Thesis Production Update #4: Material Updates, Raytrace Tests, and Beautiful Corner Setdressing

General / 25 May 2020

1. Introduction

Over the last few weeks I've spent time going back to all of my architectural assets and redoing the bakes, textures, and materials. I wanted to make sure they were far enough along before I went too far ahead making set-dressing assets. During this time I decided to build a new "Beautiful Corner" village away from the original scene as a means to work on defining my color pallets and lighting settings a bit better.

2. Updating Architecture Materials and Building new Assets

The Walls, Windows, Doors, Trims, and roof materials all were updated during this time. I wanted a better wood texture, and I think it's getting there but I'm likely going to tweak things more as I go along. Wood is very difficult, and in my scene wood is such a significant part of most assets, so It is important to get right. A couple of new assets were built as well, including new trims with "animal style" patterns and wooden fences.

3. Updating Terrain Blend Material

The terrain material is another aspect that I updated during the last few weeks. I wanted to create more realistic looking ground, and this meant I needed stronger grass and dirt shaders. I also brought in some water/puddle decals from the epic marketplace to help create some reflections on the ground in areas of my beautiful corner shots.

4.  Beautiful Corner

I blocked out and assembled a scene in a new area of the same landscape as a little "playground" for testing materials and assets together. Over the next 2 weeks I will continue to fill out the beautiful corner with my updates and newer assets, and will slowly begin bringing these assets into the main village scene over time. I decided to also try to implement raytracing now that Unreal Engine 4.25 is out. This is an early lighting pass without the lighting built, but I will be working raytracing as the project goes along in order to create the most beautiful lighting possible, and to keep up with industry trends.