10 sept. 2015

Post Victorian Station (breakdown)

Hi everybody!
In this post I'm going to show you some tecnical features of my new environment.

The first thing you can notice is the predominance of metallic materials inside this scene. For me It was a great excercise that allowed me to improve my skills in the use of the following tools:  Sphere Reflection Actor, Metallic Shaders and emissive colour. Despise the use of this tools the materials are not expensive, the environment is playable and it does not fall from 60 fames per second.

In the following pictures you can see how the Sphere of Reflections act over the metallic materials. It is a very useful tool!

The main asset, the train, was modelled with Miki Company's colaboration more than a year ago. Unfortunately, Unreal 4 was in development back then and some of its functions didn' t work properly. For this reason, I redid all the materials, textures (diffuse map, metallic map, and roughness map inside the diffuse map's alpha channel) and I also made an animated emissive zone using a mask texture.

As I said, most of the materials are metallic, however there are other kind of materials too. The contrast of the brigthness value between the metallic and the non-metallic objects emphasised the metallic aspect of the former. For example, we can find materials made from plastic or paper, and they have an antagonist specular value

I populated the environment with some animated screens, this was a good choice to gain more personality and dynamism. The screens have a flipbook material expression multiplied by itself and linked to the emissive colour input. In this way they look like a backlit display. I also added few 6 sheet advertisement posters because their glass reflects the emissive lights from the screens. Is a great way to equilibrate the scene without use more screens.

I designed the posters thinking in the late 80's fashion

The developing of this project had a limit time of one month. For this reason I choosed to model a lot of seamless assets so I could use the tileable function. These are the best option for the level optimization because I started with instanced low-poly meshes.

There are around 45 different models  and about 2/3 of these parts had a high poly model.
The background and hidden assets had less tris, however, thanks to the the fog and DOF from the postprocess we can't differentiate these with the main props.

Some details from the metallic value

In the end, I like to give you a little tip: the perfect way to blend texture like gravel or stone in a landscape is by heightmap blending. You can find it when you create a new layer on your landscape material. I know is more expensive but is very useful to paint roads, mountain debris or shores

I hope it will be helpful tip and that you will enjoy it!
For any doubt, please feel free to drop me a line or two!
Javier Cadenas