A grand old Manor House and grounds made up of a total of over 500 different objects, most of which were textured in Substance painter with textures from Quixel Megascans. The design is based on a real-life Scottish Manor House (Dunalastair House) that has now sadly fallen into disrepair, although this is not an exact replica but inspired by the Scottish Manor.
I created this by first building modular pieces and then placed them together to create the structure. There are multiple benefits from creating large structures in this way. One of the main being that I can use these pieces to create other buildings and I am not set with just one creation. Also, if edits or updates are required to the building it is much easier to make them.
Finally, I textured each piece individually for the Manor, which allows for more pixels per piece to be used, as opposed to spreading the textures across the entire building (although of course, this would need some adjustments and optimisations if it were to be used in a video game).
There is a brilliant atmosphere addon for Blender called ‘Physical Starlight and Atmosphere’ and in my opinion, it should come as standard in Blender. It’s based on Earths real physical atmosphere and has some similarities with the Sky atmosphere/Direction light function in Unreal Engine. (And in fact, this is something that is also mentioned in its description in Blender marketplace and that Blender doesn’t have this feature built-in – although there are some more basic atmosphere materials and also HDRIs that can be used). This creates some wonderfully realistic lighting and by simply rotating the sun the whole atmosphere and sky are updated.
The grass, flowers and trees are all placed using particle systems, which is reasonably straight forward, but including these, the total objects in the project comes in at about 35,000. When creating particle systems in Blender I will now always keep the main emission number fairly low and then use the Children settings to add further instances of the objects being used.