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My 3D environment art projects

My 3D environment art projects

Lucy Poole
by lucypoole on 29 May 2022 for Rookie Awards 2022

These are some of the projects I have been working on this year and last year

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BladeGunners (2021-2022)

BladeGunners was a massive collaborative game development project that I worked on alongside 10 fellow students at Falmouth University. I have had an amazing time working on it and I'm really happy with how it turned out. We used Unreal Engine 4 for this project and it's the first game I have finished using the engine. Some of the environment assets visible in my images here were created by the other artists in my team. You can check out the main project entry here:!

Sniper Rifle

This sniper rifle model begun with a blockout 3d concept which I then expanded on with a quick 2d paintover. The advantage of using 3d was that I could view the concept from different camera angles easily. I quickly found that a design that looks good in the side view didn't translate well necessarily to the all-important first person view. By referencing existing games, I got a feel for proportions that make for a powerful looking sniper. I developed the blockout into a low poly mesh that I then added additional details to in a high poly pass. I then refined the low poly into an approximation of the detailed highpoly for the final mesh and then optimised it as much as I could. The model was separated into four materials and 3 shaders. This isn't ideal for performance, but it's necessary to keep the unique appearance of having a glass cover over the weapon's interior mechanism. As this is a first person viewmodel intended to be seen up close by the player, I opted for visual flair over pure performance maximisation.

Final mesh stats:
- 16.8k tris
- 1x 4096x4096 albedo, normal, masks, emissive
- 1x 2048x2048 albedo, normal, masks, emissive
- 1x 1024x1024 albedo, normal, masks, emissive
- 1x 512x512 albedo, normal, emissive

Arena Environment

For the arena environment, I broke the concept down into modular pieces that were quickly modelled and textures with world space triplanar to speed up iterations. These were then integrated into the level blockout using Unreal's multi-level system - allowing for the BSP whitebox and set-dress to be worked on and versioned independently. Once the game's aesthetic and lighting had been iterated on after feedback, I moved on to modelling the more finalised modular pieces and integrating some varied materials from substance designer. I used varied material colours and lighting colour temperatures to create distinct feels for different parts of the map. This helped to give distinct contrast to the arena's visual identity in different rooms. The ceiling was added last, to keep the environment easy to navigate in-editor as it went through different stages of development. I experimented with different ceiling heights in separate sections to give them varying degrees of spaciousness

Materials & Smart Materials

Many parts of the environment are textured using a set of tiling 2048x and 1024x materials. For some frequently used assets, these are applied using world space triplanar. The advantage of this is that assets can be re-scaled and re-used without stretching. All materials were created using Substance Designer.

The smart materials were used to aid in and speed up the texturing process for smaller assets with unique texture maps. They were also used to maintain consistency between artists on the weapon models' textures.

Half-Life 2 Fanart: d1_trainstation_01 (2021-2022)

This is a portfolio piece I have worked on in Unreal Engine 4. The goal was to recreate the iconic level from Half-Life: 2 faithfully in a modern engine and using modern 3D environment art techniques and pipelines. I aim to carry this project into UE5 and remaster it using nanite and lumen, as this UE4 version uses baked lighting.



Thank you for checking out my entry!

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