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Environment Production Workflow : Tips, Tricks and Concepts

with David Lesperance

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3D Environment artists require an extensive set of tools and techniques in their arsenal in order to deal with the complexity of a full 3D environment. Environment artist David Lesperance will guide you through his process for developing 3D environments in Environment Production Workflow – Tips, Tricks and Concepts. Various topics are addressed in this lecture, starting with the composition and layout of the scene, lighting, materials, textures, and sculpting techniques. David begins his lecture on composition and layout, along with some of the techniques he uses to find the best composition for the environment he is designing. This includes finding the right mood and using some quick Adobe® Photoshop® tricks to enhance the lighting in the scene He then moves into Autodesk® 3ds Max® to go over his process for developing materials in V-Ray®, starting with glass and various metal materials, pointing out various options in the V-Ray® material to make it easier to troubleshoot issues when they arise. His lecture then moves into terrain modeling, discussing a series of techniques he uses to design convincing terrains. He first discusses a technique for blending surfaces, starting by sculpting some high resolution rock formations using ZBrush4R4® and combining them in 3ds Max® using some Boolean operations. He then demonstrates how blend materials across the surfaces using vertex paint to control a mask within a Blend Material. Next he moves on to terrain building using World Machine to generate fractal based terrain maps and exporting displacement maps to rapidly create terrain assets. David's next series of lectures focus on the practical layout, composition, texturing, and lighting a digital environment. Here, he focuses on the build process, starting with rough layout, then adding various rubble assets before moving into lighting and texturing the environment. During the texture phase, he discusses texture scale issues and demonstrates how to keep texture scale consistent across multiple assets. His final set of lectures focus primarily on rapid modeling and sculpting techniques he employs in his workflow. Here, David discusses everything from high-resolution sub-D modeling in 3ds Max® to high resolution sculpting techniques in ZBrush®. His primary focus inside ZBrush® is the use of the new Insert Multi Mesh tool and the latest updates to Dynamesh in ZBrush4R4®.

  • Composition/layout theory
  • Image conceptualization on a scene in progress
  • Rapid lighting and mood Concept Creation
  • Asset rendering/asset lighting
  • Basic Shader set ups for VRay
  • Shader Blending for Material Merges
  • World Machine Introduction/Floating Point Displacement Demo for VRay
  • Shot creation and layout theory and practice
  • Texture Scale Information
  • Lighting and first pass art review
  • Ripping Normal Maps with X-Normal
  • Zbrush R4 Common Features Used
  • Zbrush R4 Asset Creation/Normal Map Creation
  1. Intro
  2. Layout and Composition
  3. Lighting and Look
  4. Material Development and Blending Surfaces and Materials
  5. Generating Terrains using World Machine
  6. Blocking and Texturing an Environment
  7. Lighting Setup, Layout and Composition
  8. Look Development in Adobe® Photoshop®
  9. 3ds Max® high resolution sub-D modeling and lighting setups
  10. Rock and Rubble formation with ZBrush4R4® Insert Multi Mesh tool
  11. Frequently used tools new in ZBrush4R4®
  12. Generating Brick walls and assets using new ZBrush4R4® tools
  13. Sculpting Rock Formations and Extracting Normal Maps in xNormal
  • Product Code: DLS02
  • ISBN: 1-59762-739-9
  • UPC: 805366018221
  • Duration: 212 minutes
  • Formats: DVD-ROM

DVD-Video Information:

  • NTSC
  • All Regions

Digital Download Requirements:

Minimum Operating System:

  • Microsoft® Windows® Vista®
  • Microsoft® Windows® XP Professional
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional
  • Apple® Mac® OS X 10.2


  • QuickTime Movie Player (Version 7.0 or higher)
  • Acrobat Reader (Version 5.0 or higher)

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  • Software Used:

  • Autodesk®
    3ds Max®

  • Pixologic

  • Adobe®

  • World

David Lesperance

Environment Artist

David Lesperance is an environment artist who has worked in the CG entertainment field for almost eight years. He has a degree in Fine Arts and is active in the CG community. David is currently working with Microsoft and the 343 industry team on Halo 4. David's game experience includes work on Mortal Kombat DC, Tony Hawk Ride and StarCraft 2. His experience also includes work with Blizzard Entertainment's cinematic division, on such titles as Diablo 3, WoW Cataclysm, and the StarCraft projects.

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"David Lesperance is one of the most prolific 3D environment artists I've ever met. It's fascinating to see how he, being so detail-oriented, manages to produce huge amount of work in zero time. Besides that, David is famous for his technical approach for 3d art and his constant search for more efficient ways of doing things. I won't be surprised if I come across a DVD tutorial from him called "How to crank-out a super-detailed environment set in one day"

- Vitaly Bulgarov
Cinematic Artist, Blizzard Entertainment

"In my experience of almost 10 years in this industry, I don't think I've met anyone with more passion to grow as an artist, become better, and find smarter and faster ways of working than David Lesperance.  He is an exceptional artist and encourages those he works with to be exceptional as well."

- Jeramiah Johnson 
Senior Cinematic Artist

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