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Forgotten Temple, a real-time environment
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Forgotten Temple, a real-time environment

Alexander Teodoro
by alecpaek on 31 May 2019 for Rookie Awards 2019

Humans are not allowed to walk these lands again. A civilation in ruins and its story sleeps waiting for someone willing to discover it.

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For the next video make sure you're watching the video in 1440p as Youtube compression will mess the quality even more otherwise.

Debuting with my first environment project, it has been the greatest experience to work with so many tools and learn so many concepts that were completely new to me. I hope you enjoy this environment as much as I have producing it. I got so many things to showcase and talk about, I wish I could break down materials and nodes, but that would be too much to include, so I'm doing a quick overview of things I like. Feel free to ask any question if you have some!

Treasure

For this project I wanted to create an abandoned place where you see that shiny thing in the middle that you can pick up. Thus, I thought it would be fun to have a cool weapon. At the end of last year I started to learn ZBrush and I right away tried to build a sword that would be used when I make this project. Following the setting, the sheath has engraved the words Xuan Wu, a deity in Taoist culture.

Materials/Substance

What I always enjoy the most is when I get to texture things, but especially when creating procedural substances. Most of the materials made cannot be taken outside of Unreal as they're mainly done in the material editor. But I have some substances which are pieces of a bigger material that already look good on their own.

The workflow for tileable materials was:

1. Substance Designer: (If needed, make the substance material first) By looking at the references, build some masks inside SD that will let me produce the material inside Unreal Editor.

2. Photoshop: For packing the grayscale masks into RGB or making new ones. I set the limit on 512px so there are no bigger textures than that (*), to achieve crisp materials detail textures will be used.

3. Unreal Material Editor: To build the material and the technical fun. The materials I had to do usually have detail and macro textures, vertex painting and parameters to tweak the final look.

The workflow for the materials that belonged to certain object(s) of the kit was:

1. Marmoset Toolbag: Bake all the textures needed from the highpoly mesh. Luckily, most of the times we could skip this part as most of the architecture was build having the average weighted normals script in mind, so normal maps are not usually needed for those.

2. Substance Painter: Make our lowres version of the texture using our previously built substances and thus removing seams now that we can. The output would be some blurry 512px textures.

3. Photoshop: Again, packing textures and making new ones.

3. Unreal Editor: Same as before, taking advantage of the detail texturing we can make our textures look crisp enough and using macro textures and vertex painting (to add dust, dirt, water, moss, etc) we can break the repetition from each instance.

The kit

The bigger challenge when making this kit was getting it to have a consistent texture density and saving UV space. Thanks to vertex painting and macro textures I could afford having overlapping uvs in the UV1 (UV2 used for lightmap) to save space and achieve better resolutions. A good example are the stairs, I only made 2 different steps (maybe I should have replaced them for the stairs in the next picture) and textured them, with the dirt, water and moss the repetition cannot be noticed. The last piece I made was the dragon, which I made this monday as a challenge to be more brave with including scupltures and I'm proud of it!

The mountains are way to big to be included (plus, they're in the second video).

I hope this makes a good summary. I'm so happy to have finished this project and for the opportunity to be learning this vocation, even if I'm being self-taught. I've seen a lot of entries and everyone is making their best effort. This contest is such a great thing and I hope it continues over the years. 


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