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The Bi-Monthly Environment Art Challenge | May - June (84)

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Pinkfox polycounter
Welcome everyone to the 84th edition of the 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.



Viking Palace by Anna Kulakovskaia


Forgotten Creation by Waiji Choo



The Surge 2 | Mobile Military Gear by Jonas Hassibi


Fantasy Props by María Gómez


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 something like Artgram or 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 everyone!


  • Fabi_G
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    Fabi_G quad damage
    @AD_3D Thanks! The Viking hall certainly looks interesting too! Maybe a bit too large of a scope for me. But it would be a fun exercise to break the concept down. Will you take it on?

    If I had time for another one, it would be the sci-fi prop. Assets like that intimidate me a bit, because they seem complex. But on a second look, there are many repeating elements. When doing it, I would try making a face-weighted mid-poly using tiling materials and mesh decals. Let's see :D
    The books environment seems to consist mainly of simple geo, but man, the amount of books makes me sweat.
  • Orkney203
    @FabiG I have also started the viking concept - if you go to the concept artists artstation page hes done a few variations, including an unlit line drawing which i found much better for making the blockout (not that I dont think your blockout looks correct, theres just a lot more stuff in the shadows you cant see in the version chosen for this challenge)
  • Fabi_G
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    Fabi_G quad damage
    @Orkney203Following the concepts links is for additional info is a good recommendation for sure, I tend to do this, too.
    Cool that you picked up that concept, I'm curios to see a it from a different perspective! I feel a bit like I spammed this thread, so I'd be happy to see content from other peeps :sweat_smile:
  • Fabi_G
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    Fabi_G quad damage
    @KruskebunkenThat turned out nicely, like the animation! How many texture sheets (and at what resolution) did you end up using?

    I broke out the throne asset from the Viking hall scene and fleshed it out a bit more. Tried to keep to keep it simple.

    Screenshot from Sketchfab viewer:

    Model on Sketchfab:


    For the patterns on the throne I attempted modeling and sculpting it first, but I didn't like the long time it took to make changes. The next approach was to create a mask in photoshop and using layer effects to bevel it. The resulting alpha was then used with Zbrush's "create mesh from alpha" function to convert it into geometry. The touched up pattern-meshes would then be stuffed into the larger sculpted throne shapes. Now that I think of it, I also tried painting patterns in Painter and bevel them with filters. This sort of worked for some patterns.

    For the fur, I used the old shells approach with increased cutoff values of the alpha with increasing layers. A second UV channel with an alpha trim was used for the shape of the border. The main fur texture set is tiling, variation was added using vertex color. Following this approach, I think it should be fairly quick to do differently shaped furs and save texture memory. Adding some hair-cards into the mix would probably further improve the result. I think the solution is suited for short hair/fur - for longer ones, one would like to control the groom.

    The weapons were modeled with sub-div modifier. In Painter, some damage layers were added, their masks anchored, and input into generators to modulate base materials based on AO/cavities and edges.

    Happy to read your thoughts on what could be improved or how you would approach this asset!
  • Kruskebunken
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    Kruskebunken polycounter lvl 10
    @Fabi_G Thanks!
    I used color, normal, roughness and metallic. I use two texture sets. One for the box and another for the battery. Both are 1024. The cables have no textures but instead use tweaked Blender materials. The maps for AO, rough and metallic are combined because I tried to render it in Unreal first. Then I went back to Blender because I could finish the scene faster there.

    Instead of re-exporting the textures, I decided to split out the RGB channels and flipped the green(Y) channel in the normal map, because Unreal use DirectX, while Blender use OpenGL. I didn't use AO because when I baked it using the "low-poly" in painter it baked some ugly artifacts. I used the SSAO in Eevee instead and then eventually Cycles for the final output.

  • Fabi_G
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    Fabi_G quad damage
    @Kruskebunken Cool to see more context, thanks for sharing! Assuming the packed masks values are linear, I would set ORM textures sampler to linear too.

    Put the assets into Unreal engine:

    Used Blenders UV-Project modifier to map the texture onto the carved wall while modifying the geometry:

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