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[Tutorial] Modular Rooftop Offices Environment

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    [Tutorial] Modular Rooftop Offices Environment



    Gumroad store (free sample and playable demo available): https://gumroad.com/unreal4environments
    More information: www.unreal4environments.com

    Latest screens:







    ----- Original post below ------

    Hey everyone!

    I'm a professional environment artist with over 8 years of experience in the industry and I'm here to share a work in progress of a small playable environment I'm currently working on that takes place on the top floor of an office tower.

    The main reason I started this project was to record my entire workflow, from the very first second to the last finishing touches. I think this will be a very valuable resource where I'll show time-saving techniques that I learned throughout the years to make better looking environments fast and painless. I'm focusing on very simple solutions, harnessing the raw power of Unreal 4's material and lighting system, instead of getting bogged down with complicated material setups. If you are like me and hate looking at complicated materials you are going to enjoy this I want to show that less is more and that you can be a much faster artist by trusting the process instead of trying to get things right on the first time.

    I also "developed" (more like put together a bunch of separate scripts and plugins :P) a very comfortable workflow that enables me to export with only one click modular pieces from Maya and texture maps from Photoshop (complete with several rules like automatically flipping a normal map green channel and saving metallic and roughness maps together). This way instead of spending a lot of time finishing assets early on, I get a good base down early and then utilize my time smartly polishing what needs to be polished - sometimes a 1 minute prop is more than enough to sell an idea. This process makes iteration very painless and fast, enabling your imagination to fly instead of being stuck trying to figure out how to make something.

    To show the power of this workflow, here's what I had last week:



    I couldn't work on it at all during the week because I've been hella busy at work, but here's yesterday's progress to show how much you can get done in very little time using smart techniques:




    I still got quite a bunch of props to make and polish to do, and I'm planning the release all the footage + the source files on Gumroad and on the Unreal 4 marketplace when I'm done. If this is something that interests you please subscribe to this thread or follow me on twitter

    Thanks!
    Attached Files
    Last edited by Minos; 03-14-2016, 04:11 PM.
    www.thiagoklafke.com
    www.unreal4environments.com

    Unreal 4 Projects:
    Tutorial: Modular Modern Office
    Sampa VR
    Temple of Utu

    #2
    You said that you're using Photoshop to make textures. Why not Substance Designer or Substance Painter? They could help you to simplify workflow as I know.
    Marketplace content: Modular Vehicle Vol. 2 - Modular Sci Fi Office - Projectiles Pack - Research Center - Quest System - All Content

    Website | Youtube | Artstation

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by Kelheor View Post
      You said that you're using Photoshop to make textures. Why not Substance Designer or Substance Painter? They could help you to simplify workflow as I know.
      Hey Kelheor!

      Substance can be a doubled edged sword, and in my case would only slow me down since I'm not very experienced with it. I'm pretty sure I would end up spending weeks just noodling on materials before I got any work done. :P

      With simple clean materials like this you can get stuff done much quicker in pure Photoshop just by using the right PBR values. This is something I want to show with this tutorial, that you can get realize your vision with the least amount of work possible, so you can spend the rest of the time polishing and making stuff look good. This doesn't mean my workflow doesn't accommodate Substance though. If I were to use it on this piece I would use it at the end, to polish what I have and add that extra 20% of definition.

      So far I think I've got about 20 hours of content in total and I'd say textures only account for less than 3 hours of the total time.
      www.thiagoklafke.com
      www.unreal4environments.com

      Unreal 4 Projects:
      Tutorial: Modular Modern Office
      Sampa VR
      Temple of Utu

      Comment


        #4
        Hey Minos!

        This looks really cool. Are you planning to release video tutorial or just the content?

        Best Regards

        Comment


          #5
          Looking forward to seeing your workflow and tutorial!

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by Sgt.Wulf View Post
            Hey Minos!

            This looks really cool. Are you planning to release video tutorial or just the content?

            Best Regards
            Hey Sgt.Wulf!

            I'm recording every single step so people can watch absolutely everything that I did in the map

            @ZZ: Thanks!
            www.thiagoklafke.com
            www.unreal4environments.com

            Unreal 4 Projects:
            Tutorial: Modular Modern Office
            Sampa VR
            Temple of Utu

            Comment


              #7
              Here's another update. Polished stuff up quite a bit since the last update, I think the architecture is mostly done (except for the skybox) and now I only need to dress this with props. Some materials still need another pass too, but I believe I'm getting close to being done (don't want a 200 hours long tutorial hehe). I also made some plants, they are not the best ever but they do the job. For this environment I'm not polishing stuff to perfection, since the point is to show the viewer my workflow and process, and not have hours and hours of me working on a single asset.

              I think that instead of narrating this I'll end up just writing a log for each video, explaining what I was doing and my reasoning behind each step. This should make the videos much easier to follow!

              Let me know if you guys see anything weird, I'm going pretty fast on this so I might be missing some obvious mistakes here and there

              Anyways, pics time!




              www.thiagoklafke.com
              www.unreal4environments.com

              Unreal 4 Projects:
              Tutorial: Modular Modern Office
              Sampa VR
              Temple of Utu

              Comment


                #8
                Updaaaaaaaate!

                Spent the day making props and working on the small office room. Getting close to calling this done, still need to polish a bunch of stuff and make more props, but at least architecture wise this is about 98% done now.




                www.thiagoklafke.com
                www.unreal4environments.com

                Unreal 4 Projects:
                Tutorial: Modular Modern Office
                Sampa VR
                Temple of Utu

                Comment


                  #9
                  Pretty

                  Is the tutorial over what is in the photos?

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Hello!
                    Great scene and the mood is really cool

                    What bothers me is the scaling of your carpet, too big imo. Well, it is less visible in the corridor but in the desk, it is really noticeable imo. Also, i think the normal map of the carpet is too strong at this place (desk).
                    Perhaps, change the material of the trash to 'metal chrome' to be able to limit the brown aspect of almost all the assets in the desk. You could also make the monitors black i think....well, i guess it could be a matter of taste of course
                    My two cents...

                    Thanks for sharing your workflow and ideas!

                    Nice
                    Last edited by macoll; 02-17-2016, 07:37 AM.
                    Linkedin | ArtStation | -SCIFI 'PROPS' PACK- | -SCIFI 'POPULATE' PACK- | Shooter Game Tutorial | StarDrop

                    Comment


                      #11
                      @_cDub: Thanks! I recorded every single step when making this environment, from modeling, to texturing to lighting, and the tutorial will be broken up in chapters. I estimate I'll have over 30 hours of content

                      @macoll: Good points! I'll totally change the scale on the carpet, that shouldn't be pretty easy

                      Alright everyone, the environment is finished and I created a hotsite with more information of what you will get with it and ultra high res pictures. Also, if you subscribe now I'll send you a nice discount code when the tutorial launches

                      Thanks everyone who supported me through this and for all the constructive feedback! I'm now editing this and will get it done as soon as possible! I still don't have an specific date but it shouldn't take long I hope.

                      TLDR: For high res images and a discount when the product launches, head over here: www.unreal4environments.com






                      www.thiagoklafke.com
                      www.unreal4environments.com

                      Unreal 4 Projects:
                      Tutorial: Modular Modern Office
                      Sampa VR
                      Temple of Utu

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Yep we stay tune, thanks for the infos
                        Linkedin | ArtStation | -SCIFI 'PROPS' PACK- | -SCIFI 'POPULATE' PACK- | Shooter Game Tutorial | StarDrop

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Hi Thiago,

                          Very nice to see this. I'm curious to see how your workflow evolved since zest foundation, which I still consider one of the best insights on doing modular environments.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            ****, this made me want to play Sim City 2000 again!

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Any idea on when the tutorial will be released? I am really looking forward to this! And i subscribed to the news letter already..

                              Comment

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