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First Year at Howest DAE

First Year at Howest DAE

Huyen Dieu Nguyen
by nguyenhuyendieu on 30 May 2023 for Rookie Awards 2023

A showcase of my work from the first year at Howest Digital Arts and Entertainment, major Game Graphics Production.

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My work in the first year at Howest Digital Art and Entertainment

The Forest Loner

For this 3D1 course final we had to make a low poly scene that suits one of the four given storylines, I chose the "Forest Loner". Having had no previous experience with 3D before, I learned a lot during this semester. I received a lot of feedback and help from teachers, as well as fellow students, to whom I am extremely grateful.

I came up with an idea about the school's dummy character named Geo, that is used to check whether the scale of objects is correct or not and decided to depict it, and left a couple of story telling easter eggs around my diorama.

Flying Circus

A stylized plane for the Game Art 1 assignment, inspired by the Supermarine Sea Otter plane. Once again, we had to base our design on an existing WW1/WW2 plane, and stylize it, exaggerating its main features and paying a lot of attention to proportions, design principles, and last but not least: poly count, since the model had to be game-ready. Textures were fully hand painted in Photoshop, thus coming up with your own colour palette was also one of the tasks.

Dragon's Vengeance | Weaponcraft

World of Warcraft inspired weapon for the Game Art 1 assignment. Especially during this task I learned, that your first ideas are far from the best and should be pushed  further, even if you think you are happy with the result. After receiving some valuable feedback from Theoni Fotoglou and Tuomas Paul, I applied some adjustments to my weapon, specifically to its proportions and the 'Big, Medium, Small' rule.

Retro Kitchen Device

3D2 course made me wrap my mind around subdivision, a completely new modelling technique for me that had caused so many confusion at first. The concept of keeping as least faces in the model as possible from 3D1 had to be totally thrown away. During this course we were also taught lighting and camera setups, to make our models and their details pop out as much as possible.

Special thanks to Petru Grati, the classmate that did gladly shared his knowledge and helped a ton throughout this course.


For this Preproduction 1 assignment we had to create a contemporary property that consists of three connected modules: living area, crafting workshop and storage. The property revolves around our chosen profession, in my case it was a sheep farmer. An interesting path also has to be shown through the property.

The setting had to be visualized as a diorama with focus on believability, detail and story. Everything is based on references of old Bulgarian villages.

Although I did already have a prior knowledge in drawing before, I still found this task quite challenging due to the variety of ideas we had to generate, as well as the amount of research that had to be done. I got to improve my understanding of perspective and design principles during this assignment.


For this Preproduction 1 end assignment we were given two fractions we had to chose from: Pirates and Empires. After that, an airborne vehicle with a focus on WW2 and gas tanks had to be designed. No usage of drone propellers, sci fi-technologies, steam-punk or magic was allowed.

A couple of new techniques were introduced this time. We got to work with silhouettes and photobash. To be honest, this task was quite exhausting due to a list of requirements that had to be met, and a very poor WW2 vehicle (and hard surface in general) visual library I had, thus search for good photo references was probably the biggest part for the final. Nevertheless, I am satisfied with the hard work that definitely paid off.

The Canon

For this Preproduction 2 assignment we created a small tropical island scene displaying a cannon, a barrel and a prop of choice based on a given perspective grid under a hard unlight ad given timeframe: Golden Age of Piracy. The "Principles of Light and Form" had to be applied to the drawing in greyscale and matte and glossy surfaces had to be defined and made readable. After that, a coloured version from the greyscale painting had to be done.

The challenge in this assignment for me was defining the materials and accurately painting my lighting setup, since I have always done it rather intuitively before, rather than consciously.

The Tower

For this Preproduction 2 task a mood paint of a landscape, in which an abandoned medieval tower would be the focal point had to be digitally done. During this assignment we got to learn about basic composition rules we had to apply.

If in the previous exercises most of our attention was drawn to the values and light principles, this time we also had to do more studies regarding colour behaviour and moods it created.

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