I decided to return to an old project that i never got to finish, but after looking at it i found it best to just start over. Here is a shot of the first version.
I began as always by doing research and finding references containing the design and feel that i wanted. This is a collage of a few images that best resembled what I was aiming for.
Next I started the 3D work by making a prototype of the restroom using simple geometry to represent the various objects. This was done to get a sense of the scale of the room and research was also done to get the measurement of the objects like the sink, urinal, toilet, and stalls. It is important that everything is made at the proper size because it can be very easy for viewer to see when something is not right.
I start with the the low poly version, I am very much about having a good edge flow and making sure that each polygon has a purpose. For the high poly version I add edge loops, basically using a hard surface modeling workflow where once I have added all the edge loops I use the edit mesh: smooth tool in Maya. The high poly version is important because Substance painter uses it to bake out the maps. The triplanar mapping tool used in substance needs some of the maps like curvature and AO in order to work properly. Substance painter has a really good baking engine that is used to make all the texture maps like normal, AO, and albedo from the High poly model to the low poly version. Working with Substance painter is really great, the abundant features and ability to paint a model in 3D space rather than using Photoshop to paint on a 2D canvas is a feature that I find the very helpful.
I decided to make the textures of the larger surfaces of the scene, like the floors and walls using procedural textures in Substance Designer. The software is great for creating seamless textures. For this project i needed to make several and in order for the textures to not look tiled I also created some damage that is masked out so i could place that using decals in the engine. I did experiment with vertex painting for this but the amount of polygons needed did not make it the smartest choice. The main thing about making procedural textures is to add small variations to everything to keep it from looking computer generated, so for example the tile pattern had to be slightly off so that it appeared to have small imperfections like they would in the real world.
It was now time to bring everything into the Unreal Engine.
Next i created some vegetation to fill out the space and give the scene a story, making it look more interesting. I modeled a few variations of of ferns and ivy. The had to model every ivy uniquely for its location and from scratch since there is not tool in Maya that i could generate some and do a transfer bake to a low poly mesh. The scene also needed lots of decals that i made in Photoshop, decals make a really big difference in the scene.
Finally it was time to light the scene, I decided to use real time lighting instead of baked lighting since performance was not a concern. Real time global illumination is an incredibly powerful tool and the way the materials change after throwing in some reflection spheres is simply amazing. Mixed with some post rendering effects like AO, color grading unifies the scene and i am quite pleased with the end results.