Making of Unreal Engine Forest Scene - Tip of the Week

Michal Franczak 2017-07-27 09:09 tutorial  > Unreal Engine  > rendering

The Unreal scene with Evermotion greenery.

Archmodels for Unreal Engine vol. 4 is a collection of animated trees for architectural visualizations in Unreal Engine 4. The collection features:

  • 60 models: 54 trees + stones, bough, trunk, grass and fern models.
  • All foliage models are animated. Each model has at least 1k textures for leaves and 2k textures for trunk.

We also included a scene: a lake surrounded by forest. On the launch of this collection we presented a video with a fly-through this landscape:

 

You can also watch timelapse of placing models into scene:

 

Now I want you to familiarize with other scene settings.

Unreal_Vegetation_Archmodels_01

This is how the scene looks after opening in Unreal Engine 4. As you can see in the bottom right corner, we have a message that Unreal is building Mesh Distance Fields. The scene uses dynamic lighting only. This way we can forget about baking lightmaps each time when we want to move a single element. But it also means that during first opening we need to wait until UE4 compiles all Mesh Distant Fields, which, in this case, can take more than 1,5 hour. Luckily it's a one-time process.

Unreal_Vegetation_Archmodels_02

We included three scenes in the project. The first (trees) are just scattered trees, you'll need to drag and drop some light to see them, it's working scene only. The second is "Overview" with all trees placed in order on backdrop so you can take a closer look at each model. The third one "showcase" is our Lake and forest scene.

 

 

 

Unreal_Vegetation_Archmodels_03

Each model has it's on material instance, easily editable in Material Editor.

 

Unreal_Vegetation_Archmodels_06

The lake is a separate mesh - it's a simple plane but with quite sophisticated material. 

 

Unreal_Vegetation_Archmodels_07

It doesn't look so daunting at first - just normal material, but...

 

Unreal_Vegetation_Archmodels_08

...when we zoom out, we can see some serious nodes wrangling!

 

Unreal_Vegetation_Archmodels_09

The base idea was to animate water surface using TimeWithSpeedVariable node that would alter UVs of normal map. We have separate speed parameter (it's a scalar parameter, easy to change). We finetune UVs scale with couple of Multiply nodes.

 

Unreal_Vegetation_Archmodels_10

We add two normals, multiply them with a yellow color and then with white color which controls normals strength. If you make "Water Normal Strength" darker, the surface of the lake will be less affected by normals animation and it will look more calm.

 

Unreal_Vegetation_Archmodels_11

This part of material controls water distortion (when you look through it, not distortion of waves). Increasing distortion parameter makes the water more muddy.

 

Unreal_Vegetation_Archmodels_12

Distortion nodes go into "height" input of Bump Offset. "cheap contrast" controls contrast of stones on bottom map - so, it's not just water material, the bottom of the lake is included here too.

 

Unreal_Vegetation_Archmodels_13

Mixing the bottom texture with water and other bottom texture.

 

Unreal_Vegetation_Archmodels_14

We made a bodkin and we placed some rocks on it. One of them in static Mesh Editor.

 

Unreal_Vegetation_Archmodels_15

The rocks have very simple materials - just basic textures plugged in with Texture coordinates nod for controlling UV tiling.

 

Unreal_Vegetation_Archmodels_18

Atmospheric fog settings.

 

Unreal_Vegetation_Archmodels_19

Sky Sphere settings

 

unreal_directional_light

Directional Light Settings

 

Unreal_Vegetation_Archmodels_23

Exponential Height Fog settings

 

Unreal_Vegetation_Archmodels_24

Skylight settings

 

Unreal_Vegetation_Archmodels_25

Skylight settings (continued)

Thanks for reading! You can see more images and download Archmodels for UE4 vol. 4 in Evermotion Shop.

 

Author: Michal Franczak Editor: Michał Franczak
Tags: forest lake unreal forest ue4 ue4 vegetation greenery greenery lake vegetation
You may also like...
Unreal Engine  - free direct access for students

Unreal Engine - free direct access for students

Unreal Engine 4 is now free for students through Github.
×

LEAVE A COMMENT

You need to be logged in to leave a comment. Don't have account? Register now.
  • ul. Przedzalniana 8, 15-688 Bialystok, POLAND
  • ph.: +48 85 674 50 05