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Environmental Studies by Michael Tavernier

Environmental Studies by Michael Tavernier

Michael Tavernier
by michaeltavernier on 26 May 2019 for Rookie Awards 2019

I share with you some of my highlights in the journey of becoming my dream as a game artist. Having my focus on bringing environments to life and creating a deeper understanding of workflows and the Unreal Engine.

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Cluster (Sci-fi Level)

A Sci-fi modular level made in Unreal Engine 4. The models are made in 3DS Max. 
To tackle the common issue of time pressure in the industry, I experimented with fast modular workflows and techniques used in the creation of Star Citizen. This project took around 3-4 days to finish.

To obtain fast results, modular pieces can be a great help. To then break the repetitive nature of the assets I used different decals made in Substance Painter and spread different textures over my assets with localization calculated by using the Vertex normal. That way I didn't have to unwrap and texture each individual asset.

Realtime Melting Snow

A study on shaders, in this case melt-able snow, focusing on the usability within a game engine. 100% created in Substance Designer and rendered in Unreal engine 4. Experimenting with localisation and blending in Unreal engine 4.20.3. I got inspired for this project by amazing artists like Daniel Thiger, from which I learnt a lot! 

Using exposed parameters in substance designer I could make different states of snow, like how much it had melt or how windswept the snow was.

To make that use-able in a game environment without having having all these heavy calculations, I saved multiple states by pre-calculating them and letting them blend in with masks. This also makes possible to have a localized, smooth-running and changing snow in Unreal engine. I'll try to visualize this for you by giving each mask a color in the following videos below. I'll also include the important part of the shader-nodes I used.

In the next video I'll demonstrate the base principle for the localization, which uses masks relative to an actor and possesses multiple adjustable parameters.

Sunset (level decoration)

The goal was to create an environment in a short amount of time (3 workdays).
Focusing on LODs, lighting & lightbaking, composition and presentation within Unreal Engine 4.
Heavily inspired by 'Sunset on the wood bridge' by Sylvain Sarrailh.

Assets are mainly from free online packs available on the Unreal marketplace.
Waterfall from 'Realistic Waterfall Particle FX' by Mr.Game (I changed some of it to match my scene) 

Lighting Study (Architectural Visualization)

A small study on light-baking in Unreal Engine 4, using free online assets and a couple of my own. A one-evening exercise I really enjoyed.
My objective was mainly creating a realistic scene that reads well from one camera-view.
Added a little painting on the wall I made in my free time. 

M1A Springfield Armory 

A game-ready prop made to practice Game Asset Pipeline. The high-poly is modeled in 3DS Max and Zbrush 4r8. The low-poly modeled in 3DS Max and textured in Substance Painter 2 and Photoshop. Rendered Realtime in Unreal Engine 4.20.3, no light was baked. 
The focus of this project was to make a believable high quality optimized asset, ready for use.

Thank you for viewing my entry! I hope you enjoyed it and I am always curious for your feedback!


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