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Frozen Beach Scene - School project (Finished)

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    Frozen Beach Scene - School project (Finished)

    Hi everyone,

    Its my first time here and I would like to simply introduce myself by showing you the latest project I have done at school this 4th semester.

    The goal of the project was mainly to have a nice scenographic composition using only a handfull of objects we do ourselves for a tropical beach scene (4 rocks, 3 palms, 2 plants, 2 bushes, 1 grass patch, 1 landmark, 1 hut, 1 shipwreck, 2 particle FX, a terrain and 3 optional props (in my case it was an ice sheet, very small plant, and a leafed tree)). The artistic direction reference was AC4-Blackflag but it was up to the students to decide the final art direction. Texture/shaders amount was unlimited (although we were required to remain within playable memory loads) and since i'm a tech artist, this was the best occasion for me to push what I knew about UDK to a new level - mainly regarding shading. Hence, I though "Hey, Crysis had this using CryEngine, why not try it in Unreal?".

    During this project, I learned the landscape tool (which didn't fit my needs quite much for this scene, I ended up using a Static Mesh instead with a mix of Wilbur and 3DS Max magic), intermediate shading (depth fading for smoke/normals/tiling, variable tiling by object radius/world position, cube maps, fresnel tricks and light vector transmission, custom skydome, normal map debugging (a lot of it!), detail textures, WorldZ oriented snow on objects, vertex paint (doesnt work well on DX9 with vector transforms and Per-Pixel Camera vector sadly), different texture blending methods for ice/snow/diffuse hierachies all under one Master Shader with switches to control instruction counts and Mat Instances simplicity) along with various workflows for vegetation and rock props modeling.

    Things I wanted to do but failed to do so: Have Vertex Paint control on all objects under one single shader with Z-Snow, procedural animated sky clouds, vertex world offset wind effect on vegetation, transmission on non-flat objects (ice), remove repetition on the boat containers for the snow, have a low instruction count for the ground ice (it tops at 190-200), realistic ambient occlusion for both small and big objects, and lack of a complete understanding of the landscape tool (especially regarding light baking and component res).

    I will certainly post a making-of once I finish (actually need to start) my website before the end of the current holidays. I wouldn't have been able to do this if this forum and its community members had not shared and solved pretty much 90% of all the problems I encountered during the making of this scene. I hope henceforth to participate in a couple of places on this forum and do my own part. This has been a super fun project and I really hope i'll have time to work something similar later on.

    Thank you everyone for your support, comments, questions or suggestions.

    Welcome to the forum

    Your work is really amazing!!