Unreal 4 Environment - Nydalinn

Hi guys!

Onto the next project!


Im currently fleshing out a landscape that I have to do for my end exam for Level design and decoration Course at DAE in Belgium.

The story behind it is not fixed at the moment and can change over time.
The idea behind this is that you as an adventurer return to the city of your birth after a long expedition, when you get back through the tunnels that were hidden by your grandfathers you notice that the land has been changed totally by something, the green valleys changed into snow and ice.

Your goal is to find out what did this.

The goal of the exam is to present an intro screen of the game you are going to make, this intro screen has to reflect the game that you are going to play. it has to be taken from a single camera position but can be animated a bit into a video.

Below you can see a little concept of how the scene is going to be in Unreal. Setting a particular mood and keeping the focus point on the mountain in the distance

The tools that are going to be use are going to be:
World machine
Unreal Engine
Substance painter ( texture )

I already did some testing In worldmachine as this is the first time I’m going to be using that.
First iteration seen below, the materials are done in Unreal Engine itself using a shader that calculates the slope angle of the terrain ( basic shader only, needs a lot more fine tuning)

As a second test I was looking to get more of a composition in there and getting a closer feel for the concept. The hexagon shaped stones are done Procedural in blueprint ( just drag a box and it fills that box with the input mesh ) inspired by Giant’s causeway and such from real life reference. Check out my pinterest board for some examples.

The thing to do next is getting a better environment from out of worldmachine and adjusting the meshes and materials for the scene.

Tips, Comments and tricks are more then welcome (I know there is not a lot to comment on yet, more coming soon ) !

Update on my scene.

Testing out some crystal materials, fiddling around with different type of mesh approaches and material approaches.
Can use every bit of feedback on these crystals, all comments/critiques are more then welcome.


As feedback I got that the Hexagon type shapes are going to distract the player, giving it an unnatural feeling, might test out to balance rocks and hexagon shapes.
Will do a lot of experimenting.

A preview of the scene now, along with a new WorldMachine heightmap.
The particle (WIP) is now using vector fields, also still fiddling around with those.

Around the fire there are going to be some hunting tools/tent to give the scene a human touch.


It’s a lot of fun testing new thingies and techniques.

Things to do:

  • Adding a water stream running from the cave outwards
  • Refine crystal shader
  • Refining the fire particle
  • sculpting of the rocks/crystals
  • foliage
  • refining landscape material

If you have anything to say about the current scene/composition or something please do.


Added a top layer onto my ice shader, which I further adjusted.
Added a new mesh for hanging Ice spikes, which is still a WIP, going to add a lot more finer detail to the mesh later.

First going to sculpt some rocks as these are going to the most space in the scene.

If you have any questions on the materials or such please do ask.

Updated the scene itself with some particles, all of them need to be finalized still. The focus is going to be on the meshes next.

Feedback/Comments are most welcome,

Update on my progress.

Added sculpted rocks to the scene, textured them in substance painter and then added snow over the top parts in Unreal engine.
Redid the water shader following this tutorial

A couple of steps in between previous post and the next screenshot.

Further adjusted the water shader and added snow on top of the wall meshes.

Added blue crystals, and took another camera angle.

Then went on and adjusted the water shader even further and added my previously sculpted ice to the scene.
Not really that happy with the water yet, so going to see if I can adjust that a bit further.

Let me know what you think about the materials as they are currently, so that I can fix them accordingly.
With or without the blue crystals? let me know guys.

Thanks for the feedback in advance.

Awesome work, I love the crystal materials. Personally I’d keep the blue crystals.

Thanks for the reply! Will keep the blue crystals then, going to add more the the scene =D

Try to make the snow more specular. :slight_smile:

Awesome work btw. Did you do all assets by yourself? :open_mouth:

Thanks for the feedback! the snow indeed needs a bit more specularity, so I adjusted that, still need to tweak the textures a fair bit.
And yep! Everything is by my, scultped the assets in ZBrush and making the low poly in maya (Still need optimized topology)

Thanks! =D

Fantastic scene, though i would have to say the Ice looks more like Glass than ice :slight_smile:

Try putting some dense looking texture in the center of the ice to give it that solid feel.

Nice work though! Keep it up.

Thanks for the feedback, already did some of these things experimenting with the ice itself, but it is really hard to get the right feel from the material.
Will keep on trying tough!


Update time!

Redid the wall mesh and textures, added more wetness to the scene and adjusted the overall composition.
Added a lot of things that I got as feedback, on facebook and unreal forums.

Added glowworms, stalagtites/mites and a little waterfall
Don’t know if I am going to keep the waterfall

Still need to do the textures and maybe some sculpting on the stalagmites/tites.

If you are wondering where the ice went, I’m currently working on it and need to finish sculpting the mesh too.
Any feedback is more than welcome, still have enough time to find a place for it, thanks a lot!

Update time again, placed the snow on more suitable places and adjusted the light that comes from the crystals and the fire.

Up next adding a placeholder menu, finishing the particles and adding a human element to the scene.
And finishing the scene as a whole.

Thanks so much to for the feedback I got on this scene this really helps me putting this scene up on social media and such.

Wow, this is an awesome thread. Looking great and love the progress. I really like the glowing spots on the ceiling.

Thanks man glad you like it! going to update the spots on the ceiling to give them more of a organic feeling like here: http://i.huffpost.com/gen/1133208/images/o-GLOW-WORMS-facebook.jpg

Excellent progress and design. Subscribed =p

@ Thanks for the awesome comment man! =D

Getting closer to the end of the project.

Going to add human elements to the scene like maybe a bow/quiver and a makeshift tent.
Will see how much spare time I got.

Feeback is still more than welcome!
And if someone has a recommendations about capturing software, could use some! =D

Thanks =D

I feel cold when looking at this!
Looks really beautiful though. Can’t wait to see more.

Ah cool, you added glow to bottom crystals :wink:

The snow flurries are going horizontal. Only thing that seemed odd to me.

Thanks! :smiley:

Sure did, but dimmed It down a bit for the final image as they drew to much attention =D

You are most def right! Noticed this one myself too, so changed it up! Thanks!

Thanks for the comments guys!

Got another update for you guys, I’m calling this one done for now.
This were the screenshots/movies that went with the presentation for my school’s finals.

Did some final reworks and currently working on creating the final screenshots/movies for this scene.
As soon as I am done I will upload them below.

Thanks to for making this scene together with me!