I struggle when it comes to modelling natural objects like rocks and mountains. Its time consuming, can get on your nerves and there is a certain way of doing that can often illude me.
I struggle when it comes to modelling natural objects like rocks and mountains. Its time consuming, can get on your nerves and there is a certain way of doing that can often illude me. However once you get it right it can be very rewarding.
Seàn O'Connor has put in that time and effort and it has shown in his piece Snowy Mountain Stairs. The environment is comprised completely of brushes, no heightmaps at all. This admittedly can have its drawbacks and Seàn himself has admitted that he has used more decals than you would on a height map - although in the end it is worth it. I concur and from what I can see he has done a very nice job.
This is certainly apparent in the crevices in the rocks which look deep and true to form.
As well as the rocks, hillsides and mountains the snow that lays on them looks natural as well. The path leading up the hillside looks well travelled with the occasional wooden plank thrown in for good measure and from the screenshots provided you're always looking at something new.
The time of day settings look spot on and the use of bloom and DoF give it a touch more realism.
All in all this is a great piece so be sure to have a look at the original thread as Seàn has kindly provided some insights into how he has achieved various aspects of the scene.
I hope we see more from him in the near future!
Snowy Mountain Stairs Forum Thread
Seàn O'Connor Portfolio