`Meet Mat` is Back - The 3D Digital Painting Contest
Callum Steel | Environment Art & Props Collection

Callum Steel | Environment Art & Props Collection

Callum Steel
by callum3324 on 31 May 2019 for Rookie Awards 2019

A 3D Artist specialising in Photo-Realistic Environment Art. Here is a collection of Environments and Props I have made this past year, including some insight to one of the projects I am currently working on inspired by the Concept 'The Nighthawk' created by Bran Sels. Enjoy!

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Hey everyone, thank you for taking the time to spot by on my Submission! I am a Game Art graduate from De Montfort University specialising in 3D Art, with a passion for Environments. Over the past few years, I have been able to gain a wide range of skill sets from using and experimenting software packages such as; 3D Studio Max, Unreal Engine 4, Zbrush, Substance Painter and Substance Designer, to help development, quality and keeping up to date with Industry standards. 

While in higher education, I focused primarily on high-quality realistic environments and props using 3DS Max, Unreal Engine and Substance. I explored technical PBR pipelines and engine specifications to make sure my work was optimised for current gen platforms. As a recent graduate, I am particularly passionate to learn new things and always seek feedback and opinions to get a piece to the best it can possibly be.

In recent months, I created several portfolio pieces which have stuck to a tighter schedule. I focused on new pipelines and workflows to gain a better understanding off scope and time management. I enjoyed experimenting with both organic and hard surface modelling as well as redefining my workflow with low & high poly asset creation. I studied relevant triangle budgets for current gen, texel densities and engine limitations.

During my Final Major Project, I wanted to challenge myself and create a project to the best of my current skillset. I contacted Ben Keeling (Senior Environment Artist from Rocksteady Studios) who mentored me throughout the 20 weeks of the project. With guidance from another artist in the industry I acted effectively on critique and feedback. It helped me to gain further insight into Industry workflows and techniques. 

For the project I shot and collected reference images, which allowed me to achieve a better sense of photo-realism and texturing in my work. Recreating an existing location became challenging compositionally as I wanted to aim for believable but still keep it interesting. I took inspiration from The Division, which helped to push the narrative as well as what assets, props and designs I needed to create. I learnt a lot from my final University project and I will be sure to apply it to any future projects I am part of.

The final result was a realistic recreation of London's Charing Cross Station, set in a Universe similar to that of The Division by Ubisoft. While there are many changes I would make, this still holds up to be my proudest piece I have made.

Since Graduating from University, I have continued to expand my portfolio and my skillset. With a part time job at hand I decided to work on smaller projects to help better time manage myself. With the Student life over, Adult responsibilities too place.

With a smaller project and no limitations on Triangles and Texture Budget, I could focus on detail and composition, as well as homing my skills on Hard surface modelling, and Material definition in Substance Painter and Designer, pushing my photo-realism the furthest it has ever gone.

This Project was also the perfect opportunity to work on my organic modelling and Texture work. As my past project was primarily Hard Surface, I wanted to brush on as many areas as possible.

After a photo-realistic Props project, I have continued to expand my portfolio and focused back onto Environment Art. Inspired by the Concept by Bran Sels, I have gone back to my roots by creating a moody atmosphere with story and narrative scattered throughout the Environment.

As the project continues, I have been documenting my process and development on my Artstation blog as well as joining new communities such as the Dinusty Empire Discord, where I can give and receive feedback from Artists such as myself who are looking to get into the Games Industry. With the likes of Jeremy Estrellado from Ubisoft Massive, reviewing our work and critiquing it so it can be the best it possibly can be.

With the on going love, feedback and support from the Community and Friends alike, I cannot wait to see how this project will turn out. With new methods and pipelines I am adapting everyday, the sky's the limit. And I already look forward to the next project, with what challenges and new studies it will bring. Thanks again for taking the time to look at my work, I hope you have enjoyed it as much as I have! If you have any thoughts, questions or feedback, let me know in the comments below, I would love to hear them! :)

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