Looking for some advice from 3d environment artist

Hey everyone, I just had a few questions regarding the subject of environmental artist. I’m trying to build up my portfolio but I’m not quite sure if I’m taking too big of a step which is the reason I feel like I’m slowing down. I’m currently trying to tackle a portion of a huge city I designed but I’m not sure if it’s jumping too deep. Currently I’m creating all the assets and even textures which is a lot of work.

My questions:
-When building an environment do I have to showcase it in a game engine or can I just show it in blender?
-When building an environment, do I have to create a full level or can I make it more easier on myself?
-I’m in the debate of whether to build modular or just build huge connected sets, what do you think is the best approach?
-When making a portfolio, how many levels(environments) should I build and do they need to be big?

I tried building a city once. my advice would be, make instead an isolated scene within a city, faking the background with images or low poly buildings. instead of trying to make everything in a city, which is nearly impossible, focus on detail, like rubble, bits of grass between the pavements, and little stuff like that along with the main objects.

My questions:
-When building an environment do I have to showcase it in a game engine or can I just show it in blender?
this depends on how you want to showcase them, and it depends on the size and complexity of the map.
alternative ways is to use programs such as sketchfab to showcase everything individually, and also everything in a scene
you can use the classic turntable where you make a video of the whole thing turning 360*
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q83hSu-2wmg here is a really cool way to showcase an enviorment, going around or through the map

-When building an environment, do I have to create a full level or can I make it more easier on myself?
depends on how much work you want to create for yourself. if you try to go too big, the resoults tend to be very “generated” and basic. id start off by making props for a few weeks, and then set up small scenes, and once you got multible small scenes, you will find that many of them can be merged into bigger scenes. and with all those bigger scenes you can merge into whole enviorments.
tips, USE REFERANCE! dont go off top of your head when designing it! USE REFERANCE!

-I’m in the debate of whether to build modular or just build huge connected sets, what do you think is the best approach?
dont know if i understood that question right, what modular, what sets?

-When making a portfolio, how many levels(environments) should I build and do they need to be big?
Big, Small, Many, Few, put everything ur proud of. the more you add, the more you can remove, only keep the best work in your portofolio. you can also have a secondary portofolio with EVERYTHING in it.

also, as a enviorment artist, stealing is a good thing :slight_smile: find stuff online, slightly modify it and slap your name on it.

You want to create an environment.
Environment is a frame of a story.
There’s much ‘invisible’ repetition

Although he’s VFX artist, I suggest you to watch “48 Hours Free Master Class by Mark Theriault : Complexity Vs Simplicity” !!! 12 hours left (@CET23:51)

do only what is necessary but do it well, show knowledge by expressing skill through visually pleasing story
add detail as needed

Thank you everyone for the replies and information. Yeah I plan to just make a portion of the city and try to fake the other objects using very basic shapes or images. The picture I kind of have in mind is a part of the town within the city and in the distance you would see a big castle at the top of a mountain. Going to def. fake the castle as it will be somewhat far away. I will def. view the videos as well. I’m currently in the process of what type of flooring to use. The scene will use houses and building similar to that of medieval times. Also I’m using these as a reference, it’s almost close to what I have in mind. Thank you once again, hopefully I can start building up something.



take the bottom one for instance, DONT TRY TO SET UP EVERYTHING! take one thing at a time, and do at LEAST 2 hours of pure research on how to make it. for instance, using proper textures, alpha maps, and how to actually make the ivy.

and the cobblestone, do lots of research on it before attempting it.