2022 Rookies Awards Game Development|Chelsea Ware

2022 Rookies Awards Game Development|Chelsea Ware

Chelsea Ware
by MoonShadow16 on 1 Jun 2022 for Rookie Awards 2022

Hi my name is Chelsea and I'm currently a 3rd year at CDW Studios and Flinders University. It's my dream to either be an environment or lighting artist for an AAA game studio. These projects have all been completed as part of my study at CDW Studios over the last 6 months.

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Swamp/Marsh Lighting Study

This was a major project I did, as part of, one of my topics at University. The project was a lighting study, completed in unreal engine 4.27. The main point of the project was to learn more about ray-traced lighting and composition, as well as improve my skills in said areas

I used Quixels Megascans for all the models and textures, that way I could fully focus on the composition and lighting of the environment. This helped cut down the time of the project as I had a limited amount of time to complete it.  


I decided to do a swamp/marsh environment and took inspiration from games like Skyrim and Dragon Age Inquisition as well as other dark fantasy environments. I also used real life references for the lighting too, as I wanted the lighting to be fairly realistic. 

Final Renders

In this environment I mainly used a directional light and a BP_skysphere. I also used a few spotlights to fake some of the lighting and help lighten up a few parts of the environment. I decided to add in some lanterns that would light up the path and create a sense for where the player would need to go.

For the fog I used exponential height fog and enabled the volumetric fog option. Fog cards were also used so that I could add in extra fog where I wanted areas to be really foggy, this also helped create more depth to the environment as well. I did however, need to be careful when using the fog cards as they can be very performance heavy so I only added in a couple. 

Sci-Fi/Futuristic Corridor 

The Sci-Fi/Futuristic corridor is the most recent environment I've done. This environment was created for my 3D Modelling for Games topic at CDW Studios, where we needed to create an environment using modular pieces and texture them using a trimsheet. 

(The plant and dirt material were from Quixels Megascans Library)

Day/Night Time Cycle 

For this project I used baked lighting, I created two different lighting scenarios for the environment, a day time lighting scenario and a night time scenario. 

Lightmap Density

I wanted to make the lighting as optimised as I could, so I created a second uv set for all of my assets in Maya. When I imported my assets into Unreal Engine I was then able to use the optimised uv set for my lightmaps. I then messed around with the resolution of the lightmaps for the individual models, so that I could get the desired lightmap density for each of my models.

Polygon/Tri Count

With my modular pieces I kept the polycount low and as optimised as I could, so that they would run smoothly in game without sacrificing too much detail. I also made sure the wall, flooring and ceiling pieces were modular that way I could snap them together. This made assembling my environment very easy. 


I created my trim sheet in Maya and then baked the high poly version onto a plane in Substance Painter. When texturing the trimsheet I kept to the same colour scheme, (gold, white and blue), for the whole trimsheet. This was done so that all the different parts of the trimsheet would look uniform when laid out on my assets.

Hero Asset Sentient Tree

This hero asset was created in speedtree for my Sci-fi/Futuristic environment featured above, as I plan on opening up one of the corridor doors. This door would lead into an massive chamber that housed this tree and a few other unique plants. 

In this world trees are all but extinct, except for this one lone tree. In turn the habitants of this world look after and worship the tree, committing their entire lives to insuring it's survival. 

I took inspiration from different types of bonsai, as I wanted it to have an unique almost stylized shape while still looking realistic. I also made the leaves a purple/blue colour to help add to the uniqueness of the tree as well as to make it stand out inside the environment. 

(The texture of the tree trunk I got from Quixel Megascans and the leaf cluster was from Speedtree's samples)

Abandoned Victorian Mansion

I created this Abandoned Victorian Mansion, for a topic I did last year at CDW Studios. I created all the models and most of the textures featured in this environment. I also created blueprints for the environment, namely a candle blueprint that made the candle flame flicker and bounce. As well as a blueprint that allowed me to change out the pictures in the picture frames without needing to create different materials.  

Thank you for taking the time to take a look at my Rookies entry and I hope you enjoyed looking through it as much as I enjoyed creating them

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