View Full Version : A new Direction...Environmental Demo WIP/Assets

07 July 2005, 05:32 PM
Holy Cow!!
After 3.5 months....I am DONE.

Well! With everything but tweaking the lights before I do a camera sequence render for the demo reel! =)

Thanks to EVERYONE who gave me great suggestion, tips and support along the way. Thank GOD I can call this a wrap!



Ok been a month but here it is again, bet some of you are absolutly sick of it. Changed it and worked it over quite a bit, (left a few old screens below for compairison.)

What do you think? The lighting isn't really set up yet but that's about all thats left to do for the inner city portion. I am still working on the outer island but that will be finished by monday.

Last things I will be adding are a few npc's (cats, dogs, horses.) I'll post the final update on monday. ;)

Thanks for your input--



Alrighty then...its been a while since my last update. Rightly so, I've been working my butt off. :)

Anyways here are my updates to the environment. I'm about finished with this. Still need dirt passes and some texture corrections (ie painting the sky in) but its just about ready to load up into Unreal or something to get some nice screen capture.

I haven't figured out yet how I'm going to light it. Do you guys think I should use the editor to light it in the engine or should I light it in maya, bake that out and then load it?
I am such a noobie at this stuff. I actually got on a fantastic MOD team the other day and they are helping me learn the ropes but I still have so much more to learn.

Anyways thanks for the continued support!! I'll need it on the next two scenes for my demo reel ;)



It feels like I am making no progress but I know that I am. Don't you hate that feeling?
Well here is what I have to show for the past couple of days. I am really hoping to wrap up this environment by the end of this weekend so that I can move on to the high poly cabin. Hope you guys have some good crits for me. ;) I still have not gone over everything with a "dirt" pass. I am saving that for last, once I have everything in place to give the entire piece added continuity. ( oh yah, that sky, is not going to be the final sky texture, just a ph for the moment.)



Not too much of an update, not that I haven't been working my tail off though. ;) Just been making little assets here and there and working on a character model as well. That being said here is the temple as it stands atm. It has a LOT of work left to do which I will hopefully complete tomorrow. My goal for the weekend is to have the entire city layed out and textured, ready for final touches by Monday. I am giving myself tomorrow off so I can get a long weekend to do so. I really needed some sleep to clear my head! My vision has been going blurry last couple of days. 4:30 am wake up times are no fun!

So here it is a far back view and a close up on the texture. I've really struggled with this piece for some reason. Yesterday I was not in a artistic mood but I pushed myself through the "blah's" and then this morning I tweaked it out some more. Any suggestions to help this guy out?




Sleep? What is that? Can someone find some for me? I hear its really nice.
I am going to guess I spent about another 12ish hours on this piece between yesterday and today. Unfortunatly or fortunatly I have this commission that keeps me from working on my demo reel as much as I would like to else I would've finshed this model sooner. I hope everyone likes my zeppy as much as I do. There are still minor details to work out same as with the houses but over all I am pleased.

Thoughts? =)


Holy geeze! I'm in a working mood! Woot! Put in about 20 hours in the past 2 days on this little set of houses. Today I spent about 12 hours alone working on the big towne house. I was inspired by a house that Saramago was working on here and decided to try something simliar. What a nightmare of detail, and the funs just begun. I still haven't done my "dirt" layer on any of the models nor have I modeled the little window boxes etc that I want to. I need more time and more sleep! Seem's both are in short supply here.

As always thanks for following along and criticing. I really do appreicate it.



Latest Progress--- Worked about 8 hours today on these town houses that will be "city" homes inside the main city.

Still have to do the fine details but that will have to wait till the morning. 5am labs come too damn eairly to keep going tonight.

I think I am improving! I hope you guys think so too. Thanks for following the thread and keep those critic's comming.


07 July 2005, 01:19 AM
I like the model building :)

Have you tried normal mapping. I look forward to seeing this. I would also like to see trees, plants, dirt road, grass, and etc.

Edit: Some place could be optimized unless your doing it for vertex lighting.

07 July 2005, 01:32 AM
Gosh no =) I havent' touched normal mapping yet. I'm a little apprehensive about it truthfully. Right now given my current time constraints I'm not sure I could pick it up and keep up with this project.

I want to learn soon though.

I started to texture this bad boy this evening but I haven't finished yet. I'll post updates tomorrow though as I started to keep a journal/log of my work to help motivate me to work each day.


07 July 2005, 02:05 AM
are you gonna texture that? otherwise you might want to think about doing it, showing just models isnt going to get you work unless you can model like guys in the film industry, modeling alone is no longer considered a skill, its now looked at as something everyone should be assumed to do when goin for this line of work, my advice is get good with textures.

07 July 2005, 02:49 AM
Thanks Gasmask,

Not much a of post reader huh? =)


07 July 2005, 02:11 PM
Thanks Gasmask,

Not much a of post reader huh? =)


HAHAHAHAHA, Good one People should read before they open their mouth. Anyway Nice job keep up the good work.

07 July 2005, 06:19 PM
oh my bad lol, i read the post but not the replys, well that sounds great then, lookin forward to seeing it.

07 July 2005, 10:10 PM
No problem Gas, I worked on the textures for about a hour today before I had to go out and run errands. Looks like it will be tomorrow sometime or tuesday before I can give an update. =)


07 July 2005, 01:17 PM
Sorry for the long delay on an update. The end of the month is always a hectic time for me. Next month I am sooo looking forward to though. I get the entire month to do nothing but work on my demo reel! WOOT!

As you can see, I started the texture on the cabin. Its not finished but I figured I would throw and update at you anyways. I also included the Zepplin model I worked on yesterday. I am in a modeling mood so to speak so expect alot of them being thrown out at ya soon. ;)

Thanks in advance for support and critics!


07 July 2005, 01:45 PM
This all looks good, but looking at the original hall image you seem to have alot of unnecessary polys in places. I know you said you were aiming for higher polygon stuff, but you still need to be as efficient as if you were modelling low poly, so that those extra poly's you're adding are going on extra detail.

An example of where you could shave a bunch of poly's off is the roof on the attached building to the side (the one closest to camera in the first image (the stable if it's Edoras)). You have all those slices in the roof and really you can weld them all across to the sides of that roof with zero loss of detail. The same goes for the roof above the arches at the front of the hall.

Besides that though, it's all looking nice. :)

07 July 2005, 04:04 PM
not sure about this but are you usein intersecting objects or a sigle continueus mesh, the later is always prefferable as using zbuffer takes up power. plus you get weird gittery mesh
artefacts as thre engine trys to figure whats on in front.

07 July 2005, 08:45 PM
-Good idea about trimming the extra polys down. I am new to this, I am about to graduate school but I am no expert by far so I am learning as I go along. I learn something new or a new techinque just about every project that I do.

-I had no idea what "Edoras" was until I googled it and discovered its the town of the Rohan in Lord of the Rings. While I love Lord of the Rings and all fantasy stuff like that I was not specifically modeling anything from there. I do love the style of the Rohan though and if anything I am inspired by the Norwegian influences that it has. Vikings came to mind when I was doing the Zeppelin and the trim on the house comes from my home town of Helen, GA. Helen has a very German "ginger bread house" look to it.

-Lastly, some is continues mesh and some is seperate objects vertex snapped together. I try to make sure nothing intersects. SInce its for a demo reel and not a game engine I am careful but not as careful as I would be if it were going in a actual engine. What matters to me right now is how the final product turns out looking, not so much performance.

I have so much more work to do on this project so believe me I will be posting more as I go. ;)

Thanks guys for the continued support and help!


07 July 2005, 09:58 PM
Ok, time to reveal the grand plan as it is.

This is the entire environment, or level. It consists of a main island with a old volcanic crater filled with water. There will be tree's everywhere on the mountain sides and on the flat area's. Think dense forest. The main island will have 4 guard posts with 4 towers and 4 gigantic statues holding enormous chains that in turn lock down and hold the middle island.

The middle island is where most of the people live. There will be a very large city center and a country side with houses etc. More trees and animals wandering around. There is also a 3rd island anchored off the middle islands south end with more tree's and wildlife about it.

It's difficult to judge scale by these screen grabs but it is going to be epic.

I have temporarily inserted place holder geometry for some of the stuff you see so don't worry a lot of what's there is going to be changed. I will be posting updates as they occur. ;)

I have 3 more months to complete this project! Wish me luck!

As always thanks for all your support!


08 August 2005, 01:23 AM
**Updated at top**


08 August 2005, 04:57 PM
middle building is probably my fav... seems like the doors may be a bit high up, was there a reason for doing that?

08 August 2005, 06:07 PM
Looking forward to this project keep at it. The zeppelin is cool also. God I wish we have zeppelins to travel in modern times… Zeppelins are 100% safe now… The old ones used crap materials and very mad methods of gas. Went off topic hehe.

08 August 2005, 08:34 PM
Yeah, thank god for helium!....but yeah, love the air ship, cant wait too see more of the project...

08 August 2005, 10:01 PM
Onelung- Thanks! The doors are up high because I was thinking about adding steps later on.

Desp and Mastahful-- Thanks! I haven't had time to work on the zeppy's texture yet but as soon as I finish the finer details on the houses, its #1 on my list.


08 August 2005, 11:53 AM
The zeppy is here! See original post guys for picture!


08 August 2005, 01:14 PM
The zepplin is looking really nice as is the house below. You should make the shadows and highlights in you texture a bit more pronounced and crisper in the creases. I particular I am thinking under the ropes on the zepplin and around the beams on the house. You might also want to re map the roof cos your texture is stretching and going in strange directions.

Keep on keeping on. nice to see some imagination on display

08 August 2005, 04:50 AM
Temple update at top!


08 August 2005, 06:01 AM
The best part is your zeppeliner, i like the way you have modelled the ballon, very original.

08 August 2005, 01:04 AM
Yay for updates! Boo for feeling blah!


08 August 2005, 04:40 PM

UPDATE*** page 1... ;)


08 August 2005, 09:35 AM
Nice work, the tower is my favourite.
This scene just screaming of light and shadows. And the ground texture could be less blured. Maybe higher resolution or more tilled??
Anyway really cool work You made in here.
Keep it up.:thumbsup:

08 August 2005, 12:04 PM
Thanks Por@szek!

Yes, the ground texture is too low res and is deffinatly on the list of things to correct.
The scene has not been lighted yet so I can imagine that would be a problem. *grin*

As I stated in the update post (on the first page) I am going to get this imported into Unreal to light it there (I think.)

I posed a question to you all if that would be the best way or if I should light it and bake it out in Maya?

Any suggestions?


08 August 2005, 12:15 PM
it would be cool to see this scene lite delicatly by the moon with stronger/local orange light coming from the lanterns, producing nice long shadows.

sorry cant help with maya but in max you can "render to texture" the lighting in a seperate uvw (for automatic unwrapping and low texture size). there is probably a system similar in the oh-so good maya.

08 August 2005, 01:04 PM
looking really nice. I love the style here. this will be a fantastic piece for your portfolio when its finished

08 August 2005, 05:41 PM

After some suggestion from my instructor, I think I'm gonna go ahead and bake the lights in and go from there.


08 August 2005, 06:20 PM
The latest updates are looking really good. I'd work on some kind of alpha/overlay type thing for your waterfall, it looks very unnatural right now, waterfalls tend not to hang together that way beyond more than a couple of inches over the lip!

Reminds me a bit of the Kingdom of Zeal from Chronotrigger :)

08 August 2005, 07:24 PM
Thanks Adam,

Yah =) I'm going to be doing some "scrolling UV's" for that waterfall for the final animation on it.

So its going to look a little bit more natural.

And let me go see what the Kingdom of Zeal is =) lol


08 August 2005, 07:57 PM
Here's a link :D

08 August 2005, 08:59 PM
Lol ;) Thanks!


10 October 2005, 02:16 PM

Please vist Page 1 for Update information and more Screenshots!!



10 October 2005, 01:15 PM
No thoughts? =) Is it that bad? hehe


10 October 2005, 01:22 PM
Hi Twitchy,

meant to post a reply to this yesterday, lost track. I really like this. The trees are wicked too. The one thing that did catch my eye was the stained glass windows. They seem really bright and stand out just a tad too much. Maybe dimming them might help em blend in better.

Cool work :thumbsup:

10 October 2005, 02:55 PM
Love the alpha trees and grass. Did you create them?

10 October 2005, 03:30 PM
Stylus-- Yep, very tediously! Every single leaf! ;) Nah wasn't that bad but I did have a "tree" week where all I did was create tree's and plants.

Kaisasose-- Thanks! I will consider turning down the "lights" once i finish lighting the scene completely. You could be right.


10 October 2005, 12:48 AM

I am DONE.

See first page for the final screenies!!!

Thanks to EVERYONE!

Thank you !! Thank you!! for all the help!


10 October 2005, 09:28 AM
nicely done, loverly scenery

only one crit, and its too late for this one but something to think about for next time. some of the textures look different scales. for example the tree trunks look a wee bit stretched, and the grass texture looks too tiled, i think you could get away with lowering the tileing on this and still have the quality of close-up, without the tiling artefacts. also, im not sure about this, so correct me if im wrong, the texture sizes, look way bigger compared to the amount of polys you have used, its just the ratio of texture detail to mesh detail is very high, not a problem with the individual meshes you have used, but perhaps you could have used more shrubbery.

i was thinking about the scenes from fable, which is very similar in style, those scenes use smaller textures, but way more meshery/shrubbery, and get a very lush living feeling from it.

anyway as i said, not something for this scene if you are fin, but maybe next time.

10 October 2005, 01:31 PM
More shrubs eh? =) I suppose I could add more of those. There are actually over 20 varities of plants in this scene as it is though!

The grass tile-age. Well I did not want giant blades of grass so I tried to find the happy medium between too many artifacts and giant grass blades. I'm sure there is a better way to do this out there, I'm just not apprised of it. This is my first real project with advanced layered textures and tileable textures so there is alot yet to learn.

Lastly I did alot in the past week to try and get the resolutions of all the textures consistant. Again could be better and I've learned alot and next time less mistakes will be made.

Thanks ;)


10 October 2005, 02:08 PM
one way to sort the grass out, if your using a bump map, is to tile the bump at a different scale to the colour, this lessens tiling artefacts.

and i didnt mean more types of vegetation, you have a very nice variation, just more use of the types you have to give a lusher organiic feek to it.

also have you seen the patches of grass in San Andreas, they arnt that good but something like that for the flat land could be good.

lastly , "you may not pass until you get me............ one Shrubbery" or somit like that.

cant wait to see what you do next.

10 October 2005, 02:33 PM

Oh, what sad times are these when passing ruffians can
`nee' at will to old ladies. There is a pestilence upon this land,
nothing is sacred. Even those who arrange and design shrubberies
are under considerable economic stress at this period in history.

Okie got ya ;) More of the plants I have. And I haveth not a bump map in the entire scene. ;) But that is a good suggestion to fix the tilage artifacts before I render the movie file.

10 October 2005, 02:42 PM
someone knows her python,

10 October 2005, 03:42 PM
hey there, see your from orlando. Full Sail? I admit I didnt read all of the post so some of the other people might have said this already.

The first things that pop out to me when I look at the images on the first page is that everything seems to have a very freshly placed feeling about it. By that I mean that the large rocks and such are just sitting there right on the ground. If a rock that large was there it would defiently have some grasses growning up around it and perhaps more little bits of it broken off scattered around it at the base. Same for trees, so kind of grass or something to help it blend into the ground. Not just poking through. And the large patches or grass could use som color variations throughout. You could do that with some alpha patches or something like that. Same with making the brick street a bit more dirty and less tiled looking.

It looks good though. The models and existing textures are pretty smart looking.

10 October 2005, 03:51 PM
I totally agree about the freshness/cleanness aspect. I'd also like to add that the tufts of grass popping up - they're much darker than the surrounding grasses, and seem slightly out of place.

That said, I think the end result is very beautiful! This is a project you can really be proud of; the entire environment is very fun and attractive and interesting to look at. I especially like the big lightglobes hanging from the spires, those are a really inspired and awesome final touch.

Can I ask, did you abandon the floating island idea? The screenshots are cropped in a way that makes it look terrestrial. Just curious! I rather liked the floating bits.

10 October 2005, 03:53 PM
Alrighty then. More grass it is. I have a week and a half with nothing much left to do other than tweak this and rig the shaman character for the turntables so I should have plenty of time to tweak this out a little more.

I should have never said it was finished!! It will never be finished! It consumes meeee.....



10 October 2005, 03:57 PM

No I haven't abandoned the floating isle look. ;)

Its just that I haven't gotten the lighting just right and it looks rather pecular right now (the whole island) so I haven't posted a shot of that yet.
Aaaaand...I haven't sorted out the scrolling uv's for the waterfall for the second island yet either.

I am going to hit up one my instructors later this week for lighting finalization tips.

Thanks for the kudos =) after a long project its good to hear them lol. You start to wonder and doubt yourself after awhile.

I'll post yet another update *grins sheepishly* once I add more grass, tree variation and lighting corrections sometime by the end of this week. Prolly looking at Friday for the update.


Gordon Moran
10 October 2005, 07:33 PM
Fantastic work. This is one massive project. Great texturing but most of all I love the concept. Your designs are truely inspirational.:thumbsup:

10 October 2005, 10:17 PM
from what i can say simply awesome!

firstly that you 've come so far! i wouldnt have accomplished even a single tree ^^
the idea is pretty cool, i had one kinda similar to it, perhaps that floating isle thing floats in everyones head ^^ was there a movie or so? ^^

i totally like the many small details and models

keep it up

10 October 2005, 08:13 AM
Hi man.

I see the great progress in Your works. From project to project its better and better.

I'm really glad to see so great enthusiasm and hard working.

Keep it up, I'm watching on U :twisted:

10 October 2005, 12:49 PM

After I finish my nice warm bowl of oat meal *grin* I'm gonna be working on a few things today for this...

More grass-- More trees (maybe I hate tree's!) -- some birds (for ambient critters)

And I think I'm gonna redo those flags. I never reallly liked them.


10 October 2005, 01:13 PM
try making some long strips of grassquite light in colour, in fact the same colour as terrain at base, then make smalll groups of them, by cloning spinning and postioning, then place thesebelow the dark plants you have at the mo to soften transition from terrain to plant.

10 October 2005, 11:59 PM
Looks great with the changes you have been given this should be really neat. I really do not have any crits... maybe a better sky. Not sure this is pro level pretty much. Just needs a story and some rpg type charecters walking about :)

10 October 2005, 12:53 AM
Not sure this is pro level pretty much. Just needs a story and some rpg type charecters walking about

Thank you Desp!

That's an awesome compliment!

Right now I took a break from the environment...well sorta no...not really. *grin*

Just finished modeling a Bird for the environment. ;) Has to do with the opening scene of the demo reel. Bird in Zepplin in close of land and lastly city.

Not sure if that makes any sense. I've been up since 4am, its 9pm now and I've been going like this for the past month. I won't be hitting bed till around 11ish so gogo 4 hour sleep nights. =D

I did work out 3 more tree models to add further varity, and about 5 more bushes and flowers to help blend in the ground...but I did not hit up the flags yet like I mentioned before. I will post updates tomorrow with the flappy birdo included.

Thanks guys!


10 October 2005, 09:54 PM
Here is an update!

Added some more tree's and bushes and grass ......weeeeee! lol
*thumps her head into her desk rapidly*

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