View Full Version : Mass Effect Citadel environment
07-06-2010, 01:57 PM
I´ve been lurking on Polycount for a while and after getting sufficient practise modeling and some experience with the UDK I think I´ve worked up the confidence to do my first portfolio scene.
I´ve photocopied unused concept art for Mass Effect 1 from the artbook.
Also made a mockup scene to test out the scale. (the models being very rough)
I'm still thinking about what pieces I'd like to build in a modular fashion...
how would you tackle this scene?
I reckon for modularity atleast
2 bench pieces (straight and bent)
A modular wall section / Texture (behind the stairs)
Panels next to the aquarium
Silver/chrome trim beneath the Aquarium (again straight and bent)
Plants ... ferns? grass?
And my personal view on how to improve the scene a bit would be to place a few signs around to give you a clue about where you are on the Citadel.
I took a peek on the ME wiki and found some useful information:
locations in the ward include a Museum of Galactic History,
Auxua School of the Arts,
Gaeron Botanical Gardens,
and Tayseri Point."
07-06-2010, 03:09 PM
block out looks good, however looking at the central column , i believe the ceiling is higher in the concept
07-06-2010, 07:31 PM
Dood I loved this Concept ever since i first saw it in the limited edition, good choice.
also, i agree with 'Dan' ceiling is higher.
07-06-2010, 07:40 PM
Over all solid block out. impressed seeing as it your first serious scene. Some things can be stretched more i.e. the ceiling. The aquarium looks more stream line in the concept. higher ceiling makes more room for people to walk. Next pic u should put up u should include a scale model
07-07-2010, 09:34 AM
Take a look at this:
If I import using the scale I'm using in Max (96 units for a character) the scale looks off. When I look at the "correct scale" the aquarium's really tiny.
So I scaled it up, it looks right when you stand next to it but it's way too high then.
Unreal and its weird Field of view keep playing tricks on you as well.
07-07-2010, 09:41 AM
If you find it difficult working at the fov, you can change what the editor displays by changing the value in BaseEngine.ini
Just search for fovangle. Default is 90 methinks, but about 45 should match the ref pic.
07-07-2010, 04:33 PM
Thanks for the advice! changing the FoV makes everything look quite different which takes a little getting used to.
In the meantime, the first highpolies and their low poly counterparts.
40-48-120 triangles left to right. The straight piece top left will be used for a bent version as well.
I was thinking of doing the rest of the normal details in crazybump (if there are any, since Mass Effect has quite clean surfaces all round)
Any suggestions for improvements?
07-07-2010, 05:41 PM
nice start! good luck!
07-08-2010, 07:11 AM
Its pretty pointless to modell highpoly meshes as long as you have subtle details like the ones in ME2. So most of the stuff should come from texturing and finding ways of reusing those textures on diffrent meshes.
Also: there is HUGE potenial for lighting this scene, it should totally be one of the biggest challenges!
07-08-2010, 08:16 AM
Can you elaborate on what you mean by the subtle details from ME2 ? One of the things I've noticed is that almost everything has those neat 1/2 pixel highlights that only seem to come from highpoly meshes.
If there are other techniques or things you can tell me about, please do, because I find myself to be pretty new to this.
07-08-2010, 08:49 AM
I could be wrong but don't you get those fine highlights from a spec map?
07-08-2010, 09:05 AM
If you look at the edges on the box, I those are done by a highpoly bake right? you can see the UV seam where the box's bevel ends.
I think adding highlights to your specular will definitely help but it already bends according to the normal.
07-08-2010, 09:15 AM
I dont get why your being recommended not to model the HP stuff. you will always get a better looking surface if you bake normals from a good HP model. If your willing to take the time to model the stuff and bake it propperly you will see a massive improvement in quality. Spec will just make the hard edges pop. it wont round them.
I would say that your scale is very off. A 96 unit character looks tiny in the scene. On the fish tank. the panel attached to it is up to the waste of the guy looking at it. in your scene its taller than the character.
Check the proportion of the bench to the 96 unit character as well, it looks waaay too big.
07-08-2010, 09:27 AM
Correct, I was briefly doubting whether I should keep this scale simply for making screenshots (everything in relation to eachother besides the character is correct) but it'd be a lot better if you were able to physically walk around in it without everything being as weird as it is.
Ah and I had another problem with rendering normals that were skewed but was fortunately able to fix it using:
http://udn.epicgames.com/Three/ContentBlog.html >> "Processing Optimized Normals"
Finally understand the relevance of that piece.
Went from this:
07-08-2010, 10:41 AM
To clarify what I meant, the stuff that is mosly ceeling and repetative, you would achive very fast results with texture work(including normal maps done from these textures) To demostrate what I mean;
So I do encurage you to do highpoly models of the sofas/chairs/crates and the fish tank, but most wall panels would go really fast by going modular and not highpoly the sucka of every piece of wall.
Example shot of the wall job Im speaking off.
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