Ichigualasto means "Moon Valley" in the native tongue and refers to a land that time has forgotten. The temple city of Ichigualasto resides between the valley, but no one really know exactly where as it's legend says that only those lost and pure of hearth are able to find the city. No one really knows who built the city or even who originally owned it. There is a legend that tells the tale of a mystical being that descended from the heavens to look for a place to lay for its last resting place. From it's remains, the city was erected and with it's life force the city was protected.
That is the initial idea behind this scene. The life force that flows through the city manifests into those crystals that grow all over it and work as a source of power for its citizens. This room sits at the top of a temple in the center of the city and holds the remains of the hearth of the creature (the giant crystalized sphere floating at the end of the room). Different citizens and pilgrims come to this room and light incense to honor the creature and thank it for it's continued support even after death. Some even believe that the creature would come back to life and bless all those that were loyal to it.
Create an environment concept in UE5 using Unreal Marketplace, Megascans and self-made assets.
I have been using UE4 for some time now for work so I had some knowledge getting into this assignment, nevertheless UE5 really blew me away with all the new features that come with it. And although both lumen and nanite are amazing, the new modeling tools inside unreal 5 are what really caught my attention and wanted to explore the most. It made modifying and creating new assets between unreal so much faster and easier without having to go back and forth between unreal and 3d modelling software.
For this project, I decided to go back to a personal project that I stopped working on a while ago. After creating the project and setting up the level and all of the environment controls, I did a quick block in to start getting a sense of space for the scene. One I was comfortable with it, I decided to head into 3D Coat to start making all the different assets. I actually started using blender at first with textures from Megascans but I was not liking the look of it. Since this was not gonna be a scene for games, I could and should take advantage of nanites as much as I can. So then, I decided to jump into 3D Coat. I had used it in the past but it was long ago, so had to re-learn a lot of stuff with it. I established a working pipeline with it that seemed to work really well with nanite without having to worry too much about UV unwrapping. Some of the small props and textures come from Megascans and the crystal materials come from the unreal marketplace. Once I was done with the unreal work, I rendered the images and video and did some post-processing work in Photoshop and DaVinci Resolve.
I worked on this project on my free time so it took me a while to get all done. There are still some things that I want to do and add to the project. Some things like more small props like charms and blessings, and some more decorations like you see in Buddhist temples to make it look a bit more lived in and less empty. Another thing I wanted to add was some curtains or banners sitting in the openings and add a small whooshing animation to simulate wind. Lastly would also like to explore more different times of day, seasons and rainy days. So I pretty much would be working on those things next to add to the scene