One aspect that is powerful about this Substance Street assignment is how modular it can be. Originally, I built it following along with Javier's cobblestone design. Sleek modern sidewalk with larger slabs of concrete. But when it came time for the homework assignments, I was able to design a whole bunch of options, swap them in & out, and build an environment with a story I wanted to tell. With some minor adjustments and cleanups to the script, it became fairly easy to turn this final output into another 5-8 fairly unique sidewalk/street sets of 32+ with minor variations depending on the atmosphere needed.
It's also nice to finally hop into Marmoset after wondering what it was capable of for some time. I had a bit of fun swapping out different lighting setups and cameras pretty rapidly. Seeing what worked and didn't work for the slab rock design I setup. I originally imagined it being a rock slab road with packed dirt trying to keep up with the times but with neglect, the road was slowly receding on all fronts. After bringing that idea to life, I wanted to recycle it for some other ideas. What would it look like as an ally in the city of Osaka or the sunburnt desert city sunrise?
My favorite part is how I was able to add an iridescent oil substance to the sewer's water puddle. I also like how the subtle horizontal mico-line texture for the sidewalk's concrete slabs came out and the shape/breakup of the main rock slabs in the street. I do keep running into trouble with sharp edges smearing or creating hard repeating jaggies. You can see these in bricks where the sidewalk meets the water gutter fall off. It also appears in sections of the rock slabs on the road. I'm sure it's just a bit of wonky math in the way I've set up my script and with enough practice, I'll learn the proper way to merge pieces to avoid it in the future. If I had more time I would have also liked to figure out and build a nice rich green moss to grow in some of the damper spots. I think a setup with that would have helped me expand the possibilities of this road a little further.
Overall I really enjoyed this class. It was a long one but I was able to follow along fairly easily. Money well spent :D
Unreal Lighting / Material Rebuild
I was originally going to bypass this part of the course but since the Unreal 5 demo hit a few weeks ago, I've been fairly interested in learning more about the program. It wasn't as intuitive or even as powerful as I expected when it came to polishing up some of my renders, but a lot of that is from inexperience with this engine. I found myself doing a lot of google searches trying to do what I felt were fairly easy tasks.
"Where can I set the distance light can travel?" Oh that's called 'attenuation radius'... of course "Why is my HDRI BG disappearing in the game mode" Oh I accidentally clicked this random box on.
I also found the UI to be hard to wrap my head around when using a Wacom tablet. The way you pan the camera, how left click (keep my pen pressed down) needs to be held for some actions, holding down the '1' key then tapping the pen to make a constant node appear... it's all very new to me but not completely unfamiliar. In the end, I decided to wrap up this project and dive into more focused Unreal tutorials after.
So I tried to tell a simple story without Gobos. I wanted to try some fairly strange lighting so I went with a foggy street scene, a warm and pinkishly vibrant scene, and what I hope reads as an apartment fire scene. The sphere rock setup looked so good with the firelight I had to try and expand on it with the full street itself.
Overall I extremely enjoyed this class. It left me wanting to dive more into making more textures on my own. It was also really beneficial to explore Marmoset toolbag and the Unreal engine. I may go back and bring older projects from this class into those programs to experiment with them but we'll see how much more free time I get in 2020. Overall excellent LearnSqaured course from Javier.