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Game-ready Environments-3D Art Works

Game-ready Environments-3D Art Works

Ignacio Naranjo Ruiz
by inaranjor on 31 May 2022 for Rookie Awards 2022

I really love art. And videogames. I try to do my works based on my own ideas&concepts, but inspired by great artists. I like to focus my work on architecture design, lighting and art direction skills. These are the last two projects as a student, the last one (Nannar Citadel) still work in progress.

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The VR Arcade-Mall

A sci-fi retrofuturistic game-ready playable VR experience. This project was made with a priority goal: optimization for VR. I have tried to control the polycount, decals or effects, for keep control of engine drawcalls. I made the idea&concept focus on architecture space sensations on VR environment. My main references was Simon Stalenhag (sci-fi ideas), Wes Anderson aesthetics (colors) Strange Things (environment story and details), and retrofuturistic art. 

The environment (1/4)

I tried to blend classic american mall with 80s arcades aesthetics, with the top down and set dressing focus to get the most attractive from a single point of view: the VR player position. I enjoyed playing with lights colors from classic arcade machines buttons (red, yellow and blue). I made architecture kitbash tileable textures on Substance Designer and trim texture on Substance Painter for some meshes.

The Creature (2/4)

This is de VR experience enemy. It was full sculpted on Zbrush, retopology on Maya and skinning on 3dsMax. Base texture painted on Zbrush, and finished on Substance Painter. I wanted to create a strange alien-like creature with a with a flaky, rocky and bony finish. Low poly model was difficult to get some details because the complexity of chest and belly details of high poly model, but I am very proud with the final results.

High poly sculpt process on Zbrush.

The VR Hands (3/4)

This hand was sculpted on Zbrush (finger´s skin and cloth parts, retopology on Maya), modeled low&high poly (machines and wires) on 3dsmax, and textured on Substance Painter. I made some preview concepts and draws for detail all model parts, taking ideas from Nintendo Power Glove concept and other 80's and 90´s Nintendo machines and accesories. Finally, I made skinning of fingers and wires on 3dsmax for VR gameplay.

High poly details on Zbrush.

The environment props&materials (4/4)

Environment set dressing wants to look like a blend of 80s mall&cinema&arcade place. For get this, I made some props with a custom retrofuturistic concepts of a electronic seat, electronic couch, VR arcade machines, signs, popcorn machine, some cups, floating&lying popcorns and some furniture pieces. All props were modeled on 3dsmax and textured on Sustance Painter in optimized atlas.

Materials were made on Sustance Designer, including my own popcorn material! I made linoleum for groundfloor, carpet material with customizable patterns, customizable ceramic-damaged tiles and plaster-painted for walls and alien rough and wet strange surface. I created special shaders in unreal engine too. I made a velvet shader for bench and seat, bright little stars ceiling like some classic cinemas, and special shader for alien portal with noise node.

Specially props were the weapons. I took some classical concepts of 80s pop culture and films, like the StarWars lightsaber, baseball bate, Christmas lights, music vinyl or a crowbar, and I tried to make some funny weapons using all these things, adding some extra details like cloth or ribbon handgrips, lights, wires or buttons for make these objects singular, detailed and functional weapons. I made high poly wood extra details for baseball bate, and the rest of parts were modeled on 3ds max (low&high poly) and textured on Substance Painter.

Other special props were the Arcade VR machines. For the design of these machines, I searched through 70´s TV real designs, or strange 80s soviet-style arcade machines. I mixed all this aesthetics with some Simon Stalenhag ideas, and this are the results. Full modeled low poly on 3ds max, some high poly details on 3ds max and some normal extra details and textured on Substance painter. For screens, I made a special shader with classic CRT screen effects.

Finally, some gameplay!!! All these stuff working together in a funny and inmersive full playable VR demo. I really enjoyed watching people move their heads from side to side on my VR environment and killing dozens of my ugly creatures.

Nannar Citadel

Project Nannar is a group playable demo project that we are developing as I write. It has been a challenge to take on the role of art director of the whole project, starting with the story, idea, previous concepts and first blockouts&topdowns, and continues with  supervision, brainstorming and trying to improve environment assets everyday. We inspired by historical videogames, like Assassins Creed and sci-fi films like Dune or The Foundation TV Show. We tried to blend ideas from both, taking as setting the Sumerian culture and ancient astronauts concept. This is our first test with Unreal Engine 5 real-time lighting, and it is awesome. Lumen is a really important change to improve the 3D art workflows, with real-time indirect lighting and all other stuff. I really love it.

I`ve developed the advanced civilization architecture, with a special building: The Soldiers Temple. I tried blend the historical sumerian and other ancient cultures architecture with Dune or advanced civilization special sci-fi aesthetics, based on my own concepts art. This advanced civilization, the Nannar Royal family, have a military plaza, a garden and a civil plaza with a huge main temple ( made by a colleague), a fountain and civil buildings. I`ll try to show some of these areas, but there are a lot of details that I can´t show completely. 

Nannar Architecture

I really enjoy playing with light. For this project, I imagined from the first time the oppressive atmosphere from Denis Villeneuve films like Blade Runner 2049 or Dune. I tried to get this light feelings, playing with SkyAtmosphere absorption parameters. I´m thinking that I would like to be a professional lighting artist after this.

The Soliders Temple. I`ve been working on a special building, with interior.

Nannar Props. 

To continue with environment aesthetics, my work with Nannar props was try to blend ancient look with strange advanced technology of an rare human space-lost civilization. The main inspiration was Dune film assets, like wall murals, box of pain, tables, seats or chests.

Mural. A special prop based my own concept art and sketches but inspired on works of sculptor William Mitchell, or Dune murals of Paul Atreides rest room on Arrakis. I made a lot of different surface details on Zbrush, all scultped by free-hand. I try to show how this civilization travel into space to conquer other planets.

Tabletop Role game. The object which I made with more love. The idea behind is to mix a real-ancient game ( Dogs&Chacals) with a contemporary tabletop role-playing game. I made a strange wood material for the structure of table, and small pieces on ivory or carving wood. This has a lot of work of zbrush details and texturing on Substance Painter. I really enjoy giving it so much detail. 

Artifact+compass- advanced civilization tech concept. This is a personal concept that I started looking the box of pain in Dune film. A very stange artifact which you don´t know how it works. It´s a artifact that project some light-information on something like a compass, to guide them on new planets. Most work on Substance Painter, some details from Zbrush.

A couple of chests. Based on Atreides chests on Dune film, adding some texture details like carbing burn wood, or geometrical symbols and shapes.

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