Texturing a Scene With Photoshop
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Great job and very inspiring! Thanks for sharing.

Frankly I do not understand why we talk about the past of this CEO. As a player I do not care about what he did or not until his games are good. As an Environmental Artist instead I see a game with a shaky graphics. It is completely without personality, emotion and involvement. It can hardly be considered acceptable especially for the 2019 platforms (which I understand will be the target of this game). Well, this is probably an indie group, with no experience facing a first game in the real market. And that's fine. Do the best you can that even if you fail, you will learn and do better. From a technical point of view the method you are using is very old. It can work but not as you are doing it. I bet you're using Unity, it's easy to see that since I see assets from their asset store. Break your landscapes more, they are too monotonous and contact real 3D artists and level designers. One last thing, the last screenshot is worse than all the previous ones. The lights are wrong and everything screams disaster. Avoid similar disasters in the future.

But are they real or is it a mockery? or a scam? Truly horrible flat graphics and lacking a real sense of aesthetics. Ui devoid of consistency and usability. Do they really have a graphic art department? Imho in 2018 using such tricks so massively denotes profound technical incompetence.

Texturing a Scene With Photoshop
22 May, 2017
Interview
Najim Filali and Patrycja Skrzynska discussed the way they created a simple and incredibly well-lit scene in the swamps.

Introduction

Mainly, we wanted to gather our skills and create something fresh and attractive. But also to challenge ourselves, and of course work together, something that we have always wanted to do. A 3D Artist can work easier and achieve better results with a Concept Artist.

Patrycja Skrzynska: For my part, I wanted to see his interpretation of the way I work.

Najim Filali: I wanted to base my environments on her concepts by bringing an own interpretation and good looking mood by adding my own personal touch. 

Composition

Patrycja: In my concepts the composition of the project is telling a story, an unclear story, but every person could see it by their own way, «Is there a man living inside?» or «Is the house been abandoned someone?» or anything else. I’ve always been interested in different visions for only one project. And «The Swamp» gave us that freedom.

Najim: The fact that the concept arts of Patrycja let me have many freedom to tell a story was pretty nice, I did my best to have the mood of the environment as main focus, for that, lighting and texturing helped me a lot, it is one of the main reasons I wanted to make out of the concepts a stylized Environment.

Production

It is one of the first time I did a really basic blockout for this scene (normally blockouts are one of the things I push the most) , the concepts helped me a lot to imagine the final scene I had in mind.

The main thing I started was the cabin modeling, it was the asset that helped me test out some texturing art direction.

The only thing that I had in mind for the texturing tool, was the challenge to only use Photoshop, and do all the textures from scratch.

I really wanted to push that stylized look, I used some of my favorite brushes and filters to achieve those kind of results, the Median Filter was pretty useful to achieve some nice effects. For the normal maps, I baked every asset with their high poly version, depending on the asset I used Zbrush or 3ds Max.

For more variety and to break tilling , I used some vertex color and material blending inside of Unreal.

I wanted to achieve an environment with as much modular pieces as possible.

I first tested many different kind of moods with lightings, like I said, lighting and texturing was the most important thing for this environment.

A Good skydome and some well placed lights helped to achieve those results.

Some feedbacks of patrycja helped me on the mood with things like the ground , and some assets.

Patrycja: we worked in our spare time, and we shared ideas and advice. We didn’t have to worry about the artistic direction and the final rendering, we know each other’s capacities and desire to bring something powerful and fresh to our portfolios.

Vegetation

I modeled the trees with Speedtree , speedtree was really a go for tool since it allowed me to have a well optimized scene, and non destructive pipeline for the making of trees.

For the grass, I used some Megascans‘ vegetation, their models were pretty nice and with my own texture, it helped me achieve the mood I wanted on the global environment.

Textures

I have the pleasure to work next to some people who had worked on games like Dishonored, I could gather as much tips as possible on the texturing process with Photoshop only.

Screenshot of the Door Texture:

Every texture was hand-painted in Photoshop, I used Marmoset Toolbag to easily preview every PBR channel (each channel was saved in .PSD format, every save was an automatic asset reload inside of Marmoset).

You can see on the door textures some effects that I achieved by using the Median Filter inside of photoshop, it gave me good results.

For all the textures it was really the same pipeline, texturing inside of photoshop, trying some effects with brushes, trying some photoshop filters (sharpen , noise , etc) previewing inside of marmoset and exporting to Unreal Engine.

The most important thing with texturing is the gathering of good references. No matter which software you use, if you don’t reference yourself, if you don’t train your texturing skills, you will never achieve good results.

Lighting

I tested different kinds of lighting moods, with some simple Spotlights, Directional lights and light points.

The important part was to take a look at the scene in lighting only mode, to see if all lights worked together.

With this Project, I wanted to test my abilities to achieve and environment based on a concept art.

This environment was a good way to exercise some texturing tricks I will for sure use on my upcoming environments.

I would like to give a special thanks to Ayi Sanchez, Yannick Gombart, Axel Tillier , Damien Peinoit and Geoffroy Calis for the great feedbacks they gave me , they helped me a lot with some artistic issues , and gave me motivation for me much motivation for my upcoming environments.

Najim Filali, Environment Artist at Krysalide France 

Patrycja Skrzynska, Freelance Concept Artist

Interview conducted by Kirill Tokarev

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