Week 14 Start the (Unreal) Engine

One of the lasts if not the last post in the blog. It has been a long time since I started writing here and the end of the project is getting closer but I’m proud of where I’m now.

No more unnecessary chatting. Let’s see what I have been doing lately.

During the whole project I have been watching some Unreal Engine videos, reading guides but I had to work in other things. However these past days I could fully focus in Unreal because I had everything else done.

I reimported the assets into my scene and then adjust the lighting of it. I created a glass shader in Unreal so I could apply it to my laboratory flasks. It was my first time creating a material using a different software from Substance Designer and even though it’s a quite simple material I’m happy with the final outcome.

In addition, I created a couple VFX for my scene to give it credibility and a more interesting look. I first created a smoke VFX for the cigarette in the ashtray and then I created a sparks VFX for the wires hanging on the ceiling. For both of them I had to create first a dynamic material and then link it with a partycle system.

Last but not least, I have been messing around with the cameras. I tested them some time ago but I didn’t go to a deeper point because I had to keep going with my models and their textures. Anyway, this time I have been working with the cameras and I already have some videos which I will probably use for my artifact.

Found attached here images which show the current state of the scene after these days work.

P.S:These last days I will be working on the video for my artifact.


Week 13 Textures, textures, textures! (Vol. II)

This week I have been working on tons of new textures so, as I did last week, let me post the images down here instead of bore you with words.

Smoking and getting drunk. The best two options to keep a helthy mind in a helathy body. As the Latin phrase says “Mens sana in corpore sano”
The opened door is the one hidden behind the broken wall. The closed one is the main one. The one our friend tried to open a million times unsuccesfully when he was kidnapped.
Cabinets to put stuff in. The big one has some carvings in it which shows the amount of days passing.
Glass flasks to pour liquids and experiment with them.
Here’s the mattress. I created the base material in Substance Designer and then added a flower pattern and some stains in Substance Painter.
Just a column.
A floating desk chair. The future is now!
This is a file.
The laptop with which the robotic arm and the experiment chair can be used. Anyway it got a blue screen so it’s not operative at the moment.
Main computer in the room. It’s integrated in the screen so a little space can be saved. You can watch Netflix on it… Or you can hack the security system to unlock the stairs that leads into deeper levels of the building and send a message asking for help.
Every night an armed guard comes at 00:00 and force the scientist to lie down on the mattress. Before the guard leaves, he locks the scientist with these shackles.
Non-alcoholic option to drink. It has a lot of sugar so maybe it is healthier to drink whiskey.
Old fashioned radio. There were some attempts to use it as signal interceptor. It was a failure, so it is now only used to listen to music, sometimes.
This robotic arm is both an screen to watch the tests performed and also the actual scanner to analyse the subject sitting in the experiment chair

Week 12 Textures, textures, textures!

Texture fever is here!

This week I have been working on the textures for several objects so instead of writting a lot, allow me to put down here some renders of this weeks’ work.

Oops! Something went wrong and that’s what all these graphs, parameters and big exclamation mark in the screen want you to know.


Animal and human bodies are kept inside this tank. While the bad guys look for new subjects, the scientist locked in the room has to experiment with his own body.


Our friend is going mad. He’s starting to lose his sanity so he started carving important formulas in different objects. Anyway some unknown quantities are missing in these equations. Maybe its time to get rid off this scientist and kidnap a new one.


Well, no mystery here, this is the robotic arm usually used while conducting experiments. It’s not working very well lately. Reparation will be required probably.
Serial number here! Detail I wanted to show from a closer view because in the previous renders wasn’t noticeable.
What time is it? It’s time to escape!
Let me introduce you to Nikola Tesla. You will find him electrifying!

Doesn’t seem very comfortable. Anyway, subjects who sat there probably didn’t care at all.

I wouldn’t stand near this container for too long. Just in case it’s not properly sealed and some of its content leaks.

Week 11 Walls and floor textures

This week I dusted off Substance Designer app and created the first materials for my scene. It was going to be a little bit hard to start because the last projects I worked on were not realisitc, in fact, they were very cartoony and needed flat bright colours.  Last time I created realistic materials in Substance Designer was a couple years ago.

Being aware of this I decided to go first for my wall panels material because I thought it would probably be easier. I was looking for simple clean white panels for my scene walls. I chose this colour and clean shapes since it helps to represent the aseptic and cold environment anyone would expect from a laboratory. Anyway once I work with it in Substance Painter I will add dust, oil/blood stains and other elements to help me with the background story.

Wall panels

Once I finished the wall material I went for the difficult one which was walls material. I wanted to create some sort of panels which mixed on the one hand steel or some kind of metal and, on the other hand some fine wood. The fine wood on the material tries to give a warmer and “home-like” look to the scene. Let’s not forget that someone is living there (locked up), after all. As fine wood counterpart, there is steel which brings the idea of cold place one more time, along with the white panels on the walls.

London underground map. Not really, just kidding. These are the nodes I used to create the floor material.
Floor plates render 1.
Floor panels render 2.

I am specially proud of the floor material, since despite of its difficulty I think I was able to create what I had in my mind (and after being away from Substance Designer for 2 years).

Week 10 Final minor props + Hole in a wall

It happened again. I’m writing week’s 10 blog on week 11. Sorry for that.

Last week I worked on a wall with a hole in it, which hides the staircase to a lower level. My workflow was a bit different from the workflow I used for the rest of the props in my scene. At the beginning I was doubtful about how to approach this asset so I looked for some videos. They weren’t as useful as expected because they were not in Spanish or English, but in Arabic and Portuguese. Anyway they didn’t teach me how to create a wall with an actual hole in it, but a wall with its paint coat  gone so the bricks behind were visible.

I decided to model 4 different types of bricks in ZBrush and retopolgise them into low poly meshes. Then I imported them into 3DS Max and placed them rounding the hole shape. The result was satisfactory so I considered it done.

Broken wall

Besides this wall I also worked in the last minor assets which are the following:


-Wine/Whisky bottle

-Laboratory flasks (Erlenmeyer, Fernbach and volumetric)

-Main door

-Hidden door (the one behind the broken wall)


I attach here a couple screenshots of my unreal scene with the last additions.

From now on I’m going to be working on map baking, materials and texturing.

Last big crunch! Let’s go for it!


WEEK 9 Last important props

This week I have been working in the last important props, so the only objects left to do are minor hurdles in the track.

These objects I have been working on are the cryo-tank, the robotic arm in the bottom of the room, and the screen/scanner which hangs in the ceiling and points to the top part of the chair.

Cryogenics Tank / Stasis Chamber
Tank UVs
Robotic Arm
Robotic arm UVs
Screen / Scanner
Screen/Scanner UVs

I followed the same workflow as always, modelled them, unwrapped their UVs (which as I said in previous posts, I feel more comfortable every time and get better results, in my opinion) and import them into unreal.

Next step will be approaching the last items. The one that most concerns me is the broken wall because my workflow will have to change a bit from what I have been doing until now. I will probably need to use ZBrush. We will see.

I am planning to make one last big crunch this April, so it is going to be fun.


WEEK 8 New prop + Unreal Update

This whole week I have been working in one of the most important props of the project, the experiment chair, so I wanted to devote as much time to it as necessary.

Experiment chair

I created the low poly model and unwrapped its UVs. I have to say I am quite proud of this UV map because I managed to get a very nice outcome despite the complexity of the object. I think I am improving at working with UVs.

Finally I imported the chair alongside the tank control panel (which I made last week) into Unreal so that I can get rid of their blockings.

WEEK 7 Unreal Lighting + New Asset

On the one hand, this past week I have been importing everything into Unreal and I set some lights trying to simulate the light in Aleksandr Dochkin concept using two different tones which helped me separate the scene into two halves. There are other elements that helped dividing the scene too, such as the steps or the central column.

I’m planning to import a mannequin so that I can check If everything has the right scale. In addition, once I finish new assets, I will import them into the engine, of course.

Speaking of which, on the other hand, this week I have been working on a new prop, the tank control panel, which ended up being such a pain because it is made of several little pieces which were everything but fun once I had to unwrap their UVs and organise them all together.

Here is the result.

WEEK 6 – Progress Review + Problem solving

On the one hand, I realized the problems I had with Unreal could be probably related to my props UVs, so this week I have been working on the UVs of the assets I have done so far.

Find attached here a couple examples of UV maps I did.

Desk chair UV Map
Chemical waste container UV map

On the other hand, I had to submit my progress review on Friday, so I worked on it as well. Here’s the PDF I submitted.


WEEK 5 – Time measuring

This week I have been working in a couple more assets (see at the end of this post) but my main task during these days was, as I already mentioned in last week’s post, going through the whole asset creation process from the modeling to the texturing. Doing this I have been able to measure the time it took me and after making some calculations these are the results:

-Low poly: 1h 40m

-High poly: 45m

-UV: 1h 30

-Map baking: 15m

-Texturing: 1h

-Total: 5h 10m

*Note: A fridge was the asset I chose. It is a quite simple one so I believe the final amount of hours could vary depending on how difficult the model or textures are. I estimate time could go up to 8-9h if the asset is more difficult.

In addition I tried to import the scene into unreal but I bumped into some problems I will try to fix in this following week by importing my assets one by one.

Low poly – 1200 polys
High poly – 332k polys