On this page you'll find a few of my favourite pieces of work, with a brief annotation for each describing my inspiration and processes.
UE4 Arch Vis Work
I'm currently working as a digital designer at a company that builds high quality garden rooms aimed at the high-end market. My job is quite varied, I work in the marketing department and mainly work on filming case studies, video editing, promotional artwork creation, and 3D product design.
As the only designer I get a lot of freedom when it comes to design, although having good quality critique and art direction is invaluable, and it can be difficult when I can't solve problems in a collaborative setting.
These are all rendered in UE4.
Here are some final renders of a character I decided to work on in early 2017, which started out as a very low-poly character for a university project.
This was my first time using substance painter and it was a lot of fun. I've learned a lot about baking, organic UV'ing and how normal & roughness maps can be manipulated artistically. Also I will be taking a much more modular approach when I build a character in the future, and spend more time on the design phase of the project.
I'm never fully happy with my work, but I try not to spend too long on a project so I can move on with what I've learned and apply it from the ground up.
Zbrush Texture Workflow
This is a tutorial I put together on how to rapidly create tileable textures in Zbrush, more focused on the quick process rather than the quality, I definitely should update this with a better looking sculpt when I have the time.
Substance Designer Material
This short project was a brief insight into procedural art generation with Substance Designer. This was a fairly simple texture to produce as it only layers up two line alphas which are warped and repeated as noise. The two main layers are green grass blades, and shorter, dead brown grass blades to give the texture a little more depth.
This substance file can be imported into supported engines like UE4 and attribute sliders can modify the output to generate a wide range of different grass textures. Substance Designer is a great program for procedural texturing and I will be focusing on it when I work on environments in the future.
CLICK HERE TO SEE THE SUBSTANCE IN ACTION.
Mage Character (early development stage)
I decided I wanted to add a better character to my portfolio, so I started sculpting an old box modeled low poly Wizard which was a draft idea for a University project which I didn't follow through with. After sculpting and working out the main forms I retopologised the subtools in Zbrush and brought it into Maya for UV'ing.
I'm currently working on a second high detail sculpt pass which I will use to bake maps onto the low poly mesh. I've settled on using a PBR workflow for the textures which I will probably use Substance Painter to generate.
This is a render of a real-time forest environment built in Unreal Development Kit which was my third year project at the University of Hertfordshire (2014). This was my second attempt at an organic environment piece in UDK, focusing more on optimisation, shaders, composition, correct scales and texture blending.
It features a terrain heightmap built in World Machine, with a layered material which blended grass, dirt and rock textures. Tree and grass mesh assets were optimised for overdraw, and the rock assets were textured in order to blend in with the terrain seamlessly to prevent texture popping and create an organic look.
The water shader was built using UDK's node based material editor, featuring depth based opacity, shore foaming, realistic surface deformation, and real time reflections.
A lot of time was spend on R&D, learning the engine's art pipeline and how to build and tweak shaders, optimising assets, and a lot of work went into the water shader. When I get round to building my next environment I will be focusing a lot more on the visual fidelity of my artwork.
After noticing a significant FPS drop in my level after placing a lot of the trees I made, I did some research and discovered that UDK doesn't handle a lot of stacking alpha very well. I decided to experiment with using a higher polygon, but lower alpha canopy.
Here is a real time comparison of the difference in both aesthetic and technical improvement of my tree assets in UDK. The engine also has issues with lighting foliage correctly, often creating harsh contrasts between dark and light when using foliage planes.
This was fixed by introducing a transmission map to the canopy, which tells the material to transmit a specific colour. This trick evens out the harshness of the lighting.