Creative Block With A Forest Scene

Hey y’all, I’ve been working on a forest scene and I’m having some creative blocks with it. Heres a quick screen shot here:

I really feel like there’s a lot more I could do to improve it but I can’t think of anything.

I’m thinking more foliage meshes would be good but I’m having issues thinking of what kind of foliage to make for a pacific northwestern temperate forest.
I’d really appreciate any ideas, input or critiques. Thank y’all very much :slight_smile:

Things that could be improved:

Assets - They are generally ugly, very stiff, and look super low polycount. They are failing about being realistic or stylized.

Lighting - The lighting is both flat and splotchy, doesn’t do anything to establish a mood or atmosphere.

Composition - There is no focal point, or points of interest. Very visually noisy. Randomly shaped terrain, with randomly placed assets. It doesn’t look like any thought went into the placement of assets or how the scene was constructed.

Overall - I don’t know if you are going for realistic or stylized, but the scene is failing and both. Some more deliberate artistic and design decisions need to be made.

The assets are purposefully low poly, preventative measures to save performance. I can up the poly count but I feel a bit shaky about that. I think the lighting looks splotchy because of all of the cast shadows from the foliage. The palette is meant to be a bit dichromatic, since the game is being played through a dog’s eyes. Also how does one establish a focal point in a scene such as this? Should there be one everywhere the camera looks? (That question sounds sarcastic but I swear it isn’t.)

If you want to save on performance, the number of assets, draw calls, and transparency/alpha are going to be much, much, more heavy on performance than significantly bumping up the triangle count.

Look at some photos, concept art, and other games to see how to make a good composition for a wooded scene. Try to figure out some sort of foreground, midground, background to give the scene more depth. A path or creek can give your eyes something to follow. But even some flowers to add color, or an interesting rock, or cliff. Try to figure out some sort of detail and story telling you can do with the environment.

Ok so I changed up the assets quite a bit, upped the poly count and tried to place them in a way that seem more natural and realistic. I added the large boulders as the focal point with that trail to try and draw the eye to it, and as far as I know there’s not much I can do about the engine’s lighting without using c++ (although if there is something I can do I would LOVE to know (again, that sounds sarcastic but I swear it isn’t))

The Trees are overused and the forest looks overall very chaotic. Have you ever been to a forest? Fern mostly doesn’t grow in a single plant, but in a “bush”. I recommend looking at pictures of a forest and working from there.
You have exactly 4 assets: small Grass, Fern, Tree and Rock. You need to increase your asset pool to get more variation.
The Ground is very randomized (probably through noise) but at the same time very planar. Add some hills and pits.
You should also work out the trail. Trails are mostly even because they are manmade, but your’s is uneven like the rest of the ground.
I suggest to search/create different textures too, since the textures are too bright for a forest if you ask me.

There are several types of flowers, but they are a bit hard to see since the textures are a bit bright. The trail is a bit of a confusing mater for me, trails are man made but this is supposed to take place in the wild; outside of man’s reach. I may have to ultimately scrap it, but it does help composition I think. Thank’s for your input, I’ll definitely put it into practice :slight_smile:

Ok, so I added some hills and more dynamic range in the landscape, I tried to make the flowers look more prominent by darkening the grass textures. I centralized the ferns with each other so that it looks like they all grow as a unit or like a bush. Also I ended up deciding to scratch the trail since it just didn’t fit into this setting. And I sparsed the trees out quite a bit

Quite a good job mate!

My comment is that your randomization for trees is pretty low, they are all look the same, which makes your scene basically ‘machine-builded’. I suggest you to make more non-grown-yet trees, and randomize them with variety of length and types. (this can be a mixed-type nature forest which can include up to 4-5 tree types).

Your stone meshes are also looks fake because we can see the splash-mixed geometry like one stone is located inside the other. I suggest to build more complex stone meshes out of these you have in the scene.