Stylised House FMP Blog
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Stylised House FMP Blog

by artise1 on 14 Sep 2020

My first blog post on the development of a stylised house that I will be developing over the year.

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Update - 7 Mar 2021

For this axe I wanted to give it a poorly made look as if the person that made it wasn't a professional and I think I reflected that well in its final apperance.

The shield I wanted to be from before the event that caused the destruction of this world. I gave it some wear and tear like chips and scratches to show its use. I love how this one turned out. At first, it was a little too dull looking, so I punched up the saturation a little to give more of that cartoonish stylized look I was after.

I'm really happy how this bucket turned out, when the lighting conditions are right, the way it hits just looks perfect. I think I captured the look really well with the chunky wood and metal with the little rounded bolts holding it together.   

I wanted to keep the scroll simple and have it rolled up and held together by a little metal band that has a slightly illuminated symbol on it. I also added some little rips in the scroll to give it that a little extra flair so it wasn't too simple and boring.

Update - 23 Dec 2020

The past few weeks I've been experimenting with the texturing to get the stylised look I'm going for. I spent my time making assets to fill out the interior and texturing them. Such as fruit, generic books, cutlery and kitchenware and meat. I'm really happy how these assets turned out once fully textured. 

I first came back to my fruit I made to finish it off. This took a lot of tweaking to get it to look right for me because of the rules I set with how the style must be achieved and how it should look. Which is it should have a lot of visual noise made from tiny normal map details. 

So I experimented with roughness to get a little of that bumpy skin look of the orange without the normal maps detail pushing it too close to realism. I think it turned out really well as good between realism and cartoonishness without going too far in either direction.

I think the banana could do with some extra tweaking as it has areas that are too shiny and could use more roughness there.

I also returned to my kitchenware assets and finished texturing them too. I love how these turned out with a rustic look to them. I like the painted detail on the plates that chip and faded away. I may come back and make a second version of these with plates and bowls with chips taken out of them to give more wear and tear and show their age more. 

Some generic books quickly modelled and textured, these will be in the bookcase and dotted around the house.

These last two assets were complete during the last week of this term. The cup was very simple to model and unwrap. So I got that done and textured quickly and kept the look I was going for to match the other kitchenware style.

The cooked ham I really proud of how it turned out, it took me far too long to get the look right but it was worth it. I think the herb leaves could do with another pass as they look a little plastic but overall I'm very happy with the progress of all of these assets.

Update - 12 Nov 2020

The past two weeks have been a bit busy. I've been learning how to use Unreal as that's my engine of choice for this final assignment. I had a presentation to show to the class and tutor my projects proposal in a more fleshed out manner compared to my small document at the start of the year. 

I talk about my influences and the mood boards I have created that will help shape my ideas with this project. I also went into a little detail about the research I've done with stylised visuals like Sea of thieves. 

Other parts I talked about was my blogging on this site as well as how I will manage my work and deadlines I will set with Trello. I broke it down and went in-depth with cards so that the tutor gets a better understanding and also sees I put a lot of work in planning this out.

I also began blocking out the house interior in Unreal to present to the class. This was good for me getting used to the tools as I've only ever worked un Unity. 

I created a rough layout with a couple of assets dotted around, along with a mannequin just to get a sense of the scale of the room. 

Some feedback I got was to make the whole in the roof a lot bigger to let in more natural light from the sun. I'll take this into account when modelling the final version of the house. 

This week I began making more assets. A bunch of different kitchenware. These are all modelled unwrapped and packed into a single 1k UV, I may bump this to 2k if I need to. 

These are the following items I modelled. Fork, knife, spoon, ladle, butcher knife, frying pan, plate and bowl.

Update - 28 Oct 2020

This week I went ahead and finished modelling, unwrapping and packing all of the fruit. I duplicated the high poly of the apple and adjust the shape into a pear. I then subdivided a cube and use the shrinkwrap modifier so as I shape the lower poly version it will snap into place of the high poly. This is a great way to make clean quaded topology easily.

The Banana I used a reference and box modelled by extruded a cube into the shape. I then added edge loops at top and bottom to keep them sharper and added two through the sides and top. After this, I used set flow to round edges giving it the round banana shape.

I used the same box model technique on the grapes stem and extruded added loop cuts and extruded again to have parts branch off. The grapes themselves are a subdivided cube that I stretched in the z-axis. Finally, the Orange was just a cube subdivided again and a little extrusion on the top of it.

After modelling and unwrapping each fruit. I packed their UVs into a single 1024 UV map so that later when I import into Unreal I can use a single material for all of the fruit. I made sure the texel density was all equal by using a texel density add on to save the density of one of the fruit and then apply it onto each of the other fruits so they are exactly the same. 

Update - 21 Oct 2020

These past 2 weeks I've been experimenting with modelling and baking normal maps within Blender 2.9; while also learning the Unreal Engine  which is my chosen engine for my FMP.

I made a low poly book and then a high poly version sculpt which was then baked down into a normal map.

The result was quite pleasing, I showed this to other students and the tutor for feedback and suggestions were to make the metallic parts a bit sharper as they were currently a little soft looking. 

I need to implement their suggestions and also finalise how I want the final textured version to look. What colour and texture would front and back faces have, what the hinges will work if they are metal and so on.

If I go ahead with the gold hinges of this special book. I need to model it so that it's something that is functional in the real world. How would this open if it was made of these materials? I'll sketch up some ideas to more refine this asset.

I created 3 bottles that I think look rather nice in their current state. I will add some extra details such as labels and string around them to give them more character.

With these bottles, I also used them to get a better understanding of how to set texel density correctly, so that the assets are not of a higher or lower quality next to other assets in the scene.

This also gave me some UV unwrapping and packing practice, to use as much of the UV map and not have any wasted UV space, so that the assets get the most resolution as possible out of the textures.

I also started having a go at modelling the fruit, starting with an apple. I used a cube and the multiresolution modifier to add extra geometry and round it off while still keeping quadded. 

I added resolution until it was to a reasonable amount, with the modifier I can drop it down and up at will like how Zbrush does it. I went to a lower subdivision and in sculpt mode moved around vertices to get the silhouette of an apple. I then went up to the higher subdivision and did some extra move of vertices to get a more refined and realistic shape.

This current version is 838 Tri's, I discussed if this is reasonable at LOD 0 and it was suggested there is no need to LOD such assets but to think about is all of that geometry necessary for the player to see, will they ever be that close to the asset?

With the feedback, I went back and used the decimate modifier and set it to Un-Subdivide mode and reduced it by 2 to keep it quaded still. This cut the tri count down from 838 to 210 and still kept the silhouette of the higher version.


Update - 14 Sep 2020

This week I started getting all of my ideas and inspiration written down and put all of my references into a mood board. I broke these up into three sections the assets, exterior and interior of the house.

I've decided on doing a stylised small house that is within a forest. It will be quite run down from a catastrophic event that happened a long time ago. Nature has overgrown all over the house. A tree has fallen and taken part of the roof out letting in a lot of natural light.

This environment will be enhabited by a survivor and will contain assets that are a mixture of the past and homemade objects from the survivor such as tool, weapons and furniture. I want to have this environment be rich with colour from the foliage and the warm glow of a fire under a pot cooking food.

A lot of inspiration came from Breath of the wild and the links awakening remake along with other stylised games like Sea of Thieves. 

I hope to have a reasonably high poly count for assets as I wish this to be played in first person within the Unreal 4 engine so that the player can get up close to assets and see all the details within them.