Haunted House UE4 WIP

General / 29 July 2020


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.

SpeedTree Process


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.


General / 24 February 2020

Been playing around with SpeedTree a lot lately and to test how the trees looked in Unreal Engine, I created a small scene to show off the subsurface scattering and the models itself. I just used the foliage brush to get them to scatter around the landscape and then placed some rocks I used from Quixel and placed around the edges of the water. Now I have to make this scene bigger and tell a narrative with this piece.



Been also playing around with more nodes in UE4 and was able to make a more realistic water effect by adding Refraction and Fresnel. Pretty happy with the result and will show a video soon here you can see white waters as well while its flowing.

Further Studies for the Temple

General / 27 January 2020

Close Up

In the image above I am focusing on the main statue and playing around with the brightness of the light to create a halo effect surrounding the face of the statue. The statue was sculpted in ZBrush and then brought to Maya to be retopologized where i quickly textured in Substance Painter to bring it to life. Most of the assets were done the same way in terms of the pipeline. Going forward, I will be adding trees behind the Cave itself so it would more interesting when the light is scattering through the subsurface of the leaves. i will be using Speedtree to create the assets of the trees or model them in Zbrush and place the haircards myself. But it would definitely be cool if I learn Speedtree so I could add that to my Resume.

Second Render Test

I fixed the water to make it look less black and more natural with the image beneath and added more dirt to the walls.


So I went into Photoshop and did a quick study of maybe how i want my final scene to look like and  I came out with the conclusion that my scene should have water cascading around the cave and have a stronger light ray coming from the only opening in the scene which is behind the Big Statue. I am still figuring out how I will cascade the water reflections as i may have to play with some more nodes or create a light that does that. I am able to animate the water as i figured out the nodes for that.

Nodes for Water Simulation

So these are the nodes I used to create a water moving effect in Unreal Engine.