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The Bi-Monthly Environment Art Challenge | May - June (78)

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Pinkfox interpolator

Hey everyone and welcome to the 78th Bi-Monthly Environment Art Challenge for the months of May and June!

This challenge is a way for real-time 3D artists to test their skills and create a piece of work based on concepts provided. It's open to those of all skill levels and we do our best to provide meaningful feedback along the way so everyone can come away from the challenge with actionable points on which they can improve their craft!

Anyone is welcome in this challenge no matter your skill level! It's a test of your own ability not a competition between members. We're all here to improve as artists and learn from each other.



Flooded library by Tarmo Juhola



The Lost Grove by Neil Richards




Chicken Coop by Philipp Rademacher



"Swale eaters": Fish chasers pathway by Mariia Tverdohleb



Please read all the rules before starting:

  • Try to post at least one critique for every post that you make. This will make for a better learning environment and help us all grow as artists.
  • Try your best to finish as much as you can in the time frame provided, but remember even if you don't finish by the end of the challenge we encourage you to keep pushing and finish your piece!
  • Post what you are working on in this thread so that way it's a more centralized place for advice and critique. Please avoid creating a new thread as we don't want to spam out the forums.
  • It is recommended to use a game engine to present your work. Unreal Engine, Unity, and CryEngine are very common engines that can be used but feel free to use any alternatives that you want. (Marmoset Toolbag for example.)
  • Feel free to change up your chosen concept a bit if you want! Interpret these concepts to your liking, especially if your aim is to add storytelling elements.
  • If you finish your project and decide to post it to Artstation, make sure you give credit to the concept artist in the form of a link to their profile. Additionally, it is recommended to ask a concept artist for their permission to post a 3D piece based on their work before doing so.


  • When you are just starting out making a scene, it can seem complicated or imposing. Take your time planning and blocking out, it will set you up for success later on.
  • Think about how you can re-use assets, re-use textures, break it down as simple as possible and plan it out. A lot of people will break it down in their own way when they start out their challenge. Gather some reference images as well for different parts of the scene, don't be afraid to make it your own.
  • We strongly encourage you to go and look at other games and see how they make their assets as well as get concept art to give it your own feel.

The goal is to learn and grow both artistically and in your ability to both give and receive critique, but don't stress about it and remember to have fun!

Good luck!


  • Pinkfox
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    Pinkfox interpolator

    @Its0urFate Really nice progress so far! Also appreciate how you showed the various steps throughout the blockout, it's great reference for others to get an idea of how to build things up from a simple form to something more complex. 🙂

  • Its0urFate
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    Its0urFate triangle

    @Fabi_G I think I’m going to go for dynamic, but I’ll try both to see what looks good. Yours is looking awesome!

  • Fabi_G
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    Fabi_G greentooth

    Hello! First blockout looks good. I'd note that the person in the concept looks like a child to me (for scale reference).

    Sound like reasonable options! I'd say which one depends much on the rules you set yourself.

    If it's a generic asset, option 1 seems a good way to go about it. This way one could build more assets from the same modules. One could also store masks in vertex colors if enough geo.

    I'd say 3 seems like a good optimization measure. Can make sense to group modules by material. One could also start texturing with atlas/trimsheets and add additional meshes later for details.

    Keep it up!

  • Its0urFate
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    Its0urFate triangle

    @Fabi_G Everything looks great! The grunge on the architecture really sticks out nicely and the dingy is really well done! Hope to see this project updated down the road!

    @chummyship I wonder have you considered trim sheets? You might be able to use just one material for the prop. Looking good so far!

    I managed to fix a few things scale-wise and threw it into UE5. I'm working on texturing right now (the wood on everything is temporary) through Substance Painter/Designer. I wanted to get texturing done earlier in the week but I kept tweaking scale and proportion to where I liked it. Trying to figure out water in UE5 as well, which is stumping me a bit.

  • Fabi_G
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    Fabi_G greentooth

    @Its0urFate thanks! Certainly will improve it and potentially break off smaller tasks (book system?).

    Like the proportions!

    I'm curious how you will approach the water. It's something I didn't find a satisfying solution for yet. Using a water surface from the water plugin, I couldn't get the reflections work nicely with indoors and outdoors, like occlude the reflections with skylight. I hope the documentation and sample availably for this system will improve.

  • Its0urFate
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    Its0urFate triangle

    Hi everyone! So here's my final result. I got some of the dead trees from Quixel, along with the hanging vines and debris floating on the water. I'm really happy with how everything turned out and it was a lot of fun to work on. I hope you all like it too! I posted it on Artstation in case you want to view it there as well: https://www.artstation.com/artwork/G8VPvz

  • marko_galesic
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    marko_galesic polycounter lvl 3

    My initial blockout in Max. Next step's gonna be the lighting blockout in Unreal.

    @simonBreumier That's overall fitting the reference well. Looks like that tarp may be 3D - may be easier to manage, if it was based off a plane.

  • PeculiarSana

    Only worked on this for about 3 more hours before a headache hit me, but I think I'm mostly done with my blockout (which in my case tends to involve basic solid colours so I can get a feel for how everything works together). Interested in hearing any feedback before I go further with this.

    Only thing I might change before moving on is switching the central bright blue light to some torch lights from a cave that descends below the tree, as I really like having the specular reflections right under the entrance.

    @simonBreumier Really appreciate the pointer you gave regarding the roots! It lead me to notice that the terrain climbs higher than what I had in my version. Really like how your prop is looking, though I can't tell if the two-way sign on the side is a bit too thick in your model, or if that's just the normals messing with my perception.

    Edit: Would anyone have any suggestions on how I could achieve surface water caustics in UE5? Not too sure how I could go about doing it other than maybe some lights with alpha masks to simulate caustics.

  • Fabi_G
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    Fabi_G greentooth

    @Its0urFate The scene turned out nicely, congrats on finishing it 🍻

    Very nice blockouts, I look forward to updates 👍️

    @PeculiarSana Could also fake caustics by projecting them in the material or have some decal skirts.

    I went back to the scene and swapped the ue5 water system with regular plane with simple shader, as I wasn't satisfied (especially reflections). Also created some simple additional assets and simulated falling books and newspaper/cloth (much fun!). Placed some decals and adjusted light (maybe too bright 🤪)

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