Children’s Book Adaptation: Research

Since my role in our group is environment concepts I wanted to start by looking at work on the internet by other artists that are possibly related to the style we have chosen and can influence me in my work.

Dorje Bellbrook

Dorje Bellbrook is a video game concept artist for Bungie in Seattle that has worked on huge games such as destiny. The pieces below are examples of work she has done for this game. I found these pieces in particular as it gives me a lot of inspiration on different ideas and structures that could possibly be in my forest world. The bottom piece showing ancient structures and a portal gives me an idea that this world could contain man-made structures such buildings, bridges, and ships. However, these structures will have been abandoned and nature has taken over and grown across the structures making them barely visible.

The space concept is a great piece that helps me as I know for each environment in our project I want them to be different planets. However, I was unsure on how I would easily show what the planets contain. This concept is quite simple but does help me as the artist as simply shown the planets using different colours. Then when the player is closer to it the planet contains more detail such as clouds and possibly the larger structures that are key places on the planet. The final part of this concept that I like is the fact that more than one planet is visible in the shot. This firstly confirms that it is a sci-fi setting as no planets are that close to earth.  The planets are extremely close to each other which I feel is a good thing as it gives the player an idea of where they are likely to be heading off to next.

Agnes Staudt

Agnes Staudt is a an art director that has worked on games such as Tomb Raider and Crysis. When looking through her portfolio I tried to find pieces which will help me with different planets to my previous research. I managed to find pieces that show structures on unique islands surrounded by water. This helps me on how I can design the ocean planet. Since this planet will be the location the player starts when they are first transported it needs to have some resemblance to the munchkin village. This gives me the idea that the village could be more of a tribal town spread across multiple islands, then connected by hanging bridges. Since the planet is covered in water the island is surrounded by fishing boats as this would be there the only source of food. Since this is one of the starting locations of the game I feel like it needs to be bright and tropical so that it looks interesting to the player and makes them want to play more of the game. However on the flipside, I could use all of these pieces as inspiration and have it so that it starts off with stormy weather that cause the structures to appear run down, but as the player progresses through the game it starts to become clear, and the town becomes restored.

Sebastian Gromann

Sebastian Gromann is a concept artist from Germany and I stumbled across his artstation when I was trying to look for good research on different styles of farms. As the beginning of Wizard of Oz is set on a farm in Kansas. I thought it would be a good idea to keep with that where the beginning is still set on a farm on earth. I found the right image extremely inspirational as the farm looks to be futuristic due to its vast size as well as the platforms that act as bridges over the top of the farms, allowing the use of more room to be cropland. This gives me lots of ideas on how I could mix the futuristic aspect with the traditional elements of a farm such as barns, metal shelters, and tractors. The other image relates back to the ocean planet as it gives me ideas about parts of the island which could have possibly been flooded and caused it to become boggy yet still usable as a resource gathering area.

Aurelie Moine

The final artist that I looked at is Aurelie Moine. She is a freelance artist that has created some environment pieces but mainly concentrates on character design. I found the first piece interesting in relation to the ocean planet as it mixes the styles of sci-fi and fantasy. This is because it has traditional simple structures made out of wood and stone with mythical creatures surrounding it, however also has spaceships flying by and another planet positioned extremely close to this one, giving the element of a sci-fi atmosphere. The second image is the most inspirational piece that I found from this artist as it gives me an idea on how I can design my sleeping poppies planet. Since I already have a forest planet I wanted to stay away from that and this gives me the idea that it could possibly be the baron or covered by desert and instead of having sleeping poppies, have areas containing radiation or odd looking plants that release gas into the air. This also offers a good contrast to the other planets which I have designed so far as it gives a better range of environments for the player to explore to ensure that they don’t become bored.





Mini Brief: Bridge Environment concepts

Bryan Marvin

Bryan Marvin is a character designer fro the Philippines however, has indulged into environment concepts as well. One piece of art that he has created struck out to me due to how he has implemented bridges into his design. Looking at this piece I can tell that the structures are meant to look crude and simple as if they were put there by ancient cultures or that with primitive technology. This can also be seen with the bridges which are placed so that the society can easily pass across the river/waterfall. To fit the theme of this concept the artist has made sure that the bridge is also crude. This can clearly be seen by the ‘wavy’ flow of the bridge and un-sturdiness showing that the culture there gave little design when using wood to put this bridge together. It also seems like the artist has thought about the age of the environment as well as it appears as if the power from the water and the debris that passes through it has caused damage to the bridge. This maybe another reason why it looks crudely put together.



Wanbao is a concept artist from China who previously worked for Webzen. Looking at his portfolios I found multiple pieces that have incorporated bridges into the environment. All of them seem to be in a ‘medieval’ style. The way this theme has been shown within the design of the bridge is by having them appear huge. This is showing by the large supports repeatedly shown on the underside of the bridge as well as by showing the entrance to the next scene at the end of the bridge. The repeated spikes along the bridge help it to fit within the ‘demonic’ theme of this concept as they appear to make the entrance look more intimidating. On one of Wanbao’s other pieces, he has incorporated the bridge into the story of the concept. Since the concept appears to show a wizard like character fitting a dragon Wanbao made it so that the bridge is half destroyed with the character stood on the edge. By doing this it gives a backstory to the piece and implies that the character has been fitting the dragon for a while resulting in the destruction of the bridge.

Neal Liu


Neal Liu is a concept artist that works within the games industry and the film industry as well When searching through his portfolio I found a piece that showed a bridge in a completely different way t the previous artists that I have researched. With the other artists, the point of the bridge is to complete the scene and add a realistic sense. However, with this concept, I feel like it is more of a focus since it is the largest structure and ends at the front of the image. This feels to me like the point of doing this is to try and make the viewer imagine themselves within the painting, looking onwards to the rest of the bridge and what lies at the end of it. The theme of this is also different from the others as it looks more modern, futuristic as the purpose of the bridge is to be a fly over rather than something that connects over a gap. It is hard to tell if the bridge is floating or not since the pillars appear as if they are intersecting with the roads below and cutting them off. This gives me inspiration on what I can do to show that my bridge is the modern/futuristic theme by using technology such as lighting and curved shapes. However, it also gives me information on something I feel like I shouldn’t do and that is to have parts of my bridge which don’t seem to fit. This concept may just be a photo bash but I feel like the pillars intersecting the city take the immersion from the concept as I feel like it doesn’t make sense.


Links to Artists Portfolios

Bryan Marvin P.Sola

Wanbao Sci-fi and Fantasy

Neal liu Portfolio

Ming Fan Portfolio

Ming Fan is a concept artist that typically creates environment concepts based on fantasy worlds. Bridges can be seen in lots of his work but the one that interested me the most doesn’t actually have physical bridges. The concept simply shows a forest filled with different animals and plant life. But what caught my eye was the way that Ming had designed the trees in this concepts. He made it so that the trees had branches stretching widely which in my eyes acted as bridges, leading from one tree to another. This may not be a man-made bridge but it still connects one place to another, making it a bridge. This certainly gives me lots of inspiration as this technique makes it so that the bridges are subtle and not obvious to the viewer. Only by looking at it multiple times did I realise that these where bridges. It also gives me inspiration on how I can design my bridge as I don’t have to make it obviously man made. I could have it just as nature or something that has incorporated nature into its design.


3D Sculpture

For this task we had to create a sculpture to improve our 3D skills. Each of us created a sculpture depending on what we had been practicing in our sketches and what we wanted to specialize in. I decided to create an Environment. I roughly wanted to base my model on the perspective drawing that I created of the houses on the street. I started off simple creating a basic house with a roof. This was made using foam board for the base and card for the walls and roof.

Once the basic building was created I started adding detail such as windows, wood supports, and a canopy using small wooden sticks and card. I gained inspiration for the design of the building by looking at Fake Tudor houses.

My next step will be to take these pictures of the model and try to use it as a starting point in photoshop to create a 3D model and add textures to bring the model to life.

Environment Extrapolation

Environment Extrapolation is where real world events and scenarios influence visuals in video games and movies. This is something that is extremely common and happens a lot specially within things that set in a dystopian, future environment. ‘Ship-breaking’ is a real world term given to the name of people that scavenge abandoned ships for scrap metal and pieces that they can sell to make a living.

The video game ‘Mad Max’ is set in a post apocalyptic dystopian world where the sea has all dried up and everywhere is a waste land. Even though this game is based off of a movie franchise it still takes inspiration from real world events. Since the world have dried up there is no need for water vehicles, therefore giant submarines can be seen that have aged over the years and starting falling apart are buried into the sand with only key features being visible. Evidence of the inspiration from ship breaking can be seen as parts of the ships are scattered about. For example the propellers of the submarines can be seen scattered far away as well as parts from the engines and cabins.

Another good example of when this has been done is in the newest Star Wars movie, Episode 7. The opening scene shows a planet covered in sand and a giant spaceship in the background. The main character then proceeds to enter this ship looking for valuables that she can sell. Even though it is a science fiction spaceship it still resembles real life photos that show abandoned ship on land that are gigantic. Even the design of the character has been influenced by the people that raid these ships as they both wear cloth to protect their face and goggles over the eyes.

Environment Artist: Clinton Crumpler

Clinton Crumpler is an environment artist from Suffolk, Virginia that has a Masters Degree in Fine Art in Interactive and Game Design, as well as a Bachelors in Fine Art Animation. He received this qualifications at Longwood University, which is located in Farmville. Virginia. Clinton has worked for major games companies such as Bethesda, best known for ‘Fallout’ and ‘Skyrim’, as well as Microsoft. He currently teaches games design at Masters level at CG Master Academy.

One of my favorite pieces of work from Clinton is his project called ‘Bears Den’ which was created for the video games ‘Broken’. This piece of work shows of a maintenance tunnel filled with all different types of equipment and rubbish. One of the very first things that I notice about this project is his way of indicating whereabouts the tunnel is located within the world without blatantly saying it. He does this by having signs that hang from the ceiling showing what is in this direction of the tunnel. This may not seem to give away the location however the writing is in Russian which does give us the location.

Since the location of the map is set within a tunnel the lighting is a key part of this map. To make it as realistic as possible Clinton uses stand lamps which look like they are only temporary and there will work is happening. As well as this lights can also be seen in the walls of the tunnel with thick cables hanging, connecting them all together. It is clear that Clinton has thought this through about how these lights would actually be powered as small generators can be seen spread out across the map.

For portfolio purposes Clinton has compiled a file of all the objects he created for this project including the walls and the generators in an organised row so that it can easily be viewed.

Another project that Clinton has created called ‘King Wash’ shows off a building that acts as a laundromat set in the year 1990. This project shows off more of his interior skill rather than exterior however he still had added exterior objects and textures such a parking lot which is wet with visible puddles and street lamps which can be seen in the background.

This project contains a high amount of detail such as information boards that explain how to use the laundry machines, as well as price guides. As for the textures Clinton uses very plain colours such as white and grey to show that this is a cheap building, however also shows the realistic aspects by having an extractor pipe in chrome and an air conditioner unit on the walls of the building.

As for the lighting florescent tubes have been used on the ceiling which mimic the real life aspects of emitting low amounts on light and casting shadows in places the lights can not reach.

To show that the laundromat has been used before and does not appear new Clinton also adds puddles from some of the machines which have overflowed as well as signs saying that they are out of use.

Similar to his other projects Clinton has again shown some of the work he used before he created the final piece. In this case it is a display of the most used textures from this project and the weathering on them.

All artwork credit goes to artist: Clinton Crumpler


Environment Artist: Tim Spanjer

Tim Spanjer is a 3D environment artist that has worked for small 3D companies and done a lot of freelance work. His background is not actually 3D environments as he studied Fine Arts as his degree at the university of Georgia in Athens. In the early years of his career he worked for small games companies creating games such as ‘Ace of Angels’ and ‘Starfury’. He currently works creating IOS applications for mobile phones as part of a company called ‘TRICK 3D’. He spends a lot of time perfecting his work and adding as much detail as he can. One of my favorite pieces of work that he has created  is called ‘City Street’ which is set within an ally leading off from a street within a city.

Tim strips his work down into multiple layers that show the unrendered clay sculptures allowing us to see the actual detail of the map without lighting and shadows. The artist tries to add immersion to the street by adding objects that you would typically find their, such as dumpsters, rubbish, a fire escape and wall lighting.

When adding textures hes tries to make the environment look as realistic as possible. For example in his model called ‘Middle Eastern Hut’ he adds detailed textures to the wall that show the individual grains that create the surface of the texture which in turn add depth to it making it feel more 3D. He also adds depth to his work using shadows. On the over hang of the roof a shadow is added so  show the realism of the model and how it would be effected by lighting. This is also done on the bricks as the one which are indented slightly more than the others are seen to be darker.

In another of Tim’s projects called ‘Space Port’ it is clear that his aim is to create a futuristic looking environment instead of a realistic environment that does not require textures that look real. For the futuristic aspect Tim tries to add sharp angles and maintain the use of as few colours as possible. Since the room that he created is a hanger he shows this by making the room extremely large with a curved roof. As well as this he adds a futuristic looking shield door which also acts as a window leading out into space. Lots of detail can be seen in this project such as pipes that feed into the walls acting as parts which keep this space craft moving and power cables that allow the lights to work.

To ensure that this environment was recognized as a hanger Tim creating vehicles which would be spread out across the environment appearing to be ‘docked’ in. The design of the ships was unlike any space of air vehicle of the modern world as it was oddly shaped and maintained the same theme as the rest of the vehicles. Using lots of angles and a simple colour scheme, however even without the textures it is clear that these ships are meant to show futurism because of the reasons I have already explained.

For the textures Tim mainly uses grey as this is considered a very futuristic colour as it gives that clean advanced look. But to take the futurism further he also adds lights which give a blue tint into the room, something which would not be seen in a modern environment. Like his previous work Tim also displayed this model  using no textures at all.

All artwork credit goes to artist: Rim Spanjer

Environment Artist: Ronan Mahon

Ronan Mahon is an environment artist that has work on triple-A titles such as Batman: ‘Arkham Knight’ and the rest of the ‘Arkham’ series. A common technique that Ronan uses is to add as much detail to the scenery as possible. Even if this scenery will not be seen it will add to the immersion and convince the player that they are actually in the room. By this, I mean that what a person would typically see in a certain room, he would add to that room.

In the 3D modelling Ronan will add clutter to the environment so that it does not look plain. This clutter will also offer easter eggs to the player. For example, references to the comics such as newspapers giving information on the history of the bat and posters that explain the origin of batgirl. These examples can be seen in the ‘Killing Joke’ work. Another place where this can be seen in in the Watchtower environment as Ronan adds an interactable object which is a bust with a hidden button under the head. This is a reference to the original Batman TV show. Objects like this show the amount of effort that Ronan has put into his work

When it comes to textures Ronan takes into consideration the light that can be seen. For example on a piece of work called ‘The Watchtower,moon light’ the clock also acts as a window that lets in light. Since the game is set at night he uses bluemoonlightshining through casting shadows from the clock and distorting the original shape, therefore adding light to the room. Ronan tends to create textures for a dark environment using a darker colour pallet which adds to the atmosphere of the specific game. Then to highlight certain areas that appeals to the players he will use a a lighter colour pallet which immediately grabs the players focus and attracts them over to it.

To make this environment appear as realistic as possible Ronan also thought about how the scenery would work. What I mean by this is that the clock window is not just a window. The gears which operate the clock can be seen attached to the window and leading away to a more complex machine. Giving the sense of realism as it is accurate to how these machines work in the real world. Adding more immersion to the game.

The type of objects that have been created for this environment also give an idea to the player of when the time set is. The wooden textures and desk lamps indicate that the environment is set in modern times, however the gears of the clock and old fashioned furniture would also show that this is a earlier time set such as the 1990’s.

There is also an alternate design to the environment which was included within the game. The environment changes when the bust, that I previously mentioned, is activated. The furniture and bookshelves of the room disappear leaving a big empty space which a projected screen fills. As well as this a futuristic computer rises from the center of the room. This has been done to the environment to fill the needs of the story. Even though the environment has completely changed Ronan still made it as realistic as possible by having shutters that covered the clock windows which had projectors attached to them, displaying the large computer screen.

As for lighting in this alternate environment it completely changes as it suddenly becomes very modern and close to futuristic using lots of blue lights emitting from the projectors which fill the majority of the room. Most of the previous lighting sources no longer function leaving darkness around the edges of the environment. I feel like this is purposely done so that the player is paying attention to what he is meant to be, which is the projectors. However it can also be to hide easter eggs for players to later find.

All image credit goes to the artist: Ronan Mahon