Work In Progress / 13 October 2020

CGMA – Environment Art for Games in UE: Gathering References and Blocking out – Week 0 & 1

To start off, I want to thank everyone for your feedback and for sharing my work with the community. Thank you all for your support so far.

Some time ago, I took a course on how to create vegetation and plants for games in CGMA and I found the experience very interesting and fulfilling that I decided to take another course as part of my learning path: Environment Art for Games in UE

This new course will show me different techniques and tools for the creation of environments and I want to document the process along the way throughout this blog in order to share my WIPs and experiences with you.

Picking out the concept and gathering references

The main idea is to end up making a diorama (a small environment) while we are applying the techniques shown to our chosen project.

In week 0, the instructor provided us a list of images and concepts to get started. These images are chosen depending on the difficulty and the time it would take to create the complete diorama (10 weeks)

I must admit that the list of images was huge and made me want to choose all of them, but I decided to pick out one that caught my attention because of the vegetation, the variety of objects, and the shapes in general. The concept is called "Flower Shop - demo" created by lok du (https://www.artstation.com/artwork/58BRDA)

Gathering references is very important. It gives you the advantage of knowing what you are going to do and how you are going to do it. It may take you time (more than you think) to look up every reference for every object to be made (even for materials and textures) but in the end, it's worth it. What I have noticed is that, when looking for references, I didn't know what art style I wanted to achieve.

There are many art styles in videogames, but the usual is to see realistic (Battlefield, Gran Turismo, etc.) and semi-realistic environments (Horizon: Zero Dawn, Uncharted, etc.) In fact, I’m going to take references or assets from Quixel's Megascans for a topic that I will explain later on.


We also had to decide what type of tree we are going to make. The concept art helped a little bit because it seems more like a tropical tree, but then I realized that it can be a combination between a Banana tree and a palm tree. In the end, I gathered images of Palms to give me a general idea.

Blocking Out the scene

In week 1, we began to create our basic shapes of every single object in the scene.

It is preferable to put a cube or a character mesh that gives you information about the height of an average human in real life so we can start creating the scales and proportions of each asset itself.

Up to this point, I was thinking a bit about the final composition and I decided to add a Plane mesh behind the main building as if it were the ocean because the environment allows it as well as the kind of tropical tree based on the concept.




And what about using Megascans as I had mentioned before? Well, It’s because I want to speed up the process of creating assets. Basically, I would use it for the creation of Foliage: the diversity of plants, bushes, flowers on the ground, etc.

As a final comment, the videos are being understandable and straight to the point which is really nice.

That's it for this week. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to reach out and I will reply as soon as I can :D

See you next time!