Environment art is my favourite.

Our level has seemingly jumped from bare and barren to full of life this week. It feels like we’ve come on leaps on bounds! This is because this week I decided to take a break from making so many assets, which I was getting a little tired of, and just spent 3 days populating the level. And playing Outlast on the university PCs, but that’s another story for another day. Here is where we’re at so far…

Capture Capture1 Capture2 Capture3 Capture4 Capture5 Capture6 Capture7 Capture8

My current qualm with the level is that it all feels a little too clean… there are no leaves settled on the ground, despite the fact that we have a falling leaf particle… nothing has any grunge, and everything looks almost doll-house-like. I’m in the process of playing with my cottage textures to make them feel more like they originate from the Cotswolds where the book Alice in Wonderland would have taken inspiration from. I’ve dulled down the saturation of the wood and roof tiles in particular, and changed the colours. I’ve also tried adding lichen to the roof tiles, and would like to try making decals which I can add dirt and moss with. I had an academic review at university this week and it was suggested that I really push my attention to detail, if I wish to get a first. So that’s what I want to do with this project from now on.

On the personal project side of things, I’ve made a start. As expected, I’m only finding time to work on it at weekends, but this is last weekend’s progress. I’ve gone from concepting to whiteboxing so far;


How I started out. I very quickly decided on the building style that I was most interested in.


I seem to work best in 4’s. Here I concepted some variations to choose from.


I wanted a nice composition that was set in a corner area to create a scene that feels like just a small part of a larger city. I avoided the typical ‘house on a disk’ diorama format.


Some further colour explorations after the initial consideration above. I wanted a colourful scene. I could go more wild with colour since the walls of the buildings themselves are very plain.


Coming up with some vague ideas of how I would populate the scene. With bird-related things, of course. I’m going for a Moroccan market kind of feel; lots of rugs and containers for items, hanging things, and general clutter.


So, now I have a whitebox. Whiteboxing is a nice flexible stage where I can make variations on my original design, which I definitely need to do. As much as I like the area I’ve concepted and how it feels, I’ve come to the conclusion that I need to down-size it a little. This is something I can do in the whitebox, and then overpaint. Going back and forth between 3D and 2D is an extremely conducive way of working, and your work ultimately comes out better for it because you can change and iterate designs quickly, easily and cleanly.

I want to down-size my diorama because I feel that it’s too big for me to be able to get the level of quality I want in the time frame I want. I could end up with an unfinished or botch-job piece otherwise. When concepting, I hadn’t realised how big it actually would be, but as soon I as I took it into 3D I began to worry a little about how long this project would take me at the level of detail I’d like. So, back to the drawing board. I still want to keep the same feel and create a good composition, but on a smaller scale so I can really focus on creating cool models and textures. I’m feeling optimistic and looking forward to when I can start actually modelling. I’ll be doing more on it this weekend, when I’m not (hopefully) relaxing or working at the Game Art Design open day.

It’s not just for the money, I swear.

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2 thoughts on “Environment art is my favourite.

  1. Greg says:

    I reckon it’s looking excellent and well worth the time put into it ☺


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