I used to be very good and disciplined at keeping a blog, but it’s been a couple of years and often I find that I don’t have the time to write one anymore. I thought I would try and share updates on my current personal project where I can. I mostly post on Artstation now, and have been trying to revive my blogging habits (throwback to 2017 when I already tried this and got one whole post in) as well as hopefully diving back into Youtubing and more in the coming few months.
So, while I am primarily going to post on Artstation as that’s where the art shit goes down, I will copy-paste and maybe modify a little the same post here to my old WordPress too 🙂 I will also share links to any future youtube videos etc. here. I hope you’ll be glad to see me back! I know a lot of students use my blog as a resource so shout out to you lot and sorry for all my weird university-day ranting way back in 2013-16.
So, I suppose I’d better get this blog up to date!
This project began when I was asked in February to teach a 10 week class for Game Art Institute, so I decided this was going to be a good chance to create a new diorama scene in UE4. In my first class I demo’d how I create blockouts for concepting, experimenting with lighting/composition/design etc.
I did an initial blockout, overpainted that, and then revisited the blockout until I had something I was happier with.
At this point I create a sketch over the blockout to get a feel for the scale of objects and designs I might use for decoration.
I created a back view too… that’s the nice thing about working with a 3D blockout- you can experiment with all sorts of angles… and lighting, colour, and quick compositions too.
Working with a 3D blockout is great for so many other reasons too. Working with a blockout means I wont run into any weird issues down the line where the 2D scene doesn’t translate into 3D. I also can use the blockout to build my 3D scene around, meaning I already have a frame work to work with, and that saves me a ton of time.
I’m also toying with the idea of cranking up the saturation on my concept, but I’ll see what happens. I quite like how it looks, but I like the desaturated version too. Colour stuff tends to happen a bit more naturally over the course of working inside UE4. I’ll show what I mean below.
So once I’ve got a colour palette, lighting scenario, and design in mind, I take my initial concept blockout and start a more solid blockout with colours. They’re just quick messy meshes with an unwrap and a painted texture. Now I can see what the colours do in a 3D space.
I’m currently at the stage where I’m making the more finalised sculpts and applying quick blockout materials, and I’ve been working on the water shader. I’m going to make a separate post about that another day and I’ll show what I’ve been sculpting and so on. But in the meantime here’s a gif 🙂 I may also make a quick Youtube video talking through my water shader, though I may yet tweak it. It’s been a while since I made a Youtube video, should get back on that!
So much to do! It feels good to have a project again. If I leave it too long between big UE4 projects (sketching, painting, sewing, etcetc instead) I feel like I’m not an environment artist any more!
Hope you found this post interesting, I look forward to sharing more- hopefully a bit more in depth as I catch these posts up to where I am on the project.