Some behind-the-scenes stuff:
For texturing the landscape I exported masks generated from Gaea’s terrain information, and used those masks for Unreal Engne’s landscape texturing.
Here’s the trees and terrain in Unreal, without any of the snow on the leaves:
It looked nice but it isn’t what I wanted, so the snow was added to the leaf textures manually in photoshop:
I used the same technique for the leaves and grass, they’re alpha cards but with extremely tight geometry to avoid overdraw. Multiple transparent pixels overlapping each other is much more damaging to performance than additional polycount.
Unreal Engine has no problem with Shader Complexity even with dense grass, since there aren’t overlapping transparent pixels.
But tightening this geometry creates higher polycounts, which can be somewhat managed by LODs for everything.
I created billboards for the distant trees as well, which was surprisingly easy to do in Blender.
Didn’t bother with the dark colour of it too much because luckily in my scene I had so much fog I tweaked the overall texture in Unreal Engine to just have a blue-ish, white hue. So in the distance, it barely felt noticeable.
Years of love for Skyrim inevitably lead to making a winter scene.
Modelling for all the props - including the trees and grass were made within Blender. Used Blender’s sapling add-on for the tree, and a particle system with manual work for the placement of alpha-card branches/leaves on the trees.
The terrain was made with Gaea - the heightmap was imported as a landscape for Unreal Engine
The rocks were imported from the Unreal Marketplace’s megascans projects
Textures for everything from textures.com and cc0textures.com, the snow was added over by vertex painting for the objects, and for the leaves, I used photoshop to add snow over the original tree leaf textures themselves.
The soundtrack in the first video is “Tundra” by Jeremy Soule, plays when exploring Skyrim and brings back memories of happiness to me.