Splash Damage Art team - Gears of War : Ultimate Edition - Art Dump


I want to share some of the work our art team did on Gears of War : Ultimate Edition. We were very happy to work on this fantastic IP, All assets, textures, effects, lighting and VFX were rebuilt with the intention to amplify the visuals.

Tons of work into the single player and multiplayer campaign maps : new compositions, dressing, texturing, lighting and vfx. Also characters were completly remake.

We have collaborated with the talented folks at The Coalition, Mindwalk and LemonSky to enhance the original Gears of war done by Epic.
Hope you guys enjoy it!

*UPDATED : Added after/before comparison

House of Sovereigns After :
House of Sovereigns Before :

Ephyra Streets After :
Ephyra Streets Before :

Ephyra Streets After :
Ephyra Streets Before :

EBA After :
EBA Before :

Factory Exterior After :
Factory Exterior Before :

Caves After :
Caves Before :

Factory Interior After :
Factory Interior Before :

Viaducts After :
Viaducts Before :

More to come...


  • bcottage
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    bcottage polycounter lvl 9
    Hey guys,

    Just wanted to say it was a pleasure working with my mates at Splash Damage and our Coalition friends. Really pleased with what we achieved.
    I was mainly responsible for building a number of single player maps and one multiplayer map. More specifically i worked on Tombs, Viaducts, Caves, Adams House and the Multiplayer map Mansion. I also built a number of areas that were only shown for cinematics.

    If you want to see more of my work on gears, check out my new website that contains some before and afters:















  • YakZSmelk
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    YakZSmelk polycounter lvl 7
    I was scratching my head at first trying to figure out what had changed (It's been a long time since I played the first GOW), but after going to your website. Whoa!

    The before and after shots are awesome!

    Very nice work!
  • Prophet
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    Prophet polycounter lvl 10
    I was looking over the before and after as well. For whoever wants to see it, it's here:

  • m4dcow
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    m4dcow interpolator
    YakZSmelk wrote: »
    I was scratching my head at first trying to figure out what had changed (It's been a long time since I played the first GOW), but after going to your website. Whoa!

    The before and after shots are awesome!

    Very nice work!

    Wow yeah, I thought some of the old scenes were black and white in the comparisons.
  • MoP
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    MoP polycounter lvl 14
    I have no artwork to post, but I just wanted to say I'm really impressed with the end result of both single-player and multiplayer that the team here and at The Coalition put together.

    I think it might be the furthest I've ever seen UE3 pushed, and not only did the guys and girls on the dev team make it look amazing, we also managed to get it running in 1080p at 60fps for the multiplayer, which feels super smooth to me.

    I wish I had some stuff to post here, because it's been ages since I put any art up, but really the SD Tech Art team and I were just trying to enable the team to do the best they could with the tech we had to work with - and I hope you'll agree that they kicked ass in that regard :)

    Also shout-out to malcolm, long-time polycounter who I finally got to meet in person as a result of this collaboration between SD and The Coalition, surprise bonus of the project! :)

    TL;DR: look at the pretty pictures!
  • Pixel Pilgrim
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    Pixel Pilgrim polycounter lvl 2
    Hello Polycounters!

    It is really nice to finally be able to show some Gears stuff! It was a privilege to work with the team at Splash Damage, and on such a fantastic franchise!
  • Kevin Johnstone
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    Kevin Johnstone polycounter lvl 15
    Man, it is so weird to see this!

    Some great stuff in here, I think the work in general on signage adds a great deal of authenticity and place that was missing previously and has been noticeable across all the shots I've seen. The higher resolution and clarity in the diffuse work makes a solid impact as do the punch in the lighting in places, though sometimes I do miss the murky mood I don't miss the murky texture noise / resolution.

    I think there's been really sterling work done here, like some respectful restoration re-imagining or something... which isn't easy, in fact in some ways it's harder isn't it when we'd prefer to rip some shit out and make it better with a redo.

    I did a lot of optimization work on everyone elses Gears environment pieces across the series so I base my compliments here partly on that because not all assets lend themselves as well to restoration as others and its hard to have to fit all the toys back in the box you found them in.

    So fair play to you, I hope it does well for you and I look forward to seeing you get more opportunities to reinvent as the series goes forward because I know theres a bunch of badass artists at Splash that can rip shit up when more fully unleashed.


    PS, great to see my mostly unused broken concrete pillar (in the last level shot here) finally get more use. I'd done it at the end of the series during some freetime but it was pretty late in the day for it to catch on.
  • Angelo Dal Pra
    Hey Kevin, glad to hear you are happy with the work done! Yeah we tried to use the “cool” models more often, and we were very aware of the art you made, your pieces were definitely very inspiring/ahead of its time and set the bar higher for the entire art team.

    Respectful treatment of the original Gears was one of the goals we were after : We did some detective work and asked ourselves “what was the original intention” of the areas and tried to make it clearer and more impactful. On some cases we referred back to the original Gears concepts and there was some non-used great ideas there that we were able to bring back to life.

    Yes the texture treatment + lighting makes a huge a difference to aid with clarity and reduce murkiness, I guess Epic during gears 2 and 3 improved a lot the texturing and noise and we wanted to take those lessons and apply on the Ultimate Edition.

  • spacemonkey
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    spacemonkey polycounter lvl 11
    It was a privilege to work with such a great team on this and it was exceptional to be able to re-visit and revive a game I had loved so much before.

    Gears was very interesting since a large part of the style came from the smart workflow the original team had applied while working on the game.

    We couldn't simply replace 1-1, we needed to spend a lot of time re-imagining places, adding stacks of new content and aggressively pursuing a visual which would feel true to the fans.

    After a decade of Ue3 (Mass Effect, DirtyBomb, Arkham Origins, Gears Ultimate) I am looking forward to new tech and new challenges for me and this awesome team we have.
  • Grimmstrom
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    Grimmstrom polycounter lvl 7
    Thanks for sharing guys. Some real good artwork to be proud of.
  • willlord
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    willlord polycounter lvl 7
    Such excellent work! WOWZA!!
  • _Kratos_
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    _Kratos_ polycounter lvl 6
    Just wanted to say that it is been an honor to work in this project with the awesome team at Splash & The Coalition. It is nice to be able to go back into the first Gears, appreciate how solid is the work that Epic did at the moment. Proof of that is that the game holds up pretty well even today, shooting mechanics havent change that much since then  And the vision and love put into it... no words!

    I did work on the asset team at Splash, doing modular sets, hero assets, some foliage, decals & a lot of textures. Consistency was a big challenge given the time and tech constrains... 

    Would love to show some modular sets, highpolies & breakdown on some stuff in the future...but will take some time...
    Sharing some texture work here (mainly blends for floors & walls used in different maps)

  • _Kratos_
  • xChris
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    xChris polycounter lvl 5
    Sweeeeet :thumbup:
  • _Kratos_
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    _Kratos_ polycounter lvl 6
    xChris wrote: »

    Wow! How much geo does that brick tile have? Or is that being achieved with displacment maps? Would love to see a wire.

    You guys seriously killed it, seeing side by side comparisons seriously has me floored :) :thumbup:

    Hey xChris... its using displacement for the showcase :) We did blend the texture sets through height lerps, since almost all the textures where highpoly sculpted...
  • Ainsley
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    Ainsley polycounter lvl 7
    Hey guys,

    Working on this game has been an amazing experience, I couldn't ask for a better team than the one at Splash Damage & The Coalition.

    Whilst working on the Ultimate Edition I was responsible for building 2 of the multiplayer maps which were Conservatory and Trainstation and helped with the optimization of multiplayer so we could reach 1080p & 60fps. Here are some of shots from the maps I worked on, I have uploaded some before and after shots to my portfolio as well (the slider might take a little while to load in).








  • jacob07777
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    jacob07777 polycounter lvl 10
    Such beautiful work here guys! I've been playing it since it came out with my friends and we're loving it :) All of the memories and we get to play the game with such awesome art now so I'm really happy with it and excited for you guys. That must have been a lot of fun working on a series like this. Congrats everyone!
  • danitchu
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    danitchu polycounter lvl 5
    Amazing job guys, thanks for sharing!

    Kratos, can't wait to see more of your stuff dude, I'm falling in love with those bricks man, looks fucking awesome!
    Any updates with some char work in the future? :poly124:

    Overall I think is a ton of quality here, Good Job Splash!!!
  • desktoppirate
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    desktoppirate polycounter lvl 8
    Its amazing seeing one of my favorite games from last gen so carefully re-crafted. Thanks for showing off the before and after shots, really eye interesting to see and makes me wish I had an xbox one!
  • xChris
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    xChris polycounter lvl 5
    _Kratos_ wrote: »
    Hey xChris... its using displacement for the showcase :) We did blend the texture sets through height lerps, since almost all the textures where highpoly sculpted...

    Sick! Thanks!
  • leslievdb
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    leslievdb polycounter lvl 11
    you`re making me want to buy an xbone just to play this again
    awesome work! any idea if we`ll get some char dumps too?
  • rogelio
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    rogelio greentooth
    Top work! for sure I am Kevin that the murkiness art direction in some areas was I think an initial right choice more son on night shots, but overall it looks amazing! Wish I had xbox one, Gears was one of my top Fav games a long time ago.
  • Mark McLeod
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    Mark McLeod polycounter lvl 5
    Absolutely stellar stuff Angelo! Congrats to you and the rest of the team

    Will defintely need to pick this up and have a look.
  • Ged
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    Ged interpolator
    I love those materials they look awesome!
  • MrBFox
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    MrBFox polycounter lvl 4
    Great work with the remaster (surprised to hear its on UE3 shows how far the engine can still be pushed), really enjoying my time with it the past two weeks.
  • Shriken
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    Shriken polycounter lvl 7
    amazing work, you guys have nailed remastering one of my all time favourite games. I love the tileables
  • jussibrox
    Hey guys
    Here are some screens from the maps I've been working on with the super awesome and talented guys at Splash Damage and The Coalition.

    We all came together as a team and got to re-envision one of the most influential games of the last decade, taking it in a new and different direction while still being very respectful of the original and what made Gears such a great game in the first place. In short, it's been a blast (BOOM! :D) - I especially enjoyed working on the night time part and the conservatory.

    Thanks to Splash and The Coalition for everyone's awesome contribution to this project, and a very special thanks to the real OGs at Epic who made it possible at all. WOOOO to you!

    I worked on world building, optimisation, was owner on a few levels, and did some asset creation.
    Lighting: Matthew Cooke, Angelo Dal Pra, Emma Howard.
    VFX: Niel Venter, Steven Ty, Thomas Harle, Francisco Ord
  • jussibrox
  • Ruz
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    Ruz interpolator
    jsut got an xbox one for mi birthday and am playing through this. looks really good
  • roboy
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    roboy polycounter lvl 8
    Outstanding work! Can't wait to perv on the art when I get the game :)
  • AllyAlbon
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    AllyAlbon polycounter lvl 6
    Absolutely stunning work. Great job.
  • Kevin Johnstone
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    Kevin Johnstone polycounter lvl 15
    Awesome floors Kratos, looks like you took them down as I post this but they were the first thing I noticed as having a strong and constant quality / resolution boost when I saw the first comparison / ingame video shots.
  • _Kratos_
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    _Kratos_ polycounter lvl 6
    Awesome floors Kratos, looks like you took them down as I post this but they were the first thing I noticed as having a strong and constant quality / resolution boost when I saw the first comparison / ingame video shots.

    Hey sorry Kevin, I did explain it on the post... my fault.
    I think your compliment on that is probably the best I can get, and it means a lot hearing this coming from you!
  • Kevin Johnstone
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    Kevin Johnstone polycounter lvl 15
    It was still awesome.
  • Minos
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    Minos polycounter lvl 12
    Great work everyone, game looks really good :)
  • jsargent
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    jsargent polycounter lvl 5
    Good job guys, nice work :)
  • YemYam
    Awesome work! It has been very surreal playing through it again after so many years. You can tell that it was made with love and respect for the original source material which is really cool. I look forward to seeing what you do with the next one when you can be let loose with your own interpretation of the franchise, I'm sure it will be amazing!
  • erroldynamic
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    erroldynamic polycounter lvl 14
    Wow, that's quite an overhaul. Frickin' beauteous work! It'll be interesting to revisit one of my all time favs while getting blasted by Locusts because I'm in awe of the environments haha.
  • amirabd2130
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    amirabd2130 polycounter lvl 5
    awesome work guys :thumbup:
  • shadacer
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    shadacer polycounter lvl 6
    Hey guys,
    I have a screenshot dump too, it's been awesome working with The Coalition and Splash Damage on this game. It taught me a lot about good set dressing practices and world-building, and in all was great fun :)
    Props to the other Splashers in this thread, who were my colleagues and some of the most talented people I have met, and of course, the VFX, QA and outsource teams for their contribution to the project.

    I'll post just after shots of some of the areas I dressed, to avoid clogging up the thread. I worked alongside the other environment guys in this thread to make this happen:)





    Old Ephyra:




    Factory Interior




    EBA - Riverwalk:






  • Phandy
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    Phandy null
    Hey guys!

    Spacemonkey really wanted to make this a proper art dump, so he's getting us concept guys to make accounts and post too!

    Working on the project was great and all the 3D guys here at Splash Damage did an amazing job of taking our concept visions and really running with them. They took an old UE3 game to levels I could never imagine.

    So here's all the concept work I did on the Ultimate Edition. For the most part, it involved going into the editor of the original game and stripping out as much as possible, removing all foliage, decals, pointless meshes, and removing all the lighting and working from as close to a blank canvas as possible. Ugly old diffuse 2006 unreal engine. Then we get to work repainting it for the latest generation!

















  • JoseGR
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    JoseGR polycounter lvl 4
    Wow! Awesome work guys. I wish that I could play it... Really love how you reinterpreated the original game.
  • malcolm
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    malcolm Polycount Sponsor
    Mop, Angelo, Tim, and everyone at Splash, great job, love those before after shots. The game turned out awesome looking.

    Can't wait for the PC version, looking forward to playing coop with my wife for the first time without having to share a screen.

    Kevin J., I loved going into the old assets and trying to figure out the original intention and then enhancing it while trying to stay true to the original design. We'd load up the original asset as reference in Maya and then rebuild a new one with the same collision footprint. Occasionally we'd be able to find the original high poly and use that for the high to low bake. This was a really fun project to work on.

    What a crazy trip I never thought I'd get to work on a Gears of War game without having to leave my hometown of Vancouver.
  • ericktjoe
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    ericktjoe polycounter lvl 4
    Congratulation to Splash Damage and The Coalition for the release. Glad to see the art dump online.
  • cmc444
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    cmc444 polycounter lvl 7
    Very awesome inspiring work.
  • gloriousczar
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    gloriousczar polycounter lvl 6
    Nice work guys! Those concepts are super cool too
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