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Fall Forest Valley

F22_S560_P3_ChiangClarisse_Render01 (1).png

This project was the first large scale landscape I had created using Unreal Engine as well as the final project for a 10 week class learning about UE5.

I knew from the beginning of the project I wanted to create a fall forest scene, and while searching for references I came across some great images of forest valleys I thought would be fun to try and emulate. The main things I took from the references were the background mountain ranges, heave atmosphere, and the sunset lighting. 

Reference Images


The first thing I did was test how landscape sculpting would work and how to use the foliage tool. I tried using a height map to create the mountain ranges at first, but found that I preferred hand sculpting the mountains as I had much more control. After I had a better idea of how these features worked, I moved on to setting up my actual scene.

Taking what I learned from my earlier tests, I started by sculpting the hills and mountains I wanted. After I was happy with the initial pass, I started looking through Quixel Megascans for trees, grass, and ground textures I could use. I also found a mountain in the Megascans that I added to the background along with my sculpted ones. I also added a character into the scene as a scale reference so I knew I wasn't working too large (which happened in my initial landscape test). Although I wanted my final scene to have sunset lighting, while placing all the assets I used brighter midday lighting so I could see everything better.

Landscape Sculpting and Foliage Tool Tests


First Scene Assembly and Lighting Iteration


There were several issues I noticed after the initial scene set up. The trees on the hills were not all upright, I had only used one type of tree, there was no color variation in the trees (more importantly for a fall scene they were all green), and the type of grass I used didn't seem to fit the scene very well. After working through those issues I started testing camera moves.

Initial Camera Tests

After I finished assembling the scene and creating cameras I moved on to finalizing the lighting. I adjusted the sun/directional light position to the sunset look I wanted and then added a post process volume and started making some final adjustments. In the post process volume I added bloom and used the color correction tools to make the scene slightly warmer. When I was happy with the look of the scene I rendered out the camera moves I created at high quality. However, after I finished rendering I noticed some issues with the foliage LOD. I was able to fix these issues in another render pass using console commands.

Final Scene with LOD Issues

Responsible for scene assembly, lighting, and rendering. Unreal Engine 5, assets from Quixel Megascans. Fall 2022.

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