Gears of War Judgment Art

polycounter lvl 9
Offline / Send Message
kernersvillan polycounter lvl 9
Hey guys, my name is Josh Marlow and Im an Associate Artist at Epic Games. Ive been a long time lurker and finally getting the nerve to post some work I did for Gears of War Judgment. :) Most of the stuff is from the Gondola MP map. The rubble is from the Epilogue campaign,the drill is from the Rig MP map, and the signs are from the Streets MP map. Thanks for looking!









Ill post some in game shots later on as well!


  • scotthomer
    Fantastic work, truely lovely stuff. There is definitely something in the water over there in Cary eh?

    Sigh, straight into the inspiration folder.
  • kernersvillan
    Offline / Send Message
    kernersvillan polycounter lvl 9
    Haha, thanks Scott. I think its more whiskey than water ;p Im a big fan of your work, so that means a lot!
  • Torch
    Offline / Send Message
    Torch greentooth
    Fuuuuuu.......makes me wanna go back to doing some more environment stuff :D Amazing!
  • PixelSuit
    I have no idea what you were nervous for mate this is some beautiful work! I really like the trim with the small tiles above it, nice pattern and detail.

    As Scott said, straight to the inspiration folder!
  • Jet_Pilot
    Offline / Send Message
    Jet_Pilot polycounter lvl 10
    Nice work! Are these render out in Zbrush or Max. I really like that material, any chance of sharing that out? :-)

    And the key to everyone success is all the micro brews in Raleigh! lol
  • s6
    Offline / Send Message
    s6 polycounter lvl 7
    Awesome work man! Thanks for sharing.
  • WarrenM
    Offline / Send Message
    WarrenM Polycount Sponsor
    Josh is a beast! Glad he's on our side. :)
  • kernersvillan
    Offline / Send Message
    kernersvillan polycounter lvl 9
    Torch: Thanks bud.

    PixelSuit: Thanks a lot! Eh I havent really shown anything outside of the company before so its kind of nerve racking, hehe. Im glad you like them

    Jet_Pilot: Damn right! Big Boss is still my fav, hehe. They are actually Zbrush renders. I used a matcap called fg_grey_Metal. Here's the link:

    WarrenM: Haha, thanks dude. I'm really fortunate to be working along side you guys!! :D
  • Clark Coots
    Offline / Send Message
    Clark Coots polycounter lvl 8
    beautiful work Josh. Thanks for sharing!

    I hunted down your portfolio, and I only saw Gears stuff and your Epic Games Art Test. Wish I could see more of your work, surely it must be good if you were able to get a job at Epic!
  • gutty333
    Amazing work, cant wait to see more:)
  • Auldbenkenobi
    Offline / Send Message
    Auldbenkenobi polycounter lvl 7
    That gondola is so awesome, swett work man!
  • rv_el
    Offline / Send Message
    rv_el polycounter lvl 14
    Awesome man! Dat Gondola came out great. I really like the repeated shelf stuff that runs vertical (below the little signs). Would be cool to see some beauty shots of the entire enviro with this stuff in it lit up etc...
  • MeshModeler
    Offline / Send Message
    MeshModeler polycounter lvl 6
    Just took a gander at your linkedin

    You went from QA to making badass art like this! truly inspirational!

    Awesome work!
  • metalliandy
    Offline / Send Message
    metalliandy greentooth
    Really, really nice work, mate. Way to raise the bar! :D

    You have really nailed these assets and I am loving the details, especially the 3rd image down.

    Post more please! :)
    Offline / Send Message
    RILKE polycounter lvl 8
    Wow that looks awesome nice work! Thanks for sharing.
  • kernersvillan
    Offline / Send Message
    kernersvillan polycounter lvl 9
    coots7: Actually Epic is my first artist job. I started in Game QA in 2007 and worked my way up. I really have Kevin Johnstone to thank for pushing to get me on as an intern (while I was doing Engine/Support QA..... of course working on my art on the side), and then Wyeth Johnson ,our Art Director, for giving me a shot. I really owe them a lot! :)

    gutty333: Thanks!

    Auldbenkenobi: Thank you. I went through a couple of iterations on it. It was a running joke in our room for awhile :)

    rv_el: Thanks dude :) I plan on posting some in editor shots soon.

    MeshModeler: Thanks man! It really shows that hard work does pay off. Im so fortunate to have gotten my chance :D

    metalliandy: Thanks a lot bud! That trim piece was a lot of fun! I should be posting some shots of the level soon.

    RILKE: Thanks!
  • Kevin Johnstone
    Offline / Send Message
    Kevin Johnstone polycounter lvl 15
    Looks awesome Josh, great to see you posting. You should show a couple of the screenshots from the level these went into so that people can appreciate how much hardcore modularity work you put into these pieces.
  • BradMyers82
    Offline / Send Message
    BradMyers82 greentooth
    If you work at Epic as an artist, its safe to say to say people will like your work here. :D

    Really great stuff, mind sharing your process for making that HP rock ground tile like that?
  • kernersvillan
    Offline / Send Message
    kernersvillan polycounter lvl 9
    BarMeyers82: Thanks dude! As for the stones, it was pretty strait forward. I sculpted a couple of different rocks and copied/rotated them around the canvas. I eyeballed the ones that were on the edges. I knew there would be a seam, but the healing brush is your best friend :) As for the mud, it was just a variation of a Blob brush that I found online. I can find it for you if you like it!

    Ok so as I promised, here are some in game screens. This will be showing off some stuff from our Gondola multiplayer map. This map was done by Nick Donaldson and myself. I did the modeling (Not all models are mine, just what Im showing) and Nick did the meshing/lighting/ect. Paul Svoboda did some meshing as well. Most texturing was done by Eric Terry and the FX were done by Tim Elek. The layout was a collaborative effort. When we were given the basic shell by one of our level designers, all we knew was that there was going to be Gondolas going up and down the middle of the map. The rest was up to us.

    So, we wanted to go with a Mediterranean coastal village vibe to it. Being a multiplayer map, and limited memory, we wanted to get the biggest bang for our buck, so we created one master stucco shader that we could use for all the buildings. Here is an example of the shader we used.


    As you can see, the R channel we used for the destroyed parts, showing the stones coming through underneath. We were able to use a height map to really sell the depth. The G channel is simple overall grunge channel. The B channel we used for more grunge streaks. The blue channel, we used the normal map from the stones just to give more surface variation. Using that in conjunction with the R channel really gave a cool result.

    Here are the modular meshes I made for the map. Holy crap thats a lot of meshes! I made even more that we didnt use as well. Since we wanted a unique feel, we tried to come up with as many random shapes for small buildings as possible. Keeping everything on grid and the textures lined up was a great learning experience. I also tried to keep the meshes evenly quad so that we could get uniform painting to hide seams and repetition. I ended up going back at the end and stitching some of the complete buildings together for lightmap purposes.


    Here are some screens of the models that I posted at the start of this thread. All the textures were done by Eric Terry.





    And here are some shots of the map.




  • metalliandy
    Offline / Send Message
    metalliandy greentooth
    Really nice stuff, mate! It's interesting to see all the work you put into this, especially with the thought put into the shader in regards to packing the channels with masks.

    I don't suppose you fancy posting some wires, eh?
  • joeriv
    Offline / Send Message
    joeriv polycounter lvl 7
    Great work ^^
    and thanks for the small writeup/breakdown of the process of the map.
  • Gannon
    Offline / Send Message
    Gannon greentooth
    Love the high poly stuff, thanks for sharing :D
  • leleuxart
    Offline / Send Message
    leleuxart polycounter lvl 7
    Thanks for sharing the modular pieces. I'm blown away at how well all assets fit together; the first shot in the levels is so well done.
  • MeshModeler
    Offline / Send Message
    MeshModeler polycounter lvl 6
    Can we see a screenshot of the master stucco shader nodes :D
  • Khangaroo
    Offline / Send Message
    Khangaroo polycounter lvl 4
    Thank you for posting the break down. Your work are awesome!
  • carlobarley
    Offline / Send Message
    carlobarley polycounter lvl 5
    hey man great story and awesome work! quite inspiring, peace!
  • Stromberg90
    Offline / Send Message
    Stromberg90 polycounter lvl 9
    Great work, fun to see the meshes and how the modularity works :)
  • R00
    Offline / Send Message
    R00 polycounter lvl 8
    Brilliant Work man thanks for the breakdowns! *Transferring to Inspiration Folder* :D
  • maximumsproductions
    Offline / Send Message
    maximumsproductions polycounter lvl 8
    Gears of war art dumps seem to always be my favorite. Thanks for break down too, def going to research those methods in the future. Hope you continue posting!
  • moose
    Offline / Send Message
    moose Polycount Sponsor
    Woo, kick ass stuff Josh :) I love the Gondola set, shit is bonkers how flexible it is. yay!

    also, page 3? fuck dat noise, buuuump :)
  • Ootrick
    Offline / Send Message
    Ootrick polycounter lvl 6
    Holy sh*t there's some good arts here.

    Ditto on the shader nodes would love to see more texturing breakdowns, this stuff is unreal ;)
  • Subtle 1rony
    Offline / Send Message
    Subtle 1rony polycounter lvl 6
    Beautiful lighting, textures, and breakup of the modular pieces. Can someone explain how there are three maps for each channel?

    I assume there is some blending between them with something like mesh paint, and maybe some way to swap the textures in and out of their respective channels, if it is all in one master shader. Don't mean to jack your thread with techy questions, but I second the interest in a shader breakdown:)

    Again, great stuff and inspiring. Thanks for sharing
  • Ignacio_G
    Offline / Send Message
    Ignacio_G polycounter lvl 7
    mmmm that stucco shader. Everything looks awesome!
    The highpolys are great but I also love to see these breakdowns, thanks!

    I would love to see some shader tisp/hints/snippets as well
  • cmtanko
    Offline / Send Message
    cmtanko polycounter lvl 7
    Ohh this much is not enough... LOL Can we see Moooooorrrrrreeeeeee.....
    Awesome awesome awesome
    Specially how those modular piece are placed together to make the entire City. Woohoo.
    Can we have more breakdowns and gameshot Plzzzzzz
  • Subtle 1rony
    Offline / Send Message
    Subtle 1rony polycounter lvl 6
    Now that I look at it again, I'm thinking its three different painted variations of the single texture in each channel. At least that makes more sense to me. But then the question is how is there color in a single channel? To which I propose there is some tinting going on, with something like an constant3vector.
  • kernersvillan
    Offline / Send Message
    kernersvillan polycounter lvl 9
    metalliandy: Thanks! Ill get around to posting some wires soon. Been a little busy the past few days ;)

    joeriv,Gannon,leleuxart: Thanks guys, Im glad you like them!

    MeshModeler: hehe, sorry dude I cant post the actual shader

    Khangaroo,carlobarley,Stromberg90,polycrunch,maximumproductions: thanks a lot guys, that means a lot! :)

    moose: thanks for the bump dude :)

    Ootrick,Ignacio: Sorry dudes, I dont think I can post the actual shader. Check out mesh painting tutorial though. There is some great stuff in there, that you could translate into any type of cool shader :)

    cmtanko: thanks man! Ill post a few more in game shots soon

    Subtle 1rony: Right. there is only 1 per channel, I was just showing progressive painting. Yep there is some tinting being used for the grime as well.
  • ae.
    Offline / Send Message
    ae. polycounter lvl 9
    awesome stuff! the gondola level is by far my fave map its so pretty :D
  • m4dcow
    Offline / Send Message
    m4dcow interpolator
    I really like those roof sections.

    I was wondering how you have those mapped out. Like is the main roof part on it's own tiling texture, and the ends on a larger trim sheet, or do you have a section of the roof tiles that tile horizontally and the ends below... or some other way?

    I'm planning out a pagoda type scene, and trying to figure out how to do the roof tiles which are a similar setup to yours.
  • dtschultz
    Offline / Send Message
    dtschultz polycounter lvl 12
    Awesome work! I like how clean your decorative elements are. Thanks for sharing how your wear map/shader breaks down!
  • Jeff Parrott
    Offline / Send Message
    Jeff Parrott polycounter lvl 15
    DUDE! How did I miss this one? Love the master stucco shader thing and all the high poly work. Moar moar moar!!!!
  • AbKI
    Offline / Send Message
    AbKI polycounter lvl 6
    These are gorgeous! Thank you for sharing. :)
  • reiro
    Offline / Send Message
    reiro polycounter lvl 10
    Do you mind telling a bit about your workflow for the "ornament wall"?
    Is the base done in Max and then an added "detail pass" in Zbrush? Or full on Zbrush? :)

    Oh and superb work btw :)
  • Jet_Pilot
    Offline / Send Message
    Jet_Pilot polycounter lvl 10
    How much of these were done in Zbrush? or did you do primarily all of it in Max and then bring it in to ad the scratches, dents and dings?
  • [HP]
    Offline / Send Message
    [HP] polycounter lvl 12
    Absolutely astonishing work! I've always loved the amount of work that goes into every individual asset on this franchise, and I'm glad you guys carried that same torch. Loved it, thanks for sharing.
  • kernersvillan
    Offline / Send Message
    kernersvillan polycounter lvl 9
    ae. - thanks dude, that means a lot! :)

    m4dcow - thanks! here is how I layed them out. I tried to do just as flat as possible, so we could get easy reuse out of it if needed. The lower section in the unwrap is the small gutter piece. In hindsight, I could have done a lot more with them, but production is what it is :)


    dtscultz - thanks man. Im glad you found it useful!

    Jeff Parrott - Thanks a lot man :)

    AbKl - thank you, my pleasure!

    reiro and Jet Pilot - Sure thing. Yeah I do all my bases in Max beforehand. Its a better workflow for me personally. As for the specific trim piece, yeah I made it in max. Here is the base mesh as well as the low poly. The low poly strait piece came out to 36 tris :)

  • Ged
    Offline / Send Message
    Ged interpolator
    this is great! thanks for sharing the workflow used too :)
  • Alphavader
    Offline / Send Message
    Alphavader polycounter lvl 7
    Great work - thanks alot for sharing! Love this franchise - and your effort in it!
    Thanks again !!
  • AlanSMitchell
    Offline / Send Message
    AlanSMitchell polycounter lvl 10
    Amazing work! My friend and I are debating weather the geo is modified at all for the specific objects and where it has damage, I say that isn't the case. I think it's using vertex blending and tessellation. My friend thinks it might be vertex blending and parallax mapping. Could you please enlighten us?
  • peanut™
    Offline / Send Message
    peanut™ polycounter lvl 13
    Yeah i wanted to comment on this thread earlier, but lost it for some reason. This is some spectacular work specially the day light village renders on page 1. Nice work who ever achieved this.
  • kernersvillan
    Offline / Send Message
    kernersvillan polycounter lvl 9
    [HP] - Thanks a lot dude, Im a big fan of your work!

    Ged Alphavader - Thanks! Im glad you guys liked it

    dudealan2001 - Your friend is correct. We use bump offset on the underneath stones with the help of a height map to create the parallaxing effect :) There is an example of the vertex shader on page 1

    peanut - Thanks! Credit goes to Nick Donaldson who did the composing/lighting/post.
Sign In or Register to comment.