Isles of Yahlin - 3D environment

This is the result of my solo 4-month graduation project 'Isles of Yahlin'. The idea of this project was to create a 3D environment based on overarching world building and history. I wanted to work on this project not only from a 3D art standpoint, but also work on the conceptual part of it and even a little bit of 'game design'. I tried to design the environment in such a way it subtly guides the player in the right direction without the player knowing this (no big 'quest arrows', for example). This project was also a way to keep working on my 3D skills, get better with UE4 and materials/shaders and try to set up a visual style that both looks good and is relatively quick to work in.

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Starting point - after a short intro this is where you spawn. The entire area was designed with a history/story in mind so the shipwrecks play a subtle role in the environmental storytelling.

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Red: primary and most important aspects for the player to see so he/she knows where to go. This darker and cold coloured area is also subtly lit by warm light to give extra contrast and guide the eye to this area.

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Orange: secondary visual cues. The mountain is the eventual main goal for the player to go to, and plays an important role in the story. The platform on the right is a vantage point. The player will need to visit this area to be able to open a gate later.

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Same area from another angle

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Same area from another angle

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The ship (which is also visible in the intro) is visible at multiple points and indicates the starting point. It helps the player know where he/she came from and which direction to go. The flag has a contrasting color and moves to draw player attention.

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Using the gate and symbol to again put visual importance to the steep basalt mountain.

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Architecture are the only bits that have shiny surfaces to put emphasis on the lost culture that resides on the island

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Foliage assets, including some experiments

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Some of the pillar assets from the Yahlin civilization

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One of each rock asset combined into a simple composition

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Using the assets to create a quick composition to demonstrate how it can be used as an 'environment building kit'. In the future I would like to design some more unique 'hero' assets aswell.

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Examples of some sketches I did. Often I would create mockups in UE4, and work from there or take screenshots of the mockup and draw on top of it in Photoshop to decide what kinds of assets I needed.