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ICELAND - neonchallenge
Updated 5 months ago
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the ICELAND project...
... or how to make a full-cg short in two weeks.
first things first:
Hey there, I am Elias and the creator of this little short-film. I have thought for a very long time about taking this challenge and decided finally on Sylvester to do it. At first I created some very rough concept, just to think about the setting and about colors.
I really liked the snow-planet thing because it´s a setting in which lights have a big impact. Of course empty areas are easy to make but they need more work in engine to make it look cool and believable.
Thinking about assets keeps me struggling more and more when it comes to a big scale. I could have used models from the assetstore (there are so much nice things out there) but I wanted to learn and to train me, so I decided to take the challenge and make it myself.


creating hero-assets

Modeling the bike was easy. By using blender and some plugins like hardops and boxcutter the model was created within a half day.




Now the tricky part. I created one big UV-layout for the bike and separated every single part as preparation for the normal-baking. Once it is unfolded, I baked the normal and curvature in substance designer and bring every piece back together to get ready for texturing. (this unfolding process is necessary, because of baking issues if two faces intersect or are to close together)

Next step is texturing. This is really fun to do. Most of the time I am working non-destructive so I can easily adjust materials later and just painting masks to overlay them. It´s getting more detailed by adding extra normal-details that are not really geometry.
A nice tip is to change the environment regularly to check colors in multiple lighting-situations.
Export textures and you are ready to go to unity.

creating environment assets

For the environment assets I do the same modeling steps as for hero models (including unfolding if necessary). But for the texturing I use the material layering function of substance painter. I just painted masks to not waste too much videoram with thousands of textures. Now I only have three masks and one AO pass combined in a single texture as RGBA. (+one normal map of course) With this technique you can later change colors and textures of those layer-masks in the shader, which helps you in your scenedressing with variance.
For the rocks, I sculpted some highpoly meshes and baked normals, AO, curvature and height. This also allows me to mix materials in the shader.




This is how my shadergraph looks like. I used Amplify-Shader-Editor which is very easy to use and a big helper in any production. (this graph simply combines four materials with help of my painted mask from substance painter.



using unity´s cinemachine

After a few tutorials it was very easy to figure out how cinemachine works and it was very easy to set cameras up. For performance reasons I decided to switch particlesystems on and of for every shot with activation-tracks. Some cameras are animated by hand, which was also very simple. Just add animationtrack and plug the camera in.
I hope they implement soon as that you can see particlesystems not only in playmode ;)

some WIP pictures

asset construction kits


using the assetstore

As I mentioned before, I created most of the assets myself but of course I got some help from great tools from the assetstore. I used the following assets:
https://www.assetstore.unity3d.com/en/#!/content/68570
Amplify-shader-editor for creating very easily complex shaders without coding.
VertPaint which is an inexpensive tool for painting vertexcolors directly in Unity (I used it for the shader to paint materials)
This Skybox, that is very nice ... because of the fog you can´t really see it^^
And of course:
Postprocessing Stack to make my dirty models look cool
Volumetric fog for letting lights glow real

stills



finally

It was a very exciting experience for me to do this challenge. Never thought about learning so much in such a short time. I´m thinking about making this short a little bit longer and looking forward to work on the scene again to make it look more realistic if I had time :D If I do so, I will post it here on unity connect.
greetings
Elias

Elias Kremer
Generalist - Artist
2
Comments
Elias Kremer
5 months ago
Generalist - Artist
Jose Luis Torres ReyesNice cinematic action Elias! The sounds are fairly cool too! I too use freesound a lot for my projects, the same, as a source of raw sounds to part from. I liked a lot that you made all of your assets too. I would have used some more eye candy materials on them however. Even you use freely available materials from Substance for example. Because somehow the lack of them makes the closeups looks a tad poor in texture quality material terms. Other than that I found it Really cool stuff. Best of luck with your entry man!
Thank you for this good feedback! I don't think it's so much about the textures but yeah, they are looking a little bit boring and not as crisp as they could look. I think also the time for the lighting was to short. With a better lighting every texture would be much cooler then now. Thank you for the feedback, I will definitely work on it!
0
Game Developer (Unity Certified) - Programmer
Nice cinematic action Elias! The sounds are fairly cool too! I too use freesound a lot for my projects, the same, as a source of raw sounds to part from. I liked a lot that you made all of your assets too. I would have used some more eye candy materials on them however. Even you use freely available materials from Substance for example. Because somehow the lack of them makes the closeups looks a tad poor in texture quality material terms. Other than that I found it Really cool stuff. Best of luck with your entry man!
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SS
Sandra Süsser
5 months ago
Beautiful film with a keen eye for design and mastery skill levels of 3D asset creation :).
1
Glen Johnson
5 months ago
Freelance 3D Artist/ VR Developer - Artist
Very cool. Love the artwork.
1
MP
Mariia Prokopenko
5 months ago
3D Animator - Student
Very cool! Snowy planet looks very charming. Really liked the texturing part and rock design.
0