Stylized Environment Art--Feedback Please

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  08 August 2012
Stylized Environment Art--Feedback Please

I recently was introduced to Darksiders, and I really like the art style. Up until I discovered it, I was rigidly against any sort of stylization--everything had to be hyper photo realistic or it was silly to me. Unbeknownst to me at the time was just how hard photo real stuff was to make, and I went for it blindly thinking I could because I had photos.

I need some critique for a simple stylized stone wall texture. I know that this is a very simple and rather boring thing to post, but I want to be sure before I make more environment pieces.


This is my third revision, and I am willing to make as many as it takes to get this perfect. I greatly appreciate any and all feedback.

Thank you.

Last edited by SeanOConnor : 09 September 2012 at 08:33 PM.
  08 August 2012
I like it . What was the pipeline of creating this? What's the texture size, does it have normal map and/or specular?
The only thing i'm curious about are these bigger cracks (eg. the one near center-left) - if you tile this texture, aren't they making it look too repeatable? If you know what i mean - maybe the biggest crack is going to make the texture-tiling more noticeable.
Fitting the environment to the certain style is an interesting thing, and imho your wall looks very good. I was about to do something similar, but in different style - have you followed some tutorials?
  08 August 2012
Thank you for the reply. My pipeline relies on the new insert multi mesh feature of ZBrush 4R4, which allows me to stay away from poly modeling programs and work with much higher polygon counts. Basically, I sculpt about ten or so individual rocks using dynamesh, turn them into a IMM brush, and begin placing them on a plane. My sculpting is fairly straight forward; I use a set of brushes I made to give stuff a thick chiseled look (I just call it the Darksiders look). My inspiration and know-how to make these brushes came from the talented artist known as Orb

Texture size is 2048 just for show, maybe for in game as well it depends. There is a normal map, and the specular is just a dark desaturated copy of the diffuse. I did not watch many tutorials, as there are not very many on doing a stylized stone wall, especially in the style of Darksiders. However, I did watch some recorded livestreams from the actual Darksiders team (, and of course Orb's brush video. I really wish Orb had a sculpting and texturing video as well--his work far exceeds mine, and I would like to learn some of his technique.

You are probably right about the tiling. I really did not care much about that as I just want to get some critique on my sculpting and texturing. Tiling is something I know I can do after the artwork is solid. Unfortunately, looking at this wall now, it is still lacking. Something just does not sit well, and I know it has something to do with making my forms read. When Darksiders 2 comes out tomorrow, I am going to use it as reference and try to make it read just as well.

Thanks again for the reply--I welcome and encourage more.
  09 September 2012
Just finished a third version. I think it is an improvement, but if anyone thinks any aspect needs work then please let me know. Thank you.

Last edited by SeanOConnor : 09 September 2012 at 06:57 AM.
  09 September 2012
I like it, it has a comic book style to it, but you might want to try to alter the color of some of the rocks so they don't look too uniformed.
  09 September 2012
Thank you for the reply. I agree more variation is needed, and the lighting I rendered this in makes the whole thing feel a bit too saturated. I was probably worried that making some rocks too different would make the tiling obvious. Certainly, next time I will try to make them more varied.
  09 September 2012
Made a fourth version:

I tried to make some stones darker to give it more variation. I suppose it could even still a little more, but any other critique is welcome.

Thanks again.
  09 September 2012
Awesome work there man. I haven't tried ZBrush 4 yet. MudBux/3DSM person myself. Great work though.
I've gone crazy how baout you? Tea? Coffee? Sugar? All of the above?
  09 September 2012
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