Sunday, November 25, 2012

In the desert

Hey there,

Soooo, I'm back again with another blogpost that I'm writing during lunch time. It's not so much of an impressive post like last time though, concerning my personal work. I did try to make a matte painting, it's still very work in progress.
And I took the liberty of starting on a new small environment that is taking place in the desert. The shader is pretty basic but it was fun to try out several setups and creating a basic atmosphere. I do need to make a paintover so I can figure out a good focal point that will pull the interest in the scene. Ah well, as an artist you always have a shortage of time, unfortunately. Please leave some crits if you have the time to do so!

For this post I was looking for a different type of artist, not an environment artist nor weapon artist, no this time I looked for a function in gaming that isn't very popular. Lighting artist! As far as I know, there aren't that many of these guys in the games industry.

Lighting artist job

The main task for an lighting artist is, of course, lighting up the environment, duh! Kidding aside, besides that post processing is also one of their tasks,this means keeping the color key of the environment in mind, LOD'ing, optimizing assets, (re-)UVing secondary UV-sets and creating paintovers to try out different atmospheric ideas. For some it might sound pretty easy but I do think it's a pretty challenging job, it's not just dumping in a few dynamic lights and calling it a day. A good lighting artist knows how to flesh out his environment with lighting and keeping the environment readable for the eyes.

Like I said, this time I'll show some work of lighting artist Tomas Lidström. He has quite the list of gametitles on his name already! Especially Gears of War Judgement and Bulletstorm are the titles that I admire. Although Bulletstorm wasn't a bestselling game, I do love the environments and unique atmosphere in the game.

Tomas's portfolio:

By the way, I'd like to thank all the artists out there who gave me the permission to use their work for this purpose!

I'd recommend to open the images in a new window to see the full resolution.  

Small color study, I extracted some colors to have a better understanding how lighting artists use their colors wisely to create a certain atmosphere in their environment. Lighting is very important to steer the viewers eye around in an environment/screenshot/painting. In the high contrast images the viewers eye is constantly drawn towards the lightest/most intense light source. Proper lighting setup isn't the only thing that makes an environment complete, the silhouettes are making the shapes of the environment way more interesting.

Matte painting tryout

Tile test

Desert starting point

Tomas Lidström his work:

Some color testing for one of Tomas's personal projects.
Thanks for reading the post and please share this if you can. =]

Have a good day!


Stefan Groenewoud
Freelance 3D-artist

I do not own the rights concerning the work of Tomas Lidström, I am just sharing my thoughts and interesting artwork to other artists out there.

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