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Tatjana Engels – Environments, Textures and more

Tatjana Engels – Environments, Textures and more

Tatjana Engels
by tatjana on 29 May 2019 for Rookie Awards 2019

Welcome to my entry page. On this page I collected some of my recent works for games. I did a graphic designer apprenticeship followed by a bachelors degree as game artist specialized in 3D art. I hope you enjoy my work!

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Creating digital worlds is my passion

Welcome to my entry for game art. I'm a game artist from Cologne, Germany. I want to contribute to digital worlds, game environments that are captivating in every aspect. I love to create the small details as well as large scenes. With an eye for detail I try to tell small stories within bigger pictures. To achieve my goals I like to use different techniques and software from traditional art, 2D and 3D, VFX and animations. If necessary I educate myself to achieve good results and spend as much time as I can to master the subject I want to learn.  

They say start with your best work...

...that's why I start with this scene. I created this scene as my bachelor thesis project. It is inspired by the Norwegian fairy tale "East of the Sun and West of the Moon". The whole Project, from Concept to final Rendering, was done by me. I really had fun creating the whole environment from A to Z. The scene is rendered in Unreal Engine 4.19.

The houses were assembled with a modular set I created with Blender 3D. Texturing was done in Substance Designer and Painter. Some textures were also created in Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. The project was then lit and rendered in Unreal Engine 4.19. Foliage was created in SpeedTree.

Most assets were created by using a high poly - low poly baking process. I sculpted many details to bake them down onto low poly assets to safe resources in-engine. Some special assets, like textures for gravel, I created using blenders physics features. This way I achieved more realistic feeling gravel. 


Credit Music in the Norway Cinematic: Long Road Ahead B Kevin MacLeod (
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License

To see more images of the scene use the slider below. 

Proof of Concept 

Before I assembled the final scene in Unreal I wanted to test things like light settings, physics or material settings. So I used the final assets to create a smaller diorama. The trees and the water shader used in the diorama are not mine and were replaced in the final scene. 

The light is supposed to be a midsummer inspired lighting situation. As the scene is based in Norway and according to the fairy tale next to a castle east of the sun and west of the moon I decided to have a sun and a moon in the scene. This influenced my lighting decisions a lot as one side was lit very much and one was having more of a nighttime situation going on. 

Behind the scenes

Following I want to show some of the assets created for the project. I created three different kinds of doors which I textured in different ways to ensure enough variety. 

As mentioned above I used a high poly - low poly baking process to ensure good performance in Unreal. To demonstrate my process I show you the barrel I created. 

To be able to create different looking but performance saving houses and to ensure keeping one style in the scene I created a modular set of house parts in Blender 3D. 

Texturing in Substance Designer 

I really fell in love with Substance Designer as I began creating more complicated textures. I immediately started training myself in creating procedural textures. Here I want to show a selection of different materials I created in Substance Designer and used in Unreal Engine and Unity 3D. 

To create painterly patterns I drew vector graphics in Adobe Illustrator and used them in Substance Designer.

Rescue Tactics (Serious Game Prototype)

This is a part of my work for the game "Rescue Tactics" (Serious Game Prototype). We developed it during a Semester for University. It is a turn-based serious game to teach teenager about natural disasters. They are supposed to play different maps located in different areas of the world. For the prototype we created a city during a flood located in Germany.

The style is supposed to be simple and seen from an above angle. It should look and feel like a board game, that's why the main characters are designed as figurines. As the player is supposed to play as a first responder, the main characters are wearing different uniforms of first responder – German THW, Russian and American firefighter.


Alicja Ossowski:
Caterina Böhm:
Anna Rosenkranz:
Andreas Gefken:
Felix Schoeller:
Dmitry Borovikov

Final Level in Unreal Engine. I created the upper half of the level and the map overlay.
Credit for the other half of the level goes to Alicja Ossowski (

These are the houses I created for the game. As a restriction we only used plain colored materials and no textures. This was to ensure staying within the frames of our timelimit, to keep one style, to save performance to create more VFX instead and to keep the scene readable from far distance with a lot of actions going on. 

Use the slider to switch between front and back view of the characters.

Use the slider to see my progress of the overlay in the scene. The rising flood was displayed using overlays in the level. It needed some iterations to ensure readability during gameplay. 

Thank you for scrolling until here!

If you scrolled until the end of this page, that's awesome! I would love to get feedback for my work. If you liked my work and want to know more about it I would also love if you shoot me a message. 

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