Art Update – Low Poly Style

Hey everyone! Elliot here, I’m the art guy! I make the models and the polygons dance.

My plan for these art updates is to give you a run down of what I’ve been doing it, and a little on the ‘how-to’ as well.This week I’ve got some quick environment concept pieces for you:

Canyon 1
Here is a concept mock-up of a canyon section. The low poly style allows for fast iteration and adjustments. Once the base mesh was done, I used FFD’s to quickly adjust even further, creating enough variations to fill out a scene with essentially only a single wall piece worth of geometry.

There are only two rock meshes which are then scaled and rotated to create visual variations as a rough guide as to what is possible. By using a very small number of base meshes, I was able to mock up this scene in only half an hour.

closer to this
Adding a quick spline into the scene, to replicate the track, as well as one of the concept aircraft suddenly gives the scene a very different sense of scale, one that would be more approximate for an in-game view.
Next up I have created several cute tree variants, all but one based off the same base two meshes; trunk and tree top. By doing some light editing to create branch variations, scaling and FFD transformations on the treetops meant for quick variations on the trees.
Here I’ve made a volcano mockup concept to be used as a centrepiece for a themed level. This came together quite quickly, and I’m happy with the results so far. A quick tint to the lighting really changes the mood. The cool blue light makes for a calmer scene, whereas the warm light enhances the orange glow of the volcano, as if the sky itself were on fire! Even slight colour casts in the ambient light really changes the feel. As a hobbyist photographer, I should have picked up on this earlier. Skill-tree crossover!

The low poly, angular style of the volcano lends itself well to craggy rock formations, as well as contrasting to the gentle rolling slopes of the island grass. This time, instead of using an FFD, I used soft selection while moving vertices to stretch edges smoothly on the volcano piece, allowing for those very angular lines. ┬áStill, compared to the trees, this feels like a very small volcano…

There we are. Now with a much bigger base island and scaled volcano, the addition of both large and small trees suddenly give the volcano a massive sense of scale. Fitting for a level centre-piece!

A quick lava flow with scrollable texture made for an eye-catching, albeit rough, addition to the scene as well as a broken rope bridge, because rope bridges are cool.From here we’ll start whittling back and optimizing a few of these pieces to start putting into test levels and see how they play!

Now, where did I put that coffee…

– E

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