The Quarry Pt.5

Work In Progress / 28 August 2022

One month and one vacation later! August is coming to an end and so is the current pace of progress! More on that later in the post, but for now: Updates!

We got some more colors in first of all! I decided to dive into some Blueprints to make my own rope-tool similar to the one I previously made in Houdini, although this time directly in engine. It's a bit more primitive spawning in a set mesh piece on points along a spline, but it gets the job done nonetheless! After that I added on the flags, getting the color variation was a bit of a challenge first as I wanted some control over it rather than just going 100% random. The solution was sampling the colors from a pre-chosen array set up in the blueprint. It works really well as it tints the default flag material and gives me a ton of control over the art direction for them! You can find the full blueprint here!

For the tent fabric covering the work area where the workers would be cutting the stones into smaller pieces for transportation, I brought the ropes and a placeholder mesh into Marvelous Designer where I simulated different pieces of tent cloth. Later down the line I might add in holes by using alpha in the tilable texture to add to the ragged look. The cloth pieces were too big with too much collision to be able to easily handle the UE cloth sim however, so I had to look for a different solution there. I ended up with a vertex shader for that, quite a simple one but it gets the work done. I went with the same shader as showcased here. The tent fabric itself was create in Substance Designer as a jute weave.

As you can see below, I also went back and reworked the trimsheet one final time to add on a tiling rope texture that I made using ZBrush for a highpoly which was then unwrapped on a cylinder. I then placed those UVs in the free part of the trimsheet. The rope ends were sculpted from scratch in ZBrush. This was the final part of the trimsheet and I'm really happy with how it turned out!

Thanks to Cairo Goodbrand I also got a new master shader set up for the trimsheet which is being used by every asset except for the rocks :D Cairo's got a great video breaking this shader down over on his Artstation!

The next item on the list! A bit of size variation was required to break things up so that's what I jumped on next. And while I still need to add in a small rock piece, a debris cluster and a transition piece between the refined blocks and the unquarried pieces, I started big! Well, medium in this case. I ended up with a medium piece to have something to break up the terrain with. Thanks a lot to Katelyn Johnson for providing a bunch of awesome rock feedback, references and ideas for this piece. It really helped widen my idea spectrum of mixing the cool-factor with realism (it also added Max Mad Fury Road to my "must rewatch" movie list)

So what's next? Well there's a fair bit of work remaining, mainly in terms of breaking up the terrain, as well as relighting. After that there's polishing, getting the RGB shader implemented on all the assets with secondary UVs. For the lighting I got some ideas from Peyton Varney by taking inspiration from this gorgeous illustration by Aaron Limonick in regards of balancing the colors and tones.

I also once again also recieved really useful feedback from Katelyn on layering of the ground elements to help blend the scene together (image 1)! I also recieved a ton of great feedback from the awesome community over at Beyond Extent in terms of more ground elements, separating the destroyed nature of the quarry from the untouched nature around and general tips to improve the scene (image 2)!

Even though there's still a fair amount of work left on this, I'm gonna take it slow. In fact, progress is gonna slow down further as I'm starting my first gig in AAA tomorrow! While I don't plan to call it quits on this project, it's just gonna take a bit longer until it gets finished :) Now then, I can't wait to get started in the industry and keep on learning and growing as an artist! See you all in the next update, whenever that may be!