House With Stables

Environment Breakdown

Océane Bordelais


Océane Bordelais

Junior Environment Artist


Hello everyone! I'm Océane Bordelais, a French Junior Environment/Props Artist.
I have just finished my training at Artside School and I am now ready to enter the professional world either in a studio or as a freelancer!


This is my end-of-studies project, which concludes my training at Artside School in Environment Art 3D specialization. For this occasion, I wanted to take on the challenge of creating a complete environment that showcases my skills in both architecture and vegetation.

I decided to recreate the wonderful concept of OKU in 3D, which I immediately liked and allowed me to achieve the objectives I had set for myself. Additionally, I adopted a Ghibli style, as it is a universe that I deeply love.

I would like to express my gratitude to the mentors who supervised this project: Florian Potier, Anthony Lemetayer, Geoffrey Rosin and Sacha Veyrier.



  • Blender
  • Unreal Engine 5
  • Adobe Substance Painter and Designer
  • ZBrush
  • 3D Coat
  • Photoshop
  • Marmoset for baking


To carry out this project, I first created a reference board on PureRef. I focused on studying Ghibli works to appropriate their style and observe how they represent wood, stones, and vegetation in their movies.

Furthermore, I found references from other artists who had created 3D projects with a similar artistic direction to what I aimed for.


Blockout & Modeling

To begin the production, I created a blocking stage in Blender. I started with basic shapes and constantly switched back and forth between Blender and Unreal Engine to ensure that my proportions and camera work well in both software.

This step is crucial because if the blocking is poorly executed, it can negatively impact the project. Once this step was completed, I followed a low-to-high poly workflow, ensuring that the polygons on my meshes were not visible, especially with cylindrical shapes.

The performance capabilities of Unreal 5 allowed for a more generous poly count. You can see the progress from blocking to the final result in the images below, which represents two months of work.


In the image below, you can observe that I modeled the house by dividing it into several modules.
The entire house is constructed using only a few meshes that I reused, as shown in the second image.

Sculpting & Texturing

After completing the UV unwrapping, I sent most of my meshes to ZBrush to add detail. I opted for a semi-realistic sculpt and planned to refine the textures later. This approach allowed me to capture as much information as possible and retain what was necessary.

For the wood, I used a free Peternak 3D pack and a brush from the Orb pack. As for the rock, I utilized brushes from the Andrew Averkin Pack, and for the small splashes, a brush from the Jonas Ronnegard Pack.

Upon completing the sculpting process, I baked my high-poly details onto my low-poly meshes using Marmoset Toolbag. From there, I extracted the following maps:

  • Normal
  • Curvature
  • Ambient Occlusion
  • Position
  • Thickness

Moving into Substance Painter, I imported the baked maps and began the texturing process.
I started with a simple base and added layers of masks. For the wood, I used a Gunge Wood mask, and I also incorporated Grunge Map 004.

For the stone, I utilized various masks such as BnW Spot, Cells, and Grunge Map.

Frequently, I applied a Slope Blur on top of the masks. Following that, I adjusted the opacity of the layers.
If I needed more precision, I painted additional details in Painter or 3D Coat, which allowed me to further enhance the Ghibli aesthetic.



Regarding the terrain, I modeled grass that adheres to the terrain using the RVT (Runtime Virtual Texturing) system that I implemented.
I also ensured that the grass only appeared in areas with a grassy texture, rather than the ground texture.


For the terrain textures, I created a classic grass texture in Substance Designer. To introduce more variations, I developed a darker version as well. Additionally, I crafted a dirt texture using Substance Designer. As shown in my shader, I incorporated a mask that blends the textures together seamlessly.



Initially, I generated the trees in Speedtree, focusing less on intricate details. Apart from the two main trees, I sought shapes that appealed to me. Subsequently, in Blender, I imported the trees and created planes to represent the leaves.

For the background trees, I followed Victoria Zavhorodnia’s tutorial to develop a texture in Substance Designer. Her tutorials greatly assisted me in achieving the desired vegetation.

As for the two main trees, I added details in ZBrush to prepare them for baking. Similar to the rest of the scene, I flattened and retained only the details that interested me in Substance Painter. I painted the leaves directly in Photoshop, drawing inspiration from “Kids With Sticks.”


I created an atlas in Photoshop for all my foliage, aiming to achieve the distinctive painterly effect prevalent in Ghibli movies. Subsequently, I utilized this atlas to create my plants in Blender. Only the foreground flower was actually modeled and baked.

I implemented a relatively simple shader in Unreal Engine that incorporates a subtle wind effect.



The sky plays a crucial role in this project. In the concept, the clouds have a significant impact and are a defining element of the Ghibli style.
Thus, I decided to honor both the artistic direction and the concept by painting the clouds in Photoshop. I also drew inspiration from the Shader created by Silvia Raponi.

Lighting and Post Process

I used Lumen to illuminate my scene. Initially, I adjusted the directional light to resemble the reference as closely as possible. Light blockers and small point lights were instrumental in enhancing specific areas and creating focal points, which significantly contributed to the overall scene.

The fog cards in the forest were employed to provide depth and separate different layers.


Naturally, I applied post-processing to my scene. In the concept, we can observe saturated colors and a cohesive image, characteristics also found in the Ghibli style. Therefore, through post-processing, I ensured that my scene evoked the same feeling.

I played with contrast, saturation, bloom and local exposure, and added a touch of vignetting. I also created a LUT (Look-Up Table) to better align with the concept.


House With Stables Day: UE5

After that, I had some fun creating various lighting variations such as sunset and night.
House With Stables Sunset: UE5
House With Stables Night: UE5


In conclusion, I thoroughly enjoyed creating this project. I learned a great deal, and it provided an excellent opportunity for me to showcase my skills. I am pleased to conclude my studies with this piece.

I extend my gratitude once again to Florian Potier, Anthony Lemetayer, Geoffrey Rosin and Sacha Veyrier for their invaluable advice.

Concept by: OKU

I hope you enjoyed reading about my process, and if you have any questions, please feel free to ask me on social media.

Thank you, and goodbye!