The Ancient Light
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The Ancient Light

Stylized Alien Environment done in Unreal. Long ago there was a civilization collecting energy from the enormous creatures in this land, but nowdays barren fields and ruins is all that theres left.

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Update - 9 Apr 2021

Update #3:


I have been working a lot on the environment lately, dedicating full time to it. I kept working on the colours and composition looking for the best way to show the work.

I did the blocking of a cable that goes from the large geometric structures on the surface to the door deep in the crevice. I would like to get the effect of energy running through it.

The big breakthrough of these days has been the work on the grass and the colours of the terrain. Using Runtime Virtual Texturing I got the grass that I created following this article to take the colour that I assigned to the terrain underneath, making it have colour variation and a much smoother effect.

 I achieved this by researching Jasmin Habezai-Fekri's work and thanks to this video by PrismaticaDev . It was a bit strange to understand at first but after a bit of trial and error I managed to make it work.

The grass consists of an alpha map for the shape, a few planes done in Maya, and a procedural map for panning the wind waves. I've achieved all of this by following the tutorials mentioned above.

The terrain consists of different coloured layers that I can paint to colour the grass on top of it, achieved by using RVT.

For the inside of the rift I quickly sculpted a couple of large rocks that I could put on the walls to get an idea of what the final result would look like. These models are just a decimated placeholder with flat colours, but they helped me to understand better the composition and how the final result would look like. Later on I want to fill the cracks with plant life, some of them animated to give more life to the environment.

Next I will work on modelling the highpoly of the alien structures, texturing them in substance painter to get closer to a final result. I'll also work on a few strange plants to start populating the environment.


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Update - 6 Apr 2021

Update #2:

I had I really hard time deciding what to do with the concepts  I have chosen. I started blocking in some shapes and terrain in Unreal, based of this concept:

In the end I wasn't satisfied with the way it was turned out, it wasn't alien enough and it was too quiet.I decided to try new compositions and stranger colours, based on concepts from No Man's Sky, with the floor in warm colours.

In the end I wasn't satisfied with the way it was turned out, it wasn't alien enough and it was too quiet. I decided to try new compositions and stranger colours, based on concepts from No Man's Sky, with the floor in warm colours.

Based on the following concept and mixing it with others, I managed to find the path I wanted to take. Now I've decided what I'm going to do and I can't wait to see what it will look like.

I comed up with this: 

I want to create an alien planet, with technology and structures long ago forgotten, but with energy still flowing on them. I will create an open field, filled with plant life, and it will be shattered, with rifts and chasm breaking the plains. Inside this chasm there will be a lot of vegetation, bioluminiscent, and forgotten ruins of the anciet civilization that once resided here.

I did some rough blocking of the main cameras for the renders, and created some withebox meshes for nailing the composition.

See you next time!


Update - 6 Apr 2021

About me:

I´m Alejandro Díaz, a recently graduated 3D artist from Spain, with a special interest in stylized characters and environment. You can see my past projects in my Artstation and Instagram.

In this challenge my objective is to create a little stylized environment in Unreal Engine, focusing in composition and colors. Being the first time I use Unreal for environments I want to learn the process from start to finish.

These are my main references, I want to recreate an alien planet with some kind of technologic structure in the center of the composition, and have some vibrant colors. I'm lookin for a mix between nature and vegetation and strange alien technology.

I'm not limiting myself to one concept, I will experiment and iterate them as I continue further, probably doing a mixing of them to create something new.

These are some references for each pice of the environment. I want to have weird plants, but mixing them with a grass field where you can see de wind blowing to give that extra life to the piece.

I'm maybe a little bit crazy but I would love to add some kind of gargantuan creature, a fliying serpent or space whale, than would be roaming the skies of the planet, casting shadows to the ground.