Decisions, decisions, decisions.
I liked the way the cave was looking when using the tiled textures and vertex paint, but for sake of argument I decided to go ahead and model a rock in high poly and bake on to the low polygon version. At this point I'm still pretty torn on how to proceed. Both methods have pros and cons.
High poly bake pros:
Blended tiled textures pros:
You can see the results of my modeled rock formation below. I also made a crystal, crystal material, and puddle decal too.
Finally! I painted the materials on to the first section of cave.
The Material blends five groups of color, normal, and roughness maps using vertex RGB, Alpha, and 1 - Alpha. The blend transition is further assisted using a blend map and HeightLerp.
I'm pretty satisfied with the results. Now that this is complete putting multiple sections together should be a breeze.
Below you can see a result of the blending. All the materials and modeling, as usual, are completely original, running real time in unreal at steady 120fps.
Now for some fun models! My plan is to create crystals, mushrooms, roots, and maybe some small rocks. I'm not too excited about the rocks, since it is so boring, but it'll probably be needed.
Work on the cave project continues.
So, I thought I'd be a little further along with this, but coming up with an order of operations for the production of the environment proved a bit more challenging than expected.
So what am I trying to do? I'm trying to create an impressive and vast cave system which will have a few modular parts. Originally I planned to use the current method of baking high poly cave pieces and rocks, tile and mask the materials, and then just piecing it together. While this method is certainly impressive, It just isn't as organic as I'd like. It is also super time consuming, and at this point I'm pretty sick or making high poly rocks.
My solution? Go somewhat more old school and tile rocky materials across a mesh. The materials will include sculpt work, but the actual cave itself will rely on the geometry for the larger details. This why I can blend 5 materials across a seamless cave piece. I understand if this explanation might not be completely clear, so I'm planning on putting together a step by step.
Below I show a shot of the 5 texture blend material that I can paint on to the mesh with vertex paint. Also there is a shot of a completed cave piece. Only one material is painted on for now, but next on the agenda is painting the cave to see final results.
Modular Cave Project Begins!
Recently I've done a lot of outdoor modeling, so I decided to switch focus and start working underground and on dungeons.
The goal with this project is to showcase the quality of work that I can create. This is all new work for 2019. When complete there will be a good number of modular cave pieces that can be snapped together to create a sprawling cave system. The project will start in Unreal but eventually migrate to Unity.
Materials will be kept performance friendly but also very high quality. Focus will be on normal, height, and roughness maps.
Below is the first shot of the test cave with a couple of the materials applied running real time in Unreal. I find it is very import to get assets up and running in engine as quickly as possible. There is no substitute for seeing how things are actually going to look in game.
Thanks for looking! More coming soon!
I’m happy to report that the project has come to a close, and all that is left is publishing. These models and materials would work great with any barbarian, Viking, or medieval type setting. Perfect for environments running in real time like games.
I started the project with the intent on just creating a few buildings, but it kept expanding and expanding. Simple collision was added to all the meshes, and LODs are also included for some of the more performance taxing meshes.
Below you can see some shots of the pack in action. These scenes are running in real time in the Unreal Engine at a consistent 120 frames per second on a midrange PC.
Check out the Gallery Page for more information.
I plan on creating fly through demonstrations of all the packs that have been released, and I am also looking in to publishing on the Unity shop as well.
I’ll be back to report when Epic approves the product! Thank you for looking!
I am Jacob Lubinski.