Have not written a blog in awhile but here is my latest environment piece that I am working under the mentor ship of Billy Matjiunis as he has been super helpful in the process of creating this scene. Being still new to game environment art, I still have alot to learn but I am super proud with what I have accomplished from Mentor Collation as it has taught me so much about the game pipeline. Also thanks to DiNusty Empire for giving me feedback's on projects that I work on.
That said, this scene is meant to be a mood piece and heavily inspired by TLOU 2 world. This was also a good practise on using Decals and vertex painting. textures were created in Substance Designer and the UV were carefully placed on to the tiled texture. Models were created in Maya and some additional texture was done in Substance painter. The scene is rendered in UE4.
This is a small video of the process from trying different composition and house type, I ended up sticking to a more simpler silhouette for the house as it felt more relatable.
These are the decals that were used to give the house more wear. I got the textures from online and brought them into Photoshop to create the alpha maps and roughness map. Each map had three different variations for Decals and the opacity map had each variation in different channels. this made the texture more packed and easier to connect in UE4.
Billy has written a very detailed process of how he creates foliage for the games he has worked on and his scenes. The link is: https://www.artstation.com/billymatjiunis/blog. I would highly recommend everybody to check it out.
To summaries the process, I created a so call high poly leaf mesh in SpeedTree which I ended up baking. This was done so that you can get the variation in the normal's. You can see below the normal map that is created when you use the render options in SpeedTree. The edges of the normal's has a good range as it wont seem flat when placed on a single plane.
As you can see by baking a high poly map and getting the normal variation, you are able to fake it and still get the light complexity by staying in a low poly range. I was told to stick to 700 to 1000 tris for a grass patch with a radius of 1.5m to 2m. I am still going to add further details to the leaves but super happy with the results at the moment.
The tree that is used in the scene was created from awhile ago and I chose to reuse it and altered some of the textures to fit the narrative.