View Full Version : environment 101..

09 September 2005, 09:41 PM
Basically I need environments In my reel. I've always been intimidated by them,after the concept sketchs I dont know where to start.

The trouble I have is doing terrains, ex: Grassy roads, streets, you know stuff along the lines of that, buildings and objects I have no problem with.

I'm also clueless as to how geometry is layed out for these terrains.

My question is what methods are used to blend different maps together like a path blending in with grass or gravel.

How would the UV layout generally look. Are similar quads sharing same UV space.

I'm not doing another character untill I make a demo quality environment.
If you guys could point me to some resources that would be great. In the mean time I will scour the net to tutorials.

Enlighten me Por favor.


09 September 2005, 12:19 AM
The way UnrealEd handles them is with "deco" layers and texture layers. Deco layers contain small static meshes(like grass) that you can then "paint" onto the ground. It's similar to Maya's paint effects. Terrain has it's own editing system in Unreal which is very very cool!

I'm also working on creating environments myself. I would recommend picking up a copy of UT2003 or 2004 and create the environment in actual "realtime". It takes very little time to learn enough UnrealEd just to create a test environment plus you can showcase it with actual game lighting and learn about BSP brushes, Static meshes, and vertex lighting. There is also a really good book out right now from the 3dbuzz guys ( All you'd have to do is read the first couple of chapters and creating a game environment will be no sweat.

As far as getting terrain in a 3dapp, people have been telling me to use a polyplane and use a "paint" sculpting tool(like sculpt poly tool in Maya) with a soft selection to get the same effect. Only problem is laying out the UVs which will be a little bit of a pain, which is why I'm going to do the terrain sections in UnrealEd.

Wish I could help more. There are a couple of really great enviromental artist lurking this forum. I'm sure you'll get a great post on this thread.


09 September 2005, 02:26 AM
thanks for the advice pod, Ill look into that stuff.

did this earlier today, just trying to knock the ol' cobwebs out.
I'll focus more on the ground next time I kinda rushed though it, sorry... (

Wayne Adams
09 September 2005, 01:09 PM
reminds me of the texture work in man hunt...i would probably stay away from that. if you use photos in your textures you should really get in there with a few ps brushes and rid yourself of the artifacting and compression in the images. What I like to do is create a texture based on a photo ref, and after I'm done i take the photo ref and lay it on top of my layer stack and ctrl u it and take the color sat all the way down to grayscale, and play with the curves (ctrl m) then I'll give it a blend mode like multiply or overlay so that the original photo shows up, but its more of a compliment than anything else.

As for painting in layers of texture on your terrain, you can wait and do this in unreal which yields a pretty good result or whatever other editor you want to use. good luck, I wanna see more. ;)

09 September 2005, 02:07 PM
UnrealEd is easy to learn and is probably worth it to at least get a feel of how a real engine works for creating adn environment. When i was working on my env for my reel, I used a plane with a deformation map on it that I painted to create and unevenness and roads and such. Its kinda like making a big bump map. To blend textures, I created tileables like dirt, grass, etc, and then painted an alpha that would cover the entire plane for each, putting them together as a composite map. This is similar to how UnrealEd handles terrain texturing as well. I think that explains it, hope this is of use.

09 September 2005, 04:05 PM
thanks guys.

wayne- Ill try that technique for the next one. This one , the bottom third I threw an overlay on it with a different texture, its alittle more noticable in the back.
I think I need to try desatuarating it like you said and start from there.

tobee-1- when you paint the alpha on the tiles, how do they look. Are you painting the entire piece or just the borders, leaving the center solid. Would you mind elaborating on this.

Next Ill try to do some walls for an interior.
thanks for the critiques

09 September 2005, 08:19 PM
basically you need to first paint the tileable textures, ie dirt, grass, whatever.

Then what i did was took the plan for my level into photoshop. Using this I created a map for each tileable texture. For example when creating the alpha for the grass, you would paint black in the areas where you dont want grass visible. This map would not be tiled. When you put together the composite texture, you will set the grass to tile, and then when applying the alpha do no tile. Then you would do the same for the other textures. creating a seperate alpha for each. And just because the arent tiled doesnt mean they need to be huge. I use 256 maps for alphas and it worked fine. I dont have any images here to show you what I mean at the moment, but if you do need further explanation let me know.

10 October 2005, 12:25 AM
Taking it a shot at a room here. This is the layout I'm thinking of so far.
I'll finish modeling all the little objects then start the texture work.
Critiques welcome.

10 October 2005, 09:38 PM
started with the walls here. two 256 maps, one for the corners and one for the straight walls.

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