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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Same area from another angle

Same area from another angle

Same area from another angle

Same area from another angle

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.

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.

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

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

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

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

Foliage assets, including some experiments

Foliage assets, including some experiments

Some of the pillar assets from the Yahlin civilization

Some of the pillar assets from the Yahlin civilization

One of each rock asset combined into a simple composition

One of each rock asset combined into a simple composition

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.

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.

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.

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.