Search For A Star | Environment Art Finalists 2021
Today our interviewers are speaking with each of our Environment Art finalists across both Search For A Star & d3t Rising Star!
We’ll be revealing the winners of this year’s challenges as part of Games Careers Week, live on our Twitch channel from 12.30pm on April 1st
We’ve had a range of fantastic submissions this year, so let’s take a look at our finalists for 2021!
Search for a Star 2021
University of Huddersfield
‘Outer Worlds-inspired masterpiece’
Adam is from the University of Huddesfield and worked tirelessly to produce this amazing art based on the colossal RPG The Outer Worlds.
His piece was thoroughly documented and researched, bringing in acclaim from the judges. They were left unable to find faults in this aesthetically-pleasing piece.
See The Grand Entrance here: https://adamfautley.itch.io/the-grand-entrance
See Adam’s portfolio here: https://www.artstation.com/adam_fautley
University of Huddersfield
‘The environment is very well lit and has a lot of atmosphere’
Chris, the second finalist from the University of Huddersfield, created this visual epic that comfortably made it to the shortlist.
Chris left the judges struggling for critiques on his work, instead wowing them with how he brought his piece to life and his creation of a story within. One judge wrote:
“You started with a really strong concept that fitted the brief and I really like where you took it adding the glow from the cave entrance work well to make the scene your own. All the element are well made and look great. Great use of foliage elements to add a living feeling to the world.”
See The Waterfall Bridge here: https://chris186.itch.io/waterfall-bridge
See Chris’ portfolio here: https://www.artstation.com/chrisrhodesart
‘You would fit in well into a studio environment, keep up the good work’
Elliot worked on this brilliant piece that is nostalgia packed to say the least!
His piece Miles’ Attic 1986 was well-received by judges who unanimously appreciated Elliot’s process and project management in building this great piece of work.
Whether it’s the Terminator and The Thing posters or the Sony VCR player, he did not want to leave anything to chance in this time-machine of a submission.
One judge said: “What a great job you have done on this environment, there is a lot of assets and work here so you should be really proud of yourself to get this amount of work done!”
See Miles’ Attic 1986 here: https://elliotgriffiths.itch.io/miles-attic-1986
See Elliot’s portfolio here: https://www.artstation.com/elliotgriffiths
University of South Wales
‘You’ve captured a peaceful and meditative atmosphere’
Antonia, a University of South Wales student, did an amazing job when creating their ‘happy place’ in the form of a greenhouse.
The mood and setting was something that engaged the judges and they felt that Antonia had created a superb environment where the emotions of the scene could be felt. One judge said:
“The fog is also a great addition, subtle but really effective to get the mood just right. Overall, a successful project, really thorough process and the final piece really stands out, definitely something to be proud of!”
See The Greenhouse here: https://lolillya.itch.io/the-greenhouse
See Antonia’s portfolio here: https://www.artstation.com/lolillya
‘Very nice composition and lighting! Bonus points for cute pandas’
Alice created a wonderful environment of a Panda’s happy place. The Environmental Artist from Escape Studios produced this wonderful stylised piece using texturizing and sculpting masterfully.
One judge said: “You’ve clearly put a lot of passion into this piece and it comes through very strongly- in a game environment your player will feel this too. It really comes through solidly as a “happy place”, so I’d consider your overall project a massive success, one you should be proud of.”
See A Happy Place is a Panda Place here: https://catkitsu.itch.io/a-happy-place-is-a-panda-place
See Alice’s portfolio here: https://www.artstation.com/catkitsu
d3t Rising Star 2021
Elmo La Mantia
Elmo is the second finalist from Falmouth University, showing great technical ability and creative vision in their ‘Forest temple’ piece.
The piece is enthralling and immersive, a great piece of work in all aspects!
Fantastic job Elmo!
See Forest Temple here: https://elmo-la-mantia.itch.io/forest-temple
See Elmo’s portfolio here: https://www.artstation.com/elmolamantia
De Montfort University
‘The flickering lights is great and well above the skill level I’d expect for a Rising Star submission!’
Shay, a Grads in Games ambassador and DMU student, really impressed judges with the showings of high level abilities in this piece of work.
The environment was brought to life through an introduction of flickering lights and detailed assets which helped create an interesting narrative for the viewer and judges.
One judge said: “Your set dressing really sells the piece, making it feel alive with great sense of character and story. The scratches and streaking on the glass of the guitar case is a nice touch, and for some reason I really like the laptop with the glowing bit; it’s a simple asset but next to the old computer really tells you a lot about the shop and the person who works here.”
See Record Shop here: https://shaydpalmer.itch.io/recordshop
See Shay’s portfolio here: https://www.artstation.com/artwork/lxKGoO
Gia Bao Lam
‘The addition of the animation and particle effects is awesome’
Gia Bao, a student at the gamed Howest DAE, created a mesmerising piece of work based on No Face from the film Spirited Away.
She went above and beyond on the project, even adding in animations and VFX to bring her ‘happy place’ environment to life!
One judge wrote: “I love your piece so much; you’ve really captured the theme of “a happy place” so well and your piece really stands out as a solid, confident piece of environment art! I also can’t believe you’ve only been doing environments 3 months, your pipeline & final product are fantastic.”
See No Face’s Happy Place here: https://bao-lam.itch.io/no-faces-happy-place
See Gia Bao’s portfolio here: https://www.artstation.com/giabaolam
University of South Wales
‘The blood on the rock was pretty good story telling, a really nice way to lead the player’
Martin, our second finalist from the University of South Wales, produced this spine-tingling scene straight out of a horror title.
The scale and sheer size of the environment wowed judges, with one saying: “You’ve utilized industry-standard workflows in a lot of this scenes development, demonstrating impressive shader techniques like RGB masking for scaleable detailing, as well as sculpting organic elements to a high standard.”
Martin’s fantastic effort was both visually pleasing but also provided a sense of narrative and direction, a great effort.
See Cabin in the Woods here: https://faileon95.itch.io/cabin-in-the-woods
See Martin’s portfolio here: https://www.artstation.com/faileon
University of Portsmouth
‘The way you have presented your work is of a very high standard and I was impressed with the inclusion of a video’
Phillip is a student from the University of Portsmouth and created an environment of high quality and detail on a royal level. His ‘Palace Dining Hall’ depicted the residual scene after a peasant revolt against an aristocratic family.
He had built a fantastic story through the piece created, prompting one judge to say: “You have done a really good job with this environment so you should be proud of yourself! There was good storytelling in the level dressing with the broken plates and chairs fallen over. It really is an interesting environment with good lighting.”
See Palace Dining Hall: https://phillip-baker.itch.io/palace-dining-hall
See Phillip’s portfolio here: https://www.artstation.com/phillip_baker