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80 Level Digest: Best Environment Breakdowns of 2022

We are celebrating the upcoming 2023 by sharing our favorite environment art that left us awed this year.

This year is slowly ending, but the inspiration artists have sparked in us never does. We would like to thank the talented creators who have shared their works and taken their time to show their workflows and, of course, our readers and followers for supporting us and providing your feedback.

Last week we presented our favorite character art breakdowns of 2022 and today it's time to share the best environment art articles we've collected this year. We hope you have a great time whether you're here to find some new techniques and ideas, look for advice, or just enjoy beautiful images.

The first work on our list is a cute stylized studio apartment created with Maya and Substance 3D tools and rendered in Unity by Environment Artist Emily Cheung. Apart from showing the workflow, the artist also revealed the lighting setup used in the scene and explained why it is important to know both Unity and Unreal Engine.

Another great environment we were amazed by is MJ's apartment from Marvel's Spider-Man recreated by Roy Bennett in Unreal Engine 4. The level of detail achieved by using Maya, ZBrush, and Substance 3D Painter is astounding in this work. In the breakdown, the artist discussed how each asset was made from scratch for the scene and even showed some easter eggs hidden there.

Next is an article from Techland's Lead Environment Concept Artist Kasia Zielińska, who offered a glimpse of the Dying Light 2 Stay Human world creation. Kasia provided an informative look at how environments work with gameplay and explained how different regions of the map were designed. You should definitely check it out whether you're a fan of the game or an environment artist.

This project made by Environment Artist Mika Kuwilsky demonstrates a gorgeous Gothic architecture modular kit. The artist was inspired by various buildings, including Cologne Cathedral and poured that inspiration into the project, sharing the texturing process and the creation of the assets with us. Mika also explained how to solve the problem of repetitive sections and gave advice to beginner artists.

Mica Olsson did a fantastic job recreating Seyda Neen from The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind in Unreal Engine 5. The artist discussed the details of the scene made using Megascans assets, the landscape coverage, and the water shader they created for it. As a bonus, there is also Fargoth created with MetaHuman. You should definitely check it out, especially if you're getting nostalgic just looking at these images.

This adorable diorama sculpted in ZBrush and textured in Substance 3D Painter was one of our favorites this year. Atsuko Nagano worked hard on this Japanese cafe and shared the working process in Houdini with us. The article might interest artists looking to learn how to enhance their dioramas with different effects.

The next project on our list is this awesome cargo spacecraft interior made by Alexey Kirsanov using Substance 3D Designer. The artist goes into detail explaining how the materials were created, talks about the challenges of the design, and shares his views on mastering the software.

In this extensive article, talented Level Artist Nina Popovych shared how she created The Lost Temple of Kullu Valley – a beautiful environment made with Maya, ZBrush, Substance 3D tools, and Unreal Engine. Nina thoroughly explained the modeling and texturing processes, discussed asset creation, and showed the lighting setup used in the scene.

Last but not least, here is a sweet colorful project full of memories, emotions, and toys. Andrew Averkin revealed how the scene was assembled using 3ds Max and showed how he used NVIDIA's Omniverse Create for texturing, lighting, and rendering to get stunning high-quality results.

These are our picks for Best Environment Breakdowns this year. Did anything catch your attention? What are your favorite scenes of 2022? 

Share your ideas in the comments and don't forget to join our Reddit page and our Telegram channel, follow us on Instagram and Twitter, where we share breakdowns, the latest news, awesome artworks, and more.

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