La Romana: St. Stanislaus Church

La Romana: St. Stanislaus Church

Branko Dik
by BrankoD on 2 Feb 2023

I recreated the Saint Stanislaus church located in the Dominican Repbulic in Unreal Engine 5. This environment was a byproduct of my learning journey

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Latin and Hispanic culture have always been a huge passion of mine. The architecture, nature, way of life, history, music/dances, languages and food always intrigued me and I wanted to recreate this iconic church to pay tribute to this rich culture!

While the Saint Stanislaus church is a replica itself, being built in the 1970's; it looks super iconic and beautiful nonetheless and is part of a big cultural/artistic center which i found really interesting.

More info:

During this production I invested a lot of time studying different programs and the latest techniques and I learned a lot of valuable skills doing so:

I wanted to gain more experience and chose to create an environment as a means to apply my research and to experience what influence different workflows have within one scene

Reference pictures. I also looked at the methods Ubisoft used to create Assassins Creed Origins and Oddysey.

A photo(not mine! photographer unlisted) of the actual St. Stanislaus church compared to my scene.

I gave my own spin to it to improve the contrast, feel and composition and used reference images without heavy filters to get closer to the real materials.

My process:

Whitebox, trying to understand the structure and derive general dimensions from reference pictures. Setting up cameras.

Replacing blockout with meshes using blender and further planning of modularity in the models and textures.

Blocking out details

Setting up shader framework, replacing more placeholders with detailed assets

Experimenting how to build up the complex walltextures from my reference. Eventually i picked 3 materials for my vertexpaint and use 3D megascan assets or parts of it to add more detail/less tiling where necessary.

Replacing backdrop and foliage placeholders. Adding/adjusting more meshes

Replacing the terrain blockout with a landscape, start customizing/altering procedurally tilebreaking landscape material. Setting up RVT's. Using my custom assets to create buildings in the background.

Adding particle effects, plants, extra adjustments meshes/materials, Lighting, Postprocessing, Camera tweaking.

Overview Editor Mode

Additional Breakdowns:

An overview of all custom made 3D models (60 unique assets).

I wanted to stay close to the dimensions from the reference pictures rather than forcing strict modular dimensions.
My 2D decals and Megascan/pack models are not included in this shot.

Modular corner stones using a megascan texture. I gave them two sides so i could easily create a lot of variations by rotating, scaling and mirroring them.

i used RVT's to blend assets with the terrain, eliminating the need for mesh skirts. eventhough 'simple' RVT's work better on sloped geometry; making it blend on only a small area above the ground made it look great from my camera points

Shapes, pen-tools and geometry tools within Affinity Designer allowed me to recreate the stainedglass design.

I used symbols to duplicate repeating patterns to make it easier to work with symmetry and to be able to apply changes to all similar patterns at once.

Ì reused a procedural/node-based terrain I made earlier in Gaea for another project

To add clouds I made a simple cloudmap in substance designer and added it to the lightfunction of my scene, tweaked the values and made it pan over the map

Special thanks to Nabil Kechiche, Samrat33k, Rogier Noordhuizen, Adam Hartel, Quido Cornet and the Gnomon/EXP community!

Additional packs used;
- Rural australia pack (foliage, birds).
- Tropical Jungle pack
- Landscape mastermaterial by Unreal Sensei
- Butterflies by Brady Jahraus

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