Darksiders Fan Art and Vampire House
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Darksiders Fan Art and Vampire House

Eleana Dawn Shaw
by lany0422 on 21 May 2021 for Rookie Awards 2021

I am featuring two environments I have made this past year, a spooky vampire house and a dungeon inspired by Darksiders.

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For my first piece, I found a piece of concept art by Baldi Konijn from the Darksiders Franchise that I just fell in love with and wanted to recreate.  I have always been a fan of the series, so I was enthusiastic to work on this and to expand on the original concept.  This scene portrays a small portion of a larger dungeon, and when you push the pulley mechanism a door opens somewhere else in the scene (well, after navigating through some baddies first, of course).  All of the pieces in this scene could be used modularly, but my goal was to make a small part of the world and really focus on and detail that part.  Seen below are my final renders, a video clip made using Premiere Pro, and a 3D view of my scene.  The breakdown will follow below!

For the sculpt, I began by blocking it out in Maya.  At this point, I had the intention of having a chandelier in the scene, but I felt as though it took away from my focal point and didn't fit.  After my block in I moved into Zbrush.  I really wanted to add some Celtic designs into this project, so after a lot of trial and error with chiseling, I ended up with something I liked on the backwalls.  In some of the sculpt and most of the repetitive pieces like the rocks and frontal floor, I used Orb Brushes, as well as some Rock brushes made by Jonas Ronnegard.  I added a lot of detail into every piece to give the whole scene a story of a forgotten, yet beautiful, dungeon ruin.  My favorite pieces in this sculpt were the skull and wheels.  I had a lot of fun making a stylized Darksiders look, as well as adding some of my own touches here and there.

My retopology was done inside of Maya using Quad Draw, aside from the large rocks which were Zremeshed.  My polycount came out to 32,485 polys.  For the textures, I mainly used a stylized smart material I had made following a video by 3dEx, but I also hand painted some parts for depth and gradients.  I mainly used tints of red and purples in my scene so that the green eyes and green on the back wall would really pop as the focal point.  The maps from my bake in the process view below are as follows: Normal, World Space Normal, Ambient Occlusion, Curvature, then Thickness.

My lighting was done in Unreal and post process was done in Gimp.  Lighting and composition was ultimately the most challenging part for me, but after a lot of feedback and editing, I wound up with something I liked.  I chose to render in Unreal so I could add VFX and to learn about lighting in the engine.  None of the VFX was done by me (the fire, lava, fog, and sparks), that was all kindly done for me by my friend, Jon Tuttle, although I did add some heatwave distortion.  For the lighting, I decided to go with a saturated red and blue contrasted three point lighting set up.  I used an HDRI map for the background made by Liya Bohnat.  Also seen below is the concept art made by Baldi Konijn.  This project was quite enjoyable and more like it are hopefully soon to come!

For my next project, I recreated a Vampire House concept by Olga Chemik which I found to be dark but cute at the same time.  I like to think that a little vampire lady lives in the house and lures unexpecting travelers inside to satisfy her.. thirst.  Her friends are also fluttering about upon the bridge outside.  I envision this piece in a fantasy game, tucked away somewhere in the woods as a secret area players could find.  This project really reaffirmed my love for environments.  Below are my final renders made in Marmoset and a 3d view (no hipoly grass and beta lighting), and then my breakdown!

My sculpt started out in Maya as a blockout, and with this particular scene I was really trying to match the concept art as much as possible.  I then went into Zbrush and made use of Orb brushes and many rock/wood sculpting references.  I can't really say what my favorite part was because I really enjoyed the whole thing, it was like this piece was made for me!  I used Houdini to make the ground and hi poly grass.  I made the tree leaves in Substance Designer by making a 3D mesh and using simple gradients on it.  The rug was made in Marvelous Designer and draped over the stairs.  It was fun to learn the basics of these three programs.

All retopology for this project was done in Maya with Quad Draw and I landed at 21,552 Polys minus the grass.  I could have lowered the polys in some places but this was my first time going for a game engine poly count.  As for the UV's, gave them enough space for LOD's but also packed them together to minimize tile usage.  For my texturing, I mainly hand painted this piece, but did fidget around with some premade materials as well to get the stylized look I was going for.  In Marmoset I chose to use a purple background with a three point lighting set up to match up with the concept, and then added in a moon to give it some atmosphere.  The baked maps in the process view are as follows: color map, normal, ambient occlusion, curvature, then thickness.   Below is also the original concept by Olga Chemik!

Thank you for looking and have a great day!!


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