OVERCAST ALLEY

 

Summary

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

Goals

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.

Blockout

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.

Lighting

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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