Creating a Sci-Fi Alleyway

Detailed Environment techniques with Devon Fay

Chapter List


In this lecture, senior environment artist Devon Fay takes you through his process of creating complex and believable CG environments. He starts at the very beginning with the development of an idea with research, reference and exploration. Devon then discusses how to expand on your ideas with clear steps towards working efficiently and creatively. Topics include reference gathering, blocking-out scenes through effective layout techniques, modeling, lighting, texturing, painting, rendering and the exploration of new tools. Through this project, Devon demonstrates how to get the full benefits of programs that include Maya, VRay, Photoshop, ZBrush, and others. As his science fiction inspired alleyway is full of narrative detail, Devon explains the importance and application of composition, set dressing, storytelling, realism and the final post techniques that create an immersive environment. By the end of the lesson and demonstration, artists should have a clear idea of how to approach detailed environment work for production.

Duration: 406 minutes

Format: HD 1920x1080

Chapter List

  • 00. Preview
  • 01. Refining Your Idea
  • 02. The Block Out
  • 03. Finishing the Block out
  • 04. Find the Crack. Props!
  • 05. Detailed prop creation process
  • 06. Initial lighting set-up
  • 07. Scene Modeling
  • 08. Story telling in your scene
  • 09. Other tools and scripts
  • 10. Quixel Suite highrez workflow
  • 11. Custom Photoshop texture
  • 12. Texture sheets and tillables
  • 13. Final Lighting Setup and Render Passes
  • 14. Putting it all together in Photoshop

Devon Fay

Senior Environment Artist, Riot Games

After graduating from the Gnomon School of VFX, Devon Fay started his career in Blizzard Entertainment's film department. He began working on matte-painted environments for projects such as Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty and World of Warcraft: Cataclysm. Devon continued his work at Blizzard as a Matte Painting Lead for Diablo III, World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria and Starcraft II: Heart of the Swarm. While constantly seeking new challenges and techniques, he decided to transfer his career to real-time environments for games. Currently, Devon is working at Infinity Ward as a Senior Environment Artist, working on such games as Call of Duty: Ghosts and Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare. Coming full circle, he has returned to the Gnomon School as an online instructor, bringing his unique perspectives to environment creation, drawing from his experience in both pre-rendered and in-game environments.

  • "Devon is one of those rare artists that combines great talent with the ability to teach and inspire those around him. He has an incredible eye and attention to detail that is hard to find nowadays. I feel privileged to have been able to see his creative process. "

    - Jake Geiger
    Art Lead - Infinity Ward

  • "If you're looking for one of the best environment artist in the industry, look no further. Devon Fay delivers the highest quality in every work, and this one is no exception."

    - Fabio Zungrone
    Senior Matte Painter - Blizzard entertainment