Hello, I'm a third year student studying game development, specializing in Environment art. I have recently started a new personal project for my portfolio with specific goals behind it.
Realistic PBR rendered scene
Environmental storytelling in aid of coherent narrative
Focus on atmosphere, ambience and interior lighting
The most important thing with mood and tone in a night-time scene is the colour palette, and lighting. Colour vibrance, saturation and contrast range are so thought about in films, art, and games, so before I even started my project I wanted to plan this out to get the mood of the piece nailed.
I looked at Edward Hopper's colour palette, as he is a master of story-telling, and evocative, lonely environments.
I then played with the colour balance of a photo of the garage to get the colour contrast and vibe I wanted, and sampled a colour palette for it.
This is an initial BSP blockout of the environment, focused on the exterior. This was mainly to look at composition, and a very rudimentary lighting pass. I went back to the garage and took some more reference photos, this time focusing on scale, size and measurements instead of overall mood. I brought my girlfriend along and used her as a measuring stick to get accurate measurements relative to her height.
I then went to gather reference for the inside of the garage, as I wanted to use environmental storytelling in there to suggest that this garage is actually a front for criminal activity. Things like suspiciously nice cars covered up, a shady room in the back where questionable things happen etc.
I really liked the composition of the interior space, and started blocking it out more in detail with props and a basic colour pass. It was around this time that I got crit from Jonjo Hemmens who said I basically had to choose between the exterior and the interior, as I am aiming to submit this project for the Rookies. He's had experience with overscoped projects before, so I took his advice very seriously. After some thought, I decided to focus on the interior. I think the interior space is more interesting, and gives more opportunities for me to focus on the aims of this project: storytelling, atmosphere, and high detail PBR assets.
So this is where the project is now! I will post a follow up detailing the process and reasoning for the plastic "spray booth" room at the back soon. Any crit is appreciated. Specifically at this stage: composition, lighting, and moving forward with modelling and telling the story of a garage which is a criminal front.