Easily Create Captivating Environments in Unreal Engine | Tom Hanssens | Skillshare

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Easily Create Captivating Environments in Unreal Engine

teacher avatar Tom Hanssens, Professional Technical Artist

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

7 Lessons (1h 22m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Quixel Bridge Setup

    • 3. Unreal Engine Map Setup

    • 4. Laying the Foundations

    • 5. Adding some Greenery

    • 6. Compositional Tweaks

    • 7. Finishing Touches

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About This Class

Hello everyone, in this class we will be learning how to create a beautiful photorealistic environment using Unreal Engine 4. To do this in a timely manner we will be leveraging the power of Megascans.

The class will be relatively free-form and focusing on the creative side of game art, rather than getting bogged down in the specifics of pipelines and workflows. The intention of this class is to help you get the hang of some of the tools within unreal engine, hand have some fun doing it, and ultimately make a super cool end product.

All you need for this class is:
Unreal engine, preferable 4.26 or higher
A Quixel Megascans account
Quixel Bridge
(These things are free)

The things we will be covering include:
How to import Megascans assets directly to your unreal engine project
How to break up the design of your environment into manageable pieces
How to add post processing effects in engine

Meet Your Teacher

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Tom Hanssens

Professional Technical Artist


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1. Introduction: Hello everyone and welcome to this clause on the how to create a captivating environment in Unreal Engine. So as this time-lapse plays in the background of me creating the environment, I will go over a few things about the clause. First thing is that this class doesn't get bogged down in the technical aspects of game out. So we'll be leveraging mega scans, which is a wide library of scanned assets, which is free to use in Unreal Engine. So that we can bypass all the technical knowledge that is required to get started in such an intimidating program and really just be creative and create a really cool end product. So if you think that will cover our composition. So a really simple lighting setup and how to actually import these assets. So hopefully that peaks your interest and I'll see you in the first class. 2. Quixel Bridge Setup: Hello everybody and welcome to the first lesson in this series, we're going to create an environment within Unreal Engine. So we'll just be focusing on the unreal side of things. So you'd like the asset creation, like modeling, texturing and whatnot went because of it here. So we'll be leveraging mega scans to Hello, all the assets that we want. So we can just get into that creative space and start to make everything come together within Unreal Engine. So it would just be focusing on like the lighting, same composition, and just making it generally pleasant environment. So we only need two things. One thing is Unreal Engine, one version of it, I indices for 0.26, that's the latest at the time of recording. And the other thing is quick, so bridge. So this is F3 goes is probably need to make an account. And what this does, it just you're able to integrate your omega scans assets quiet seamlessly into your project and you don't have to set up materials and import textures and all the loads and everything. So it'll just do that for you so that we can just get straight to make an our environment. So after you download this, I'll show you how to set that up with a project. And we can just import like a test asset and see if everything's working fine. Okay, so once you have quick so bridge installed, you'll probably have a few prompts. And I'll go over those in a sec. So pleasure, probably have to login. And the next things it will ask you for a library path. So what this is, this is the actual files like it downloaded. So you just need to make a folder for that. Generally on a pretty loud HA DR. Because sometimes the files can be quite big depending on how large the textures you out that download that you want to download. And so the next thing. So if you go to your export settings, oh, also, it might ask you if you want to download a sudden plugin. You don't have the Unreal Engine plug-in downloaded, just download that one. And then in the export settings, I think this is what you might see when you first started up the export target to the Unreal Engine. And then you want engine version to be 4.26 and then the plugin location, and it gives you the instruction, say as I said, you'll plug in location directory to end in slash plug-ins within your Unreal Engine install directory. So usually this will be on your C drive, ALL one of your hard drives or be installed on Unreal Engine under Epic Games and then Unreal Engine. And then you'll find evidence like plugins is I'll just do that right now. Okay, so once you've done that, make sure if you have multiple Engine versions, you pick the correct one. And then we do a default project. Once you want to do is find the actual project folder of your Unreal Engine, like projects. So when you're in the Epic Games launcher, just a moment. You can click Launch here. And that I should make a project for you. And then you would just have to find the actual project folder and select that. So I'll just do that now. Okay, so my, my one happens to be here, so it should look like this. When you get the, you should have config content derived data cache in the media and saved inside this, the folder that you pick. So I select that. And then just wanna make sure you install a plugin and when it's installed, we should be good to go. So once this is installed, just re-launch, She'll project. So my project is this one mega scans. I'll double-click this. So you'll know you've done it correctly if the, it's a little m at the top, if omega scans and then we are, there's mega scans right here. So once we have this, that means Y linked with magazines bridge. And there's a bunch of settings and whatnot here. And to test if our setup has worked correctly. It's open up bridge. Let's just pick a random things. So let's find a fruit. Let's go half an avocado. And then let's just make it a 2k resolution avocado. We can download this and then we can export it. And we'll have a look in app project. So you can say it's inputting now. Got a little progress bar. And easy as that might get a little error, that's no problem. We got ourselves an avocado and I'll say check it out. And he'd credible. You can see it even sets up the load. So when you're quite close, it has the full detail avocado. And as you get further away, it gets less and less detail. Can see the transition the right anyway. In the next lesson, I'll show you some input settings and we'll just get to setting up an actual basic map in Unreal Engine so that we can get to importing all of the actual fund assets that we want to use. Maybe some plants, some rocks, et cetera. We also want to figure out what we want to make. So we'll get to doing that. And yeah, hopefully you all got setup fine. If he didn't just leave a comment and I'll get to help you. Yeah. I'll see you in the next one. 3. Unreal Engine Map Setup: Hello everybody and welcome to the second lesson, I think in creating and Unreal Engine environment. So in this one, we're just going to set up the basic foundations of the map, like the project. And we're just going to do that so that we can jump right in, in the next couple of lessons and start building out the actual environment that we want to create. So this lesson's probably geared towards intermediate people that may have some experience with Unreal Engine. But if you haven't, I'll just give you a real quick rundown of how to navigate the program. So and when you created your project, you may have selected Stata content or you may have selected like a third peasant template of those mesenchymal, etc. But now that really matters because we're going to create the map from scratch. So what have you picked? It doesn't matter. So in the vehicle if you held them Right-click WASD, you'll move around and you can click on stuff. And pressing W will be Move Gizmo. These very take our scale and you have different increments up here that you can turn off and on. And that's basically it. A handy one also is you can press G to get into game view, and that hides all of the little icons and stuff. Anyway. So let's just click down here, right-click, make a new folder. And we'll call this environment. And we'll double-click on here, right-click. And I'm going to make a new level. So when we create this, we'll just call it map on the skull. So I'm making a jungle. So I'll call it jungle. And you also want to sort of have a general idea of what you'd like to create. I have this made like a little bored of that jungle ish pathway. That's something that I want to make. You can make whatever you like. Something generally in close like this will probably be best because it won't take you too long. And you can have like a lot of cool little details in a small area, like a wide-open plane is fine, but you might run into some more difficulty in that cell anyway. We've made a map, double-click on that. Now we'll just say whatever it doesn't really matter. And you'll be like, Oh man, says nothing in here. So first thing we wanna do is look up sky in here. So we want to get the BP sky SFIA and chalk that in here. So now we have some sort of atmosphere. Next we want to bring in the skylight thing. And next we want to bring it in a directional light. So bring that in. Now, I said before though it didn't matter, but I'm actually not sure if that's true. Like depending on whether you pick static content on not because I'm not sure if the sky sphere is difficultly in Unreal Engine. So if you don't have that, You're not show how to make one of the iron. And maybe that's just make another project. And then make sure your mega scans bridge you. You change the export settings to that project. Either that or you can impulse Donnacona tip. So now we have the basis of L lighting setup. So we have the Sky Survey and this is basically like the surrounding clouds, the environment. You see it's very red at the moment. But what you can do in this guy, so your, so if we select that on the side here we have the Details panel and you'll have a bunch of parameters in here for most things that you select the Unreal Engine. So we have this option here for directional light. So if we click on the little eyedropper and we click on our directional light ACTA. It'll actually use this to define sort of what, what this guy's face should look like. So if I click on this guy sphere and then I refresh the material depending on like how low the sun is, you can see it even has the sun in the sky based on where the directional light is pointing. It'll update the colors and stuff you can. I'm on selecting this option. Kl is determined by the directional light. You can turn that off if you wanted to manually do it. But generally, it's pretty fine just as is. So I'll just quickly explain what the skylights and the directional line. This one is basically like your son. That will be casting shadows, that will be generally lighting your scene from the perspective of the sun. And you see you have these three options here. So we've got static, stationary, and movable. This is by no means going to be an in-depth tutorial on like lighting. It's just going to be sort of an introduction to getting started creating environments in Unreal. So we're going to select movable. The reason for that is we don't have to tackle baked lighting and that will be static. If you keep it on stationary, you'll find that you'll shadows have like a preview that they say Preview spammed in the text. That's, that's just because it's giving you a preview of what Bache lighting might look like. Anyway, distress around this guy would movable. Next Skylight. We can also go and move along this one. And this one is basically like ambient light. So this is kind of like how deep and dark shadows will be. I'm sort of thing of it maybe like just like if it's a bright day is generally going to be brighter all around. If it's sort of an overcast day, you wouldn't have much harsh shadows, but you'll have more prominent ambient lighting. So anyway, we've got that, we've got this, we've got skylight now we actually need something to upfield our environment upon. So what we're going to do is add a landscape ACTA. If you're using Unreal Engine 4.26, you can press Shift F2, and that will put you into landscape mode. If you are using an allele of the ocean, you probably have some tabs up here. And that will, you'll have one that looks kinda like this. Click on that, and we'll make a landscape. So the reason why I'm making a landscape is just so we can like so to sculpt out the shape of the, the environment that we want. So you can just keep the default settings, create that. Now probably have to wait a little bit. Okay, so our landscape, who's being created. So what can we actually do with it? So if we just make sure we press Shift to go into landscape mode and we're going to sculpt. You can see that we have this little icon here. And this is like a brush. So if I'm sculpt mode, we can raise and we can also lower our landscape. So we find is control said that I am making like a little valley pathway. So I'm going to make something along those lines. So if you hold down Shift, it will lower your landscape. And if you don't hold Shift it will raise it. You can also change the size of your brush with the square brackets comma liking, sorry guys show up. Now a handy one that I like to use is the flatten brush. And if you click on that, it will flatten everything to the level that you clicked on. So for instance, if I wanted to make these patho skinny, I can just click up here and it can do that. So I'm just going to go ahead and sculpt at the bit of a valley. All right, and there we go. So I've just sculpted out a little valley quite simply. I was just using the sculpt, flatten and erosion tools. You can play around with the other tools there as well. So now what we want to do is just add a camera ACTA. So what this will be is like the view that we're going to take a snapshot of our finished environment at. And of course you can move it around and stuff is generally good to have an idea of how it looks from a consistent perspective. So one handy thing you can do is like if you like a view, you can press Control 1 on the keyboard. And when you move away, you can just press one and you'll snap back to it. Also, I just want to read this lining around a bit so we don't get such harsh. I might actually do like a top-down thing and then have some plans covering it. But for now it's a little harsh, so I'm just going to leave it like so you can change the intensity of the light here. Whether you use temperature or not. It's got intuitive the way Unreal. I've set this up. So anyway, camera. So you'll search bar up here with the place actors, you wanna go camera. And you notice we have a few things. So we just want the Sydney camera ACTA. So this is, so the old one. This is a bit more of a cinematic camera. So we can do is added in the level. Right-click on it, and then Snap object to view bunk. And now we can right-click on it. Actually piloted. So now the camera is saying, we're saying what the camera is saying. You can even move it around. So I might want a nice clothes ground shot of our little Django. And I think the focal length, uh, my lower that down a bit. I do like a larger focal length, but we seem to miss out on a lot of the surrounding walls and stuff. Alright, so now if you are happy with the view, we're just going to go ahead and Transform lock active movement because sometimes you forget you actually in the camera view, you start moving around place and stuff and you're like, wait, I lost my lovely view that I had before. So now we can just reject and bumps. So now we have a basis that we can work from. And we'll just start importing assets starting with the lot-to-lot and said primary shapes, blocking out maybe some rocks, some of the larger plans, a material for our landscape. And then we'll go more finer and finer the detail, refine it with the lighting and the processing. Maybe add some fog, etc, at some hanging particles in the air. And everything will look good. So hopefully you're able to follow along with that. I know that was a lot, especially if he died. Use Unreal regularly. So hopefully I didn't gloss over anything that was super and pull it. And if I did be sure to be shell to let me know in the discussion. More than happy to spend some time helping give if you stuck. So I'll see you in the next lesson where we actually stopped. Make L environment look kinda good. 4. Laying the Foundations: Hello everyone and welcome back. In this lesson, we'll pick up where we left off. We left off here at UT and made a basic map, got owl atmosphere in, going out, ambient lighting got a directional light in. And so now we're going to focus on actually setting up the basis and getting like the vibe of what we want to create. And to do that, we'll need to open up mega scans bridge. So hopefully you test it out in the first couple of lessons, importing assets and making sure that all works. If not, generally consult Google, they're pretty good at helping you out. If not, then I can have a look at why a project is not working out. But anyway, if all it's good at, if you were able to set up the mega scans plug in and magazines bridge will be able to just chalking a bunch of assets real quick. Sorry, the first thing I wanna do is find a nice material for l. Think of this as like the base layer. So I just want a simple ground material for my Django. Now typically with a landscape, you can set up a material that blends all the materials together. So maybe it had like moss and you can blend that on top of some debt and leaves. And then even like a layer of puddles that you can paint around, but that it's quiet. You need a knowledge of Unreal Engine materials graph to make that. And if I was to sort of show you how to use Unreal Engine material graph, then this lesson would be a little bit longer. So what it's going to stick with the basic like one material setup for now. So in Quicksilver, hg can pretty much just search, like, let's see Django, medical floors, see what we got. So quiet a few tiny, not really lack in what I see is I'll look up forest and lookup surfaces. So surfaces are actual materials that are not assets like the naught models that just the texture is. So by the way, when you find one that you like, you just click on this call gonna go to Export Settings. And then if you go to textures, you can see what you actually getting. So if you know about textures, you can just grab what you need. If not, I'll just run you through the important ones. So we want albedo. Albedo is basically the color. I'm A0 is ambient occlusion. So we don't really want this to, this is like it adds darkness in where light would have difficulty getting. So what I mean by that is like if you have a look at where maybe you'll monitor hits your desk, there is a relatively dark shadow, underwear. Your monitor is touching a desk. And what that is is ambient occlusion. So we don't need a bump map, don't need a cavity map. Don't eat cabbage. I don't need to fuse because the feces basically albedo marrow slide they ever says I don't crucify me for saying that displacement. So we can use displacement. You can, if you would like to. I weren't for this instance, what displacement does is it actually displaces, funny that it displaces the geometry like the actual mesh based on the texture. Normal map is basically how light interacts with the material in terms of depth. So I like the leaves would be, even though if I'm not using a displacement map and it's just a flat surface. The leaves will appear like they sort of extruding out from the material with a normal map or opacity. It's just a opaque materials that we don't need to worry about that roughness. We definitely need roughness because that determines how glossy or matte your material is. So there you go. Now we can go back and then we can just write down like that. And then once that's downloaded, we can try and import it into the project. Now, good thing is if we had like this one, we can just pick another one and it'll be no hassle. Okay, So I've imported it into unreal and you can see it's made a material instance for me. So what this is, it's not like a milestone material, it is an instance of a mouse materials. If I, what that means is if I double-click on this, we should have a bunch of parameters to actually modify the material. So like we have rotation, tiling, tents, like roughness, normal strength and all that stuff and add that and that is great. So it looks like this one doesn't actually just have a 0 baked in, but that's fine. So we can just drag this and to actually add any we can. So if we click on the landscape and scroll down in the Details panel will have a landscape material. Now technically this is not a landscape material, but it will still work fine. Now we just wait. And then we go. So we have material instance on our landscape. Now you can see if we go to a lovely for you, It's tiling, very small. So good thing about the material instance is that is a parameter for that. So if you go to the top and we've got. Tiling slash offset. And we check that on. We've got tiling one-to-one. So let's try 0.1 to 0.1. And that's looking a little more realistic. And that's always looking fine. So a good thing is we can always change this. Like it's an iterative process. And this is a rather wet materials. I'm not sure if I'll stick with it, but we'll see that we do maybe I can do is go into my material incidence and bump up the roughness. Maybe we can change the normal strength. We'll just leave that alone for now. Anyway. So I, one other thing I'd like to do fun now, since you'll notice Al scene looks quite different if we look in certain places, do to alter exposure. So if you're finding that quite annoying, I'll just show you a quick trick to be able to turn that off. So in your place, act as haha going to lookup post and get a post-process volume and drag that into the scene. Just press the G to make sure we can see everything. With that selected. You want to go down a route to the bottom and see that it is enabled. And we want to click on infinite so that it isn't just processing inside this area, it'll be unbound. So then we want to search exposure. And then we can just click on Min and max brightness and set them both to one. And now we have a very stable lighting setup. You can see it looks pretty gross and dock at the moment. And so we'll just have to play with our actual lighting to make that look a little better. So if I just click on my directional light, I'll start with the skylight because it's quite dark. And we can go to the intensity and bump that up. Maybe we want to maybe 2.52, maybe three. And we're just going to mess around with this a little bit. I'm going to go to our directional light. What I usually like to do is use temperature and bring it down so that we get a bit of a warm allied. And now it's not looking so bad. And of course, just a landscape with a single material on it. It's never going to look fantastic. So once we start to add foliage at rocks and all of that business, and we'll be able to build this up to look quite nice. So next thing we want to add the attentionally is rocks. So if we just hop back into bridge, we can find some, some rocks. So if we go into 3D assets coming to nature, maybe we'll find some rocks. And then you can just add the rocks that you lack. So what I was looking for is generally a large rock face. I like a cliff almost. So these are going to be relatively large assets that I'm going to import. And then I can use that and like stick them inside my landscape. And that will generally add pretty sake amount of detail is going to look pretty good. So I found two that I like. And I'm just going to export them to my project. So you might get some errors every now and then. That's fine. We care about those, we disclose them. So if we go back into omega Scans folder 3D assets, the avocado from before my weekend, sneak that into our project. But if we go to mossy rock phase will be able to see that we have this static master asset here and just drag this into the same. And we have ourselves a rock. So we can, of course, W-A-T-E-R do maybe around. It's looking a bit light at the moment. And maybe we'll see why that is. I think it just might be light in general. Might see how the other one is. But of course we can document using our material instance as I've shown before. So I'm just going to go through and place a bunch of these. We don't want to completely cover up the landscape. Landscape sort of just the glue. And this will be a nice detail. So here's another one. So these are good, generally going to be covered up with like a bunch of plans and stuff like that as well. So don't need to worry too much about had it looking within the same. One handy tip you can do is if you select your camera, you can actually pin this view to either be poet. So you can sort of see what the scene is looking like whilst you're flying around and placing stuff everywhere. So as you can see, I've gone ahead and added in a bunch of these rocks. But so to say as well that the environments that are lacking depth, like it's hard to tell that this is really like much closer than this rock because there is no atmospheric sort of dispersion. So you know, when you look at Hills in the distance, they are much brighter than they are in the foreground. So to fix that, we're going to add an exponential behind fog. Drag that into the Seine and you can see instantly it's added a lot of depth, so the same. Now we can just mess with this a little. So we've got folk density. This is generally like how strong it is. You can boost this up. I generally think subtlety is the key to most things. Hide fall off is like how high it is. So you can see it's only really pertaining to the floor there. When you turn it all the way down. It is prominent, much more higher up. So the next thing I wanted to do is like, I think brighten up this floor a little bit. It's a bit dark. In here. If we have albedo controls. So we have brightness. And if we increase the brightness, we should. Let's start with small numbers, 2, 3. There we go. It was fun to get somewhere. Maybe 3.5. That's looking a little nicer. And then on our actual rocks, we might want to decrease the brightness. So a beta controls may be So I'm just looking to blend this a little better. A bit of a green tint maybe. You can say it starts to fall into the realm of this, the the assets that are surrounding it. So saying we had this material, it's looking a little more cohesive now. So when we sought out the plans that will really start to come together. So it's not looking to crash hot at the moment. I'm outlining is pretty subpar. We just have a landscape with a bunch of rocks in the same side. Next, what we're going to look for is some of the larger plants and will also blend in these rocks with some rubble. So we'll find some like smaller rock chunks. You may have seen them as you are scrolling around, Enbridge, things like this, things like this. And we can put them along these sort of connection points and make that connection look much more like. It'll, it'll just look right. So hopefully you've been following along fine. This has been assigned to get someone now, and that's great. So I believe having a bit of fun, hopefully things are looking good on your end. I'm not really sure what this is going on. My end, we'll see how it turns out. It's usually sounds together, starts to come together. Whether you get the plants in ABS a distaff this other trust the process a bit. But yeah, I'll see you in the next lesson where we start to add a little more detail with some plants and some rebel. So I'll see you in the next one. 5. Adding some Greenery: Hello again everyone. So in this lesson we're going to pick up right where we left off again and start to add some of the medium details. So we're going to add some rebel may be some along the floor here. We're going to add some to blend. These were OK, Same with the landscape and we're going to find some of the larger plants. So we're talking fans were talking broad leaf plant things called, but a few jungle plants. And one thing I'd also like to do is sort of make the lighting a little better. And I'll show you some little hacks that I do too. And maybe add some flecks of sliding along the ground almost as if it was sort of piercing through the canopy. Even though we of course have no trees. Okay, So I think first thing we'll start off with is the rebels. So if we go to make scans Bridge, you can pick a few things like these. We can download that. This one. Do I want that one? Probably not. Let's just have a local grab this one. And maybe one more. We can just leave it at that actually. So really important those we can go to our 3D assets and find them. Unfortunately, the naming is a little weird. I think it's these two. So we've got this one here. And this is looking times. Scale that up. And we can add that around here. And sort of use it to blend this into the landscape a little better. So one thing, of course, like we did before, which is going to match the material a little better. Let's have a look at the other one. So as you can see, just with these two, these don't have such a harsh transition into the landscape. Now, we've got some of these instant like smaller details coming through at, it does sort of lead the eye down into this area which is going to be a main. So the pathway, I would say that it also is important not to add a superfluous amount of detail. So you don't want to add so many areas of rest for the eye. It's like we have Plants are on the outside here, and then we also add a crazy amount of plants and middle, the eye is not really going to know where to look. Generally, we're going to want our eye to follow. And then have some sort of sweet spot here. Sometimes you can have some hero asset sort of where the eye naturally leads. But we'll just have that I'd lead through the image like this and use the plants sort of to keep the eye in sort of this zone. Anyway. So I will just go through and add some more of these. Okay, So we've added some of these rebel in and you can see already it's gonna take shape. So we've got our rocks in and then they're not looking too jarring. This one is a bit. So I might just change that real quick. If I didn't mention are ready, I'm just pressing Control C Control V on these assets selected to copy paste them around. Yeah, that's not looking so bad. So now let's get some gosh darn plants in Bridge. Let's go with three plants. Click on Services, 3D plants. Skin is maybe we can just look up. There are any jungle, tropical jungle here we go until we can find. So plants like these, these silver lady fans and also these sort of regular fans, these hello, We'll start with the fans and then we can add some of the taller plants later. Maybe ones like these small plants like these little shrubby flowers. Ones like this look pretty 6. I might add this in and I might grab something else for any. I do like this one is pretty cool. But this one does look a little more tropical. So I guess I can get both and see how they fare in the environment. All right, so now that we have our plants in, you'll notice that it might be actually a little bit different to the Brock. So we're not just going to be dragging and placing copy pasting plants around. They come in with this folder called foliage. And to use this, we use the foliage tool. So you can either go out to modes and go to foliage or press Shift 3. Or if you're on an earlier version of Unreal, you'll find it somewhere up here. So we roast shift three. You see we have all of our foliage assets here already. And we can activate these. And then when we place them, like if we click Sort of like we're painting, we have pasted some little firms on the ground. Now. If they're gray for you, it just means the shade is a compiling and you can see up here. So we'll just wait for that. So we go, so we've got some plants and you'll notice they are moving like you would expect plants to sort of wave around a bit. And we can edit that in our material instances here. So if we go down, we got wind, we enable the wind. And then that should really be it. It should be swaying around that lease a little. Once the shade is going violet goals. And we go So I've got friends, wave and about. So without parameters here, you see you've got stuff like wind intensity when to hide wind speed. So the height, I believe. So to localize it to the tips. Instead of making like obviously the base of the fan wouldn't really be moving. So dew 0.1, that's sort of like glasses until the tips, makes it a bit less. But noxious might drop down the wind speed. Remember? This is just how I believe. I think subtlety is quite important when it comes to this stuff. When you have unlimited rain over bloom and large shops and crazy way the plans people tend to go a bit overboard. But I think you should restrain yourselves a little bit shy some discipline and just do what looks nice. Okay, So with our foliage tool, so you click to place and you hold, click to hold, shift and click to erase. And you can paint multiple kinds at a time. So if I wanted these plants as well, you can say I can place these hold Shift and erase them. So I know that these plants, when you enroll them, they ought to scale to do an actual human being. But you can see our environment isn't really to scale because we're just going to be a free form, bit crazy. So, and in the actual details panel here you can select multiple and I can just set the scale to like minimum to maximum three and we can get some variation. And then there are multiple other options, but we'll just start with that. And we'll start with one kind of plant. And that will be our regular fern. And then we go so we can just stop placing that around the place. And I'm just clicking to place those. And of course, square brackets to change the thus size of the brush. So one other important one is density. So if you want a lot of a plant in an area or a little of a plant in area, you change this. Okay, So we saw to add a few of these basic fans in. So before I go ahead and add some more plans, I wanted to improve is lagging a bit. It's looking pretty well, pretty ship. So the way that I like to do it, so i'll, I'll grab my lighting, my little directional light. And I will sort of face it a bit. A face it a little more directly down. And you can say, old Tom, this is looking pretty, pretty gross. And yeah, you're right. But what I'm gonna do is actually I'm just going to grab, if I go to my 3D plans, I think we're using this one. I might just grab this as an actual Static Mesh. Make it super big, kind of like it's a tree. And then I'll just place it in the sky. And then if I got my camera and I look at that in, I will be able to emulate some shadows. And because we're not making an actual game environment, usually this would be trees, but where do seizing phones as a little bit of a hack. So as you can see, you can sort of paint with shadows now across your environment. So you might notice that as you get further away, these rocks are kinda bright and they have no shadow. So what we wanna do is we want to go to directional light source. And then you'll have, if we go to Details, go to shadow. And this should be the dynamic shutter distance. If we go to maybe 50 thousand. And now everything has shutter. Now if I just grab this, go to pilot, we've got some nice flex through our scene. I might jump out of that. I want some more flex on that background. So I'll just move around my lovely funds. So I've changed up a bit. It's not perfect just yet, but we can really refine it in the last stage. This is just some nail down the mood a bit more. Now I'm just going to use, I'll just go with time-lapse, add some more plants in, and then we'll wrap it up there and add some of the finer details in the next lesson. All right, so that should do it for the plant side of things. Next, we'll add, I think will add some storytelling elements. So maybe some sort of rotting wood around the place. And try and add a bit more structure to this. And maybe we can have like a piece of wood fall and across here, maybe a large tree stumps sort of in the foreground here. And refine the lighting of the inquiry or whatnot. And then asked that we'll focus on smaller details, maybe some puddles, some decals. I'll show you what those are and finishing it up with some lighting postprocessing. So I'll see you in the next one. 6. Compositional Tweaks: Hello everyone and welcome back. So we'll pick up right where we left off from once again. And in this lesson, we're going to start to refine our composition a little bit and bring in some more assets to break up the general greatness of the same. So as you can see, a few things I'd like to address in this one is the fact that our composition kinda just leads out. Like it leads to the eyes, sort of three here. And then it does. And it just leaves. It's quite open up here. And I want this to feel a bit more claustrophobic, like a jungle sort of vibe. So I want to address that. You'll also notice that the entire scene is rather green. So everything from the Bronx, we added a green tint to the rocks intentionally to blend it with the ground a bit. All the plants are quite green. Even these ones that have some yellow there, a yellowish green. So bringing some browns, maybe we'll find some plants that have some oranges to them, maybe some, some reds and bring those in. And we'll also adds a bit of detail to this floor with maybe some assets like roots and perhaps leaves and things like that. So first things first is probably the largest things. So a lot of things would be making the same fill a bit more claustrophobic. So to do that, I might bring this rock wool sort of a bit more vertical and sort of the big mall encumbering on the same an upbringing and some some wood pieces. I would start going up magazines bridge. You'll notice I've got into nature egg on the tree and we can find some assets that we might want to bring in. Like it's mostly L-O-G, like this one download that. You'll notice there are no trees in mega scans without many trunks. And since we're just making a real-time capture without making it an entire game environment. We don't really need to worry too much about the trees not having tops on them. All right, so I've inputted, caught a few things. So if we go to My Content, go to my content and then we get Omega scans and 3D assets. I've got a few things. So rocks and the code, it mostly Embankment was one thing. So that's kind of like a sort of exactly what it says it is. Let me just exit out of here. We've got ourselves a mossy embankment. So I wanted to use this to break up the ground that little bit. So we could probably do something the same way as we used it to blend in the rocks by using the rubble, we can just use it to add a bit more variation to the ground. Middle leg there. Something along these lines, you'll notice this ground doesn't quite match the to the ground material that we're using. And that's okay. We can fix that up. So we've got some roots coming up here. Giving you an example of how you might want to use these sorts of assets. So we've also got mossy lug. It looks quite small, so to scale it up and caught a bit. So something like this. You might want to use it for like maybe something along these lines where you can break up. You'll seem like like this. Along the lines of this, I'd say that was a tree here. Omega, we had some mindful and it's become a bit loose and it's fallen over. So if we go to camera pilot that, it's not look into that. And I quite like it being so high and either there and maybe something like this. What else have we got? So you've got a tree stump. Say swans, quite self-explanatory to tree stump. We can use this to help with the claustrophobic feeling that I was mentioning earlier. So if we can sort of frame the same with it, and that'll help guide the eye sort of back. Use it to create a bit of a circular composition. So already I've seen stuff come a lot more alive now that we have some assets in here that aren't just green. So it's good to have some variation because C90, there is a lot of variation in nature is 0. So let's make this one a small one so we can see the tip of it. And I want to bring that in a bit so it's not, maybe we can rotate, it gets some of the interesting silhouette going on and on would stump as well. So this is just another version, another kind of tree stump. So I might want to use this just to break up some of these plants and use it to keep the eye. So if you guys also wonder on the side, brings it back in. So I'm just kinda go through and use these to enhance L seen a little bit. And we'll see how we go. So you can see just with a few small changes, we've been able to composition 7 million times better just by adding in these logs and sort of closing in this wide-open space a little bit. It seems much more intentional and much more interesting. So now you'll notice I, i leads over here and it's just sort of hazy, washed out and not really that interesting to look at. So what I would like to do is maybe make this sky a little, a little red. Make this shapes a little more intentional two. So we could maybe have like a little bit of an opening here where the sky can peek through. And then when we get to post-processing, we might potentially be able to add some bloom, potential lot shops, maybe things like that. So just see how we go. So if I click on my lights, it, I can just click colors determined by the direction of the light. I can turn that off. So now you'll see we've got our sky is just using these colors. And so if I click the kick the cloud color and make it like completely orange. Now, whereas our clouds might have to refresh the material. Perhaps we don't have any clouds. There we go. So you can see the clouds are if I increase, the capacity, becomes rather orange. So I can sort of mess with this, as well as the overall color. Can make it some interesting. Purple is reddish, crazy sunset color. So when we jump up back to our camera, can see it's on a comma bit nicer together. So if I make this, the shapes here a little more intentional, they might end up with a bit of a nicer composition. So you know, as we have these foliage assets that are just floating, so you will probably have to fix those up. And I might add another layer of even further away. I might even use a landscape tools to do that just further away shapes to help improve the soil, the depth of the composition. So if I travel on over here, say just come up here with the foliage tool and just erase this. So you just need a pretty large brush to actually grab the ones that you want. So I'm gonna come together. So I'm just going to pin this camera again and work on this little compositional it. So these faraway shapes aren't really working out. I don't like the look of them said, we'll abandon that idea. I think we'll close up this whole little, it's a little too tempting for the viewers eyes to go up as it stands right now. So I think we'll make it a little skinnier and just sort of pointed. And we'll make it a little less red. All right, So our composition is actually looking pretty good now. Some of this file which is a bit haphazard, so I think we might clean it up. One loss. Last couple of things I'd like to do is sort of like the micro details. So things like decals. So we'd use those, that kinda like stickers I'll stamps that you can place on your environment. We might use those for things like puddles and see if we can find some of those. May weekend put some footprints through there or something like that. But in general, it's looking pretty good. So I think next lesson, maybe the final one. And we'll use that lesson to enhance our composition. Maybe add some post-processing effects, bit of bloom, ambient occlusion, some maybe a vignette. And I can show you how to do all of that. All right, so I hope you enjoyed that one and I'll see you in the next one, which is. 7. Finishing Touches: Hey guys and welcome to what I think maybe the last lesson. So we're going to add the finishing touches on here, like fight or compositional edits, post-processing effects, things like that. So I guess for starters, we'll start just by tweaking the composition a little. And I, we did our last lesson. But there are some things that I still don't quiet like. So one being like this strange, smooth sort of connection between these two rocks, we can even add rubble in-between there to fix that up. And also don't like how sort of haphazard and scribbly this corner of the composition is, so I've might add either another logo, maybe some rocks. We'll see. So let's just try adding this log here. Control C, control V. And we can move that over. Perfect, Just kidding. So we'll see if we can make that look somewhat decent, is to break up all of these spindles, plant bits. Okay, so what I've done, I've gotten rid of this really smooth line here, and I've solved, add a bit more intentionality to this corner. So we still have some of these plants in the foreground, but it's not just a big bundle of different plants separated by this nice log here. Okay, so the other thing we do is add some petals so it's fine sand. So if we go to decals, We should be able to find some. So unfortunately, it looks like magazines doesn't have any puddle assets are I guess makes sense. But they do have these vegetation detail, so I might try out some of those. I haven't used these before, so it was, we'll see how we go. But it might be good to add a bit of noise or variation to the ground. So you can try and jungle. You can see we've got some so these would be like stamps on the ground. We can have leaves. You can have these larger leaves. Let's try one of these larger leave ones and see how it goes. All right, so once that's added in, you'll be wondering how do I actually use this detail. So if we look up detail, we can place this in the level. We just drag the material onto it and we wait for the shade is to compile. Okay, so once I'll shade is a compound, you can see it's kinda like a sticker and just stamps on this these leaves onto the ground. So we'll see if we can use these to increase the fidelity of our scene a little bit. Now unfortunately, it's one doesn't have some sort of circular mask on it. Maybe there is in the material instance. No, it doesn't seem so. Anyway, we can still use it anyway. So we'll maybe try some like over here. You can sort of see it affects everything that's in this green box. So if I place it down over here, we'll have these plants and we'll see what that looks like through the can. Right? Yeah, I mean, it adds some variation, but I don't really know if it's that Guardium. I just leave it didn't there for sake of education. There. It's our its catalysts like sowed has these really hard it is to remove that. We'll just leave it as is. Okay. So now let's get onto the post-processing aspect of things. We can also tweak lighting and tweak things like that. So we want to look up post right now, post-process volume. And if you removed the auto exposure, it should already be infinite and unbound. So we can start with things. What I usually start with is ambient occlusion because I usually adds quite a bit like it is already active, but it's quite subtle and I like to bump it up a little bit. So here, ambient occlusion. Let's turn that on. We can just bump up the intensity a lot and mess with the radius so that we can see what we're actually doing. Then we can turn the intensity down until it's not so stupidly high. So you can sort of see what it's doing, right? So in the crevices of the objects, it adds this sort of darkness. Remember, subtlety is key. It does add a lot of nice depth. And blends are assets nicely together, but we don't want to overdo it. Something CAN, something along these lines is pretty good. Next thing we may have a look at, boom. Now, we want to make sure that of course we don't over do it. Blame is one of those things that people really love. And they go a little overboard with it. So like oftentimes when I was studying, he would see things that just look like this and it's got some theory or vibe to it. But if we just localize, like we can have quite a strong bloom intensity. But we can localize it to these really like highlighted little plants. That's a pretty cool effect. So next thing I like to add is a vignette. So what this is, it's kind of like like darkness on the, on the borders of your image. So that's perfect. Just kidding. Go subtlety is key. It just helps guide the eye sort of in Woods. Next, we may add. So we can go through the color grading and mess with like the contrast and saturation we will. But first I want to see what I can do just with our two lighting assets, say the sky lighting and the directional lighting. And see if I can improve that a bit before I do that, one thing that's really bothering me is how these assets perfectly meet. So I might just make this a bit larger so that it reaches all the way up there. Yeah. Sorry, I could I could just spend forever think these assets I think it looks better when it's not touching the proofs, I'll make it smaller. So we still get some of that nice jaggedness company up here. There we go. Yeah, I think that's a bit better. Anyway. Back to the post-processing. Now if you want to get rid of this, just hold right-click in the scene, let go of it. Press P to bring up Game Mode recipe again. And it will go back in to gain node and get rid of your Gizmo. So what we have, we're actually going to mess up the lining. So directional lighting. I can mess with the intensity. This will of course, affect our balloon values. We can mess with the warmth of it. So I did like quite a warm look. Sometimes I ever do it to have a tendency to do that. So these values, they don't really change anything at the moment because we don't have volume metrics. And we also on baking the lighting. So that doesn't really do anything. The main ones you want to mess with, the temperature, either that or you could use a light color. And you also just want to mess with the intensity and that's pretty much it. What will change the overall vibe of the same though is the skylight. So you can see when I switched from static to moveable, It's completely read. And the reason that is is because we changed our sky color to red and changing it from static to move. It just sort of overrode it. So if we bring out the red from our color, and we can also, we might actually just counter it, but adding in some green. Oh, blues just like from the opposite color spectrum. So you can see when it's neutral because the sky is red and this is a skylight. So using that must be a two to light our scene. So this is quite realistic. If we had a blazing red sky, our owl saying would be looking quite right. But, and we want to cut into that a little bit. I got us looking a bit more in the range of what we'd like. Well, I also think I might like it a little darker so that I'll sort of little flecks of white stand out a little more. Silicon. Pretty good. Send now here is where I would play with the contrast saturation, etc. So I've got a post-processing. And so to edit these, so I want to edit the saturation. You have these RGB values, but just use this one. This edit all of them globally. So if I increase this saturation goes up, put it down, we have no saturation. So we tried bumping it up a little. This is looking quite which, uh, which has very high saturation. Um, I might bump that down a little. 1.1.15 seems to these sweet spot contrast. We can edit that too. Also. I always start quite extreme and bring it back. 1.051.05 seems pretty decent. Then also you have these midtones highlights, things like that. I don't usually bother with those rendering effects. These are some cool things you can do. So we've got a Global Illumination here. This one doesn't really have an effect. It seems we can just remove that. Oh, one thing I forgot to add is a reflection capture volume. And that might not look like it really does anything. But it helps your scene sort of come together a bit. And the reason it does that is because if I just increase this influence radius, like if we actually had puddles in here, now the puddles would be actually reflecting our scene, but stuff with less roughness value and the bounce lighting around it, it also reflects the same now. So I might increase the brightness of it there. And we might need to adjust stark contrast to match that. Okay? All right, so let's just go down the list here. So we've got things like chromatic aberration. And this is a, people also like to play with this one. But it can be a little grows at times. It's almost like a joke in the, the OT world does add a cool effect. I'll turn that off. So ageing, there, there are many, there are many options here that you can play with to get the effect that you like. I'm quite happy to have the scenes looking now. So to get an actual render, Make sure you press a G. So G hides all it gives my eyes and all of that. And then you can press F 11 and that goes into full screen mode. And then to actually capture it, you press this little down arrow up here, high resolution screenshot. And then you can upscale it to have a much you want. Just doing one would be fine. It'll render it at approximately 980, but 1020 depending on what actual resolution your monitor is. So we can render that. And then you can click on here and it'll take you to add saved. Now you go, we have our lovely little image. So for this lesson, if you can just post the actual image, just the PNG that it saves out. And I'll have a look and let you know what I think of your environment, give me some feedback. Hopefully you had some fun. This lesson has been pretty like Freeform and creative, which I quite like because a lot of gain out tends to be strictly broke down by pipelines and workflows. So I found this way to be quite liberating, to just jump in chalk assets in willy nilly in and make something cool. So I hope you enjoyed that. And I might see you around. Thanks for watching.