later went on to work on its textures and materials with Quixel Mixer. After working on the terrain, all the rest of the project was modeled with Blender and completely developed with Unreal Engine 5.0.1. Working with Unreal Engine allowed me to have a dynamic and real-time visualization of the entire project. Using lighting with Lumen, everything works dynamically, making it easier to render sequences that incorporate solar lighting at different times.

Due to, on the one hand, the materials used for the sky and the water of the lake and, on the other hand, the use of Decals, it is not possible to use Path Tracing for rendering images, which consequently determines the final quality of the images.

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