Sunday, July 30th, 2023 Posted by Jim Thacker

Tutorial: Designing Environments for Games

The Gnomon Workshop has released Designing Environments for Games, a guide to using Blender’s Grease Pencil toolset for concept art, recorded by Fuse Games lead concept artist James Lewis-Vines.

The workshop provides over two and a half hours’ video training in Blender and Photoshop, and is aimed at intermediate-level Blender users.

Discover how to use Blender’s Grease Pencil toolset to create better concept art
Sketching has traditionally been considered a 2D medium, but Blender’s Grease Pencil toolset makes it possible to draw in 3D.

The workflow enables concept artists to explore an environment from many different angles early in the design process without having to sketch multiple versions of the same scene.

In the workshop, Lewis-Vines sets out his own techniques for using Grease Pencil for concept art, designing a futuristic floating gas station as an example.

He begins by gathering references, then sketching the environment, moving around it in 3D, and capturing interesting camera keyframes for the final render.

Having chosen a viewpoint, he substitutes the sketched scene for a realistic 3D environment, created using a set of kitbash elements.

Having rendered the 3D scene, he gives the keyframe concept a final polish using Photoshop.

As well as the training videos, viewers of the workshop can download project files including the final Blender scene, rendered thumbnails from the scene cameras, and the final keyframe image.

About the artist
James Lewis-Vines is lead concept artist at Fuse Games and was previously a senior concept artist with EA at BioWare and Criterion Games, working on Star Wars, Battlefield and Need For Speed titles.

He also worked more recently as a matte painter for Disney.

Pricing and availability
Designing Environments for Games is available via a subscription to The Gnomon Workshop, providing access to over 300 tutorials. Subscriptions cost $54/month or $499/year. Free trials are available.

Read more about Designing Environments for Games on The Gnomon Workshop’s website

Full disclosure: CG Channel is owned by Gnomon.