My 2019 Goal to become a AAA Environment Artist.

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YiKai polycounter lvl 4
It may sound naive and I know my works lack experience right now. But I just want to post here and commit that I want to become a AAA environment artist and will continue to post some of my practices/progress here everyday. I hope I can grow in 2019 and Any feedback or Critique will be super helpful.
Here are some simple thumbnail sketches I did in 9 hours. I think I took way too long to create this. But I had learn something about the form of City buildings, value and hopefully composition too. Cheers

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  • NineLimits
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    NineLimits triangle
    I don't think your naive. Work hard enough and you may just make it, if not by the end of this year, then you'll still have made a huge step toward that goal and be closer to it. It's good to have really high goals, as long as you don't let them get you down if you find you can't make it. Not saying you can't make it though, because I've seen artists grow massive amounts in less then a year, and your art is already good. I'm cheering for you!

    Really love these thumbnails, sadly no input other then that they look awesome to me, because I'm only at the starting stages of learning perspective and how to draw urban landscapes, but I do look forward to seeing your work!
  • YiKai
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    YiKai polycounter lvl 4
    @EverShroud Thanks for the kind words~! And I'll continue to climb this AAA mountain. :) I had been thinking about this goal for ages but never took the time to push myself super hard to do it. This year is the year and I'm so grateful for your support. 
    I hope your art career will be improve drastically! Just saw your work in ArtStation. I recommend check out Andrew Loomis's book and practices more figure drawing, understand the head form, proportion and etc. Hope it will help!  
  • YiKai
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    YiKai polycounter lvl 4
    Yesterday I learn about a Software called Octane Render, watched a tutorial by Julien Gauthuer, played with lots of nodes and made this City environment. C&C are welcome! 

    (I think the overall looks not bad, it just kinda boring in the creative side. The focal is just P sign without knowing what interesting about it. Next time I will need to try create a more distant focal element which hopefully make the whole piece more fun to look at.)
  • NineLimits
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    NineLimits triangle
    YiKai said:
    @EverShroud Thanks for the kind words~! And I'll continue to climb this AAA mountain. :) I had been thinking about this goal for ages but never took the time to push myself super hard to do it. This year is the year and I'm so grateful for your support. 
    I hope your art career will be improve drastically! Just saw your work in ArtStation. I recommend check out Andrew Loomis's book and practices more figure drawing, understand the head form, proportion and etc. Hope it will help!  
    Totally get that, I've been doing much the same thing. I thought I had taken my art seriously, but as of this year I see I've just been slacking. It will be nice to follow along with other artists here that want to work to improve, defiantly will keep me motivated, so thanks for posting as you move toward your goal!

    Thank you, and thanks for reminding me of those books, already have them, so I'll take time to go over them today to start. Gives me some direction, something I badly needed, so much to learn!

    Awesome environment, I love the layout of the city. The only thing I would have said is what you yourself stated already, it needs more of a strong focal point. Great work!
  • YiKai
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    YiKai polycounter lvl 4
    Another Octane + Photoshop Art learn from Julien Gauthuer. Any feedback will help, I'm here to level up :) 

    There are some process. The one on the left is render in Octane. One on the right is a paint over in Photoshop, making it feels more like a painting.

    I think this one work out better than the last Octane Painting. There more a story/focal point in it. The final look less like a 3D generated image but more like a painting. However I think the forest and the mountain lack connection, I should either add more little trees slowly transit to the rocky mountain, or add snow to the tree too. Right now it feels a bit separate. Also the sense of scale is not epic enough. I may need to add more repetition elements to enhance the sense of scale (The DSN station)
  • NineLimits
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    NineLimits triangle
    I feel like there isn't enough definition between the foreground and mid ground, and then again with the mid ground to background, the mid ground sort of blends with both and makes the image feel flatter then it could. This might just be personal preference so feel free to disregard, but I think a stronger light on the focal point in the background or deeper shadows in the foreground might help pull either the background or foreground away from the mid ground.

    I agree the focus is better in this one and I really like the atmosphere that you added in the paintover. The way you changed the colours looks really nice along with the photographer, they are a nice touch!

  • YiKai
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    YiKai polycounter lvl 4
    Thanks for the feedback again. @EverShroud Agree with all above! Next time when I set up my 3D scene will spend extra time on the depth on the scene. :D 
  • doruku
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    doruku polycounter lvl 8
    YiKai said:
    Another Octane + Photoshop Art learn from Julien Gauthuer. Any feedback will help, I'm here to level up :) 

    When I saw this, I thought it was a "Life is Strange 2 - Episode 1" art dump post. Keep up the good work, man  :)
  • YiKai
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    YiKai polycounter lvl 4
     :D  :D @doruku Now you mention it, it does remind a of Life is Strange. Can't wait for episode 2 !! Also now i can imagine DSN station into the lighthouse in LIS 1.  
  • YiKai
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    YiKai polycounter lvl 4
    After inspired by George Brad’s 1 hr quick thumbnails. I decide to back to pencil ✏️ today. Continue to practice quick thumbnail ideas. But tbh I’m not so quick after all 😂😂 This sketches took 3 hours+ 🤫 Need to learn how to keep thing simple and have a clear idea quick. Again C&C are super welcome to help me level up✨✨✨🙏
  • Bostvic
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    Bostvic polycounter lvl 2
    YiKai said:


    I agree with the Life is Strange comment, as well. Which is a good thing. Loving the color pallette on those mountains and the foliage. Keep it up. All your work so far seems to tell an interesting story too, which I like a lot. Feels very immersive.

    If i were to offer one area of improvement it would be to increase the readability of the figure in the foreground. His pose is perhaps a little hard to read (is he looking through binoculars or taking a drink of water?) And if you want to draw attention to him, perhaps cast a little more light on him? But really this is a great piece and I am nit picking.
  • YiKai
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    YiKai polycounter lvl 4
    @Bostvic Thx for the reply! :smile:  Yes I agree my figure need a lot of improvement and make it more readable too. Maybe next time I should find some more reference of the figure (like the pose and fashion, etc) to guide me more, since I want to spend most of my time mastering environment first. Thank you for taking your time and give me suggestion, It means a lot to me.  
  • YiKai
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    YiKai polycounter lvl 4
    Ok I did a few more thumbnail Sketches on the last 2 days. (The 2 on the left is done yesterday, and 1 on the right is done on last Sunday) My speed is getting a little fast, but also understanding more about camera angle, sense of scale, perspective a bit more. However, I think my value is a bit messy, linework too, and speed also need lots of improvement if I aim for AAA level. (All this sketches took me 6 + hours to complete, which is not acceptable) Hopefully I will learn in the progress. :dizzy:


  • YiKai
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    YiKai polycounter lvl 4
    Yesterday I did some more Hong Kong Building sketches to roughly understand their form structure. But also I learn another new software Substance Designer & Substance Painter and made 2 materials and 1 simple scene. (I learn this 3D software to help my 2D Concept Art in the future)  Any feedback or suggestion are welcome here. I'm always open and listen. Cheers.


  • YiKai
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    YiKai polycounter lvl 4
    Yesterday Daily thumbnail Sketches + 3D blockout practice. I’m trying to keep only three value in each thumbnail (Dark, Mid, Light) Great way to practice composition, value and generate ideas💡 .
  • YiKai
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    YiKai polycounter lvl 4
    Yesterday I had try more 3D blockout, the more I try the more I enjoy it. Also I'm starting to build up a library of my own assets (Like, street light, building, wall structure, etc). The image below is all done in Maya and render in Arnold. One thing I'm still learning is how to control lighting in 3D environment. Once again, any feedback or suggestion will be appreciate.  

  • YiKai
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    YiKai polycounter lvl 4
    More practice on 3D blockout and Kitbash. I’m still lacking high quality models to use. I may start to build more later. .(Some people 3D model, wasn't done by me)
  • YiKai
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    YiKai polycounter lvl 4
    Lately, I had been learning lots of modeling tools, like Zbrush, Substance, Maya, there not much progress to show here. However, I had keep doing some thumbnail sketches to keep my visual library update. There are some mechanic, sci-fi panel sketches.

  • YiKai
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    YiKai polycounter lvl 4
    Since I'm moving more into 3D now, just want to update here that I'll continue to post my progress in here
    Thanks for those who supported me and follow my progress. :)


  • eramz91
    First time providing feedback,  so forgive me if I am too vague,  but in your first pictures,  I do think there needs to be a greater contrast in terms of color and value,  maybe work on the highlights . otherwise, I am glad you are improving steadily. 
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