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Thread: Huge RPG styled landscape showcase WIP

  1. #1
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    Talking Huge RPG styled landscape showcase WIP

    Hi there,

    this is my first post on this forum. Im an environmental/modelling artist working in the movieindustry for quite some time, but was always interested in gameart.
    So when the unreal 4 engine released i started experimenting alot with environmental design and asset creation. I am currently working on and off on my own unique landscape suitable for a modern AAA type RPG game with immersion in mind. The screenshots below will showcase a bit of my progress. Keep in mind that all you see is created by myself. There is no single texture or asset that was bought or reused from any existing prjoect. Everythng is handmade from scratch using applications like photoshop, maya and zbrush. In addition there are also already alot of assets like medivial buildings and objects that i will show at a later time because im still working on them.

    There's still alot to be done and im not nearly as satisfied with the results as i would like to be, but at this point i would be glad to get some feedback from you guys.
    Since im not a very technical artist but more of a visual man i used a lot of tutorials to create i.e. the landscapeshader and stuff like interactive foliage and day/nightcycles(though night still looks terrible cause of fog and no skylightinteraction with the blueprint).
    I will also post some videos in the future with small walkthroughs and try to keep you updated on the proggress.

    Obviously there is no gameplay since i have absolutely zero programming/blueprintskills.

    Anyway before the wall of text will hit critically ill end my introduction at this point and let the screenshots i've prepared speak for themselves. I hope you like it.


    regards Maxi


    UPDATE:


    http://imgur.com/a/dzi6t

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    Last edited by gou; 07-14-2016 at 09:01 PM. Reason: Added images to the post

  2. #2
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    Mythic

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    Hey there, welcome to the forums!

    I hope you don't mind, but I edited your post to add the photos for you, they are too good to miss! Great work, love it!
    [Free Community Project/Plugin] WIP Dynamic Ocean & Calendar Based Sky
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  3. #3
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    Nice work, I love your sense of scale with things. As a digital painter one of the first things I notice in game art is how often environmental artists get the size of things like grass wrong. This feels correct.
    Follow Unreal Dev Grant winner KINETIK's prgress on our YouTube Channel or FB page

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by coalminds View Post
    Nice work, I love your sense of scale with things. As a digital painter one of the first things I notice in game art is how often environmental artists get the size of things like grass wrong. This feels correct.
    Hehe does it really happen that often? I have noticed it very rarely.

  5. #5
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    Hi

    @DotCam: thank you very much that was very kind of you

    @coalminds: thanks to you too, though im not completely satisfied with the grass esp. the scaling. In 4.12 they added random scaling to the grasstype and it would be nice if i could somehow hook this scaling to the paintlayerweight so it gets smaller towards others layers to make the transition feel more natural. Maybe if someone has some insight into that :>.

    Anyway i got another set of images for you from an older landscapebuild but with some of the nonfoliage assets im working on.- Ive switched to a newer landscape, that is tiled so i can make it bigger-. They only thing, thats mostly finished is the watermill (but still no lods and no interior).
    I still somehow cant upload images directly to the forum (i get an "page not found" error after the upload finished), so i've prepared another imgurlink.

    https://imgur.com/a/EnTgH

    for the people who are interested in technical data:

    i get around 40-50 frames per sec on the newer landscape with scaling on epic on a gtx970. And there is still a lot that isnt optimized so i guess im on the right track.
    Attached Images Attached Images            
    Last edited by gou; 06-04-2016 at 06:43 AM.

  6. #6
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    Very nice work. I assumed that the foliage was made in speedtree, but it sounds like it wasn't?

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    Nope. The trees are all handmade . I dont like to pay for something i can do myself and esp. i dont like the way the speedtrees look when you get closer. They have this modular feeling, kinda generic (though i kinda had the idea to make my own treegenerator within houdini) . I even modelled the twigs and leaves and baked them onto planes to get good normalmaps and take away the planar feel . I made about 5-8 different types off trees. Not entirely sure about the number. It got messy midway through xD.

    edit: for anyone whos interested: i use the procedual foliage spawner to place the forests and even most of the stuff on the ground except for the grass and small rocks. It really is an awesome tool.
    Last edited by gou; 06-02-2016 at 07:45 PM.

  8. #8
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    Hi again,

    i've captured a little video and uploaded it to youtube. Its really short cause i got no time left. I will add more shots in the future as it all progresses (hopefully this will end in some kind of trailer). I made the music on it myself in case some of you are wondering. The ingamefootage wasn't edited in any way. I'm only using the engine's postproccessing.
    It also shows some of the particle systems i build and some generel movement of the foliage.

    I hope you like it.


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    Hi again,

    i got something else now. This is some form of heavy armortype characterdesign with linke enchanted setpieces of some sort. Havent been able to get it into the engine yet but wanted to show off the turntable for it. I hope you like the design.
    Last edited by gou; 06-03-2016 at 12:08 PM.

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    [webm]https://zippy.gfycat.com/AcrobaticZestyFlatfish.webm[/webm]

    is the webm bb broken?

    here a youtube mirror, though i would have preferred a loop:



    character has 30 k polys with a complete human modell underneath
    Last edited by gou; 06-03-2016 at 12:55 PM.

  11. #11
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    Your landscape is looking really neat! The foliage blends very well with the terrain.
    Congrats on the pic of the day ^^

  12. #12
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    Looks great!

    What frame rate do you get walking through that landscape, on what hardware?

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by jwatte View Post
    Looks great!

    What frame rate do you get walking through that landscape, on what hardware?
    He mentions is earlier in the thread

    >i get around 40-50 frames per sec on the newer landscape with scaling on epic on a gtx970. And there is still a lot that isnt optimized so i guess im on the right track.

  14. #14
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    Oof! With effects and enemies and characters, that might drop a bit further.
    Sure looks nice though! And if you start a game today, a GeForce 1080 will be middle of the road by the time you ship :-)

  15. #15
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    Amazing work @gou!
    Storyteller - An immersive VR audiobook player

    Dungeon Survival - WIP First person dungeon crawler with a focus on survival and environmental gameplay ala roguelikes

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    @ quintela : thank you. What do you mean by pic of the day?

    @vanlacke/jwatte: Yes exactly that. Im not aiming to make a lowend-pcfriendly thing, but more of a highendexperience. On this topic i really need to emphasize that im really bad with the technical stuff. That means im sure there is so much stuff that i can optimize without compromizing the quality(i.e. my lods mostly suck hard). Fun fact: I loose most of the fps with the landscape itself not the foliage. My landscapeshader isnt even that complex but as soon as use more than 2 paintlayers it gets to a bright red in the shadercomplexity...
    Anyway i really would love to make a full game with this. But to be honest this isnt something one man can do. Not with the goals i have in mind (ontop i still have a to maintain my vfx job). I've always loved games like the elder scroll series and the new witcher 3 game also taught me that you can do good storytelling too. So if you would be able to combine epic firstperson immersion with the storytelling of i.e witcher 3, that would be a dream come true for me . With the new unreal engine im at least capable of showing what i imagined visually.

    my full pc specs at the moment are: Intel i7-2600 - gtx970 - 16 gb ram - asus p8p67EVO

    @n00854180t : Thank you. Im really glad that you guys like my work so far. I will also try to make some breakdowns in the future where i show how i made the landscapetextures and the foliage.

    Sadly now updates for now. BACK TO WORK!!!
    Last edited by gou; 06-04-2016 at 05:27 AM.

  17. #17
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    @gou I mean a picture of this project is highlighted in the epic launcher as "pic of the day"

  18. #18
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    Ok thats awesome. Im really happy now

  19. #19
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    I never post in the forums but I saw this as the "pic of the day" and I just came here to say "wow".

  20. #20
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    Your landscaping work is excellent, and the scenes are very beautiful, well done!

  21. #21
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    Awesome stuff. What kind of lighting did you use? Dynamic or Static?

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    Thank you all for the kind words. It really pushes me to keep working on it.

    @ StJimmy: The Lighting is dymanic. I couldnt live without a dynamic day/night system :>.

    At the moment im rebuilding the landscape itself again. The heightmap i genereted was only 8k for a 16 by 16 km area and that doesnt give me the detail i want. Im going for 16k now and hope that this will give the landscape another edge. One thing i cant get my head around is, that the streaming distance multiplayer in the landscapeproxys doesn't do anything. No matter what value i put in, the landscapemelting always starts at the same distance with the same rate. When i create a single Landscape with 1 heightmap it all works fine. Maybe someone with insight could explain me what im doing wrong xD.

  23. #23
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    Any plans for gameplay eventually?

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by gou View Post
    Thank you all for the kind words. It really pushes me to keep working on it.

    @ StJimmy: The Lighting is dymanic. I couldnt live without a dynamic day/night system :>.

    At the moment im rebuilding the landscape itself again. The heightmap i genereted was only 8k for a 16 by 16 km area and that doesnt give me the detail i want. Im going for 16k now and hope that this will give the landscape another edge. One thing i cant get my head around is, that the streaming distance multiplayer in the landscapeproxys doesn't do anything. No matter what value i put in, the landscapemelting always starts at the same distance with the same rate. When i create a single Landscape with 1 heightmap it all works fine. Maybe someone with insight could explain me what im doing wrong xD.
    Did I unserstand your problem correctly? You are getting some issues with culling when using level streaming? If so, you can load and unload your chunks using blueprints. I work with huge landscapes made using WM and for me, the default load and unload seem to work OK. I place environment assets in such a way that the player does not see the culled land. Sometimes, I make use of proxies to create an illusion of those culled land. I am not a master in level streaming, but I found some hacks to kind of fake some landmasses before the actual terrain gets loaded. I dont know if this is what you were asking or it will help, but if you have more questions, feel free to ask.

    Also, can I ask? Did you use any of the DFGI or HFGI in your scene? The lighting is pretty badass man! Are you generating distance fields at all?

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by vanlacke View Post
    Any plans for gameplay eventually?
    Yes, there are plans. I have alot of ideas how the combat- and questsystem should look like. But thats only as far as i can go since i am no programmer. I have a friend who im currently trying to get hyped for this. He is in the gamingbuissnes for quite some time and he knows alot of people and can coordinate things. In the longrun if all works like i imagine we are going for a gammeplayprototype wich is then send out to get funding to make the real thing.
    So far this is only in theory.
    If all goes down the pipe i will probably make the assets available on the unreal market or something. But i hope it won't come to this .

    Im really really ambitious about this project, but i also know that this is a huge, almost impossible thing to finish. "IF" there is any future in it, it is inevitable that a whole company has to be build around it. Because Skyrim was to small for me XDDDDDD.

    Well one thing is clear, that i want to use unreal for that.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by StJimmy View Post
    Did I unserstand your problem correctly? You are getting some issues with culling when using level streaming? If so, you can load and unload your chunks using blueprints. I work with huge landscapes made using WM and for me, the default load and unload seem to work OK. I place environment assets in such a way that the player does not see the culled land. Sometimes, I make use of proxies to create an illusion of those culled land. I am not a master in level streaming, but I found some hacks to kind of fake some landmasses before the actual terrain gets loaded. I dont know if this is what you were asking or it will help, but if you have more questions, feel free to ask.

    Also, can I ask? Did you use any of the DFGI or HFGI in your scene? The lighting is pretty badass man! Are you generating distance fields at all?
    The culling isn't the issue. I can see always all the landscapegeometry. What i meant was that the tris get reduced over distance. And although i have a parameter for that, it doesnt change anything when i change the values in contrast to the "not tiled" landscapes where it all works like a charm.

    im using the experimental dynamic gi. Im amazed how fpsfriendly that is. But i dont use the movable skylight. The aoshadows look horrible until you make the resolution of the distance fieldd extremely high and then the performance goes down the toilet. So im using the stationary skylight with tweaked standart ao to give it a more realistic look.

    Works like a chharm for me though it might not be the correct way to do it. Again im more of a visual than technical guy.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by gou View Post
    The culling isn't the issue. I can see always all the landscapegeometry. What i meant was that the tris get reduced over distance. And although i have a parameter for that, it doesnt change anything when i change the values in contrast to the "not tiled" landscapes where it all works like a charm.

    im using the experimental dynamic gi. Im amazed how fpsfriendly that is. But i dont use the movable skylight. The aoshadows look horrible until you make the resolution of the distance fieldd extremely high and then the performance goes down the toilet. So im using the stationary skylight with tweaked standart ao to give it a more realistic look.

    Works like a chharm for me though it might not be the correct way to do it. Again im more of a visual than technical guy.
    If what I hear is correct, then when you turn the world composition on, make sure you create levels that have the streaming distance "turned off", then it will not cull at all. You can then build a blueprint for distance streaming to customize to your level.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by gou View Post
    The culling isn't the issue. I can see always all the landscapegeometry. What i meant was that the tris get reduced over distance. And although i have a parameter for that, it doesnt change anything when i change the values in contrast to the "not tiled" landscapes where it all works like a charm.

    im using the experimental dynamic gi. Im amazed how fpsfriendly that is. But i dont use the movable skylight. The aoshadows look horrible until you make the resolution of the distance fieldd extremely high and then the performance goes down the toilet. So im using the stationary skylight with tweaked standart ao to give it a more realistic look.

    Works like a chharm for me though it might not be the correct way to do it. Again im more of a visual than technical guy.
    I think you are talking about LODs. It happens without doing anything (I think).

    Ah, so you are using experimental DFGI, but how can you get that GI? From what I know, If you don't set skylight movable, DFGI wont work.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by ajbombadill View Post
    If what I hear is correct, then when you turn the world composition on, make sure you create levels that have the streaming distance "turned off", then it will not cull at all. You can then build a blueprint for distance streaming to customize to your level.
    Thanks for the tipp i will try it out.
    @StJimmy: I get the dynamic indirect from the directional light. As far as i know the skylight doesnt even support dynamic gi (lightbouncing). It just creates shadows based on the skysphere and other objects around it.
    Last edited by gou; 06-05-2016 at 08:32 AM.

  30. #30
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    May I suggest you make a stereo spherical map video or even a few static scenes that be enjoyed with a VR headset. If you don't have the time to convert the video into a Google YouTube over/under stereo pair 360 video, I can do it for you, credit you and link to your web page/YouTube channel. These really are well done and could see these being wonderful way to promote the spherical plug-in and your work. I have also been able to take static images directly into NVIDIA's new VR Viewer app meant to be used with their new Ansel feature in upcoming games (is this a plug-in for UE4 yet?). You can contact me at mebalzer@neodivr.com if you are interested. Have you already added audio?

  31. #31
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    Geez I'd love to learn how to get my lighting to look like yours. Nice work!

  32. #32
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    Awesome !!

  33. #33
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    Hi there again,

    sorry guys for the long wait. I was really busy the last week so i wasnt able to post anything. BUT alot of sleepless nights and i finally got my new landscape. Its not nearly where i want it to be in terms of detail but im quite happy with the overall cartography. The terrain is 12kmx12km big so its 1.5 times bigger than the old version.
    One thing that really boggles me though is the tiled landscapestreaming in ue4. I can't get any information on how to stream the tiles so i dont get bad fps. Im using 1009x1009 res /12x12 tiles and though i optimized everything i could (i.e. shader textureresolution), i cant get over 30 fps with all tiles active.. The levelstreaming distance is of no help since the features of my landscape should be visible at all times. Thats the reason i want it that big; that you get this vast feeling. I also couldnt get any information on why i need to manually load every tile when i start my editor. Isn't there a way to make it load automatically? Well as you can see i still have alot of performanceissues to resolve and i have no idea how. If there is any tilestresming guru out there who is willing to give me any tipps, i would be very happy.

    Differnt topic: For all the people who are reaching out to me for tutorials and help via pm and forums. As i said i will post some breakdowns in the future but for now that isn't my priority.
    And for the people who want me to work for them or collaborate with me. I am currently not taking joboffers. Collaboration to promote vr and other stuff will be possible in the future but not with the state my landscape is in. Im not happy with it yet and i dont want to deliver unfinished things. Alot of the assets need polish and better lods so until i haven't finished this yet i cant provide any usable 360 degree footage or images.

    I don't want to dissapoint you guys and the landscape simply isn't ready for any "final" showcase or project. I know that i'm slow but im only one person currently working on it and i simply don't have the time to deal with multiple requests. Everything in time.

    Anyway enough talking here are the screenshots.
    https://imgur.com/a/7IA4t

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    regards Maxi
    Last edited by gou; 06-10-2016 at 08:46 AM.

  34. #34
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    Hi there,

    new set of screenshots. I improved the textures and some treelods as well reverting back to an older landscapeversion since tiled landscapes dont provide enough control and framerates are hell.
    Hope you like it.

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    Last edited by gou; 06-15-2016 at 08:13 PM.

  35. #35
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    where did you get the textures did you get them form google and then photoshop ?
    pleas help me becaus its a strugel for me to find good textures

    but by de way its a good looking enviroment man you have skilss

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by DjenSKY View Post
    where did you get the textures did you get them form google and then photoshop ?
    pleas help me becaus its a strugel for me to find good textures

    but by de way its a good looking enviroment man you have skilss
    Partly i googled them. Partly i got them from textures.com. But there is a limit on how much you can download as a free user and as well a resolution limit. So i mostly took the pictures where there are more variants available and put the lower res images together to a bigger sized one. Then i used the nvidia plugin for photoshop to get normals. But i just recently started to use zbrush to actually paint out my own textures with real geometry. I did that for the stone i.e. but i will slowly try to replace all my textures with this method because the normals and heightmaps/displacementmaps u get from that are without comparison.

  37. #37
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    It looks gorgeous to me!

    But I'm more of a Game Designer so I'll leave the technical art part to those who can speak about it.

    But I had something in mind while looking at your picture. Level Design & composition. What makes RPG landscape great is that they manage to both be beautiful and lead the player to the right spot.

    I'll just leave a link here and if you'd like to dive more into level design composition you can start right here.

    For an example:
    That picture:
    https://forums.unrealengine.com/atta...4&d=1466036011

    (as a player)
    Where should I be looking at? Where should I go? What paths allow me to go that way? etc...



    Have a good day, keep up the good work

  38. #38
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    Beautiful work gou! I first saw your Eordar video on Twitter and it's amazing to see the updates you have posted. Keep up the amazing work

  39. #39
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    Wow
    looks great!
    How big was the landscape?

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrBigWill View Post
    Wow
    looks great!
    How big was the landscape?
    He stated in his post it was 12km by 12km

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