Unreal Engine: Experimenting With Free Assets.
I wanted to try out something new with unreal engine. As I do from time to time I decided to put one of the random ideas that popped into my head into a level!
Although there is not much thought behind this experiment, there were some things I really wanted to do. Firstly I wanted to create a calm atmosphere. In my head large shapes, water and the sun can create very interesting yet calm environments. Hence the first thing I created was a large pathway straight through the ocean. I kept the original skybox, but altered the global illumination to give off a slightly more fitting colour. Secondly I wanted to create something inviting, something you’d want to move towards. So I decided to experiment with a large building that would give a very specific inviting and interesting vibe.
By using strong basic shapes on a huge structure, yet applying unique architectural shape to it, I wanted to create the impression of the building housing something inherently interesting and secretive. I don’t want to spoil my true thoughts behind the nature of this building, but rather would like to leave room for the ideas it puts into other peoples heads. When seeing this building what do you think lies beyond the path leading inside? What could this building be? Please leave a comment with your thoughts if you’re reading this! I shall leave mine eventually as well.
Once I finished the building I found that the entire scene was lacking. It felt empty. A building in the middle of the sea just made no sense. There had to be more to the area around it. I therefore experimented firstly with simply adding rocks around. By giving the impression there’s large stone bodies around the concept of buildings being present made more sense. The rocks could provide a foundation for the path and building ahead. This idea worked out rather well but there was still something missing.
You probably guessed it by now but the last thing missing was a bit of color. The feeling I wanted the scene to bring was a calm one, but now it left you with a lost and empty feeling. I therefore decided that adding trees to the scene, specifically red ones, would be the finishing touch. I’m very happy with the futuristic look this scene has whilst still providing a calming sense of nature. The open sea, the amazing trees, the clear skies. It all combines to create an interesting environment that asks you to move ahead. A true sense of calm exploration.
When we get to the topic of lighting, the entirety of it is rather simple. The setup is basic, with the entire scene being globally illuminated. Shadows are set to render in detail only over a short distance, this way you can see detailed shadow of trees near you without losing performance due to trees in the back.
- Water Planes (By Epic Games, free under the learning tab of the Epic Games Launcher)