Watch At The Pick Overview

Hi! Today we'd like to talk about new environment we've done, called Watch At The Pick

This environment is inspired by The Witcher and TES:Skyrim and located at the peak of the mountain. The look we headed to was viking and north styled building and moody snow blizzard. We are from Siberia so we know how snow blizzards and snowdrifts look in real life, although we haven't mountains nearby (except mountains in Altai).

Planning Stage

Here are some references we use in planning stage:

References

Andrew made some amazing mountains in World Machine (few variants of mauntains) which I use for blockout in Modo. I placed mountains in Modo and began blockout with simple box shapes. After I finished blockout I exported it as one FBX object in Unreal.

Modelling Stage

First was I did after blockout is started cut objects one by one in separate Modo files. In engine I made Master Material which you can see below. What I wanted that all material can do is ability to paint snow/dirt/gravel on them. So I used very nice technique in UE4 called material functions. The idea was simple - we need ability to paint 3 additional materials via vertex painting using RGB values (R - snow, G - dirt, B - gravel). So, instead of having a ton of nodes in main materials we encapsulate them in separate mini-materials called material functions. Each material function have own Albedo, Roughness, Normal and other outputs just like regular material do. We can bring them in our master material and just blend them using Linear Interpolation node and using vertex colors as Interpolation amount. 

In result, we work like this - we create base texturing for an object (or use existing tiling material) and paint on top of it with vertex colors.

Modelling stage itself was pretty standard - just making highpoly objects and baking them to lowpoly and texturing in 3D-Coat. Nothing fancy here.

After I textured all assets and dressed up the scene, I bring snow particles and effects into place. Next is lighting and post-processing stage.

Lighting and Post-Processing Stage

For this scene we decided to go for day time. Andrew made lighting and post processing after Peter placed all assets in place.

Final Screenshots

Conclusion

This was interesting work and we hope you like reading this article and result.

Stay tuned for next update, we are working on our next project.