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After a Night Out
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After a Night Out

Michelle Olsen
by mcolsen3d on 23 Mar 2024

A mini scene I created in Unreal for CG Master Academy's Intro to Unreal Engine 5 course.

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Scene with lamp turned off:

I created this little scene for CG Master Academy's Intro to Unreal Engine 5 course. Since the course focused on UE5, I am using Lumen to light the scene and there are multiple nanite meshes. Thank you so much to Chris Flynn for his instruction and feedback. Since I come from a film background, I appreciated his help learning about Unreal and a bit about the games workflow. 

For this project, I wanted to make a little vintage scene. As I started this project, I researched and found vintage 1920s-1930s furniture on auction websites to use as references for the props, such as the Tiffany Lamp, shoes, art deco table, and chair. Before starting, I also found inspiration for the overall color/mood from existing television series and games. I created my own rough photobash concept in Photoshop for this project. I modeled everything in Maya and Zbrush. I unwrapped my meshes using Maya and RizomUVs. I did the baking with a mix of Marmoset Toolbag and Substance Painter. (I had never used Marmoset before and it did a fantastic job!) The texturing was done with Substance Designer and Substance Painter. Since my goal was to learn about and work in Unreal, I did not create all my textures from scratch. For many of the textures, I used Substance 3D assets as bases. Then, I adjusted them and built upon them to match the look I wanted for each asset. Finally, I did the look development, lighting, and rendering in Unreal Engine 5. Overall, I am happy with how my little mini scene turned out.

Since the point of this project was to learn about Unreal Engine, I did not focus on fully optimizing the scene. From the statistics tab, the tri count for my static mesh assets in the scene are 55.5K tris from my main camera, but that's with nanite assets and LODs applied. (LODs created with Unreal). For example, my shoe asset is 5.6K tris. I recognize that my assets are too high poly for a traditional games workflow, but that wasn't the point of this project for me. However, I did optimize the textures by packing my UVs, limiting my materials to one base material and three instances, and using packed ARM texture maps.

Although I still have plenty to learn about optimizing for games and Unreal Engine, I enjoyed diving into Unreal and seeing the environment come to life immediately in realtime. I look forward to continue experimenting with Unreal.


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