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The Bi-Monthly Environment Art Challenge | November - December (87)

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Pinkfox sublime tool
Hey everyone! Welcome to the 87th edition of the Bi-Monthly Environment Art Challenge for the months of November and December!

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.

- ENVIRONMENTS -

HARD SURFACE ENVIRONMENT:

Path of Wisdom by Andreas Rocha


STYLIZED ENVIRONMENT:

Bar do Zé by Henrique Mueller


- PROPS -

HARD SURFACE PROP:

Props & Gadgets of Dragon Sword by . Olabukoo . 余洋


STYLIZED PROP:

pillar chest by Viktor Mikhailovich


- RULES -

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.

- RECOMMENDATIONS -

  • 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!

Replies

  • KennyW
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    KennyW polycounter lvl 8
    Kick things off with a wee quick block-out of the stylized prop
    i plan to play around with some particle effects and simple animations once finished the prop itself.






  • Moosebish
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    Moosebish polycounter lvl 12
    I started on the stylized prop, I don't know if I'll find time to finish it, but I spent a few hours creating my block out. Then another night focusing on high poly/low poly and bakes. Here's what I've got so far:

    Blocked out shapes:


    Blocked out materials:


    Current low poly and UVs:

    Pretty quick and dirty unwrap and pack. Shells could be better organized.

    Here's the low poly with Normal/AO/Cavity Bakes:

    Would definitely be more "game ready" if i simplified the smaller floating details. Would be nice if they were much more broken like in the concept.
  • Ziosnarf
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    Ziosnarf polycounter lvl 9
    I've started creating the blocking in UE5. I'm not sure about the proportions.

  • Pinkfox
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    Pinkfox sublime tool
    @Ziosnarf It might be a little wide compared to the concept, but if you're approaching it from the perspective of a third person game you would want that to account for camera movement. :)
  • Moosebish
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    Moosebish polycounter lvl 12
    Tossed some pretty simple textures on the mesh in Substance Painter. Then set it up in Marmoset Toolbag. I used the ol duplicate and invert the normals to create an outline effect. 



    Would be fun to recreate some of the glowy fx in the middle, along with some passive floaty animations on the artifacts.

    Textures could still use a bit of polish.
  • Fabi_G
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    Fabi_G polycount lvl 666
    Nice progress so far! 

    @Moosebish An aspect that makes the artefact design interesting, in my opinion, is the contrast between simple, large shapes and the small intricate details/engravings in some areas. I feel currently, those details are a bit too subtle in your depiction. Generally, pushing a bit more material definition would be interesting. From what materials are the different parts are made of? But I understand it's also wip, keep it up!

    I like the corridor of wisdom concept and am thinking about modules to build it.
  • bskochii
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    bskochii polycounter lvl 5
    Hi, decided to take first challenge in my life, very interesting to learn while doing
  • KennyW
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    KennyW polycounter lvl 8
    Before i critique just want to mention..
    For years when posting anything art related i would never really give critique's or feedback (mostly due to my own self-doubt) but i feel it's about time i learn to show more of my own art and to not only take criticism but to also learn to try an give better constructive criticism and help others where ever i can. so please take anything i say with a pinch of sugar or salt :)

    @Ziosnarf solid looking blockout there, the horizontal length looks really good & i also agree with Pinkfox the width of the corridors could be slightly pulled in by 1ue unit, the window side walls width could slightly be reduced and stair depth very slightly enlarged but only very slightly.

    its a really nice concept so im looking foward to watching your progress on this.

    @Moosebish the model itself looks good but im not a fan of the outline effect, as it's only effecting certain parts and doesnt feel quite right imo and as its a stylistic prop you could maybe try to slightly add a bit more hand painted touches to the textures, i can see that there is some edge wearing but the larger areas feel abit flat and as fabi_g mentioned "pushing a bit more material definition would be interesting" i totally agree & overall looking good.

    @bskochii hello and welcome

    Hard to give much feedback at this point, i pressume (from this pic) your blockout is from within the 3d app your using? although it's not necessary to be done first but as it is an environment i would highly suggest first blocking things out within a game engine using simple shapes, as it will really help you to visualise and quickly iterate & make changes to proportions.
    also its good practice to use some kind of base mesh (like a character or can even just be a cube) for reference to scale as it helps alot with proportions.
    Here is my own LP_Player_Ref mesh feel free to use it if needed PlayerRef (it's scaled to Unreals player Units)
    Highly recommend take some time and draw over the concept & take notes, it can really help visually breaking things down.
    what stand out to me is mostly scale/porportion points.. i hope this helps you to take note but ovcourse its still very early wip and i look foward to seeing more.


    OK and for my own progress
    aside from blocking the prop out and not having the chance to work more on it during the week but had a few idea's over those days and thought about how could i take the prop a step further.?. (although maybe not necessary but i would like to share anyhow so please bear with me)

    so yesterday created some lowpoly fps arms, rigged them and made 2 basic animations 1 - idle and 2 - push animation

    I usually use UE or Unity but have been teaching myself using godot over the past year (it's so light-weight and fast for prototyping)
    So i also quickly blocked out a very basic env for the prop

    then Created & programmed a basic fps player controller with the arms.
    Iv then optimised and set up another basic rig for the Stylized prop and created 4 animations 1 - idle, 2 - open, 3 - close, 4 - spin & expoerted into Godot
    (the prop has still to be finished but getting it into engine ASAP is always a good thing to see how it looks/feels)

    I then decided to programme having the prop play the open and close animation depending on how close the players is to the model and if a certain button is pressed (use) when player is close to prop it will play the press animation and the prop will begin its spin animation.


    so abit of progress, i plan to toy around with some particle vfx and create some sounds to go with it but will be focusing on finishing & polishing off the Prop itself when i get some time tonight and hopefully have more to show during the week.
  • bskochii
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    bskochii polycounter lvl 5
    Hey, thanks a lot for the critique, I know it's too early to call it a rough WIP, I guess I was just glad that joined the challenge. I am not able to work with any engine at this point, but I'm planning to learn one of them for the starters. 

    Regarding the proportions, I did use the humanoid base mesh (thanks for providing me with yours btw), so the scale is +/- proper. But the artwork itself has some perspective flaws imho, and it's not really possible to frame the work 1 to 1, at least I couldn't manage to do so. And I add a bit of variation myself, while still keeping the original artwork intact. At the same time, as I'm looking at it right now, yeah, there are some badly interpreted parts, you're right :)

    Anyway, pleasure to meet you and hearing your honest opinion, I am greatful, cheers!

  • Moosebish
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    Moosebish polycounter lvl 12
    @KennyW @Fabi_G

    Sorry for the lack of response. I appreciate the feedback. I did leave the textures a little bare, mainly because I haven't decided exactly how I'm going to execute them :D 

    The solid outline is definitely a bit janky. A more elegant solution would look much nicer.

    I'll be searching for time to continue to update this asset
  • muratpasaDi
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    muratpasaDi triangle
     Hey! I am working on stylized environment. I really liked the design of the Brazilian bar. I started with blocking out in Blender. Plan to make it in unity.
  • Ziosnarf
  • Ziosnarf
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    Ziosnarf polycounter lvl 9
    Thank you @Pinkfox and @KennyW for your feedback.
    I've made some changes to my blocking. Unfortunately, I'm unsure if I'll be able to finish this project as I don't have enough time to work on it


  • Yahska
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    Yahska polycounter lvl 2
    I have started blocking out the hard surface prop but I'm having a tough time interpreting the materials.



    Does this interpretation seem correct?
    The darker parts of the pedestal could also be black marble instead of concrete but pedestals usually have a strong concrete base to protect metals and wood from moisture.


  • muratpasaDi
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    muratpasaDi triangle
    Hey! I finished the stylized environment of the bar to some extend. Attached screenshot from Unity. 
    I wish I could have done graffities, they give certain look to it. But I dont really know how decals work in unity and drawing them on textures would take too much time. I really enjoyed working on it and maybe will continue :) 
    Also big thank you to the artist for the concept ;)

  • edentzai
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    edentzai polycounter lvl 3
    Hi everyone! Started a bit late with the "Path of Wisdom" environment, hopefully I can bring it to completion in time.
    Here's my initial modular blockout and a lighting test, done in Blender.




    Not gonna lie, I had a hard time figuring out some of the architectural details. It took me a few tries to finally settle on some sort of "squished" barrel vault roof for the corridor, and a cross vault roof for the section with the doorway.

    I'm still trying to guess what those oval shaped bright surfaces on the right side of the corridor are. For now, I've just created a similar decoration, but I'm not completely sold on that. Maybe it should be a magical glowing stone? Or a mirror? What do you guys think?


    Before the end of the week, I'm planning to export the modules and set up the scene in UE5 to see if everything translates well, or if it needs further adjustments.

  • edentzai
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    edentzai polycounter lvl 3
    Yahska said:
    Does this interpretation seem correct?
    The darker parts of the pedestal could also be black marble instead of concrete but pedestals usually have a strong concrete base to protect metals and wood from moisture.

    I think both interpretations could be plausible. It could also be another type of polished dark stone, like basalt, which is porous enough to have some nice normal/roughness details, but can also become quite glossy. Here's a picture of semi-polished basalt, just to show you what I mean.

  • Yahska
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    Yahska polycounter lvl 2
    Thanks! @edentzai
    I had no idea about this.
  • MapleBacon
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    MapleBacon polycounter lvl 4
    I think it's time I complete some projects - these bi-monthly challenges are awesome for practice and I'd like to start taking part. Soooooo I've decided to create the hard surface prop this time around. I don't have a lot of time so I picked a smaller project that I feel I can accomplish.

    I started with my Blockout and decided that I would create 3 seperate materials for this single prop:

    one for the pot
    one for the details
    one for the pedestal


    I'm not sure if this is the most efficient way to go about creating this but it works.

    At this point I have also applied material to the pot itself, I used designer for the textiles and painter for the materials. I set up my UVs so I could easily create the layers

    This is the pot with the material applied:



    Next I will be working on the pedestal sculpting the details in blender then baking and texturing in substance painter.
  • MapleBacon
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    MapleBacon polycounter lvl 4
    I managed to drown out all the details from my sculpt in the pedestal but I have finished the first pass texturing the prop. I'm not very good at sculpting yet and haven't spent a lot of time on it. I may need to spend some time focusing on sculpting techniques.
    https://skfb.ly/oOEDW
      





  • ilyabogomolov
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    ilyabogomolov polycounter lvl 2
    I managed to drown out all the details from my sculpt in the pedestal but I have finished the first pass texturing the prop. I'm not very good at sculpting yet and haven't spent a lot of time on it. I may need to spend some time focusing on sculpting techniques.
    https://skfb.ly/oOEDW
      


    As the topic of this thread says - we are here to get better, both by sharing our works and giving critics, so don't be mad at me pls, this is my 5 cents!

    I also liked how you have put this sigil at the front of the vase, because i am currently working at this prop either, but had hard time figuring out how it shall stay related to the vase, thanks to you i might steal that idea  ;)

  • MapleBacon
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    MapleBacon polycounter lvl 4


    As the topic of this thread says - we are here to get better, both by sharing our works and giving critics, so don't be mad at me pls, this is my 5 cents!

    I also liked how you have put this sigil at the front of the vase, because i am currently working at this prop either, but had hard time figuring out how it shall stay related to the vase, thanks to you i might steal that idea  ;)


    Thank you so much, I appreciate the critique. This helped me out a lot, I have gone over all the textures with your notes in mind and made a number of improvements. I think it looks much better but still not 100% I will have to revisit the uvs and redo some work on the model before it's done.
      


  • Isabel
    Hi, someone adviced me to try these challenges, and I love the idea, I might be a little light but here goes.
    I don't have the capacity to do the textures, so i just focused on the modelling and uv-unwrapping.
    For the uv's it's done with three materials, one for the whole vase, the other for the stand, and sides.

    It was tricky for me to get nice shading results for the high poly sometimes especially with the side part, my techniques consisted mostly of extruding and little use of Boolean, now that I think about it, I'm sure Boolean would be way easier to cut out holes instead of extruding all the time.
    My final result is more low poly, although I did some optimization for the vase, which I wanted to subdivide, (but i just dropped that idea for now)

    Blockout:


    Low poly:




    UV:

  • Isabel
    I managed to drown out all the details from my sculpt in the pedestal but I have finished the first pass texturing the prop. I'm not very good at sculpting yet and haven't spent a lot of time on it. I may need to spend some time focusing on sculpting techniques.
    https://skfb.ly/oOEDW
      







    Your model looks good, the only things I wanna comment on, is that  I modelled some of the shapes differently, based on my interpretation of the reference, I might be wrong though! Would be interesting to see what you think.

  • Isabel
  • Fabi_G
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    Fabi_G polycount lvl 666
    @Isabel Hi! I think overall the model looks faithful to concept.

    The body of the vase could use some more segments (especially horizontally) so the silhouette doesn`t look too facetted (red marks).



    A convenient way to iterate on cylindric/tube-like shapes in Blender would be using the screw modifier with the profile. If optimisation were necessary at some point, you could collapse edges as the shape gets thinner. However having quad-strips will make it easier to straighten and map the UV strips when texturing using trims.


    Some edges could be set to hard to tighten the shading (blue marks).

    Presentation-wise, the shadows seem to cut off, making the pedestal look floating. When it`s about evaluating the modeling and mesh shading, adding some AO and maybe some more matte materials could also increase the readability.

    Keep it up! 
  • Isabel
    @Fabi_G Hi, thanks for your comment, I didn't think about using the screw modifier, it sounds like a clever way to tackle the shape, maybe even a time saving technique, gonna remember that till next time!
  • Mahelix
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    Mahelix polycounter lvl 6
    Heyo y'all, I'm a bit late to the party but the recent avalanche of dietary nightmares known as Christmas + New Year Eves got me taking more time than I'd have wished. Here are my renders for the Hard Surface prop category ! (I also have a Marmoset Viewer for a full 3D view on my artstation page for the prop)
     The metal materials are what took me the most time to figure out from scratch, and even then I think there's much room for improvement on that front, but I swear I'll get there someday :p

     Cheers y'all and a happy new year !


  • Isabel
    @Mahelix wow i think you did a really good job, i like the touch of red. Happy new year!
  • Pinkfox
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    Pinkfox sublime tool
    Happy New Year everyone! 

    It's been so wonderful seeing all the excellent work coming out of this challenge spread across all the different concepts. It's been great to see the progress shots and how everyone approaches each challenge in their own way.

    With the new year upon us the time has arrived for a new challenge to begin and I hope we'll see you there! :)
  • I_R_Hopo
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    I_R_Hopo polycounter lvl 14
    Late on this one, starting and getting done. This is what I have so far, nearly there but not quite finished. Haven't done anything with the urn metal beyond base materials, and still have to do some dirt passes on it. I wanted to make a little diorama instead of just the prop, with a wall, floor, and a banner, but I only got the banner done. Kinda like how it looks though, floating there, and don't have a clear idea for the wall and floor, so might leave it as is so I can finish it up.




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