Fantasy Worlds: Near and Far
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Fantasy Worlds: Near and Far

Alisha Makwana
by alishamakwana on 1 Jun 2020 for Rookie Awards 2020

A series of environments that I crafted during my time at Gnomon. With the intention of making viewers feel as if they were stumbling across a piece of history, I hope that these environments will transport you to new worlds!

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A series of environments that I crafted during my time at Gnomon. With the intention of making viewers feel as if they were stumbling across a piece of history, I hope that these environments will transport you to new worlds!

Viking ritual house

Based on Josu Solano’s concept and drawing from medieval Scandinavian architecture, this was my interpretation of a simple viking ritual house, often used to display the weapons of defeated enemies. A common part of viking ceremonies was offering a sacrifice to the gods by burning or slaughtering an animal. While most of the rituals were performed outside, I wanted to bring that aspect of viking culture to the forefront by having an animal skull be the focal point of this piece.

My goal for this piece was to remain faithful to the spirit of the original concept, while expanding on its culture and history.

From blockout to final

Futuristic Ship

Drawing inspiration from the concept art of Jupiter Ascending, modern factories and cathedrals, I designed this sci-fi piece myself. Taking place in the far future, where science and art are one and the same, mankind traverses space on large, opulent carrier ships containing samples of plant and animal life from alien planets. This project was definitely the most challenging because of how abstract designing futuristic environments from the ground up are.

I played around with the scale and placement of many of the props in the scene and I made the floor out of glass so that viewers could get a glimpse of how the environment might be powered. Despite the busyness of the environment, I wanted to guide the viewer’s eye with lighting and reflections.

From blockout to final

Swamp of the Departed

This cinematic environment is based on the swamps of Atchafalaya River Basin, as well as drawing some loose inspiration from Avatar and The Lord of the Rings. This project was a culmination of all my skills, ranging from environment work, matte painting, lighting, foliage, procedural materials in substance designer to full characters. I set out to create a fully immersive experience so I tried to ensure that every element to the scene felt natural, like they belonged in the same world.

The Swamp King character (based on Glauco Longhi’s concept) went through several changes, transitioning from a film workflow to games. To push the lighting and atmospherics a little further, I experimented with light functions to mimic crepuscular rays as well as various fog cards.

Foggy swamps in fairy tales are often portals to another land. I hope these fantasy worlds helped guide you there! 


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