Robert Drysdale - Environment and Lighting Artist
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Robert Drysdale - Environment and Lighting Artist

Robert Drysdale
by robertdrysdale on 20 May 2020 for Rookie Awards 2020

This is a collection of my best environment and lighting work from my second year at the University of Hertfordshire. 'Equinox: End of Days' is the project that I have been working on since December 2019. Music by Seth Bauly.

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- Ruined Church -

The 'Ruined Church' environment is the first piece of the puzzle in our game. Town folk have been hearing the church organ play but it had been deemed unsafe to enter due to its disrepair. Our protagonist, Edward Travellion, a young farm boy, decides to explore it himself following three recent missing person reports. Edward finds himself discovering a much darker secret hidden within.

Here's my environment art and lighting work on my latest project, 'Equinox: End of Days'

I wanted a 'calm before the storm' atmosphere for this environment as throughout the game the narrative gets a lot darker. I used dust particles, light shafts and the stained glass windows to create a more serene and still tone. With the ivy, I wanted to make it look like the church had fallen into decay and had begun to be reclaimed by nature. I created the organ asset, made it look old and worn and directed the eye to it by using the light shafts as it plays an important part in the narrative.

Asset contributions: 

Robert Cooper - Pews, kneeling cushions, hymn board, table, font, crucifixes, graves, church tower, plaster material and roof material.

Curtis Vincent - Podium, graves and rafter A-frame.

All the other assets were made, arranged and lit by me.

- The Caves -

After finding the secret entrance to the old tin mines behind the church organ, Edward makes some disturbing discoveries about what is really happening to the people of the Isles of Scilly. A Cult like group are committing atrocious acts to further their attempts to 'cure society of its sickness'.

I created dynamic lightning flashes to strike at key points of the sequence to add emphasis. I designed, arranged and lit the whole scene. Thanks to Curtis Vincent for making the sacrifice table, crate, the cultists and the brazier, to Josh Wakefield for the wall torch and the cultists face masks and Rob Cooper for the wooden beams.

- The Beach -

The Beach scene is the climactic end to our game trailer. Edward has now discovered the gruesome truth about the missing villagers and is now on the run from the people who committed the atrocities. In his attempt to escape through the caves he is thwarted by a sea monster, summoned by the cultists.

Using characters made my Lois Starkey and the monster animation by Ryan Downton, it was my job to make this scene as poignant and memorable as possible. It was fun to light this scene as I had to come up with a way to make the monster show up in the darkness. By adding in a lighthouse I was able to show glimpses of its horrific features accompanied by the rim light from the moon. I designed, arranged and lit the whole scene. I also created the sound for the monster.


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