Monday, October 30th, 2017 Posted by Jim Thacker

Master environment art with Gnomon’s new training videos

The Gnomon Workshop has released two new training videos for environment artists, covering on the visual development process of environments for both film and animation, and for games and real-time work.

The tutorials, Visual Development for Environments, and Environment Art Lookdev Using Unreal & Photogrammetry, were recorded by matte painter Olivier Dubard and Naughty Dog’s Brian Recktenwald.

Master design for visual effects with Visual Development for Environments
The first video, Visual Development for Environments, focuses primarily on the process of developing environments for offline work, like animation and visual effects.

Over the course of seven and a half hours, Olivier Dubard shares his own visual development process, developed during his work for leading VFX facilities like Digital Domain, Double Negative and The Mill.

His workflow uses a mixture of 2D and 3D tools, including SketchBook Pro, MoI, Maya, V-Ray and Photoshop.

Beginning with simple geometric shapes that define form language, Dubard blocks out a layout in NURBS modelling tool MoI, renders the 3D geometry, then continues to refine the image in 2D in SketchBook Pro.

With the design established, he explores composition and camera properties in Maya to find the view that best illustrates the design; and discusses the use of variant colour schemes to bring a concept to life.

Finally, Dubard sets out the Photoshop techniques he uses to finish off a professional presentation, illustrating the process on a single prop before moving on to the entire image.

Design for real-time work with Environment Art Lookdev Using Unreal & Photogrammetry
The second video, Environment Art Lookdev Using Unreal & Photogrammetry, is intended for intermediate to advanced games artists aiming to assemble look development environments in Unreal Engine.

Over two hours, Naughty Dog environment artist Brian Recktenwald discusses the process from start to finish, exploring how photogrammetry can be used to create a realistic, yet stylised, scene.

The video covers planning for a photo shoot, image capture, clean-up, and how to process the data in Autodesk’s ReCap software to generate models and textures suitable for use in a real-time engine.

Recktenwald also discusses how to sculpt rocks in ZBrush, and how to texture them in Substance Painter, using the photogrammetric textures as a base. The assets are previewed using Marmoset’s Toolbag viewer.

With the assets for the scene complete, Recktenwald discusses the use of ‘asset gyms’ in production to help prepare a scene for assembly, before assembling a final desert environment in Unreal Engine.

Pricing and availability
Both videos are available via an online subscription to The Gnomon Workshop, giving you access to over 300 detailed tutorials. Subscriptions cost $49/month or $499/year, and there is a free trial.

Read more about Visual Development for Environments on The Gnomon Workshop’s website

Read more about Environment Art Lookdev Using Unreal & Photogrammetry

Full disclosure: CG Channel is owned by the Gnomon School of Visual Effects.