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Tennessee Forest Lodge - Realtime Environment

Tennessee Forest Lodge - Realtime Environment

Ben Rodgers
by brodgersart on 25 Apr 2024

This project was an opportunity to create an outdoor game ready environment running in real time, utilising everything I've learnt while studying at university.

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I tried to make the lodge feel lived in, but leave enough ambiguity for the viewer to come to their own conclusion of the residents.

For lighting reference I looked mainly at the work of Ivan Shishkin, as well as nature photography.

The lodge itself uses modular assets so I could swap pieces in and out easily.

I used Speedtree to make efficient game ready foliage, with LODs and packed textures. I combined atlases from Quixel Bridge onto one texture using Photoshop to save space and avoid having multiple textures in engine.

All hard surface assets are either on a trim sheet or tiling texture with packed maps, made using Substance Designer and/or Painter. The lodge itself is modular, each piece modelled to the grid and interchangeable. The scope changed during production, the original idea was for multiple lodges hence the need for modularity. As the project progressed the modularity could have been reduced with more bespoke pieces being made.

The polycount was a factor when making this environment. I always try to keep it as low as I can, while finding a good balance between optimisation and visuals.

The scope was originally larger, including smaller cabins and a road leading into the lodge.

This project has been a huge learning experience and I'm excited to work on more environments of this scale.

I owe a big thank you to Diana Karakushyan, Elias Tsirides and Elisa Binz for taking the time to give me some amazing feedback and tips! The big jump in quality in the timelapse is thanks to this :)

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