A rainy concrete alleyway nestled in a large urban sprawl, with neon lights, derelict shopfronts, and wires suspended overhead.


I set out to do a simple exercise in blocking out, set-dressing and lighting. At first I planned to create a tight alleyway at night, but the more I played with the lighting and materials, the more a grey and overcast evening felt appropriate.


I gathered some reference photos and planned a small environment using common assets from the Soul City pack. Simplicity was the aim, as I didn’t want to spend too long on this.

The blockout worked out nice and straightforward – basically a 30-degree turn with a few stairs and dead ends. I blocked it out with geometry brushes then gradually replaced these with static meshes, being careful to fill the space above the player with overhangs and props.


The overcast sky is a HDRI projected onto a sphere with inverse normals. There’s a lot of Mie scattering to dissipate the light, and rain particle effects.

03-19-22 - march 19th - unreal alley - trying an overcast sky

Final design

Overall the hope was simply to practice Unreal Engine 4 and deepen my understanding of various lighting features. The final scene is bare in terms of set-dressing, and lighting isn’t perfect, but I feel like I did what I’d set out to do, so I decided to move on and call this done.

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