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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
And, done! Hope you like the textures. I scratched my head a lot to get the right color scheme 😀
Just kidding, I’m planning ahead here before unwrapping by color coding some assets that could use the same texture. The rest will use unique texture with a lot of mirroring. At least that’s how I’m gonna start to texture it. If I have some time left once I’m done and if some props could be largely improved with more unique textures, I’ll go ahead.
Those are the only unique props used in the scene by the way. Everything else is duplicated.
I decided to participate in Sketchfab’s Wow Contest. Deadline is gonna be tight but anyway, I started doodling some ideas and doing some research about Wow’s lore (I played a bit the beta but I’m not a huge fan of mmo’s so unfortunately my knowledge of the universe is somewhat limited haha) and I figured I’d do some kind of arena style map taking place in some corrupted dwarf forge.
My idea: “Former Thaurissan’s War General and Superior Chief Engineer Arkeram Stonebreaker, one of the more extremist dwarf among the Dark Iron Clan, severely disapproved the turn of events that took place after the War of the Three Hammers and left his clan to create in secret a new dwarf clan. He rallied to his cause what remaining solitary and extremist dwarf he could find and created in a, deep, secret place, a forge of a new kind to forever grant independence to his people.
However, as years went by, he slowly went mad as he started to fool around Legion’s goals and its dark powers. Nowadays the place has been consumed by it and demons and corrupted dwarfs have joined hands to forge weapons of a strength beyond imagination.”
Here is what I have so far. I’m not sure yet if I’m going to use sculpt for this but I’m definitely going for a 100% flat diffuse hand painted style.
Here is a little exercice I made for fun. I didn’t want to start a big project yet so I thought a quick fantasy prop would feel great. This one is enterly hand-painted. Tricount is 2500 tris. I used a 1K map for the tower, one 512 map fortrees&rocks and a 512 map for the ground.
It gives +10% texturing speed bonus plus a-5% tricount bonus when you invoke it 😀 Sketchfab viewer to follow soon, hopefully!