Building Low Poly Visuals
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Latest comments
5 hours ago

$16 for a *very* non-performant material? If this was intended for use in high-detail scenes, not meant for gameplay, one would generally just use a flipbook animation, or looping HD video texture (both of which are higher quality and available for free all over). I love options, but c'mon, that's pretty steep. $5, maybe. And you can loop in materials, using custom HLSL nodes. Also, there are better ways of doing this, all around. Somewhere on the forums, Ryan Brucks (of Epic fame) himself touched on this. I've personally been working on a cool water material (not "material blueprint", thankyouverymuch) and utility functions, and am close to the quality achieved here, sitting at ~180 instructions with everything "turned on". The kicker? It's pure procedural. No textures are needed. So this is cool, no doubt about that. In my humble opinion though, it's not "good". It doesn't run fast, and it's more complicated than it needs to be.

Lee is right - you can use a gradient effect when you vertex paint in your chosen 3d modelling platform (I've done it in max), meaning the wind effect shifts from nothing to maximum along the length of the leaf/branch/whatever.

by Lee Stojkovic
6 hours ago

I'm fairly certain you can vertex paint the bottoms of the foliage and control the movement using vertex colors along with the wind node. I did this in an earlier project and was able to create a scene with grass that moved less and less as it went down until stationary. I created the grass and painted the vertexes black to red (bottom to top) in Maya.

Building Low Poly Visuals
18 November, 2015

3D artist Tim D’hoore talked about the creation of low poly scenes and discussed how this visual style can help developers to build visually attractive games.

Building Low Poly Visuals for Games


My name Is Tim D’hoore. I am 20 years old and I live in Belgium. Right I’m in school following a web design course. This wasn’t the case a year ago. Back then I was at home not really knowing what to do with my life and after a lot of searching 3d modeling caught my eye.

Building Low Poly Visuals for Games

Building Low Poly Visuals for Games

Building Low Poly Visuals for Games

It was love at first sight, so I started learning a 3d modeling program, which was Blender because of a recommendation from a friend. About 6 months later I found by accident a Youtube channel with low poly tutorials by Pigart. He made some of the most beautiful images if ever seen: the atmosphere, the cartoony look and the simplicity – everything was top notch. I found my art style and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Low Poly and Realistic Art

Building Low Poly Visuals for Games

Sunless See Lo Poly Fanart

The key difference between “low poly” and more realistic models is that with low poly you must be very chaotic an wild with your modeling. Because with “low poly” the geometry will produce all of the visuals. While with realistic models it’s a combination of the two. As a result low poly assets can be created a lot faster and easier, which is a great thing for indie studios.

Building Low Poly Visuals for Games

When it comes to materials, it can’t get any easier. A simple diffuse color works great. Water is the only material that actually needs any work. But again it’s not very complex. Just make a water material without the displacement maps, simple.

Lighting in low poly is 99% the same as lighting in any realistic scene. The only difference is that you have to put the shadow site as low as possible. The sharp shadows add to the cartoony look. The other big thing is fog. It’s not a must but in some scenes it can look amazing. I suggest just adding it and see how it looks and feels.

Building Low Poly Visuals for Games

I personally only use simple sky boxes like some simple dots for stars and in some cases one solid color instead of realistic HRDs. Otherwise if you have experience lighting scenes, just use those technique and it will look great.

Low poly is a very unique style that compliments more cartoony and fun games or (like my work) atmospheric and story driven projects. The possibilities for low poly are endless and haven’t been fully explored. So the path is open for a lot of creativity and exploration.

Building Low Poly Visuals for Games

For making low poly assets I recommend any 3D software with a option to lower the poly count. Witch are all of them I assume. Then for the rendering I suggest an engine capable of very realistic scenes. For games Unreal Engine 4 seems like a good choice.

Using Stylised Visuals for Games

Building Low Poly Visuals for Games

Portal 2 Low Poly Fanart

Stylised games can provide worlds that no one can possibly comprehend or make a version of our world that is way more interesting. The imagination of the artist is the only limit here, unlike more realistic games where creativity is pretty limited. Therefore I believe stylised games will always have a special place in my Steam library.

My favourite games include Journey, Fallout 4, Orcs Must Die 2, The Fall and the Portal series. As you can tell very varied genres but all have great art style and story. There are also no real low poly games and this is mainly because I haven’t found that many that interest me yet. I really hope that more people will make games like this in the future. That would be awesome!

Tim D’hoore, 3D Artist

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