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Very impressive article Jake! You are very talented.
nice article! i love seeing the breakdowns.
18-year-old 3d artist Joshua Llorente talked about his experiments with stylized environments and gave the breakdown of the latest scene.
I am Joshua Llorente, I’m 18 years old from Philippines, currently studying in University of Santo Tomas, College of Fine Arts and Design. I’m taking up BFA Advertising Arts but my interest is in game design, 3d modeling, and concept art development. I started creating environment art after I played Overwatch, I was amazed by the art style of it and that motivates me to create my own level of Overwatch. I don’t have a solid background and knowledge on creating and developing a 3d environment, I just do some little research on it and the rest are pure trial and error. This map was created only on my free time.
This map was based on the existing Overwatch map which is the Nepal map, since the existing map is based on control map, I wanted to create a payload version of it. I created my own version of payload and tried to make it cohesive to the environment. Overwatch is my sole inspiration to this environment design, I incorporated their technique and the overall look to match their style.
Overwatch has that cartoony feel that makes the overall look more vibrant and fresh. The textures play an important role in building the look of the scene. In my observation, Overwatch uses hand-painted texture to create that stylized feel. To create a great level, in my opinion I think you need to have a solid plan and concept before creating the actual scene.
Before I created the actual scene, I first plotted the layout of the map, then created a study on the design of the buildings and other assets. After that I modeled the assets in 3ds Max, the models are quite simple and basic because I want to achieve that stylized look I’m aiming for. I textured the models in Substance Painter. The initial plan was not executed properly, I ended up placing the assets wherever I wanted to, the placement of the assets was on the spot, but at the same time I’m trying not to compromise the space and layout of the map, since this is just a personal project, it is okay for me not to follow the initial plan.
In a payload map, the payload (vehicle) must be eye-catchy of course, so I designed a payload that will stand out in the environment. I animated the payload directly in the unreal engine, also I added some particles to make it more dynamic and appealing. I added an emissive map to the texture to create a modern/futuristic feel to it.
I created the textures in Substance Painter, the textures are all hand painted because I want to achieve that Overwatch stylized look. The textures are simple, I think color combination is what matters, you need to setup first your palette in order to have a good set of textures. The landscape editor of the UE4 was also good in blending different textures, you just paint on the surface and it will blend automatically. Also I used the vertex painting tool to create that snow surface on some assets.
The color choice in my scene was very limited and I think that’s the reason why it have a good cohesive look. Finding references is a good way to build up your color palette and your overall style. Blending the colors all together is quite hard, it’s trials and errors for me, but you can easily adjust the textures in Substance Painter, and just export it again to replace the existing one.
The lighting was pretty basic, the existing tool in UE4 in terms of lighting is easy to use, I just tweaked it a little to match the look that I want. Also to control the overall look of the scene I used the Post process volume of the engine and adjust it so that it would match my desired color and look for the scene.