Shop Mobile More Submit  Join Login
About Deviant Artist MigMale/Finland Group :iconanime3d-sfx: Anime3D-SFX
 
Recent Activity
Deviant for 9 Years
Needs Core Membership
Statistics 96 Deviations 979 Comments 13,541 Pageviews
×

Newest Deviations

Ancient Roman Solider Armor (WIP) by Mig26 Ancient Roman Solider Armor (WIP) :iconmig26:Mig26 1 2 1866 Yellowboy Carbine Rifle by Mig26 1866 Yellowboy Carbine Rifle :iconmig26:Mig26 7 0 Railgun (Sketchfab view) by Mig26 Railgun (Sketchfab view) :iconmig26:Mig26 4 2 Viking/Celtic Style Shield by Mig26 Viking/Celtic Style Shield :iconmig26:Mig26 15 5 Battlebeetle by Mig26 Battlebeetle :iconmig26:Mig26 20 2 Trees by Mig26 Trees :iconmig26:Mig26 7 0 In Rust We Trust by Mig26 In Rust We Trust :iconmig26:Mig26 23 17 Curtiss SB2C Helldiver by Mig26 Curtiss SB2C Helldiver :iconmig26:Mig26 9 11 Low Poly Sword Set by Mig26 Low Poly Sword Set :iconmig26:Mig26 11 5 Low poly medieval house (video in description!) by Mig26 Low poly medieval house (video in description!) :iconmig26:Mig26 5 6 Construction Site W.I.P. by Mig26 Construction Site W.I.P. :iconmig26:Mig26 8 6 Smashed Car Park by Mig26 Smashed Car Park :iconmig26:Mig26 7 2 Mystical Forest by Mig26 Mystical Forest :iconmig26:Mig26 16 2 Candlelight Philosopher by Mig26 Candlelight Philosopher :iconmig26:Mig26 5 2 Wolf by Mig26 Wolf :iconmig26:Mig26 10 16 Project Spectral: Sewers by Mig26 Project Spectral: Sewers :iconmig26:Mig26 9 6

Random Favourites

bed0407 by PhoenixBai bed0407 :iconphoenixbai:PhoenixBai 55 8 Infinite box animation by DS-DNA Infinite box animation :iconds-dna:DS-DNA 291 38 R2D2 Steampunk (WIP) by NIKOMEDIA R2D2 Steampunk (WIP) :iconnikomedia:NIKOMEDIA 109 57 Far exploration by DinoDrawing Far exploration :icondinodrawing:DinoDrawing 1,882 99 The Bird from Andalgala by ChrisMasna The Bird from Andalgala :iconchrismasna:ChrisMasna 372 45 Volcano by VickyM72 Volcano :iconvickym72:VickyM72 94 38 Beardies by rekit Beardies :iconrekit:rekit 741 106 Lap of Luxury by BJPentecost Lap of Luxury :iconbjpentecost:BJPentecost 649 121 BGE Building V1  by DennisH2010 BGE Building V1 :icondennish2010:DennisH2010 26 7 Mini Sorceress by OminousHam Mini Sorceress :iconominousham:OminousHam 82 8 Twisted Sensation by Super-Her0 Twisted Sensation :iconsuper-her0:Super-Her0 286 80 Marshland Sovereign by Darkki1 Marshland Sovereign :icondarkki1:Darkki1 1,088 53 Female Predator by Rubi Female Predator :iconrubi:Rubi 167 28 Tablecloth Fabric Procedural by elbrujodelatribu Tablecloth Fabric Procedural :iconelbrujodelatribu:elbrujodelatribu 3 2 A Second Home for Humankind by ValentiniaK A Second Home for Humankind :iconvalentiniak:ValentiniaK 1,289 145 Hand Painted Low Poly Axe by Madgharr Hand Painted Low Poly Axe :iconmadgharr:Madgharr 50 8

Groups

Watchers

:iconisikol: :iconiamzandar: :iconvips110: :icondionn12345678910: :iconvmville: :iconthreeviews: :iconvickym72: :iconpsicopato: :iconegitet: :iconfoxywolfcat: :iconeelstork: :iconarlenhorc: :iconellaa209: :iconnadael: :iconarkblitz: :iconstarfall00: :iconvvermil: :iconkenttikuningatar: :icongadgetgirl16:

deviantID

Mig26
Mig
Artist
Finland
Male student from Finland. I'm not studying anything art-related, so all my skills are self-taught. I use Blender and GIMP for most of my artwork, but I also take photos of various subjects every now and then. I also have two lively and lovely bearded dragons!


free counters
Free counters
If you are wondering what this text is all about, please check out our game project: Anime3D-SFX


I've been doing environment design for Project Spectral since 2010. I've designed interiors, exteriors and things in between. Recently I have been working on a forest scene and I was asked if I wanted to share some thoughts and techniques involved in the creation of it. Since it will require me to do some introspective analyzing of my workflow, I decided to give it a go. First off I want to show you the actual level I designed: Forest Views by Mig26
Level will start from top-left corner and finish to bottom-right corner. I used only polygon editing (edit mode in Blender) to create this. I know many of you are tempted to say now that I should use sculpting because it is faster etc. I do use sculpting too, but only to finalize stuff and this time I didn't feel it was necessary. I like to create terrains in edit mode. Can't really describe why, I just do. Besides, creating this took me less than one hour!

So, how did this terrain came into existence?
First off, envrionment design is for me only 50% modelling and creating. The other 50% is thinking, planning, researching etc. The actual creating is more or less a  mechanical process. I just execute my plans. The part I like to call actual designing is when I plan and do research. I mostly do this in my mind, because I think faster than I write or draw or model. Only when I have some sort of solid plan I start sketching it out, for this case I created the first grid and started shaping it. First thing you need to consider is consistency: what was the previous level and what will be the next level. Previous level for forest is the Burrows. There are some high-altitude areas in that level, as you can see from this image:
 
For this reason, the beginning of the forest level has the highest altitude that player can reach during that level. The next level will be called lake and for this reason the end of this level is at the lowest point player can reach (there will be a height map a bit later). I wanted to create a smooth transition between these two levels. Next thing to consider is the shape of the level. My level could be square, quadrilateral, round or some other shape. Square usually works best so I decided to go that way. Then I need to think about the level of 'difficulty' I want to have. There are some extremes: I could create a straight level with no turns or anything, just running forwards, or I could create a maze that would take days to complete. Obviously I want something from between these two (there's gonna be a map indicating proposed path and borders a bit later).After all this I need to take into account the field of vision: how far player is able to see. In Project Spectral there's a fog surrounding the player so it will limit FOV. I can also block view by using terrain or other obstacles. So I might want to have something that reaches a bit higher than camera at the edges of my level. Another option, that I also used here, is to have ocean view that is completely open, yet empty. This way I don't need to model kilometers of landscape.
Now that I have considered these fundamental issues I can start planning how the actual map would look like. I need to keep constantly in mind that I don't want to create a pipe that player just runs through: there will be some alternative paths, even shortcuts. There will also be some dead ends, but I must remember to keep it relatively easy overall. On top of all this, I need to keep in mind that there will be stuff placed on this terrain, especially because this is a forest. There will be trees, plants and such, not to mention monsters! It also needs to be walkable, so there should not be too steep ridges all over the place.
Knowing how things usually form in nature could be helpful to achieve naturalistic results. If you know how rivers get their shape and where to put hills and how erosion would effect on different areas based on their location (for example, how windy it would usually be there etc.) can make your landscape look more lifelike and less generated.
In short: environment design is largely studying, researching, planning and thinking! And these notes I made above merely apply to forest/nature design: interior design and city/town/yard/etc. designs are all subjects of their own! You will never do too much research.

Okay, so I created my map, what's next?

Your work has just begun. See that map posted above: it's just so plain. There's nothing in it. Not a single tree, yet this is called a forest, right? Next task will be placing trees and plants and such. Just as before, we can't just go ahead and start adding them there. Not especially because this is a game level. We need to keep in mind the poly count. Always. But before that, let's sit back and think about our forest a bit. This forest is not just any forest, it's a bamboo forest. So, there will be bamboos. We can decide that this forest has bamboos everywhere, from beginning to the end. But for other plants, we need to think where they will grow. They will not just grow all around the place. One area will be covered with one type of flower and other area with other types of flowers. I created a map indicating some my plans about this: Forest Special Maps by Mig26
(check out the actual deviation to see who designed these awesome plants! This image also includes those two maps I promised earlier.)
I didn't want to include all the plants here because this map would be pretty messy then, these eight will give you a good idea of what I'm doing here. I must admit that I didn't do much research on where these plants actually grow naturally. But it's not important to mimic nature 100% (unless that is the goal). Only thing that really matters is that you make it look like they grow there naturally! That is why placing stuff randomly here and there would not yeld optimal results. Doing this also gives different places more unique look.
Most of the plants listed above are plants that does not block player's path (except Draco and Green Bonsai). Plants that behave as a collision object has a special purpose. Not only they serve a decorative purpose. They will also shape the path player will take. This is why it is important that these objects are not placed randomly here and there. Technically, designer should be able to explain why is a tree or a rock placed at the location xyz. At least it is preferred, in my opinion. Once again, designer should do some research on how these things work in the nature. I needed some research here especially because I have never seen a bamboo forest in my life, yet I was about to design one!
One thing to keep in mind when placing small vegetation, is the game borders: you don't want to place flowers too far from the border because they will simply not be visible. They just create unnecessary load. Plants are only for decorative purposes, so they need to serve some aesthetic value in order to be justified.

Final thoughts
There are many things to keep in mind while doing environment design. You can't just start creating. The important thing to do is research and planning. Only after you have done that you may start creating your level and even then you need to constantly keep in mind bunch of stuff. Despite that, I find env. design to be fascinating. Actually, the fact that it requires so much more than just creating makes it interesting :)

Comments


Add a Comment:
 
:iconeelstork:
eelstork Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Hi Mig, it's been a while.
Like mentioned in recent journal, dev. resumed a while back on Game Degree Zero, under code name Birdman Enigma. You will see it in your notifications, there is a playable alpha, live.
You'd suggested a nice horse, found a fantastic spot for that.
I'm in a bit of a rush now but if you got any questions let me know.
Reply
:iconmig26:
Mig26 Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2015
Cool, I actually just tested it out. I like the visual style in it, also I like the fact that there's more textures than before! Levels felt a bit short in my opinion, although I assume that's how you intended them to be to some degree at least? Overall it didn't seem that buggy for a pre-alpha release and I really liked the walk/run cycle! Just some points I noticed while tried it out. I'll try to be at skype so we can chat there at some point!
Reply
:iconeelstork:
eelstork Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Quick question... was it easy for you to exit the first scene? I'm worried that a lot of players would plain fail to figure it out...
Reply
:iconmig26:
Mig26 Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2015
Nah I figured it out immediately. So for me it wasn't! (don't know if this is the case for more casual gamers though)
Reply
:iconeelstork:
eelstork Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks Mig! I'll be on Skype also. For this alpha I made the procedural parts very short which helps in case somebody want to have a look at the whole game but don't want to retry 100 times in the process.

In the final version the plan is to have the more colourful parts be longer, adding a little twist here and there to make it more 'fun'; running length (knowing everything in advance but likely failing a few times at the jumping and 'rope walking' ) planned at ~30-40 minutes but not a strong requirement.

Currently I'm really tying loose ends to make it complete, release-ready and the extra bits will be added after that is done.

I'm quite fond of this game but I don't want it to grow too big either as I feel most players may not see the point of it (and what of non players who might like it but by definition... don't play)? So mainly doing it for the fun though it's set to be our first cross platform release too!
Reply
:icondionn12345678910:
dionn12345678910 Featured By Owner Sep 22, 2014  Professional Interface Designer
no prob :3 if you do wolf models ill love to see them down the road im a wolf nut X3
Reply
:iconmig26:
Mig26 Featured By Owner Sep 23, 2014
Hehe, I'll see what I have time to do :D
Reply
:icondionn12345678910:
dionn12345678910 Featured By Owner Sep 23, 2014  Professional Interface Designer
yah :3 any wolf model you do you know ill dl asap when i see it . To some of my friends im wolf freak . Game freak but just wolf big fan X3
Reply
:iconharvy355:
Harvy355 Featured By Owner Nov 23, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks for the fave
[link]
Reply
:iconmig26:
Mig26 Featured By Owner Nov 23, 2012
You're welcome! :)
Reply
Add a Comment: