General / 26 September 2019

Blog [#70] - Mesh Style Exploration & Blender foliage with arrays

Evening people!

This week was a nice and busy one again, spending some extra time to work a bit extra and push the quality of the stuff we are doing. I also started working on some of the modular meshes again for my scene and doing some exploration when it comes to them, but more on that can be found in the "Work in Progress" section. 

This week's edition is a packed one, so let's go ahead and dive in, but first let's address something that I did recently.

Locking content in blogposts

It's time to be real here for a second, I feel like I did something wrong by locking all the content after a small paywall for people and it might hurt me more than it does good in the long run.

I only realised this after leaving it be for a while and not thinking about it too much, but then when I started thinking about it again this week I made the realisation that it didn't do that much anyway, so I will be spending some time reverting the blog posts tips to be accessible again and including a link pointing towards the compilation embedded in each blog post to make it easier for people to find it.

It's a good thing that I tried it out and realise that it was a mistake, because you can't know this stuff if you don't try right?
Lesson learned :D

Foliage webinar

When watching a Unreal Engine Foliage Webinar yesterday I discovered some cool stuff that I didn't realise at first, so I will quickly go over a couple of them here.

Speedtree color variation node

This is the most surprising one from the webinar and didn't realise what I was missing until I tried it out, but this node is awesome. It gives you random colour overlay based on the world position of the mesh itself, and the only control you have is a single parameter which allows you to control the strength of the variation.

This makes it super easy for an artist to control the amount of variation that you can get from single mesh.

Promote to parameter

Simple, but super useful. You can right click on a parameter from a node and convert it to a parameter that is going to have the name of the parameter itself. So this is a big time saver!

Fuzzy shading grass node

This is something that I discovered before, but then the grass variation of this. This node gives you control over a bunch of parameters that are amazing to use for subsurface scattering. This node allows you to control the edge saturation, core darkness and more, so give it a go :D

Mesh Exploration

So spend a bit more time of figuring out the actual modular kit for the whole set, first trying my hand at getting some of the shapes back in there, I want them to have this heavy geometric feel (like the door) but that means that I need to find and experiment how I will translate selected elements to all the other parts too, which will probably be the goal for next week.

The thing I really like in the screenshot below though are the high glass panels, and they start to make sense construction wise too.

A thing that really helped me with the generation of the shapes was using the Fracture addon in blender to shatter the shape and generate these organic looking geometric shapes for the doors. I can then use the same smaller versions of the shapes as booleans to create some nice filler content for the doors themself.

here you can see some of the examples for the door, different configurations and different styles.
Currently I'm really liking the combination of the lowpoly shapes and the glass on the left, this will give the impression of details while not making it too noisy.

Further down the line I really want to address the shape of the ceiling and make it feel a little less straight, but how I will do that I'm not sure yet!
I really love doing all the exploration stuff on my own pace, because in the beginning I realised that I was working so slow, but I'm at a point where I don't need to prove anything to anyone and I can just do it the way I want it to :D.

Image Credit - Per Bellersen - Hunt: Showdown – Water Plants

Visit his profile over :
Per Bellersen - Artstation Profile

For this week we have the amazing foliage on display build by Per Bellersen, really nailing the look and feel of the foliage he made.
And the image above really sells it will, the lighting, dressing and the entire scene (obviously a team effort on that part) just emanate this beautiful harmony, especially when people are not running through it killing each other :D

But this this is some really stunning foliage work, I really love the attention to detail in the texture like the damaged parts and also really love the way that they are used on the final mesh. Making them hang more than other leaves really brings out the damage and gives each individual plant character.

This is greatly inspiring Per Bellersen, thanks for inspiring me to make better foliage and really push the realism!
Make sure to check out his other shots showing off the foliage, so make sure to visit his profile.

Allright people!
That's going to do it for me for this week, I'll catch you in the next one!

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