Desert House

Environment Breakdown

Antonina Korkodola


Antonina Korkodola

3D Artist


Hello, my name is Antonina Korkodola, and I am a 3D Artist at NVIDIA.


I had two main goals in this project: to gain as much knowledge as possible in Unreal Engine and to realize my idea, which is more of a concept than a full-fledged work.


  • Blender
  • Unreal Engine
  • 3D Coat
  • Marvelous Designer (It wasn’t necessary, as I did the simulations in Unreal)

Blockout & Modelling

I didn’t do the blockout, and I realized how important it was only after I had finished the work.


For the environment, I used everything that was more or less suitable in style and available for free on the marketplace, making only the distant bridge myself.


I used simple materials and textures. I created the textures in 3D Coat for a faster and more efficient result, adding accent spots. It’s not perfect texturing, of course, but my goals were different.


I created sandy dunes surrounded by cliffs, with rocky “shores,” scattering desert vegetation and small pebbles. I laid a railway track leading somewhere beyond the cliff towards civilization and placed a distant city where life is assumed to be “buzzing.”


Then I began to assemble a desert dwelling in an old wagon.

I first set up the props that I created myself, then completed the scene with content from the marketplace, simulated the fabric that was in the scene, and adjusted the wind strength. I created dust and fog using the Niagara system.


Some of the settings that I made for my fog.



Unreal turned out to be not complicated, but there are nuances. When importing the model for simulation, use a skeletal mesh. Pay attention to the collision; if the fabric looks strange, move the collision away.

I painted over with a brush the points that do not participate in the simulation, and that’s all.

Using the sequencer, I added animations to some props, a spotlight, flying transport, and camera animations.

There were many attempts to find the right angle, and I did everything I could.

Overall, I am satisfied with the result.


At the very end, I’ll talk about the lighting, but in fact, it was the first thing I did when the wagon was already on the rails. Perhaps the light isn’t perfect, but it came to me quite easily.

In the night scene, I surrounded the wagon with spotlights.

Generally, I would recommend using some rules for lighting, but I used some kind of my own vision.

And in the daytime, there are no other light sources besides the sun. I also played around with the Post Process Volume settings in Unreal for a long time.

I liked that it’s possible to achieve a visual picture close to, for example, a movie. I reviewed many color palettes from the film “Blade Runner 2049,” although the result is quite different.



I rendered the video using the Movie Render Queue, after finding a couple of good tutorials on YouTube, and I assembled the final video sequence in DaVinci Resolve.



In conclusion, I would like to thank the art community and the Games Artistic Team for their support; I really didn’t expect this.

As you can see, the process of creating a scene is not very complicated, and it can even be very simple if you follow the sequence.

The most important and difficult thing is to start and finish the project, but after all, you are investing in your growth, in your skills, so it’s worth it!