Jack Shimield - Environment art
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Jack Shimield - Environment art

Jack Shimield
by jshimield on 1 Jun 2021 for Rookie Awards 2021

A handful of the pieces I have worked on over the last year while studying game environment art at Falmouth University.

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Dark Souls 3 
(Fan art)

For this scene, I recreated a room from one of my favorite games Dark Souls 3. I really wanted to learn how to work mega scans and Quixel mixer into my workflow for this project. I found it was an efficient way to quickly create and blend materials for my scene.

For this scene I started with a block out in UE4 before modeling in Maya, just to work out my scale. Having the advantage of walking around in the game made it a lot easier to get it right.

For many of my materials I started with Quixel mega scans and then modified and mixed them to get the result I wanted. With the column and floor tiles I used Zbrush to sculpt some detail for baking and textured them in Substance Painter.

I also used a small handful of optimized mega scan assets for cups, plates, pots and decals. This saved me some time as I didn't want to get to hung up on modeling things that didn't draw much attention in the scene.

After blocking out the scene I focused on modeling the larger objects in the scene such as the walls, floors and columns.

For the walls I created a vertex painting material using a height lerp so I could get my top material into some of the gaps of the brickwork and give more variation to the blend.

The walls also use tessellation and displacement, but to save on performance they are controlled by how close the camera is to the wall. This way at long distances, where the details cant be seen, the wall has a very low amount of subdivision.

I noticed the scene had a bunch of variations of rope and I decided to use this as an opportunity to learn about using splines in UE4 to generate different meshes. For this, I started by making a tileable rope material using Substance Designer and used this to texture a small section of rope. Next, I created a simple blueprint in Unreal that would allow me to drag out my rope section into any shape I needed.

To finish up the scene I added some particle effects for the fires, which have a slight flicker to them using a blueprint. I also added some floating ash coming through the windows, which made the scene feel more alive.

I noticed there was some ivy growing on the surrounding buildings in my original concept and decided it would make a good addition to my scene. I thought this would be a great opportunity to use Houdini so I created a tool that would grow a vine populated with leaves just by drawing a spline.

After creating the tool I built a node to hold various parameters that could be used to change the look of my vines including size, leaf amount, and random seed.

Forgery!

Forgery is an online co-op game inspired by games like Overcooked and Catastronauts. I work as the environment and VFX artist on this game with a team of other students during my final year of university. Our goal was to create a polished vertical slice with 2-3 levels. All character art,  animation, programming, and level design were created by my team members.

Tutorial

Level 01

Level 02

Level 03

Close-ups

Substance Designer materials

Gameplay trailer

Sanctuary

I found this concept by Artimyth and felt really inspired to make it in 3d. I had a load of fun making this very cute scene and found it great practice trying to get as close as possible to a concept. My workflow for this piece was building the original mesh in Maya, sculpting in Zbrush before baking, and texturing in Substance Painter. Finally, I rendered the scene in UE4. Please check out Artimyth on their ArtStation page they do some really cool vibrant concept art.

Concept art by Artmyth https://www.artstation.com/artimyth


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