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2023 Projects

Catharina Broes
by catharinabroes on 31 May 2023 for Rookie Awards 2023

This is a collection of the projects that I've been working on in 2023 so far. I am still in the midst of learning and I am enjoying getting better bit by bit.

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The Cave Exit

This year I challenged myself by making a scene in UE5 relying mostly on my own intuition. This started out as a study of the Cave Exit concept by Patrik Pulkkin (https://www.artstation.com/artwork/oOdalk), but I very quickly diverged from that reference. I played around with the lighting, the mood, the story and the composition. I learned a lot about the properties of dynamic lighting and improved upon what I already knew. I also created my own RVT to blend materials better and expand my technical art skill-set.
Overall I'm pretty satisfied with the result and I can't wait to bring my new knowledge to the next project.

Learn more about this project on my Artstation post:
https://www.artstation.com/artwork/qeeLYD

Fish Stand

The second challenge this year was to create a stylized environment. This is a big project that I split up in two parts: 1.) To practise my modeling and hand paint texture skills and 2.) To create a modular, cyberpunk scene. This Fish Stand, based on the concept of Alexandrin Damascan (https://www.artstation.com/artwork/2xynvy), is the first part of that plan and will serve as the hero piece in my environment. 

It took some time to adjust my usual, hard-surface PBR pipeline with a more free-spirited mindset. I, for example, experimented with using a metal map, but ultimately decided against it because I felt like it was taking away the cartoon-like charm of the design. I also used both vertex painting in Zbrush as well as hand painting the base color in Substance Painter. I found out that I personally prefer the latter. It's with small self-discoveries like this that I continue to move forward as an artist and find what fits me best.

The scene I will create for this hero piece will take thematic inspiration from the video game Stray. I wanted to keep Alexandrin's style however so I started experimenting with post-process outline shaders that I blueprinted in UE5. The results so far look promising and I am very excited to continue to work on this.


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