Video: Environment Reel

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Environment Demo Reel Shot Breakdown

To begin, this Demo Reel is composed of two major scenes, both in real-time, using the Torque 3D game engine from GarageGames. All textures are hand painted originals created using Adobe Photoshop CS3 in combination with a Wacom tablet. All models are also original, created using 3ds max. The main inspiration for the artwork was World of Warcraft, as these scenes were designed as if they were to fit right into place in Azeroth. However, to maintain originality and uniqueness, I chose to create my own zones as opposed to recreating ones from the game itself.

Scene I: Sweltering Sanctum

This zone was once held by the Alliance, but has been destroyed by the Twilight’s Hammer and their foul magic – with the exception of a small camp set up as a last defense.

There were several influences for this zone, including a combination of the Howling Fjord, the Burning Steppes and Hellfire Peninsula. I wanted this scene to be all about contrast, yet still be aesthetically pleasing as well as functional. My original idea stemmed from contrasting colors, specifically red and green. With a concept in hand, I went on to build this scene in about four day’s time.

This scene makes use of about 30 textures, no larger than 256x256 pixels. The various building foundations around the scene (with the exception of the destroyed keep) use the same 3 models, rotated and scaled differently to give a unique appearance to each building, while minimizing memory use. The burning trees make use of a scrolling texture map, while the altars utilize a transparent texture on a plane which rotates.

Scene II: Vanguard Harbour

This scene was primarily influenced by World of Warcraft’s Valiance Keep, as well as the Borean Tundra, Grizzly Hills and Westfall zones. Vanguard Harbour serves as a useful trade hub for the Alliance, regardless of the fact it is still under construction.

Techniques in this scene, for the most part, are the same as the first. The waterfall is achieved using a combination of particle effects and scrolling texture maps on a plane. Again, while no textures larger than 256x256 are used, this scene does utilize about 40 textures. The trees make use of a waving texture map animation, giving the appearance of movement in the wind.