Barn Development

Taking elements from different thumb nails I produced these images developing shape proportion and construction.

Barn Concepts

Silouette exploration for the barn, trying different shapes and proportions.


I wanted get a sense of what i'd need for the wooded areas. I gathered some images of trees I wanted to include.

Interiors and props.

I do intend to have a few limited interiors spaces and I want the to seem busy and ram shackled. I plan on reusing lots of basic props with scale and rotation changes.


I want to include varying degrees of damage around the environment. However I want them to look like they happened over time, not in one sudden event.
I gathered a lot of photo research from the abandoned deer shed at Calke Abbey.

Architexture exploration

I wanted to try and get ideas of how architextural elements worked for the buildings I wanted to create.
Things like how corners are turned, how materials switch and how different elements join together.

Exterior Research

Colour and Light

Research into Autumn Colours

Visual research

Right i gatherd a bit of reference from traditional artist. Trying to get a better understanding of light and colour.

Both the arists have a great use of colour and light It's a kind of painterly feel I am considering adding to my environment, although to a much lesser degree.

Ford Model B pick-up Update

About happy with all the major forms (wheels are place holders just to get the feel.)
Now to start work on the engine.

Ford Model B pick-up Update

Added the doors and started making the wheel arches. I want to get the shapes right before I add details.

Ford Model B pick-up Update

getting the basic shapes and proportions looking right.

Ford Model B pick-up

Starting with blocking in the cab. I think I'm going to model the truck mostly undamaged to begin with then add the damage. However i am aware the things like the door, bonnet and wheels will all need to be separated.

About time to actually model something I think

Been getting a bit overwhelmed and bogged down with all the planning and research. So I thought I'd start some modelling.
I decided to start with an asset for the coach shed. A Ford model B pick-up that is slowly wasting away.


The Main tree I'll be using is the Oak. There a couple of reasons for this. It's quite an iconic and easily recognisable tree that people associate with the British countryside. It also has very varied trunk shapes that can be used to provide lots of visual interesting. The leaves also provide a nice range of colours as they fall off during Autumn.

I'll have to use some other trees for variation but I think the Oaks will be the 'Character trees' the focus of the wooded areas.

Cry-Engine 3

After some consideration and a degree of intrigue I have decided to sue Cry-Engine 3 for my project.

I was initially going to use UDK but after some reading it seems many people agree cry-engine is better for open vistas with lots of foliage. The mainstay of my scene. Another big consideration was support. With cry-engine 3 being relatively new support might be hard to find. So I was glad to know a couple of other guys would be using it for their FMP's, that way we'd at least have each other to bounce problems off.

Modularity and what not

I think using some kind of modularity system for the buildings will make life alot easy during production. Especially since they will all share at least a few common components.

Another advantage of using a modular approach is the flexibility it give me regards size and shape of buildings. Not to mention the savings it'll make to my texture budget.

A collection of different brick surfaces around Calke Abbey.

Block Outs

Rendered some quick mock-ups of layouts using my 5 buildings. They are more like place holders currently as each building will require some level of refinement.


I broke the stable yard down into 5 buildings to help me get to grips with it. This would also help the production process.

  1. Gate House
  2. Stable block
  3. Barn
  4. Tool sheds
  5. Coach house

I won't be fully recreating Calke Abbeys stables but rather using as a base or starting point. I'll also be gathering research at Hardwick Hall and Kedleston Hall, both of which are luckily in Derbyshire.
Also if possible I want to go to the Yorkshire Museum of Farming to get some really useful reference of farming equipment to place around my scene.


One of the great things about Calke abbey is how its been kept in its original state of decay. Nothing has been fully restored to its shiny brand new state. This brings me right back to my original concept 'Nature and human influence'. I want the scene to be in a state of disrepair and decay, with lots of over grown and falling apart brick work. I also want there to be lots of interest and detail all over the scene.
Luckily the interiors of the buildings at Calke have been left as they were too.

These will provide lots of interesting assets for my project

Back to the start

Having dumped the industrial stuff I needed another focal point for my project. To not repeat past mistakes i needed something:
A: easy to gather research for
B: Works well with nature elements
C: Have enough depth for a FMP

Whilst thinking this over I remembered a place called Calke Abbey in Derbyshire where I went to take some reference pictures for trees etc.

"Set in the midst of a landscape park, the National Trust presented Calke Abbey as an illustration of the English country house in decline. A massive amount of remedial work but no restoration has been done and interiors are almost as they were found in 1985 so the decay of the building and its interiors has been halted but not reversed. Before the National Trust work of the late 1980s everything had remained untouched since the 1880s. The Trust manages the surrounding landscape park with an eye to nature conservation. It contains such features as a walled garden, with a flower garden and a former physic garden, now managed as a kitchen garden."

For me the area most suitable for my project was the stables.

They already exist in an environment very similar to the one I want to create. So from the begin I can be fairly sure the scene is going to work.


So with the dawning realisation out the way (at least I hope so). I had to move on. I was clear the two elements weren't working together so one had to go.

If I'm honest the decision was an easy one: Keep the Autumnal nature elements and lose the rest. This was mainly due to the easy of researching it and the amount of photos I already had. Where as collecting first hand research of an oil refinery or steel mill would be next to impossible.

A bit better, but.....

I think the replacing of the tower for the more industrial look did work better. However the scene still seemed illogical and very forced. The two elements just didn't mesh together well. I think part of the problem was down to how I was approaching the project.
I had recently seen Bram Eulaeurs portfolio and his 'Abandoned colony' project really struck me.

So I think in my head I was trying to find my own way to emulate this and add my own spin on it. This was obviously holding the project back and causing some frustration.
I was still hitting that square peg...

Paint over

paint-over exploring colours

New-ish direction

Still sticking closely to the original I thought about replacing the building (which would have required alot of imagineering and design work.) with an industrial complex similar to an oil refinery or steel mill. With lots of pipes  and tanks creating lots of interesting silhouettes.