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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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!