Dunefield Landscape #2

Hello. Took the day off and wanted to make some progress on those dunes again. I started by taking a step back and thinking again about what I wanted to achieve here and it’s somewhere between those two references.

Then spent most of the afternoon on Substance Designer. I managed to make some improvements that I’m happy with like that “Y branching” of the main dune shape and more convincing secondary waves. I’m quite happy with you it feels in Unreal Engine so I might move on for now and switch to the next step.

I didn’t want to rely on tiling textures purely for those secondary shapes and I’m glad they read well enough with just the landscape mesh. So next step might be trying to texture that sand dune in Unreal Engine?


Dunefield Landscape #1


It’s been a while! I’ve mostly spent my free time here and there on a large-sized terrain project in UE4 that grew on me lately (having bought and played a lot with World Machine!!) I’m heavily inspired by the Wadi Rum landscape but I also want to have massives and tall sand dunes which Wadi Rum doesn’t necessarely feature. So that’s what I’m focusing on for now, nothing serious, doodling and fooling around.

I’ve stumbled upon two references that struck me lately, the first one being those new dunefield they found on Mars which are totally unique and only due to Mars’ own atmosphere. The thing here to notice is that contrary to earth where we only have two patterns in dunefields (one large scaled-pattern for the dunes themselves and one small, centimeter-scaled pattern for the sand), we have one Mars a third meter-scaled pattern that leads to a very interesting and appealing look that I’d like to get. I wouldn’t mind having to rely on a fantasy vibe to excuse the dunefields not looking earth-like hehe so, we’ll see.

Mars’ unique triple-scaled dunefield

Anyway, the second one is a standard close-up sand texture but having that Mars picture in mind I thought it would be great if that pattern was actually a medium to large scale pattern. But there’s a lot going on here to lead to those shapes. Those secondary and tertiary sand waves that are born from the main wave are very appealing but are very hard to recreate.

Super interesting close up sand texture that I would like to interpret in a much bigger scale

I tried a lot in World Machine but gave up for now. I switched to working on Substance Designer to create 16bits heightmaps that I could later import into World Machine and integrate in the rest of the terrain… Experiments… experiments…

Here is a try at a 2 kilometers squared dunefield in Substance Designer and imported in Unreal Engine. I like some of those shapes and the scale of it while walking around with the player feels okay but I’ve not yet able to recreate those secondary and tertiary waves branching from the main one.

A try at a simple 2 kilometers dunefield in Substance Designer.
Checking the scale in UE4

And here is a try at a close up sand texture. I will probably tweak it to make it match with the final dune/sand pattern that I will be able to achieve. Looks pretty random for now.

First try at a close-up sand texture


One more image. Here I’m focusing on a single Wave. I’m trying to get a bit the feel of that Mars reference. I like how I managed to get smaller and waves in one single side and fading in long strips the other side. But those waves doesn’t read like they are born from the main dune and so it looks a bit random.

Focusing on a single dune


Environment Artist at Spiritwalk Games

It’s been a while!

Reason why I’ve not made any update to my portfolio or blog is because I’ve been devoting all my time to being an Environment Artist at Spiritwalk Games. I’m super stoked on the position, the job is super challenging and the project we’re working on is awesome so it’s all I could ask.

Personal projects will be put on hold for a while, that’s for sure, but a few interesting ideas are slowly building in my head so I’ll get back to it, sooner or later! In the mean time I wish you all best luck with your art!


Learning Substance Designer! Try one!

Hey! I’ve started fooling around with Substance Designer today. First try ever, it’s been a while since I’ve wanted to try it and the software doesn’t disapoint. It’s so powerful!

I’ll be soon working on a great game with a super talented crew of artist from all around the world and Substance Designer is part of the workflow so I have to catch on and learn the software asap. I’m feeling confident since nodal workflows feels very natural to me but still, need to take this seriously! Tricky part is to make a readable graph to share with coworkers.

Anyway, here’s my first try. Result isn’t great and would have benefited greatly from studying references but I felt like I just wanted to see where the software would take me and experiment. I’d say not too bad for a first substance ever but the node graph is horrible as you can see haha.

Taking a break, Sketchfab contest, BlenderNation Interview and more

Hey guys! It’s been a while!

As you can see I didn’t upload any content lately. My last post was concerning my final sketchfab entry, which I won! I was so stoked to win first place, I couldn’t believe it, especially with the amount of talented artists who participated in the contest.

Although I personally think some entries were better looking than mine, judges gave me additional points for my in-depth story telling, use of animation & annotations and creating an environment that, for them, perfectly fitted with the overall vibe of the contest. Stoked, thanks guys!

Shortly after that, I’ve been interviewed on BlenderNation which was cool as well! Read it here : http://www.blendernation.com/2016/09/12/artist-interview-ghislain-girardot-winner-sketch-fab-wow-contest/

Then I took some well deserved vacations. It’s been years since I did not take a proper break from 3D. I’m always working on pro or personal stuff all day all year that I felt I really needed a break, especially after the contest.

I received the Oculus I won with the contest not so long ago and all I can say is that it’s amazing. I underestimated the feeling of immersion it gives you. I played some demos and my mind was blown. I’m now googling for a more long term game that I could play on VR and my strongest choice atm is Elite: Dangerous. Spacesim looks like the kind of game that VR can push to the next level. I also tried Project Cars (I already played it quite extensively without VR) but I felt that the track far in front of you doesn’t really read very well in VR. Since the cockpit takes a huge part of the screen and all the important information (opponent cars and track/turns ahead) are so tightly concentrated in a very small portion of the screen (near the horizon), the DPI of the Oculus doesn’t suffice to render sharply so many geometric and depth information in such a tight space. Anyway, still amazed by the Oculus. Can’t wait to try Elite:Dangerous. I’m just waiting for Thurstmaster T.16000 M FCS Hotas to be released (should be this month) to buy it from amazon (since I also won a 90€ reduction coupon with the contest).

Lastly, I’m in discussion with two different company for a freelance job soon so vacations are coming to an end! I’m not sure if I’ll be back with a new personal project yet but we’ll see!


Sketchfab WoW Contest WIP #4

Update! Still not much too show really but I’ve been thinking a lot about UVs and tilable textures. I tweaked a lot of things so I could bake as much AO and lighting information as possible without using too many unique textures while still being able to paint details and patterns without too much stretch or repetition.

It’s a long process but in the end the texturing process will be much quicker and easier.

Here is my AO pass so far. Next step is top/down gradient and top lighting pass to further crash test my UV’s.