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Prox's Env. Thread (Updated Tower with trees)

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Posts

  • PROXPROX Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Trying to get the lighting to work better doh.
    tower_progress_14.jpg

    tower_progress_13.jpg

    PROX on
  • TheBogTheBog Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Damn.. Nice.

    TheBog on
  • NightDragonNightDragon 6th Grade Username Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    I can't tell if it's the lighting or what, but there are a lot of sections in this that are really hard to read. Lots of little pieces that clump together. Maybe it'd be different if I was a character, looking at all of this in a 3D space...but places like the stairs look especially confusing. I think it could partially be the textures and/or the values of the different spaces/materials...but it could also just be the geometry. Maybe it's a combination of all of it.

    There are a lot of spikey bits that seem to contribute to the confusion for me, and I noticed you had some of those same confusing spikey-bits on the floor of your previous environment.

    I mean, everything else seems really nice, but it doesn't seem to read as well as a whole as I wish it could (and as it looks like it's capable of, with some tweaking). Maybe it's just me, though. :\

    NightDragon on
  • PROXPROX Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    circle the problem areas please.

    edit: I've been struggling with this for a while and it's because all the materials for the tower are within the same value and hue area, so you dont see the individual parts. I also made everything very spikey and so there's little area for the eye to rest.

    The spiky stuff on the ground in my cave were stalagmites. Coming out of the ground.

    I have to go back and change some hues and things for individual pieces to make them stand out more. I'll try to create rest areas as well.

    tower_progress_15.jpg
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    tower_progress_17.jpg
    tower_progress_18.jpg
    tower_progress_19.jpg
    tower_progress_20.jpg
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    PROX on
  • Angel_of_BaconAngel_of_Bacon Moderator mod
    edited July 2009
    I would suspect it's mostly the lighting that's the biggest problem here, since it seems to just feel like this drab green-blue wash over everything. All the textures and models are great, but the lighting isn't serving to separate what's important to the scene/player from what isn't.

    Given, there's limits to what you can do with light, and Maya's viewport rendering is never going to give you the lighting results you really want simply because it's not a game/movie quality renderer, but the point stands. If you can, try lighting the scene without an ambient light (or at least, have it set to emit a very, very low level of light), using directional lights for primary lighting and broad fills, and spotlights for focused areas- you can get a lot more subtle, effectively contrasting lighting this way. (This may be problematic for same game engines like Doom3 where all lighting is done in real time, but not for a good portion of them that bake lighting anyway (Quake/Source/Unreal). I believe you can also bake the lighting into texture in Maya for nicer real-time rendering than you'd get in the viewport normally.

    What you might want to do is do a screengrab and do a quick paintover of what you've got in order to figure out where your focus is; ideally, you'd have a good piece of concept art to go by from the get go, but doing this mid-stream can save you some time if you just find yourself noodling around for direction. Did an example to try to center the focus around the big central crystal- maybe not the mood you're going for, but with something like this in hand, I'd have a pretty clear idea of how I'd want to set up my lights.
    prox_WoW.jpg

    The only other thing that confuses is me is that you've got these big icicles and snowy ground texture, but there's no snow on the texture of the actual architectural structure, which is somewhat confusing. If the structure's been there and it's been snowing, the top surfaces of everything would have snow on them; or if it's sprouted out of the ground recently, I don't know how those icicles would have gotten formed.

    Angel_of_Bacon on
  • PROXPROX Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Thanks for the paintover bacon. I've been struggling with lighting forever. I have the concept art here:

    frostblight_tower.jpg

    Was heavily modified due to outside input.

    This building is dropped from the sky and wherever it lands is basically an Ice nuke. The ice is also cursed undead ice. So I went with a greenish bluish thing going.

    All that ice is formed within a few seconds, and everything around it was flash frozen. I'm limited on time and want to move on from this project.

    PROX on
  • NightDragonNightDragon 6th Grade Username Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Nice arts!

    NightDragon on
  • McGibsMcGibs TorontoRegistered User regular
    edited July 2009
    I like the tallness of the concept art much better then the squat model. It looses alot of its... towerness.

    McGibs on
    website_header.jpg
  • PROXPROX Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Yes I liked my tall concept as well, but I was told to widen it out so that i could mess with the silhouette of the pillars more. Also Making it squatter means less chains means less polys.

    That's why I want to finish this. I want to do another piece in a radically different art style. Possibly Scifi.

    Thanks ND.

    PROX on
  • Angel_of_BaconAngel_of_Bacon Moderator mod
    edited July 2009
    McGibs wrote: »
    I like the tallness of the concept art much better then the squat model. It looses alot of its... towerness.

    Agreed. I like the sort of Samurai Jackish feel to it.

    In any case, going off the concept, here's what I'd try breaking down the lighting setup as:

    For the scene lighting, try a very pale blue-green directional light for the primary sunlight (possibly several at different angles and a blurred shadow maps if you want a diffused effect), and a purple/blue fill directional light(s) at an opposed angle to the sunlight(s), and possibly a dimmer purple/blue fill coming up from under the ground (no shadow casting) to simulate reflected light.

    Then for the tower, a wide pale blue spotlight directly over the tower, a more intense and focused green spot light in the same spot, a green point light in the crystal, and a few green spots under the ground facing up around the tower, with shadow casting off. Might want to do intense green vertex lighting on the bottom verts of the ice formation and the tower.

    Do test renders when setting up your lights- the low-poly geometry will probably mean that these lights aren't going to have much of an effect in the viewport, but a huge effect when rendered/baked.

    Angel_of_Bacon on
  • PROXPROX Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Thanks for tips bacon. I will def do a vertex lighting. As for shadows I wouldn't know how to go about that, since I'm going to playblast the whole thing.


    tower_progress_26.jpg

    PROX on
  • Angel_of_BaconAngel_of_Bacon Moderator mod
    edited July 2009
    Well if you're doing that rather than rendering, you definitely will want to bake shadows for the best effect:
    http://fromthehill.nl/tutorials/bake/index.html

    You'll want to figure out your lighting with test renders before committing to baking all your lighting, because it's sort of a pain in the ass doing it all the time. Also when I used to do it you'd have to go into the "Hardware Texturing" attribute tab of each texture and reset the texture resolution to a decent size because it (or at least it used to) set the texture to like 32x32 after you bake the texture for no good reason.

    To have shadow maps, you just open the shadows attribute tab when you select a light, and turn on "Use Depth Map Shadows". Changing the resolution will give you better shadow definition, putting the filter size up will blur your shadows in a uniform fashion.

    By "non shadow casting" lights I just mean you don't turn on any shadows.

    Angel_of_Bacon on
  • PROXPROX Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    sounds complicated!

    PROX on
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