With this project being split over two semesters I thought it would be good to create a quick post to serve as a reintroduction to the environment I am creating, what goals I am to gain from creating this environment and gathering one condensed reference board before I move onto modelling.

:: Project Summary ::

My aim with this project is to create a single environment piece which I can place on my portfolio which shows the progression I have made as a 3D artist in my time at university and will hopefully be of a quality where I can use it to gain notice by professional game studios.

A modern archaeological dig site surrounding an ancient broken sewer gate. Rusted bars bent and broken, with monstrously large footprints littering the camp. Notice boards warning of monster sightings in the area stand vigil amongst broken and forgotten lights.

My environment summarised

I am really excited to create this environment, I think it will give a very good visual while not requiring an obscene number of models and not employing any unorthodox modelling techniques I am unfamiliar with. I also think it could tell a really nice visual story, what broke out of the sewer gate? What interested the archaeologists? These are questions which could help to create an environment that sticks with the viewer after they have finished looking.

:: Reference Board ::

During my proposal document last semester I showed briefly two of the references I had gathered for this project (ref.1,ref.2), however I knew I would need to increase the number of references I found for each asset I am to create. I was introduced to a service called miro by an industry contact, which studios often use to create collaborative references boards that can be viewed and edited by large teams.

While something like pureref is perfectly fine for this project as I am the only person working on it, I felt it good to gain experience with industry standard software’s while I can and as such I started creating a much more in depth reference board. With multiple references for each of the different asset I aim to model (fig.1)

By creating a reference board which was of an industry standard I gave myself the best possible chance of creating high quality assets, and by getting used to collecting the references all in one place I am making myself more suitable for industry employment post graduation. It is a departure from my usual reference method, where I have the individual image files saved on my computer and bring them in one by one as they are needed directly into Maya via an image plane.

Of course I will still be using free images planes when I need to model something with precise dimensions, but it is still good to have one large reference board to refer too. If nothing else, I find it helps to get the creative process underway on those days where I am struggling to model anything.

:: Planned Workflow ::

Below I have outlined what I believe the workflow will be for my project. This can change of course and one of the big changes I will need to implement with this project is not seeing the creation process as a list of points needing to be ticked in order. When creating an environment, It is not expected to create all the models, then texture all the models and import to game engine all at once. Rather it’s the norm to bounce between these steps.

Substance Designer (Tileable Textures) – Maya/ZBrush (Modelling) – Substance Painter & Photoshop (Non-Tileable Textures) – Unreal Engine (VFX & Rendering)

My Planned Workflow

This will mean that there will be a certain amount of bouncing between the various blog posts of this project while I create the environment. But getting used to the kind of workflow I would be expected to employ in a studio is vital for me to get the most out of this project.

:: Initial Blockout Shots ::

Below you will find the original blockout shots I created during my proposal for the project. When setting these shots up in Unreal Engine I made sure to save each camera individually. Making it easy to recreate the shots as I go about populating the scene. A large part of creating the blockout was thinking of the final vision for the environment, and by saving the camera cuts I can be sure of what assets are hero props and which aren’t in the final frames.

:: Summary ::

In this post I have reintroduced you to my project, what I hope to achieve from the process and shown my refined reference board. Now that I have the references I need for the various assets and have my blockout to work from I can move straight into modelling in Maya and ZBrush.

:: References ::

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