Most digital sculpting tutorials cover character work. But The Gnomon Workshop’s new DVD addresses an often-overlooked part of the games and visual effects pipeline: environment sculpting.
In the 170-minute masterclass, also simply called Environment Sculpting, Blizzard veteran David Lesperance reveals his workflow for creating stunning and fantastic environments.
Building up from basic concepts such as kit bashing, grid space modeling, basic UVs and asset cleanliness, Lesperance goes on to explore how to use ZBrush’s DynaMesh tool to create variants of environmental assets, then explains how to decimate the high-resolution mesh to a manageable resolution to extract normal maps.
Building better buildings
The training also includes designing architectural assets in 3ds Max, adding high-frequency detail in ZBrush, then rendering and compositing them for presentation purposes. Lesperance also discusses lighting and rendering in V-Ray, covering HDRI and physical camera setups along with efficient render settings.
Throughout the masterclass, Lesperance touches on topics like the importance of repeating features in architectural design and using fine detail to demonstrate scale within the scene.
With eight years’ experience in the CG industry, David Lesperance’s resume includes work on Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe, Tony Hawk: Ride and StarCraft II. Having worked with Blizzard Entertainment’s cinematic division on Diablo 3 and World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, he is currently working with Microsoft on Halo 4.
Environment Sculpting is available on DVD or direct download, price $69.
Full disclosure: CG Channel is owned by The Gnomon School of Visual Effects.